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  • FIRST POST
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 2nd Jan 18, 2:38 PM
    • 31,688Posts
    • 187,019Thanks
    Karmacat
    Travelling On
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 18, 2:38 PM
    Travelling On 2nd Jan 18 at 2:38 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 147
    • daisy 1571
    • By daisy 1571 16th May 19, 6:49 AM
    • 486 Posts
    • 5,865 Thanks
    daisy 1571
    Thanks greenbee with the lights, I've gravitated to them naturally, I *really* like the upside-down-tealight effect, and once I realised they had a remote and could change colour, I was sold everything is very plain, and I like the idea of a bit of fun.
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    WHAT ?????? WHY DIDNT I KNOW THIS ?????? All my favourite things right there- sparkles, remote control thingy, changing colour. I'm back off to have another look and work out where I can put one. Or two.


    Daisy xxx
    "Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion" Take hold of every moment by anon

    The difference between what you were yesterday and what you will be tomorrow is what you do today
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 17th May 19, 7:37 AM
    • 2,934 Posts
    • 27,523 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Noella, my DH worked for an online kitchen provider as a designer while he was doing his post-grad degree. He came out of that with some interesting insights, albeit, a few years ago. If it helps here is a quick carcass summary.

    Essentially there are three types of carcasses - bespoke, made to measure (normally beyond the means of most of us), ready-made carcasses - an example were the Schreiber kitchens that MFI sold (now owned by Sainsbugs and sold through Argoil) and the third were flat-pack. Back in the early days of pick and mix kitchens the carcasses were often made of chip-board with laminate stuck to it on the cheaper ranges. This meant they were particularly susceptible to water damage and the interior walls/floor would "blow" (expand with water and lose structural integrity). Nowadays they all use MDF (maximum density fibreboard - same principle, better glue) unless you go top range bespoke, solid wood.

    Most people go for the convenience of a ready-made design and generally the fronts and handles are the bits that distinguish between the kitchens themselves. Disappointingly, trim panels are more basic (and can ramp up the price) and are more limited in the ranges.

    If your friend had really good fitters, you should consider asking them if you can have their name and insist that this team fit your kitchen (even approach the fitters independently - they are rarely employees of the kitchen company).

    I intend uplifting my kitchen in the next year or so and I am considering getting my DH (an engineer by background) to make some bespoke trim to apply to the existing cabinets, and we will rub down the doors, paint them and put on new handles. The cabinets (Schreiber, from MFI) have really stood the test of time (14+ years).

    Another little top up for DH's post-grad time was assembling flat-pack furniture and odd-jobbing (card in newsagent's window and then personal recommendations) - he sourced packs of the standard and specialist fixings and hinges, which let him upgrade or rectify shortcomings in the flat-pack stuff provided (or correct the things like the back-to-front panels that people were ending up with after trying to do it themselves - several calls from people in tears, pleading for help, usually against a tight deadline).

    "Which?" magazines regularly do a kitchen supplier review and your local library will have these, or a £1 1-month trial gives you access to the reports online (just remember to cancel it). This will tell you about the quality of the product and their customer service, not the quality of the fitters - and is where Wren did poorly in 2017 - Wikipedia is a good source of background info in this regard.

    Anyway, I hope that helps in your decision-making.
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (£59,998) Q1 £26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 £29,215.99 after May
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    • Noella
    • By Noella 17th May 19, 8:45 AM
    • 125 Posts
    • 1,065 Thanks
    Noella
    Noella, my DH worked for an online kitchen provider as a designer while he was doing his post-grad degree. He came out of that with some interesting insights, albeit, a few years ago. If it helps here is a quick carcass summary.

    Essentially there are three types of carcasses - bespoke, made to measure (normally beyond the means of most of us), ready-made carcasses - an example were the Schreiber kitchens that MFI sold (now owned by Sainsbugs and sold through Argoil) and the third were flat-pack. Back in the early days of pick and mix kitchens the carcasses were often made of chip-board with laminate stuck to it on the cheaper ranges. This meant they were particularly susceptible to water damage and the interior walls/floor would "blow" (expand with water and lose structural integrity). Nowadays they all use MDF (maximum density fibreboard - same principle, better glue) unless you go top range bespoke, solid wood.

    Most people go for the convenience of a ready-made design and generally the fronts and handles are the bits that distinguish between the kitchens themselves. Disappointingly, trim panels are more basic (and can ramp up the price) and are more limited in the ranges.

    If your friend had really good fitters, you should consider asking them if you can have their name and insist that this team fit your kitchen (even approach the fitters independently - they are rarely employees of the kitchen company).

    I intend uplifting my kitchen in the next year or so and I am considering getting my DH (an engineer by background) to make some bespoke trim to apply to the existing cabinets, and we will rub down the doors, paint them and put on new handles. The cabinets (Schreiber, from MFI) have really stood the test of time (14+ years).

    Another little top up for DH's post-grad time was assembling flat-pack furniture and odd-jobbing (card in newsagent's window and then personal recommendations) - he sourced packs of the standard and specialist fixings and hinges, which let him upgrade or rectify shortcomings in the flat-pack stuff provided (or correct the things like the back-to-front panels that people were ending up with after trying to do it themselves - several calls from people in tears, pleading for help, usually against a tight deadline).

    "Which?" magazines regularly do a kitchen supplier review and your local library will have these, or a £1 1-month trial gives you access to the reports online (just remember to cancel it). This will tell you about the quality of the product and their customer service, not the quality of the fitters - and is where Wren did poorly in 2017 - Wikipedia is a good source of background info in this regard.

    Anyway, I hope that helps in your decision-making.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Thank you so much, Suffolk Lass, for that very useful insight. I really appreciate the time and trouble you took to post and I'm sure others who are having kitchen dilemmas will find it as interesting and useful as I have.. A good tip about 'Which' too. I'll see if my library has it.


    I never thought about asking for the specific fitters that my friends had. I assumed it would depend on who was available at the time as I also expected they would be employees of the kitchen company rather than freelance. I'll certainly take your advice with that and definitely make a note of the names of the team my friends had even if it turns out not to be possible to use them ourselves. If they are freelance I suppose it would be possible just to buy the units and instead of assembling and fitting them ourselves like we used to do in the distant past with MFI units we could employ the team of fitters my friend had to make our kitchen look professionally installed. It wasn't assembling the actual units that caused us problems in the past (apart from having to obtain extra fittings and 'bits' for ones missed from the packs) or the fact that it took so much longer than we anticipated. It was just making the finished job look streamlined IYKWIM. We always had nasty little gaps and bits that never seemed level somehow. DH was always going to see to them 'later' but never did and we lived with them for years. Decades even
    When it's raining, look for rainbows.
    When it's dark, look for stars.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 17th May 19, 6:26 PM
    • 31,688 Posts
    • 187,019 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Hope you are having (or maybe when you read this, have had) a lovely time away Karma!
    Originally posted by earthgirl
    Thanks! I'm back now, needing to sit down for a while before doing anything, so I'm catching up right now, after a wonderful time

    WHAT ?????? WHY DIDNT I KNOW THIS ?????? All my favourite things right there- sparkles, remote control thingy, changing colour. I'm back off to have another look and work out where I can put one. Or two.

    Daisy xxx
    Originally posted by daisy 1571
    Ooh Daisy! I love sparkles, me, but this lamp I'm referring to is the one that was out of stock, so I chose another one - it doesn't have remote control colour changes, but it *is* full of bling, so I'm good It was delivered while I was away on holibob, so I have to go fetch it tomorrow.

    Noella, my DH worked for an online kitchen provider as a designer while he was doing his post-grad degree. He came out of that with some interesting insights, albeit, a few years ago. If it helps here is a quick carcass summary.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    This is great, SL, thank you so much! It made sense of my builder saying that the carcasses are all the same.

    Noella, it's definitely an independent builder who fitted my kitchen - he was project-managing some of the time - the plasterer had his own business, and so on. Employing a builder - apart from getting through the chaos a lot quicker - did mean that there were people on hand with immense knowledge and can-do. It wasn't planned for me to have a new outside tap, for instance, but when the general builder found that it not only led to a messy situation at the back of the dishwasher, but it also was attached to the regular plumbing by means of a garden hose by some DIY-er in the past, things happened, and I got a new outside tap, a spiffy brass one. Making up the carcasses takes very little time in the whole process, for me it did anyway - like you say about all the little gaps because the walls aren't straight, he filled them in with sealant straight away
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 17th May 19, 6:31 PM
    • 31,688 Posts
    • 187,019 Thanks
    Karmacat
    I had a great holiday nippy in the early morning and late evening, but thats okay. Beautiful, beautiful weather, the blue sky only went away today, and thats okay as we were coming home anyway. Power station was weird and wonderful, Norman churches in the Kent countryside are the commonest form of church around, there's an **ossuary** in one of them, there's a very moving Battle of Britain museum with pieces of damaged aircraft and biographies of the young men who died in them

    And I rejoined the National Trust for another year, as we went to Henry James' house in Rye - I'll make sure I get my money's worth this year. The house was adorable, definitely worth a visit, beautiful proportions and a lovely big garden.

    I now have a to-do list of 24 items, not including fetching my new lamp from the post office parcel depot oops! I think I will manage to put the washing machine on tonight, which will help
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Hazelnutty
    • By Hazelnutty 17th May 19, 6:43 PM
    • 211 Posts
    • 1,105 Thanks
    Hazelnutty
    Hey Karma we joined the NT this year too as we decided that sanity amd health-wise regular trips away for walking were needed. The NT own so many usefully located car parks in the Peaks and Lakes! We've been using them for stop-offs on drives too. Quick poke around a nice place and a restorative cuppa and a scone!
    Choose kind
    MFW 2019 #103
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 17th May 19, 8:07 PM
    • 63,847 Posts
    • 283,278 Thanks
    beanielou
    Glad that you had a great time
    That is a long list though
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "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.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    • earthgirl
    • By earthgirl 17th May 19, 8:16 PM
    • 2,661 Posts
    • 27,899 Thanks
    earthgirl
    Good luck with your list! Glad you had such a good time on holiday!
    15/5/12 Paid off Mortgage 1 (£220k) Bought Dream House Dec 13 - Mortage 2 -£116,508. 15/7/18 Mortgage Free Again

    May budget Review - I saved £700 : https://youtu.be/eBorBymXXCQ

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    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 17th May 19, 8:42 PM
    • 31,688 Posts
    • 187,019 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Hey Karma we joined the NT this year too as we decided that sanity amd health-wise regular trips away for walking were needed. The NT own so many usefully located car parks in the Peaks and Lakes! We've been using them for stop-offs on drives too. Quick poke around a nice place and a restorative cuppa and a scone!
    Originally posted by Hazelnutty
    Hi Hazelnutty I'm hoping to use the membership on day trips while at home, *and* on short holidays away - it'll give me a bit of focus while I'm building my life up a bit. All the things I'd started to do - U3A, the walking group, even reconnecting with old friends, have all gone by the board while I've been debrambling/ catsitting/ kitchenning.

    Glad that you had a great time
    That is a long list though
    Originally posted by beanielou
    I know! I guarantee you that many of the items are really short

    Good luck with your list! Glad you had such a good time on holiday!
    Originally posted by earthgirl
    Thanks! I haven't done anything at all from it this evening though I will tomorrow.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 18th May 19, 6:38 AM
    • 8,931 Posts
    • 68,852 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Hope that list has things like 'drink coffee' and 'drink a second coffee' and 'sit and read' on it...
    NST June ninja #1; NSD 19/16; Ex 19/30; craft (19); remove 3 bagfuls (28)

    Mortgage £16,231 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143; 01/19: 18.275) MFWDate???
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 18th May 19, 8:59 AM
    • 31,688 Posts
    • 187,019 Thanks
    Karmacat
    erm, no, it doesn't apple, sorry But it did have:
    - download pix from holiday
    - put washing machine on
    - unpack


    So not too bad, and every time I go downstairs, I'm taking a few more kitchen items Once the w/m has finished, I'll pop out to get some food, which is also on the list
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • teapot2
    • By teapot2 18th May 19, 4:34 PM
    • 2,218 Posts
    • 9,023 Thanks
    teapot2
    Glad you had such a lovely, varied and interesting time away. Good news on the weather too

    Hope you've managed a fairly gentle day despite the looming to do list
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 18th May 19, 5:05 PM
    • 31,688 Posts
    • 187,019 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Thanks Teapot! Two runs of the washing machine, the second run of the dishwasher is just finishing, cleaned 2 of the 3 drawers ready to be put into use, more of my belongings are in the right room, finished unpacking, I've been to the supermarket to buy some staples (prices are going up!), I've collected the new light from next door where Parcelforce left it. I more or less kept going the whole time until about an hour ago, and that's only 5 items on the list, hey ho. Have to add another one onto the list though, opening the list and dealing with it It was good to talk to three neighbours though, thats important.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 19th May 19, 8:58 AM
    • 31,688 Posts
    • 187,019 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Previous post - I meant the new item to be opening the *post* as usual, not the list. List mania is here.

    And I ended up doing 9 items yesterday, though I cheated to do it - I added SB and YG, though a legitimate item was contacting one of the museums we went to, to see if they'd send us a scan of a beautiful patchwork wallhanging of the local village during wartime.

    Anyway, SB are done today too and I had an astonishing sleep - didn't wake up till 8.30! What? Yep, 8.30. Brilliant.

    So today, lots of items on the list: shower, wash hair, change bed, clean shopping and put it away, pay builder interim payment, email him, email sister about our expenses, open the post. Thats, um, 8 items. Excellent. Plus the neighbour's green bin is being collected on Tuesday, and I can use that now. Breakfast first, I'm up so late I haven't even had my breakfast
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 19th May 19, 10:34 AM
    • 31,688 Posts
    • 187,019 Thanks
    Karmacat
    So today, lots of items on the list: shower, wash hair, change bed, clean shopping and put it away, pay builder interim payment, email him, email sister about our expenses, open the post. Thats, um, 8 items. Excellent. Plus the neighbour's green bin is being collected on Tuesday, and I can use that now. Breakfast first, I'm up so late I haven't even had my breakfast
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    I had my breakfast and finished a few bits of SB plus:
    - emailed sister re expenses
    - paid builder interim payment
    - emailed him.

    Wow. The copies of the invoices from him are going in the tax folder labelled 2019-2020. My word.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 19th May 19, 6:45 PM
    • 8,931 Posts
    • 68,852 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Did you clean your shopping...?!
    NST June ninja #1; NSD 19/16; Ex 19/30; craft (19); remove 3 bagfuls (28)

    Mortgage £16,231 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143; 01/19: 18.275) MFWDate???
    • teapot2
    • By teapot2 19th May 19, 9:08 PM
    • 2,218 Posts
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    teapot2
    Did you clean your shopping...?!
    Originally posted by apple muncher
    LOL I was wondering about that too
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 19th May 19, 9:13 PM
    • 63,847 Posts
    • 283,278 Thanks
    beanielou
    Did you clean your shopping...?!
    Originally posted by apple muncher
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "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.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 20th May 19, 8:36 AM
    • 31,688 Posts
    • 187,019 Thanks
    Karmacat
    I knew I shouldn't have written that down ... think of it as a confession ... when I didn't know I had chronic fatigue, I was getting a cold every 6 weeks or so, I only had a week's recovery time before the next one hit, it was horrible. And I started reading articles about the number of germs on items in food shops, and also a few prosecutions of branches of big supermarkets, where there'd been rat urine on goods sold in the shops. Cleaning didn't help the chronic fatigue, but between that and not being out in the world very much (because of chronic fatigue) I haven't had an ordinary lurgy in quite a while. Like, years. Don't ostracise me! Please! I'm not really mad as a box of frogs


    Moving on (as quickly as possible) I'm just off out to the council's healthy walk - haven't been for weeks and weeks with one thing and another, it will be good to go
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • teapot2
    • By teapot2 20th May 19, 8:56 AM
    • 2,218 Posts
    • 9,023 Thanks
    teapot2
    I knew I shouldn't have written that down ... think of it as a confession ... when I didn't know I had chronic fatigue, I was getting a cold every 6 weeks or so, I only had a week's recovery time before the next one hit, it was horrible. And I started reading articles about the number of germs on items in food shops, and also a few prosecutions of branches of big supermarkets, where there'd been rat urine on goods sold in the shops. Cleaning didn't help the chronic fatigue, but between that and not being out in the world very much (because of chronic fatigue) I haven't had an ordinary lurgy in quite a while. Like, years. Don't ostracise me! Please! I'm not really mad as a box of frogs


    Moving on (as quickly as possible) I'm just off out to the council's healthy walk - haven't been for weeks and weeks with one thing and another, it will be good to go
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    LOL that makes complete sense and eeew to rat urine on food. I always wipe over the lids of tins before I open them. I did have visions of you sticking all the shopping in the dishwasher though

    Hope you enjoyed the walk and reconnected with folk there
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