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  • FIRST POST
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 2nd Jan 18, 3:38 PM
    • 29,846Posts
    • 172,423Thanks
    Karmacat
    Travelling On
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 18, 3:38 PM
    Travelling On 2nd Jan 18 at 3:38 PM
    2018 really is a “travelling on” year for me: the final push, as far as finances and organisation are concerned. But I still need to look after the rest of me, so here it all is, adapted from the review I did on the last few pages of my previous diary:

    Make good memories.
    Building on last year. Carrying on reconnecting with old friends and new.
    Make new friends, especially locally.
    Our little board games group - we're all retired now!
    Rejoin the local writing group?

    Plus holidays and creative work, see below.

    Holidays
    A UK holiday for all three of us, probably to Hadrian's Wall.
    A cruise: current thinking is a 14 day-er with Tui to Norway; you could really do Norway in that time.

    Creativity
    I wanted to do lots of writing around one blog, and lots of design work around another, and I haven't done either of those things. I've missed it. A second edition of my original kindle book is needed, a new kindle is nearly ready, I can do a novel. There are a couple of options for another factual one.

    And if I'm ever going to design any cat cards or geometric patterns, this is the year.

    Jobs around the house
    The house is definitely my house now, not a work-live space. Replaster the hall, repair the hardstanding and the patio, some electrical work on the ground floor. Lots of other bits that are really little.

    Garden
    Weeding, getting compost, topsoil and bark chippings down, so I can plant edible perennials.
    Frences need weatherproofing. Prunings from hedging plants need burning to add to the soil.

    Health
    I'm carrying on
    getting better – need to get enough sleep. And I need stamina and strength – just enough to have a day out in London for instance.
    Healthy walks run by the local council. Dance classes, by the end of the year?

    Finances.
    MSE wins
    Swagbucks and You Gov right now, but I'll be going for Pinecone Research and Prolific Academic. Anything of that type that I can do from my armchair!
    Pensions
    I haven't done anything – luckily, the Stock Market hasn't collapsed, but I really do need to safeguard it, simply because I don't earn money any more.
    Online Sales
    I've kept some items back from the charity shop, things that will probably net £5 or more. Spread throughout the year, do it or donate it.
    Change current account
    HSBC have irritated me with their crazy fraud software for the last time. When my Regular Saver terminates, I'm moving.
    Insurance
    I just renewed last year, for ease, it was less than a month after the funeral. But I want a cheaper alternative, and I need to get quotes for insurance of all this jewellery I now have.

    Accounts
    2016/17 in the UK, and 2017 in France. I don't know if I'll need to do UK accounts after this year – I might have to, even though I've no UK earnings, because of the French apartment.
    French accountant
    I have the possibility of shifting accountant, people have got a computer programme going for leaseback properties like mine. Do I take the risk of moving? I'll have to decide really soon. Probably not worth it if I'm selling.
    Tackle French mortgage.
    The mortgage ends in September next year! About 630 euros a month goes to capital repayment, and the interest rate is 0.95% p.a.
    Ability to sell the French apartment?
    If I could sell it without penalty (huge VAT payment) I'd love to get rid of it now. I don't care too much what I'd get for it, even.
    My mother's house
    We'll be putting it up for sale in the summer; it was recently rewired, which is good, but it's still a fixer-upper, there's no doubt. Quite a bit of work in it.

    Counting Blessings”,says greent.
    I used to do that all the time. Last year felt short on blessings, to be honest, but even so my brother and sister and I have come together very strongly, we've met up with the Norfolk rellies, a new baby was born, I went catsitting twice, and that's just the big stuff.
    Next year will be more settled in the basics, so that everyday events feel more fun, and there'll be lots more opportunity for fun one-offs: I'm off to London this week and the next for days out. Another baby will be born in summer 2018!

    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
Page 35
    • ZTD
    • By ZTD 6th Apr 18, 8:28 PM
    • 23,730 Posts
    • 42,877 Thanks
    ZTD
    But even half what I have now is a lot better than I thought would happen, I thought I'd be in a studio flat in a cheap part of Liverpool, to be honest with you.
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    But wouldn't that make it the posh end at that juncture?
    "Follow the money!" - Deepthroat (AKA William Mark Felt Sr - Associate Director of the FBI)
    "We were born and raised in a summer haze." Adele 'Someone like you.'
    "Blowing your mind, 'cause you know what you'll find, when you're looking for things in the sky."
    OMD 'Julia's Song'
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 7th Apr 18, 9:30 AM
    • 29,846 Posts
    • 172,423 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Glad you're solvent KC Good job we all have a lot of practice with MSE style spending I say

    Hope you manage to get out in the garden for a bit today if that's on your plan Sun shone here for a few minutes this afternoon Most exciting
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    Thanks Cheery! Yes, the happy-ever-after scenario depends on MSE style spending, exactly which is fine. I also intend to go back to organic for a few foods - eggs, for instance, and honey. Maybe oats too, for the first time. With my slightly iffy health levels, I think its a worthwhile investment.

    I've got the blog address still, if you'd like it PM'd, Kc. No new posts though. And Squirrel's not been active on here for almost 2 months x
    Originally posted by greent
    Yes please, greent, I can't find it now. People drift away from mse sometimes, rather than making a decision to go, and really, it's okay - she's living her life, I think

    But wouldn't that make it the posh end at that juncture?
    Originally posted by ZTD
    Oi! Bad Z!!

    In all seriousness, when my brother drove me about on that tour of the family (genealogy) houses last year, I was shocked. On Rightmove, you can see perfectly nice interiors that would fit in anywhere in the country, but the areas ... acres and acres and years and years of under investment, so that building sites are left with piles of rubble surrounded by wire fences, main roads ribboned with closed little shops. My brother didn't want me to get out of the car, and I agreed with him.

    My equvalent here down south is the town near the local airport - a whole neighbourhood of new build apartments, which look lovely. My niece was told not to buy there by a friendly local estate agent because of the drug culture there. When an estate agent says "don't buy the properties I'm offering", you're wise to take notice....
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • earthgirl
    • By earthgirl 7th Apr 18, 10:07 AM
    • 2,156 Posts
    • 23,888 Thanks
    earthgirl
    Hope squirrel is ok. I was gutted when my diaries were deleted. Hopefully she's on holiday somewhere.

    Mse ways can't be too bad if you are a millionaire!
    15/5/12 Paid off Mortgage 1 (£220k) Bought Dream House Dec 13 - Mortage 2 -£116,508. 15/7/18 Mortgage Free Again
    Kids savings 13,578/36k
    2k Monthly buffer 2k/2k 5k Travel savings £3203/5k
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 7th Apr 18, 10:13 AM
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    • 172,423 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Right, I'm off out for the afternoon, so this morning, just a few little tasks - checking bank accounts, clean shopping to put away, I have SB chunnering away in the background. I'm definitely catching up on my sleep, which I'm ecstatic about.

    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 8th Apr 18, 6:27 PM
    • 819 Posts
    • 4,804 Thanks
    michelle09
    Wow, if the EAs tell you not to buy, I'd run for the hills!

    Have a great day, enjoy the sleep.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 8th Apr 18, 10:47 PM
    • 29,846 Posts
    • 172,423 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Hope squirrel is ok. I was gutted when my diaries were deleted. Hopefully she's on holiday somewhere.
    Originally posted by earthgirl
    I hope so too.

    Mse ways can't be too bad if you are a millionaire!
    I'm starting to get quite upset at the subtext of this particular sort of 'millionaire' comment, earthgirl, and wishing I'd never mentioned the spreadsheet results on here. As I'm not a millionaire, I've been "replying" and then deleting for about half an hour now, but instead I'm taking a leaf from edinburgher's book, specifically the wording at the beginning of this post: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.php?p=74085088&postcount=657
    please lets leave it at that.

    Wow, if the EAs tell you not to buy, I'd run for the hills!

    Have a great day, enjoy the sleep.
    Originally posted by michelle09
    Thanks michelle - and yep, its an eye opener about what the EA said, isn't it - thank heavens he was ethical enough to speak up.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • maddiemay
    • By maddiemay 9th Apr 18, 8:28 AM
    • 3,658 Posts
    • 33,503 Thanks
    maddiemay
    Oh dear KC I quite see where you are coming from.

    On a lighter note shall I bore you with my gardening to do list?

    Bought and awaiting planting 4 pots mini daffodils, 2 pots of white bulbs ? name, something I had not heard of before, 20 of Pippi's white things and 4 packets of summer bulbs I rashly bought when out and about recently.

    The problem bit is that I have 2 appointments today, including hair cut and colour, 2 tomorrow, 1 plus knit n natter on Wednesday and we should be going away in the caravan on Thursday, with clothes to pack, food to organise etc.

    I think that I have rather overstretched myself this time

    Never mind B12 jab today, perhaps I should ask if they have a supercharged version.
    The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time. (Abraham Lincoln)
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 9th Apr 18, 8:43 AM
    • 5,042 Posts
    • 28,587 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Oh dear KC I quite see where you are coming from.

    On a lighter note shall I bore you with my gardening to do list?

    Bought and awaiting planting 4 pots mini daffodils, 2 pots of white bulbs ? name, something I had not heard of before, 20 of Pippi's white things and 4 packets of summer bulbs I rashly bought when out and about recently.

    The problem bit is that I have 2 appointments today, including hair cut and colour, 2 tomorrow, 1 plus knit n natter on Wednesday and we should be going away in the caravan on Thursday, with clothes to pack, food to organise etc.

    I think that I have rather overstretched myself this time

    Never mind B12 jab today, perhaps I should ask if they have a supercharged version.
    Originally posted by maddiemay
    Sounds as if you have your work cut out there, maddiemay.

    I haven't planted bulbs for years but maybe a delay in planting yours (if you don't manage it before you go away)won't be detrimental. The daffodils in pots should be OK until your return.


    I always plant sweet peas every year from seed but what with my brother's illness and death I totally lost track of time this spring. I couldn't face not having my sweet pea fragrance fix this year and succumbed to a newspaper supplement ad last week and ordered some sweet pea plug plants which should arrive within the next couple of weeks. The weather has been so awful for so long that the beds where I normally erect the wigwams and plant them are still in a shocking state. It rained all day yesterday and my gardening plans were scuppered so I must try to get onto it this week. It's a bit early frost-wise to plant them out when they arrive anyway so at least I have a bit of time to play with.


    I hope you have a lovely caravan holiday and the weather is kind to you
    Original Debt: £56804 (@02/13). Now: £9048. Almost sub £9000 at long last.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 9th Apr 18, 9:40 AM
    • 29,846 Posts
    • 172,423 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Bought and awaiting planting 4 pots mini daffodils, 2 pots of white bulbs ? name, something I had not heard of before, 20 of Pippi's white things and 4 packets of summer bulbs I rashly bought when out and about recently.

    The problem bit is that I have 2 appointments today, including hair cut and colour, 2 tomorrow, 1 plus knit n natter on Wednesday and we should be going away in the caravan on Thursday, with clothes to pack, food to organise etc.

    I think that I have rather overstretched myself this time
    Originally posted by maddiemay
    Wow! well, best of luck, maddie, that's a **lot**! I confess that I just leave bulbs in the ground from one year to the next, I always have - yes, you have to not dig them up while you're weeding later in the year but I accept the compromise

    Never mind B12 jab today, perhaps I should ask if they have a supercharged version.
    Ooh, I've heard of them, never had one, can you feel the difference?

    I always plant sweet peas every year from seed but what with my brother's illness and death I totally lost track of time this spring. I couldn't face not having my sweet pea fragrance fix this year and succumbed to a newspaper supplement ad last week and ordered some sweet pea plug plants which should arrive within the next couple of weeks. The weather has been so awful for so long that the beds where I normally erect the wigwams and plant them are still in a shocking state. It rained all day yesterday and my gardening plans were scuppered so I must try to get onto it this week. It's a bit early frost-wise to plant them out when they arrive anyway so at least I have a bit of time to play with.
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    Planting is the kind of thing that goes by the board immediately after a bereavement, CBC, as I'm sure you know. Great idea to get some plug plants - I might actually buy some kale plugs rather than try to grow my own. I did manage to germinate some last year, rather late, but then the slugs ate them but this year, with all the tidying I've been doing, I'm hoping that there's less in the garden to nurture slugs in the first place so plugs might survive to adulthood.


    I hope you have a lovely caravan holiday and the weather is kind to you
    Absolutely! That sounds like your own caravan maddie, it's a brilliant idea.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 9th Apr 18, 9:44 AM
    • 29,846 Posts
    • 172,423 Thanks
    Karmacat
    If I'm going on my healthy walk, I should leave the house in ten minutes max. Thing is, it's not healthy, it doesn't stretch me, but still takes up time. It's a half hour potter along level paths. The walk I did with my sister on Saturday, however, was 1 and three quarter hours (ok, it was a bit much!) and quite fast-for-me (she's younger and a lot fitter).

    It's a huge learning process to stop thinking "I should" and start thinking "what do I want? what is healthy for me right now?".

    Plus it's drizzling I'm sorry to go from the sublime to the ridiculous, but its true!
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 9th Apr 18, 7:36 PM
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    • 172,423 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Ha, I didn't go on the healthy walk - instead, I've researched the walks that are the next step up. They'll exhaust me for the whole day, like I was on Saturday after walking with my sister, but that'll do me more good than a meaningless potter.

    So far so normal: SB in the background, scanning photographs, and tidying prunings and soil in the garden (and desperately trying not to hurt any worms as I brush soil!). Then a mega change: I accidentally started to tidy up my patchwork/sewing/knitting/craftwork stash. And I've nearly done it, too. Diaries are also stored with diaries, that sort of thing. Before you know it, I'll have created enough space to actually clean *all* the floors properly And they may even stay clean. Dreams are made from these building blocks e.g. I can invite someone in spontaneously, I can start a project spontaneously, everything gets easier
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Downshifterella
    • By Downshifterella 10th Apr 18, 7:31 AM
    • 137 Posts
    • 893 Thanks
    Downshifterella
    Well done on the sorting and clearing KC!
    Starting to do a bit more of that here ( one bag in the car for charity shop already and at least *ahem* 3 Easter eggs decluttered in the last week alone! ) just need the sun to show its face so I can feel like it's a proper "spring clean"

    Love you are replacing "shoulda" with "want to's" it's s good way to be!

    Ella X
    MF planning for the simple life
    • shangaijimmy
    • By shangaijimmy 10th Apr 18, 7:51 AM
    • 2,782 Posts
    • 13,923 Thanks
    shangaijimmy
    Spring de clutter is great, very theraputic. A couple of years ago i even de cluttered the storage units so Mrs SJ couldn't fill them with yet more plastic rubbish. I tired to adopt a "one in, one out" policy but you can imagine how badly that went!! I will be targeting the boys rooms in the next couple of weeks, and you've inspired me to re-find the floor in DS1's room!

    As for your walks. A small bit of advice from me. Don't discount the small walks and their impact. Firstly the opportunity of 30 mins "head space" is valuable (no phone, no music is my trick). Secondly consider it all as a weekly accumulation of time, or distance. The 3 small walks in the week has the same impact as the one big one on a Sunday and will actually serve as preparation for the big one so you may feel less exhausted, or can increase your speed. Calorie counting/Nutrition should be considered in the same way. We have a preference for viewing things as a daily total, or 1 session in isolation, when the biggest impact is when combined over a period of days/weeks.
    MFW: Turning June 2036 into March 2025... 41//120 Payments Challenge, Diary Reduction £44,136.86
    Aug 2009: £163,051 // Current: £91,863.15 // Avg Daily Interest £4.13
    MFiT-T4 #8 - 80.74% of £41,000
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 10th Apr 18, 9:20 AM
    • 29,846 Posts
    • 172,423 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Well done on the sorting and clearing KC!
    Starting to do a bit more of that here ( one bag in the car for charity shop already and at least *ahem* 3 Easter eggs decluttered in the last week alone! ) just need the sun to show its face so I can feel like it's a proper "spring clean"
    Originally posted by Downshifterella
    I'm doing that sort of declutter as well, a bit not a huge amount of choccie, but enough!

    Love you are replacing "shoulda" with "want to's" it's s good way to be!
    Thanks Ella! It is good, isn't it, and it spreads from one area to another, I think it's called a "virtuous spiral" So virtuous, me

    Spring de clutter is great, very theraputic. A couple of years ago i even de cluttered the storage units so Mrs SJ couldn't fill them with yet more plastic rubbish. I tired to adopt a "one in, one out" policy but you can imagine how badly that went!! I will be targeting the boys rooms in the next couple of weeks, and you've inspired me to re-find the floor in DS1's room!
    Originally posted by shangaijimmy
    Absolutely! A lot of this is about integrating the stuff I've inherited from my late mother's house - I know where the "bits" will go now, but there's a couple of pieces I'm not sure about - a solid wood standard lamp, which I adore, I'll have to experiment with that. And a little wicker storage chest, which used to be in her bathroom and wasn't used for anything much ... I love it, and I want it, but placement and what's going to be *in* it are different issues.

    As for your walks. A small bit of advice from me. Don't discount the small walks and their impact. Firstly the opportunity of 30 mins "head space" is valuable (no phone, no music is my trick). Secondly consider it all as a weekly accumulation of time, or distance. The 3 small walks in the week has the same impact as the one big one on a Sunday and will actually serve as preparation for the big one so you may feel less exhausted, or can increase your speed. Calorie counting/Nutrition should be considered in the same way. We have a preference for viewing things as a daily total, or 1 session in isolation, when the biggest impact is when combined over a period of days/weeks.
    Oh, I totally agree. The walk I'm referring to is on the council's programme, chatting about whatever, unable to vary the pace to suit me, at the wrong time for me. It helped me, earlier in the year, when I still felt very unwell, but at the moment, it's not enough of a challenge.

    I still walk on my own too, that's essential, and thats the headspace time, and the accumulation time, and my self-directed programme is pretty much exactly as you describe. Which is really useful, thank you! When you're completely self directed in a new area of knowledge, its ever so helpful to get feedback from people who're more in touch with it.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 10th Apr 18, 9:28 AM
    • 29,846 Posts
    • 172,423 Thanks
    Karmacat
    And today, the big thing is the AGM of the local U3A, 10 minutes walk from my house, hurray. I did go to one meeting last month, but I was too ill to stay, so this one will be my first proper visit. A *lot* of the groups sound really interesting - keeping up my French, learning more Spanish, environmental issues, finance and politics, walking in London, lots more, but I'm going to start with just two - Ancient Civilisations (I'm a history buff, thats just how it is ) and one of the four family history groups. Yikes. Should be fascinating, because I'm definitely a jack of all trades, master of none
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • gallygirl
    • By gallygirl 10th Apr 18, 1:36 PM
    • 16,645 Posts
    • 109,900 Thanks
    gallygirl
    Enjoy, if an AGM can ever be enjoyable . You're lucky having such an active group, my nearest one is three hours away , Not that I'd have time to fit in any meetings anyway .
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort
    Mortgage Balance = £0
    "Do what others won't early in life so you can do what others can't later in life"
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 10th Apr 18, 4:45 PM
    • 29,846 Posts
    • 172,423 Thanks
    Karmacat
    You know its true, Gally

    It was interesting in an anthropological sort of way - I really wanted to find the leaders of the two family history groups that are meeting this week. Only one is open, and the leader was there, so that was a victory.

    There's always a talk at these sort of events ... and oh dear, I think I've been spoiled by my Egyptology Association, as far as the quality of the speaker is concerned. Hey ho, its really the groups I'm interested in
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • pinkypig
    • By pinkypig 10th Apr 18, 6:58 PM
    • 1,411 Posts
    • 11,005 Thanks
    pinkypig
    My friend's mum is active in the U3A and it sounds brilliant. Hope you had fun!

    Congratulations on all your decluttering

    PP xx
    MFW 2018 #157 Target £15,000

    £17,770.92/£15,000
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 11th Apr 18, 11:46 AM
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    • 172,423 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Thanks PP! It's certainly way cheaper than the WI, though as I've never been to the one, and only just started at the other, thats the only point of comparison I have

    Craft and materials stashes are *completely* organised, I've even written a list of what's where in the process, I discovered rather a lot of paracetemol lurking in an odd box, leftover from my shoulder op, so now I'm on a quest to organise first aid supplies

    Such a misty day I disapprove, in general, but it's warm and the line washing will dry pretty well

    YouGov survey done, SB chunnering very well, and lots of Body Shop points turned up unexpectedly yesterday

    Other focus today is genealogy, because the U3A group I sort of joined yesterday is meeting on Friday

    All's well hope everyone has a good day.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 11th Apr 18, 1:22 PM
    • 57,332 Posts
    • 234,615 Thanks
    beanielou
    I wish I could get a You Gov or two
    Have a good day.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
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    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
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    Out of debt, out of danger. MFW 2018. No 144
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