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    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 2nd Jan 18, 3:38 PM
    • 32,528Posts
    • 192,335Thanks
    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
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
Page 188
    • pinkypig
    • By pinkypig 4th Oct 19, 6:35 PM
    • 1,583 Posts
    • 12,139 Thanks
    pinkypig
    Happy holidays Karma xx
    MFW 2018 #157 Target £15,000

    £23,095.71/£15,000
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 5th Oct 19, 8:30 AM
    • 2,600 Posts
    • 14,329 Thanks
    themadvix
    Have a fab time Karma!!
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 6th Oct 19, 12:22 PM
    • 8,511 Posts
    • 50,194 Thanks
    Goldiegirl
    I expect you'll be embarking very soon.

    Bon voyage, have a great time
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 19th Oct 19, 11:08 AM
    • 32,528 Posts
    • 192,335 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Hiya!

    Made it back, washed most of my clothes, almost managed a normal sleep - two time zones will add up, even trundling about the ocean - nothing disastrous here as far as I can tell, though my French management company never responded to my panicked email pleas the morning I left

    We had a brilliant time - so many amazing places in one trip, and a whole hunk of Europe and European history that I was completely unaware of.

    Foodwise, Norovirus precautions after a minor outbreak meant we couldn't use the buffet as a buffet. And the veggie/ sensitivity food itself not very good until the Dining Room Captain adopted me. "Ask for whatever you want" doesn't work for the allergic community unless you say the broad range of what's available, it turns out. One fine day, though, the Dining Captain got the kitchen to make a single portion of gluten free chocolate hazelnut pudding. A big portion Food got better from there

    Even LNER did their job, fast trains, easy way of getting into their free wifi, I started catching up with things. And the heroics of my sister, who managed to keep her cold germs away from me for the entire holiday she came down with it immediately after we boarded the ship, and unless I come down with it over the next two days, I never caught it.

    And right now, I'm off to get my flu jab, plus hang up the washing from another go in the washing machine. Normal life resumed immediately, yikes I'll be catching up with everyone as I take some time after the injection today
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 19th Oct 19, 11:40 AM
    • 67,415 Posts
    • 305,662 Thanks
    beanielou
    Sounds like all went well & that you had a lovely time
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 16 months to mortgage freedom.
    **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 19th Oct 19, 2:27 PM
    • 32,528 Posts
    • 192,335 Thanks
    Karmacat
    It did, beanie, it went wonderfully well, and we had an amazing time.

    I got back from my flu jab very quickly, didn't even sit in the waiting room for a minute before they called me in. Bought some farm-style frozen mixed veg at the mini Tosco next door, I'm getting a big delivery tomorrow, another big discount coupon waiting for me. I definitely need to eat more veg, and now I have the lovely new freezer, I'm good with that
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 19th Oct 19, 3:50 PM
    • 9,479 Posts
    • 72,847 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Welcome back to soggy ol' Blighty!
    NST YESvember #1; NSD 6/15; Ex 2/21; remove bagfuls 1(46)

    Mortgage £15,451 (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 19th Oct 19, 5:40 PM
    • 32,528 Posts
    • 192,335 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Thanks apple it was *very* soggy round here yesterday, there was even a clap of thunder. But no soggier than Copenhagen, or St Petersburg - and at the latter, we were slated to walk round some gardens, so thats what we did. It was my trousers were wet up to my hips

    Dishwasher on, prepared some lentils for the next few days, all the pix are on the computer, just going to back up that particular folder, then eat a ton of gluten free pasta, pesto and feta, after which I'll have a gander at a fave DVD
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 19th Oct 19, 7:21 PM
    • 2,441 Posts
    • 13,689 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Welcome home. Sounds like a fabulous trip.
    Outstanding mortgage: £27,000
    MFW 2019 Challenge Member #28: £800.something/ £2860
    • teapot2
    • By teapot2 19th Oct 19, 10:45 PM
    • 2,529 Posts
    • 10,893 Thanks
    teapot2
    Welcome back, glad you had a brilliant time and enjoyed it all. Sounds like you dodged a couple of bullets with the Norovirus and the sibling cold .
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 20th Oct 19, 9:40 AM
    • 32,528 Posts
    • 192,335 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Hiya both, yes, it was wonderful, eye opening really. And those were powerful bullets that I dodged

    I'm still not quite sorted, the case hasn't been put away etc, but a lot needs to happen today, as I've got the big Sainsbo order turning up. I was still pleased with what I managed to do yesterday though, especially with the flu jab and all, which seems fine. Normal life resumed tomorrow, so I need to get this faff over with.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • gallygirl
    • By gallygirl 20th Oct 19, 11:17 AM
    • 16,783 Posts
    • 110,598 Thanks
    gallygirl
    Oooohhh, beautiful St Petersburg What a lovely city, though I kept thinking of the million who starved there
    Could you tell there were fountains if it was raining so hard .

    Glad you enjoyed it and bullets were dodged
    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"
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 20th Oct 19, 7:07 PM
    • 2,515 Posts
    • 16,236 Thanks
    rtandon27
    Welcome back KC
    3 YEARS DEBT FREE!!! (24 OCT 2016)
    (With heartfelt thanks to those who have gone before us
    & their indubitable generosity.)
    Working hard to keep all the balls in the air and juggle the budget!
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 21st Oct 19, 9:34 AM
    • 2,600 Posts
    • 14,329 Thanks
    themadvix
    Sounds like you had a wonderful time KC! Very pleased you managed to get there - are you a convert to spontaneous travel?! I'd love to be able to do that!

    Glad that neither your sister's lurgy nor the flu jab have managed to get you.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 21st Oct 19, 10:15 AM
    • 32,528 Posts
    • 192,335 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Oooohhh, beautiful St Petersburg What a lovely city, though I kept thinking of the million who starved there
    Could you tell there were fountains if it was raining so hard .

    Glad you enjoyed it and bullets were dodged
    Originally posted by gallygirl
    The fountains still stood out, believe me. Water travelling in lots of different directions We saw a weird one in Oslo: a circle of very small "buds" (not jets) of water, only about six inches high each. But they were in the middle of a huge traffic intersection, forming a sort of roundabout, except that there were tram tracks *through* the fountain it was brilliant.

    As for the death toll in St Petersburg ... there are many memorials, and the ring road to Peterhof is actually built on the front lines, which feels very unsettling. I wasn't in the city itself on my own and able to see any memorials, get any sense of it. But in the present, there's a workadayness, and a sense of building the future while looking to the past. There was an amazing photo on show taken about a week before the Germans invaded: it looks like a mass grave, but its actually statues being buried six feet deep, they knew the Germans would loot whatever they could and destroy the rest. About 50% of the fixtures and fittings were saved.


    I photographed a demonstration, by the way, with their permission: four people standing by a tourist church with placards, apparently supporting Putin.


    Welcome back KC
    Originally posted by rtandon27
    Thanks RT! Good to be back though I've chickened out of the healthy walk this morning, its **throwing** it down, and I've no wish to get soaked again.

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time KC! Very pleased you managed to get there - are you a convert to spontaneous travel?! I'd love to be able to do that!
    Originally posted by themadvix
    Hiya! Spontaneous travel ... hmm, it can only be done to so many countries, at one time, when someone else is doing all the arranging for you - we'd never have been able to arrange this itinerary on our own. I got totally confuzzled and freaked trying to work out an itinerary just in Helsinki and Tallinn . Put it this way: for spontaneous travel, I'd rather know the alphabet, or at least be able to pronounce the words (Nordic languages string everything together even more than German does, they make my eyes blur ). Your time will come on the spontaneousness-ness.

    Glad that neither your sister's lurgy nor the flu jab have managed to get you.
    Yep, I think that holds true. And lets not forget the Norovirus-that-never-happened-either
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • gallygirl
    • By gallygirl 21st Oct 19, 2:07 PM
    • 16,783 Posts
    • 110,598 Thanks
    gallygirl
    There was an amazing photo on show taken about a week before the Germans invaded: it looks like a mass grave, but its actually statues being buried six feet deep, they knew the Germans would loot whatever they could and destroy the rest. About 50% of the fixtures and fittings were saved.
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    I thought it was a mass grave at first as well .
    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"
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 21st Oct 19, 2:50 PM
    • 8,511 Posts
    • 50,194 Thanks
    Goldiegirl
    Glad you had a good time.

    You did the right thing in getting adopted by the Dining Room Captain. If you've got a special dietary requirement, he or she is your best friend. They can make or break the dining experience.

    When I had to be really careful about my sodium intake, I had a couple of brilliant ones.... but a couple of others who were not so good. In the latter case, the evening meal started to get like a challenge rather than a pleasure.

    We did a Baltic cruise several years ago (I think) 2007, and the fountains at Peterhof are one of the things I remember very well
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 21st Oct 19, 3:58 PM
    • 32,528 Posts
    • 192,335 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Gally, yes, its a *very* easy similarity to gloss over. I only looked closely once I knew they were statues.

    Goldie, hi! Good to see you I didn't realise you'd done this type of cruise back then erm, we were some of the youngest there again, so I think you'd have really stood out

    The Dining Captain thing was difficult - the food/ communications policies were difficult, actually, the Captain was a sweetie. Communication policy was very poor compared to Tui, for all that Tui has a cheap and cheerful rep. Food, disembarkation, sights along the way, utilities problems, all sorts of things. Sadly, I don't think I'd pay full price for a Fred O cruise ... I'd pay half price and take some of my own bits (I had to buy peanut butter in Copenhagen, thats how little protein I was getting). I'm definitely a fan of reduced price cruises

    Anyway, over the last few days, I've done about 65% of my to-do list, I'm on to the "communicate with this person" bits now, not just the "clean and tidy" - feels good!
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 22nd Oct 19, 10:37 AM
    • 32,528 Posts
    • 192,335 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Right, I'm starting to catch up with myself - one lot of washing still to do (but its foggy out there still!) and a whole opening-the-post thing, with who knows what to be done as a result ...

    The French apartment management company are still ignoring me, except to email me that they're temporarily ignoring everyone (and the apartments themselves are all closed down for a few months. Renovations? Alternate reality? Who knows. The rent cheque to me was paid in this month, the management company cashed *my* cheque, there's still tons of money in the account. I need to update the banking details for the management company, but thats it.

    Oh, thats not it. I'm now in *credit* to the sum of E183.79. They invoiced me two quarters at once, and when I sent off the last cheque, just before my holiday, I wondered if the quarterly invoices were summaries, not separate. I guess I have the answer now. Joyous. Ah well, its more money. But if I have time at the end of this week, I'm definitely bringing some of that money to the UK, depending on where the exchange rate has gone.


    Ta-da list later on.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 23rd Oct 19, 2:53 PM
    • 8,511 Posts
    • 50,194 Thanks
    Goldiegirl
    Gally, yes, its a *very* easy similarity to gloss over. I only looked closely once I knew they were statues.

    Goldie, hi! Good to see you I didn't realise you'd done this type of cruise back then erm, we were some of the youngest there again, so I think you'd have really stood out

    The Dining Captain thing was difficult - the food/ communications policies were difficult, actually, the Captain was a sweetie. Communication policy was very poor compared to Tui, for all that Tui has a cheap and cheerful rep. Food, disembarkation, sights along the way, utilities problems, all sorts of things. Sadly, I don't think I'd pay full price for a Fred O cruise ... I'd pay half price and take some of my own bits (I had to buy peanut butter in Copenhagen, thats how little protein I was getting). I'm definitely a fan of reduced price cruises

    Anyway, over the last few days, I've done about 65% of my to-do list, I'm on to the "communicate with this person" bits now, not just the "clean and tidy" - feels good!
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    I'm kind of used to being one of the youngest on the ship (apart from the staff of course!). We went on our first cruise when I was 41, so I was definitely one of the youngest then. Cruises in the school holidays and shorter cruises do attract younger people, but the longer cruises in term time do seem to be the preserve of the ..er… mature! As we have done a few longer cruises recently, I still feel one of the youngest, and I'm 59 now!

    Tui have got a very good reputation. I also like CMV for lower priced cruises, they are very good value.

    I hate situations when communications are poor, it can make everything seem like a huge effort, and you don't want that on holiday.

    However, on balance, it sounds like a good time was had
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
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