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  • FIRST POST
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 8th Mar 15, 11:07 PM
    • 6,033Posts
    • 31,871Thanks
    AlexLK
    Renovations and Repayments.
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 15, 11:07 PM
    Renovations and Repayments. 8th Mar 15 at 11:07 PM
    Hello and welcome to visitors familiar with my journey thus far and are surprised to see me on such a sensible board and a further warm welcome to the new faces wondering what they've let themselves in for.

    Let me begin by clarifying a few points: the first one is I am not sure whether I'm actually serious or not about clearing my mortgage and the second is the fact my house needs quite a bit of work doing to it. This work I do myself and in the time my wife and I have lived in the house we've learnt all kinds of new skills. The current project involves renewing the windows and I am making the frames myself, two are done and I'm pleased to say look great.

    I plan to use this mortgage free (how very grown up) diary to document the renovations and my savings activities, out of which overpayments may or may not be made. However, I am fully committed to long term saving and making as much money as possible. A long term goal of mine is to add to the BTL portfolio I shall one day inherit and am already becoming more involved in which is perhaps a good reason to pay my mortgage off and make my current property into an investment.

    Aside from the recent interest in moneysaving I have a four year old son, run my own company, play and teach the violin and piano whilst studying for my own interest. Oh and don't mention the cars.

    Those familiar with my debt-free diary will know I'm not exactly great at record keeping but am trying to improve, so please don't expect the detailed financial updates others seem to put on here. To kick things off, I suppose I ought to confess the mortgage debt is a total of circa 185,000 and I have no real timescale or plan in mind to pay it off.

    Sorry if this is not a particularly articulate introduction, as I seem to be at a loss how to tailor it to both those who've read my debt free diary and to new readers frequenting mortgage free.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
Page 151
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 18th May 17, 10:23 PM
    • 6,033 Posts
    • 31,871 Thanks
    AlexLK
    May Targets:
    Days getting longer and summer only around the corner, May is the month to sell a no longer wanted classic, I think.

    Organise trip to Rutland Water with in-laws. Planned a few more details today.
    Organise Whitsun holiday. 1. Trip to R.W. 2. Trip to the coast. 3. Son baking with parents. 4. At least one quiet day dog walking etc. 5. Swimming (thanks, Red Squirrel ).
    Start work on the bathroom Starting to see some progress with this now items have started to be fitted today. Not in a usable state yet but despite being concerned about our budget the suite so far looks fantastic. Also means we are getting a lot closer to the 0% debt going live. Managed to have a laugh with my father about it today, though. He said if a 0% debt was all he had to worry about at my age he'd have been grinning from ear to ear. I asked him if he thought I'd be able to handle this responsibly and he said he thinks I will.
    Total Grocery Spend: 235 / 400.
    Surplus Money: 230 / 1,000.
    11.30pm bedtime: 10 / 31.
    Meditation: 12 / 31.
    Schedule / Spreadsheets: 18 / 31.
    De-clutter and Sell: 1 / 5 items.
    New Recipes: 1 / 4.
    Books read for pleasure: / 3.
    Learn something new or refine a skill: 1. Continue learning and applying new knowledge to create more sophisticated and streamlined spreadsheets. 2. Learn a new piece of repertoire. 3. Demolishing a bathroom.

    Struggling a bit today. I've been volunteering at school and it's been a bit of a hard day. Pupils have been generally bad tempered and I don't think I delivered a particularly good session to one group or handled some behaviour issues in the best possible way. I'll move on from it and know what I need to do next week. Things like this happen sometimes. Going to have an unexpected car bill also which it has only threw at me today; having investigated I've also found another problem which means I'm going to be re-building the diff so might as well do a rear brake overhaul and a few other jobs. Mrs K and I will probably be able to get it all done in one weekend, though we need to get the car we want to sell gone.

    We've decided we aren't going to France this summer. I'd rather put the money towards getting the debt paid and we are still going to have a holiday as we're going to go to Spain for a week which will cost our flights and food only. My mother is going to drive us to the airport to save on parking / taxi fees. Definitely going to France next year, though.

    Told my parents I won't see them until next week as we are busy with other things. I suppose I was quite blunt about it but I do need to have some boundaries in place.

    There's research that a shower everyday is unnecessary and bad for your skin. You could skip the odd day and just brush your teeth and have a 'festival wash' with some baby wipes or a soapy flannel.

    Or if you have a swimming pool/leisure centre in driving distance what about a swimming or sport trip as a family a couple of times a week and use their showers after?

    It'll all be worth it when the new bathroom is done! I'm decorating at the moment and doing it all myself between shifts and the disruption is starting to get to me a bit now, so I feel your pain!

    If your father is reflecting, that can only be a good thing. It might not be easy on your mum but maybe it will trigger some uncomfortable feelings and thoughts for her too. Just because changing and becoming a better person isn't easy doesn't mean we shouldn't try to do it. Look at you, it's not been easy for you to get to where you are, but you've grown so much and made such positive changes to the way you think and how you approach people and situations.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Never heard that. IIRC you are a nurse, so I assume would be privy to such research?

    We have a leisure centre in driveable distance and go swimming sometimes. Not been for a few weeks so have made it a "something to do" over the holiday. Also gives us something to do this weekend as we were a bit stuck. Thank you.

    The decorating between shifts sounds like hard work. Yes, I'm starting to see the project will be worth it now.

    I think I have inherited at least some of my father's depressive tendencies. Never realised it at the time and he would always deny it until recently but I think he has some issues with mental health. Recently, his memory has been of concern but this seems to be improving. He is under the care of the medical profession and they have thankfully not found anything untoward (he does have other health concerns but everything is stable at the moment). Father goes through periods of remorse and regret for the past, though he usually returns to his old self which in turn disappoints me. I don't want him to be upset, just to not tell me he wishes he'd behaved in a different way only to behave in the way he regrets to my son. Anyhow, he'll do what he'll do ultimately.

    My mother is different. She doesn't regret any actions she has taken in life and believes they / she are / is were / was right.

    I seem to have been playing counsellor to others again today. Friend from school who had a bit of drug problem has now fell head over heels in love with a girl he's met a couple of times (story of his life, there) but is concerned she won't be interested when she finds he's divorced / has some financial problems. Mrs. K. put it in perspective when she said "so, he's not concerned she'll run a mile over the fact a few months ago he was high practically everyday but a marriage that didn't work out and a few late payments mean it's doomed from the start ... tell him not to give her his log on to Experian and that at our age I doubt she's still angelic." Harsh but she does amuse me.
    Last edited by AlexLK; 18-05-2017 at 10:26 PM.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • gallygirl
    • By gallygirl 19th May 17, 10:07 AM
    • 16,544 Posts
    • 109,300 Thanks
    gallygirl
    Struggling a bit today. I've been volunteering at school and it's been a bit of a hard day. Pupils have been generally bad tempered and I don't think I delivered a particularly good session to one group or handled some behaviour issues in the best possible way. I'll move on from it and know what I need to do next week. Things like this happen sometimes.
    How positive is that! The 'old Alex' would have seen it as 'proof' of how useless he was rather than putting it in perspective as you rightly have . How far you've come .


    Told my parents I won't see them until next week as we are busy with other things. I suppose I was quite blunt about it but I do need to have some boundaries in place.
    Ditto, how far you've come .

    Mrs. K. put it in perspective when she said "so, he's not concerned she'll run a mile over the fact a few months ago he was high practically everyday but a marriage that didn't work out and a few late payments mean it's doomed from the start ... tell him not to give her his log on to Experian and that at our age I doubt she's still angelic." Harsh but she does amuse me.

    Save
    Save
    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"
    • LadyGnome
    • By LadyGnome 19th May 17, 12:15 PM
    • 453 Posts
    • 1,675 Thanks
    LadyGnome
    Alex, your parents may never develop the ability to change their behaviour, some people don't, partly because they might not want to deal with their past behaviour. However just being able to recognise that your parents have issues and this affects how they treat people might allow you to distance yourself from the effects of their behaviour. It really is them not you. I work in a stressful environment with people who can be under quite a lot of pressure and so I have learnt not to take a lot of behaviour directed at me personally. Its hard at times but it really does help your own equilibrium if you can take a mental step back and see it as the other person not coping very well.

    Alex, I agree with the others that the change in tone in your posts is wonderful. You have come a long way over the last few years, you should be proud of yourself.
    Mortgage
    Start Nov 2012 310,000
    Feb 2018 237,821.60 Reduction 72,178.40
    MFW 2018 #42 788.90/3100
    End Oct Sept 2034 but I have a cunning plan...
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 20th May 17, 12:28 AM
    • 6,033 Posts
    • 31,871 Thanks
    AlexLK
    May Targets:
    Days getting longer and summer only around the corner, May is the month to sell a no longer wanted classic, I think.

    Organise trip to Rutland Water with in-laws. Going to call this done.
    Organise Whitsun holiday. 1. Trip to R.W. 2. Trip to the coast. 3. Son baking with parents. 4. At least one quiet day dog walking etc. 5. Swimming (thanks, Red Squirrel ).
    Going to call this done, also.
    Start work on the bathroom One more week and we should have a fully functioning room. Nearly there.
    Total Grocery Spend: 235 / 400.
    Surplus Money: 230 / 1,000.
    11.30pm bedtime: 10 / 31. Hectic day today, literally only just stopped at midnight. Actually had more hours working today than Mrs. K. Plus other Friday commitments. Had a really good day, though and am now definitely ready for the weekend.
    Meditation: 12 / 31.
    Schedule / Spreadsheets: 18 / 31. Haven't managed to update. I have put a reminder in my phone, so that will let me know tomorrow what I need to do.
    De-clutter and Sell: 1 / 5 items.
    New Recipes: 1 / 4.
    Books read for pleasure: / 3.
    Learn something new or refine a skill: 1. Continue learning and applying new knowledge to create more sophisticated and streamlined spreadsheets. 2. Learn a new piece of repertoire. 3. Demolishing a bathroom.

    How positive is that! The 'old Alex' would have seen it as 'proof' of how useless he was rather than putting it in perspective as you rightly have . How far you've come .

    Ditto, how far you've come .


    Save
    Save
    Originally posted by gallygirl
    Thanks, Gally. I only realise this from reading your comment but for a week or so I've managed to not instantly see myself as a failure. I actually thought the other day that I'm where I need to be right now and the past needed to happen for me to not remain the ***** I was, also to make me a better parent. To be honest, I would have very little time for who I was but I'm starting to see that refusing for my wife to display a picture from our wedding or similar because I don't particularly like or even really recognise myself from then isn't how to move on.

    We're all a product of our upbringing but I'd like to think in adulthood the choices we make can improve who we initially became once given our own freedom.

    Alex, your parents may never develop the ability to change their behaviour, some people don't, partly because they might not want to deal with their past behaviour. However just being able to recognise that your parents have issues and this affects how they treat people might allow you to distance yourself from the effects of their behaviour. It really is them not you. I work in a stressful environment with people who can be under quite a lot of pressure and so I have learnt not to take a lot of behaviour directed at me personally. Its hard at times but it really does help your own equilibrium if you can take a mental step back and see it as the other person not coping very well.

    Alex, I agree with the others that the change in tone in your posts is wonderful. You have come a long way over the last few years, you should be proud of yourself.
    Originally posted by LadyGnome
    Thank you, that makes a lot of sense and I hope you're right, LadyGnome re. being able to distance myself. I also hope my parents will make meaningful and lasting changes but am not going to pin my hopes and self worth upon it. I've had to step back quite a few times in teaching so far and I'm sure I have a lot more of that to do when I have a class of my own (hopefully, one day). Therefore, I do and can understand this.

    I do try to strive to be a lifelong learner and improve myself. Might not seem like it at times but I think we all have the capacity to improve. I hope I can pass this on to my son and he will be in a better position to cope with adult life in the first place.

    Well, that's my philosophising over for the night as bed beckons ready for a good night's sleep and a bright (or rainy ) morning.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • EatingTheElephant
    • By EatingTheElephant 20th May 17, 6:29 AM
    • 1,281 Posts
    • 7,004 Thanks
    EatingTheElephant
    So much positivity in your posts Alex, even when you hit issues, really good stuff
    • heartbreak_star
    • By heartbreak_star 22nd May 17, 11:23 AM
    • 7,610 Posts
    • 16,788 Thanks
    heartbreak_star
    Alex, if I could "thank" your last few posts twice I would.

    Brilliant work long may the positivity continue!

    HBS x
    I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

    #JC4PM
    • Elephantchunks
    • By Elephantchunks 23rd May 17, 4:11 PM
    • 136 Posts
    • 711 Thanks
    Elephantchunks
    Hi, I've just finished reading your entire diary Alex. It's been emotional and extremely interesting to get an insight into your life. I love this new positive Alex and hope he's here to stay x
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 24th May 17, 11:35 PM
    • 6,033 Posts
    • 31,871 Thanks
    AlexLK
    May Targets:
    Days getting longer and summer only around the corner, May is the month to sell a no longer wanted classic, I think. Still not done this.

    Organise trip to Rutland Water with in-laws. Going to call this done.
    Organise Whitsun holiday. 1. Trip to R.W. 2. Trip to the coast. 3. Son baking with parents. 4. At least one quiet day dog walking etc. 5. Swimming (thanks, Red Squirrel ).
    Going to call this done, also.
    Start work on the bathroom After a weekend / start to the week working on this, we're almost there.
    Total Grocery Spend: 235 / 400.
    Surplus Money: 1,230 / 1,000. Going straight to the bathroom project.
    11.30pm bedtime: 11 / 31. Managed an early night yesterday.
    Meditation: 12 / 31. Not managed this for a few days.
    Schedule / Spreadsheets: 18 / 31. I'm behind with this again. I need to have a couple of hours on this tomorrow and have planned to do so tomorrow evening.
    De-clutter and Sell: 1 / 5 items.
    New Recipes: 1 / 4.
    Books read for pleasure: / 3. Hardly read at all but June is a new month ...
    Learn something new or refine a skill: 1. Continue learning and applying new knowledge to create more sophisticated and streamlined spreadsheets. Think this will need to carry over to next month.2. Learn a new piece of repertoire. Getting there with this. 3. Demolishing a bathroom and rebuilding it. .

    Life has been very busy over these past few days. Not really sure where the time has gone if I'm honest. Anyway, I'm back and realise how far behind I am with my targets (apart from the surplus money one ). Sat here wondering if I set myself targets that are difficult to keep, yet at the beginning of the month they seem quite easy to meet. However, I seem to blink and another month passes before me. I'm quite disconcerted about this, to be honest.

    So much positivity in your posts Alex, even when you hit issues, really good stuff
    Originally posted by EatingTheElephant
    Thank you, I am trying. Not sure where the months are going at the moment but things are quite good at the moment so trying to enjoy life a little more.

    Alex, if I could "thank" your last few posts twice I would.

    Brilliant work long may the positivity continue!

    HBS x
    Originally posted by heartbreak_star
    Thank you, HBS.

    Hi, I've just finished reading your entire diary Alex. It's been emotional and extremely interesting to get an insight into your life. I love this new positive Alex and hope he's here to stay x
    Originally posted by Elephantchunks
    I don't think I could sit and read my entire diary with all the rants / completely off topic things I post. Anyhow, erm, congratulations, you are through it and have reached the end for now.

    Thank you, I hope I can retain a balanced but more positive outlook too.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • kelpie35
    • By kelpie35 24th May 17, 11:40 PM
    • 1,549 Posts
    • 5,004 Thanks
    kelpie35
    You are sounding so positive Alex, well done.

    I am also impressed with your grocery spends so far, well done again.

    Is the bathroom almost finished?
    • maman
    • By maman 25th May 17, 3:07 PM
    • 17,775 Posts
    • 106,484 Thanks
    maman
    Good to see you posting Alex. I wondered where you'd been. Busy is good. I always worry that the black dog has got to you.


    You've got a good week planned for half term. I don't think you need anything more unless something just comes up. LittleK loves his home (he's told you so) so a bit of downtime will be enjoyable too. Will you be fitting in a picnic?


    Being my usual nosey self, I'd like a bathroom update too.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 25th May 17, 10:39 PM
    • 6,033 Posts
    • 31,871 Thanks
    AlexLK
    May Targets:
    Days getting longer and summer only around the corner, May is the month to sell a no longer wanted classic, I think.

    Organise trip to Rutland Water with in-laws. Going to call this done.
    Organise Whitsun holiday. 1. Trip to R.W. 2. Trip to the coast. 3. Son baking with parents. 4. At least one quiet day dog walking etc. 5. Swimming (thanks, Red Squirrel ).
    Going to call this done, also.
    Start work on the bathroom and it looks like we are going to finish this month too...
    Total Grocery Spend: 285 / 400.
    Surplus Money: 1,230 / 1,000. Going straight to the bathroom project.
    11.30pm bedtime: 12 / 31. Going to call tonight an early night as I'm already tired and shouldn't be long until I go to bed after writing this.
    Meditation: 13 / 31.
    Schedule / Spreadsheets: 18 / 31. I'm behind with this again. I need to have a couple of hours on this tomorrow and have planned to do so tomorrow evening. This was meant to be today but didn't happen...
    my excuse being the weather was too nice not to enjoy.

    De-clutter and Sell: 1 / 5 items.
    New Recipes: 1 / 4.
    Books read for pleasure: / 3. Hardly read at all but June is a new month ...
    Learn something new or refine a skill: 1. Continue learning and applying new knowledge to create more sophisticated and streamlined spreadsheets. Think this will need to carry over to next month.2. Learn a new piece of repertoire. Getting there with this. 3. Demolishing a bathroom and rebuilding it.

    You are sounding so positive Alex, well done.

    I am also impressed with your grocery spends so far, well done again.

    Is the bathroom almost finished?
    Originally posted by kelpie35
    Thanks, kelpie. I am trying.

    Grocery spends were inaccurate yesterday as I forgot to add to it but are correct now. Still, we are getting better.

    Yes, the bathroom is now functional.

    Good to see you posting Alex. I wondered where you'd been. Busy is good. I always worry that the black dog has got to you.


    You've got a good week planned for half term. I don't think you need anything more unless something just comes up. LittleK loves his home (he's told you so) so a bit of downtime will be enjoyable too. Will you be fitting in a picnic?


    Being my usual nosey self, I'd like a bathroom update too.
    Originally posted by maman
    Thank you, maman.

    Busy is good for me. I'm doing well at the moment and constantly work on strategies that help me with the black dog. I know I'm going to have good and not so good days, I also know my mental health is going to be work in progress as I'm not going to wake up one day and be "cured". There are things I am concerned about at the moment but they are wider issues than I alone can deal with.

    I hope I remember this post when I'm not feeling so good.

    Really looking forward to this half term. ONE MORE DAY! My wife is on leave from work again this holiday and as I'm in school tomorrow, it seems we are all breaking up together. Not planning anything else for half term, so agree there. We are planning to have picnic on our trip to the coast and at RW with the in-laws.

    Not said much about the bathroom because I'm a little loathed to admit it's now gone over budget by 1,500 and we are back in debt for it. However, it looks brilliant and the standalone shower doesn't look anywhere near as silly as I thought it would. Whilst not the prettiest feature of the room, it doesn't look as out of place as I had thought and will be used everyday so I'm going to admit it was worth it. Really pleased we picked the high level cistern which Mrs. K. was really unsure about but now thinks is a statement piece of the bathroom. I was unsure about having a basin without a cabinet but the ones I really liked were a long way from being in budget. Anyway, I'm now pleased with our non-fussy pedestal basin, so it seems to have worked out really well. Can quite honestly say what has been the worst room of this house is now the best. On the less than positive side it does mean we are planning more spending on the house.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 26th May 17, 7:03 AM
    • 1,905 Posts
    • 20,143 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Good to hear you are content about the standalone shower - we have loved ours and will definitely always have one, wherever we can fit one.

    Enjoy your trip to RW next week. I have just been catching up on the Osprey web-cams I follow and sadly, the nest at Loch Garten is empty, after intruder Ospreys attacked the nest, driving away the male (Odin) on 18th and yesterday, the female (EJ). Mercifully, the nest at Manton Bay looks to be in better shape this morning with at two little heads of the healthy chicks dodging about first thing.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 51.75% after Q8 5,203 behind where I should be
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 - after Feb 13.3%/10,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 452.64/3,000 including stores so far
    My DFD is here
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 26th May 17, 8:10 AM
    • 1,548 Posts
    • 9,139 Thanks
    themadvix
    Alex, did you not buy the house as a doer-upper? In which case you're very much entitled to spend money making it a comfortable and pleasant place to be! (You might even eventually decide you want to call it 'home'!!)
    OPs 2017 = 3103
    S&S ISA 2017 = 626
    OPs 2016 = 6142.12
    Starting balance 2012: 132000; balance Dec 2017: 96,822
    MFW2017 no. 38
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 26th May 17, 8:11 AM
    • 28,968 Posts
    • 164,748 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Another vote for standalone showers, downtime together over half term, and time spent on or by lakes sounds really good, Alex.
    Retired August 2016
    • maman
    • By maman 26th May 17, 11:30 AM
    • 17,775 Posts
    • 106,484 Thanks
    maman
    I hope I remember this post when I'm not feeling so good.
    Originally posted by AlexLK

    You do that! And should you not, I'll remind you!!


    Really looking forward to this half term. ONE MORE DAY!
    Originally posted by AlexLK


    And it's Friday!! Great that MrsK is off work too too. So 9 family days together for 4 days leave. All good.

    Not said much about the bathroom because I'm a little loathed to admit it's now gone over budget by 1,500 and we are back in debt for it. However, it looks brilliant and the standalone shower doesn't look anywhere near as silly as I thought it would. Whilst not the prettiest feature of the room, it doesn't look as out of place as I had thought and will be used everyday so I'm going to admit it was worth it. Really pleased we picked the high level cistern which Mrs. K. was really unsure about but now thinks is a statement piece of the bathroom. I was unsure about having a basin without a cabinet but the ones I really liked were a long way from being in budget. Anyway, I'm now pleased with our non-fussy pedestal basin, so it seems to have worked out really well. Can quite honestly say what has been the worst room of this house is now the best. On the less than positive side it does mean we are planning more spending on the house.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    How positive is that!! It sounds great. Did you mix and match the bathroom fittings or are they all from one range/supplier? Can you show us any links? What sort of tiling/flooring/heating did you go for? I told you I was nosey. More seriously, we need to revamp our own bathroom so I'm looking for ideas. My home is Edwardian but not typical. It's a Georgian copy cottage part of the Garden City movement in a conservation area so posh hotel style bathroom really wouldn't suit.
    It's a bit like this one:



    You're not doing so badly on the grocery budget although the week coming up will probably be expensive. Depending on what you include (eating out? wine?) then 400 per month is good for 3 people including lunches (not sure if MrsK is still taking lunch to work?). If it's just for food at home then I think you could cut back a bit during term time to free up some 'entertainment' budget for holiday time.


    Hope the sun's still shining on you.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 26th May 17, 11:45 PM
    • 6,033 Posts
    • 31,871 Thanks
    AlexLK
    May Targets:
    Days getting longer and summer only around the corner, May is the month to sell a no longer wanted classic, I think.

    Organise trip to Rutland Water with in-laws. Going to call this done.
    Organise Whitsun holiday. 1. Trip to R.W. 2. Trip to the coast. 3. Son baking with parents. 4. At least one quiet day dog walking etc. 5. Swimming (thanks, Red Squirrel ).
    Going to call this done, also.
    Start work on the bathroom and it looks like we are going to finish this month too...
    Total Grocery Spend: 285 / 400.
    Surplus Money: 1,230 / 1,000. Going straight to the bathroom project.
    11.30pm bedtime: 12 / 31.
    Meditation: 13 / 31.
    Schedule / Spreadsheets: 18 / 31. I'm behind with this again. I need to have a couple of hours on this tomorrow and have planned to do so tomorrow evening. This was meant to be today but didn't happen...
    my excuse being the weather was too nice not to enjoy.
    De-clutter and Sell: 1 / 5 items.
    New Recipes: 1 / 4.
    Books read for pleasure: / 3. Hardly read at all but June is a new month ...
    Learn something new or refine a skill: 1. Continue learning and applying new knowledge to create more sophisticated and streamlined spreadsheets. Think this will need to carry over to next month.2. Learn a new piece of repertoire. Getting there with this. 3. Demolishing a bathroom and rebuilding it.

    Had a good day apart from a somewhat cruel older boy at my son's school telling my son that his father told him our house is "haunted" because "an old witch" used to live there before it was empty for a long time and we moved there because we're "too poor" to live anywhere else. Apparently, we're "poor" because we don't have an xbox and his father has said our cars must have "dodged a scrapyard" many times over. The boy then told my son he will "probably die" because we're so "poor". I was quite honest with my son about the history of the house (it was empty for years before we moved here) but reassured him there's nothing to be scared of and there are people in this world a lot worse-off than us. I'd have found it laughable if it hadn't all really upset my son. Anyhow, it now appears a lack of an xbox and a classic car collection = likely to starve. Get playing computer games and make sure to get yourself a white Audi A3 because you don't want to wind up like me in my "haunted" house, driving a "scrap dodger" and without necessary modern "entertainment".

    Good to hear you are content about the standalone shower - we have loved ours and will definitely always have one, wherever we can fit one.

    Enjoy your trip to RW next week. I have just been catching up on the Osprey web-cams I follow and sadly, the nest at Loch Garten is empty, after intruder Ospreys attacked the nest, driving away the male (Odin) on 18th and yesterday, the female (EJ). Mercifully, the nest at Manton Bay looks to be in better shape this morning with at two little heads of the healthy chicks dodging about first thing.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    I hadn't once questioned the functionality of it but just how it would work in our setting. Shouldn't have been so concerned, really.

    Looking forward to RW. My son and I have been following the ospreys, we read the blog every night before bedtime.

    Alex, did you not buy the house as a doer-upper? In which case you're very much entitled to spend money making it a comfortable and pleasant place to be! (You might even eventually decide you want to call it 'home'!!)
    Originally posted by themadvix
    The house was bought as a wreck. We thought we'd have it completed in 2 years and would have done had life not got in the way. Been here a decade now and only starting to finish the expensive but not 100% necessary jobs. However, I suspect most would think the jobs I'm talking about are necessary.

    I want to finish it now. After seeing the transformation of the bathroom (not much we've done has been visual apart from when we first moved in), I think we could make this house into something quite nice.

    Another vote for standalone showers, downtime together over half term, and time spent on or by lakes sounds really good, Alex.
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    Thanks, Karmacat.

    Just realised I didn't respond to your PM, I'm sorry. I didn't mark as unread then forgot to respond. I'll respond tomorrow / Sunday depending what we decide to do with the weekend.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 27th May 17, 12:01 AM
    • 6,033 Posts
    • 31,871 Thanks
    AlexLK
    You do that! And should you not, I'll remind you!!
    Originally posted by maman
    Please do so.

    And it's Friday!! Great that MrsK is off work too too. So 9 family days together for 4 days leave. All good.
    Originally posted by maman
    Yes, my wife is getting quite good at pairing leave with bank / school holidays.

    How positive is that!! It sounds great. Did you mix and match the bathroom fittings or are they all from one range/supplier? Can you show us any links? What sort of tiling/flooring/heating did you go for? I told you I was nosey. More seriously, we need to revamp our own bathroom so I'm looking for ideas. My home is Edwardian but not typical. It's a Georgian copy cottage part of the Garden City movement in a conservation area so posh hotel style bathroom really wouldn't suit.
    It's a bit like this one:


    You're not doing so badly on the grocery budget although the week coming up will probably be expensive. Depending on what you include (eating out? wine?) then 400 per month is good for 3 people including lunches (not sure if MrsK is still taking lunch to work?). If it's just for food at home then I think you could cut back a bit during term time to free up some 'entertainment' budget for holiday time.

    Hope the sun's still shining on you.
    Originally posted by maman
    Bathroom fittings are mixed and matched. I'll post an update with links etc. over the weekend as I ought go to bed now!

    Your house sounds wonderful, maman. IIRC we are one of the few still with single glazed windows? Is it Georgian in style inside too or does it have Edwardian features?

    Grocery budget is literally just food bought as raw ingredients to cook, counting lunches. My wife takes lunch to work everyday now and is being sensible about it. The budget does not count any eating out or wine. I don't drink much anymore, I think we've shared a couple of bottles this month. We are trying a batch cook challenge for June, so either a cottage pie, lasagne or something based from a tomato and red pepper sauce will form two meals per week. Two meals per week will be salad based, so something like tuna steak and salad or we'll make a quiche and have a slice of that with salad. So, next month should be cheap, I think.

    Weather has been glorious and if you mean metaphorically speaking, yes it has. Great day at school, nice drive out and walk this evening.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • Tilly MFW in 6 YRS
    • By Tilly MFW in 6 YRS 27th May 17, 8:02 AM
    • 7,632 Posts
    • 86,837 Thanks
    Tilly MFW in 6 YRS
    Morning, if you're thinking of batch cooking in June, may I suggest borrowing Economy Gastronomy from the library. Written by Paul Merrett and Alegra (sorry her last name has escaped me)

    I've used it often particularly when I did loads of match cooking. Helps prevent boredom imo.

    Lovely to read your diary and see the progress you're making on multiple fronts.

    Best wishes Tilly
    2004 387k 29 years - MF March 2033
    2011 309k 10 years - MF March 2021.
    Achieved Goal: 28/08/15
    • EatingTheElephant
    • By EatingTheElephant 28th May 17, 8:20 AM
    • 1,281 Posts
    • 7,004 Thanks
    EatingTheElephant
    It really does amaze me what some people categorise as wealth (an Xbox?).

    Well done on getting the bathroom up and running so quickly, I always find any house improvements take longer than I think they will.

    Have a lovely, well deserved, half term break.
    • smallholdingsister
    • By smallholdingsister 28th May 17, 7:23 PM
    • 3,591 Posts
    • 30,110 Thanks
    smallholdingsister
    My children are poverty stricken because they have never been in a Macdonalds!!!

    What is a standalone shower?
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