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  • FIRST POST
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 7th Apr 14, 3:24 PM
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    Goldiegirl
    The Big Adventure
    • #1
    • 7th Apr 14, 3:24 PM
    The Big Adventure 7th Apr 14 at 3:24 PM
    For the last week or so, Iíve been hanging around the MFW board, looking at peoples diaries, and adding a couple of comments here and there.
    One thing has struck me, that everyone is focussed on their goals, but is keen to be enjoying life while they are on their journey.
    Iím at a different stage of my life, as I paid my mortgage off a few years ago. But the things that all the MFW-ers are doing are the same sort of things that Iím doing in my preparations for my early retirement.
    I had wanted to start a diary at the start of this year, but felt a bit shy, as my mortgage had been paid off.
    What I did do was join the 2014 Frugal Living Challenge, which has been very helpful, and I thank everyone on that thread, which I will continue participating in.
    However, after reading the MFW diaries, I saw that there are people in the same life situation as me with diaries, so I realised that to a certain extent, MFW is a state of mind, as well as actually clearing a mortgage.
    With that thought in mind, I decided that itís the right time for me to start my diary. I want to keep all my thoughts in one place, as itíll be easier for me to refer back to later. Also, itíll be good for organising myself Ė I like a few lists, and at the moment my lists are ad hoc pieces of paper all over the house!
    If all goes to plan, this time next year will see me in my final days at work. I feel excited about the future, and feel Iím at the brink of a new stage in my life Ė hence the title of my diary, The Big Adventure!
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
Page 117
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 27th Feb 18, 3:02 PM
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    Goldiegirl
    We are fairly snowbound at the moment after some heavy overnight and morning snow. Fortunately, we did our weekly grocery shopping yesterday, so we have no reason to go out. I'm missing my daily walk though, as it has become a pleasant daily ritual. Hopefully, the forecast is for no snow tomorrow, so I might get out for a short walk.

    Although we said we weren't going to do any more about home improvements until we got back from our holiday, we have ordered carpet for the living room and laminate flooring for the dining room. However, we don't intend to have it fitted until after Easter. It's from a local shop, and they don't even want a deposit, just pay in full after it's fitted.
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 3rd Mar 18, 3:57 PM
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    Goldiegirl
    UPDATE

    Health
    • Walking for February 25/28 walking days. Total walked 70.08 miles. That's slighty more than January, which was a longer month. It would have been even better, but the snow kept me indoors
    • Walking for March 0/3 Walking days. Still snowbound, but hope it will improve in a day or so

    Mindful Spending
    • Aldi £50.37 slightly higher than intended, but did a bit of extra stocking up, just in case we got completely snowed in.

    Money Making
    • £3.05 Prolific Surveys
    • 50 Pts You Gov Survey

    Enjoying Life
    • Snowy walk in the sun on Wednesday, to take some scenic photos.
    • Being grateful we didn't have to go to work when it was snowing and freezing raining
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 4th Mar 18, 12:38 PM
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    Karmacat
    That's sounding good, Goldie, especially the walking.
    Retired August 2016
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 9th Mar 18, 4:39 PM
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    Goldiegirl
    Hello everyone, just a quick note to say that we're off on our Northern Lights cruise to Norway tomorrow.

    Really looking forward to it. Hopefully we'll get lucky and see the Northern Lights, but if not, it'll be good to be on holiday anyway.
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 9th Mar 18, 4:54 PM
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    Karmacat
    Goldie, have a wonderful time! I want a report on the ports, please I hope you get really good pics of the lights, this is the best time of year to see them, I hear.

    Positive vibes!
    Retired August 2016
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 9th Mar 18, 6:01 PM
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    newgirly
    Me too , lots of detail please - have an amazing time x
    MFW 21
    Target for 2018 £40k/£13,632 paid so far

    Mortgage £36,319 4yrs left. Total owed £48,358 plan to clear in 14 months
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 12th Mar 18, 5:44 PM
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    michelle09
    Hope you are having a great time! Fingers crossed that the lights come out for you.
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 1st Apr 18, 5:18 PM
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    Goldiegirl
    Hello and happy Easter!

    We returned from our cruise last weekend - and yes we saw the Northern Lights. We saw them from the ship on two nights - not the bright green you see in the photos, more of a milky white, but there were dancing strands of light all over the sky and the 'curtaining' effect.

    Ironically, the night we went on an excursion to see the lights, it was cloudy, so we only got a tiny glimpse. Although it was an experience, standing around in a snowy field with 200 people, waiting for something to happen. It was as if we were waiting for the alien mother ship to land !

    The first week was glorious weather, the second not so good, but still good enough to get out and about between the snow showers. I'm pleased to report that the clothes we bought performed well, so we were properly dressed for the temperatures. Down to about -10C.

    Unfortunately, we were both ill for the last couple of days of the cruise. We had this horrible cold/cough thing, and it really sapped our energy. It's taken most of the week to get over it.

    Because of this my walking plans have taken a further knock, as I haven't had the energy to do much at all for this last week. The ironing was all I could do, and that was an effort.

    I walked 74.37 miles in March, which was actually more than January and February, but still off the pace of about 83 miles a month needed for a 1000 miles in the year.

    I started walking again yesterday, so intend to get out every day now, weather permitting of course.

    I put on a quarter of a pound in March, which wasn't bad considering I was on a cruise ship for two weeks. The food was very good, so I'm lucky not to have put on more! We did have a very good time. It was our first time with Fred Olsen, and I would sail with them again.

    On the home front, we've had our curtains and blinds fitted in the living room and dining room, and they look really good. We've got flooring going down in two weeks time, and a new coffee table and TV stand are on order, so it's gradually taking shape.

    I'll probably be prepping another couple of items of furniture for ebay sale this week.

    I've decided against weekly updates of my diary, as I found I was starting to micro manage my life again, which is something I don't want to do at this stage of my life, so I'll be updating when the urge takes me!
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 1st Apr 18, 5:19 PM
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    Goldiegirl
    KC, what ports are you going to? If any are ones that we went to, I'll be able to give a bit of a report
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 1st Apr 18, 6:53 PM
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    Karmacat
    Hi Goldie, there was a moderate magnetic storm alert a few days after you went, I was thinking of you I'm so glad you got sightings on two nights! What a shame about the cough/cold though infections must spread like wildfire, its the thing I'm dreading.

    My ports: quite a few! We set off from Newcastle; then I've copied and pasted from the website:
    • Kristiansund, Norway
    • Bodo, Norway
    • Tromso, Norway
    • Honningsvag, Norway
    • Harstad, Norway
    • Flam, Norway
    • Alesund, Norway
    • Olden, Norway
    • Bergen, Norway
    I went to Bergen on my first Interrail trip, but I was there for about 20 hours in total, and it rained heavily the entire time - my diary **exudes** misery but since we're docking right at the centre of the town, practically, it will be much nicer.

    Loving the not-micro-managing
    Retired August 2016
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 2nd Apr 18, 3:46 PM
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    Goldiegirl
    Hi KC

    These winter cruises are the worst for infections going round - in the summer it's not so bad, so with luck you should be ok.

    Sounds like a really nice itinerary you are doing, and there's several places I haven't visited so I'd probably have chosen it myself.

    I've been to some of the places -

    Kristiansund. We went there more than 10 yrs ago, and all I really remember is that it was pleasant, but the weather was really bad that day. But I think we docked near town, so it was very doable on a DIY basis

    Tromso. It was one of the places on the cruise we've just done. There's a shuttle bus into town, and once you are in the centre, most things are close together. We did a ships excursion to go over the bridge and up the cable car, which was fantastic, would highly recommend this. I noticed buses nearby, so I think it'd be possible to catch a bus to this area.

    Alesund. Really nice little town. You should dock dock right in the centre, and there's plenty to see within walking distance. We walked up the 900 (approx steps) to get a view over the town. We had to have several rests on the way, but there's a nice cafe at the top.

    Bergen. If you are lucky, you'll get the good berth, within walking distance of the Bryggen. If not it'll be a shuttle bus journey into town. Most people like to take the funicular to the top of Mount Floyen, and the fish market and the Bryggen are nice places to walk around, plus I like the lake in the centre of town.

    We've been to Bergen a few times and have been quite lucky with the weather. But this time it was horrible wet snow, and, as I was going down with that cold, it wasn't the best day I've ever had.

    You should also get a couple of days of scenic cruising as you sail up to Bodo and Tromso. It was spectacular a couple of weeks ago as the sky was so blue.

    I haven't been to the other places, but I've heard that the Flam railway is good. Most people book a ship excursion as it can get sold out, but it can be done independently.

    I think your cruise sounds like it'll be fantastic - how exciting!
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 2nd Apr 18, 4:59 PM
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    AlexLK
    Sounds like a wonderful holiday, Goldie.
    2018 totals:
    Savings £7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments £1,750
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 3rd Apr 18, 11:05 AM
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    Karmacat
    Thanks for that, Goldie - I'll paste and copy that over to my folder of notes

    We've booked a lot of ship's excursions, our reasoning being that time is short and we're prepared to let them do the organising. I'm used to doing it, and so is my sister in a different way, but this bang-bang-bang of a new port every day would be too much - its a holiday, not an endurance test
    Retired August 2016
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 6th Apr 18, 1:18 PM
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    Goldiegirl
    Yes, the ships excursions are a good way of seeing the things you really want, specially if they are not within walking distance of the ship.
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 6th Apr 18, 1:47 PM
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    Karmacat
    Exactly - there's a cog railway/boat/coach thing, purely for the scenery, for instance, I couldn't possibly organise that. I'm very concerned about my energy levels too, though I seem to be doing well at the moment. Still careful to rest when I "should".

    Anyway, hope you're enjoying your day
    Retired August 2016
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 8th Apr 18, 7:00 PM
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    • 4,367 Thanks
    michelle09
    Your trip looks great GG, so glad you managed to see the northern lights. They really are spectacular!

    Would you recommend Fred Olsen for older travellers? My grandmother is looking for a new cruise, but I don't believe she's tried Fred Olsen. They did their big cruising days on ships likes the QE2.
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 27th Apr 18, 2:43 PM
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    Goldiegirl
    Sorry for delayed replies!

    Exactly - there's a cog railway/boat/coach thing, purely for the scenery, for instance, I couldn't possibly organise that. I'm very concerned about my energy levels too, though I seem to be doing well at the moment. Still careful to rest when I "should".

    Anyway, hope you're enjoying your day
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    Yes, ships excursions are a really good choice if you want to see a lot in a short time. On our first cruise we did a lot of full day excursions, which was tiring, even though we were a lot younger then. Now we tend to do more half day excursions, so we get some 'down time' as well

    Your trip looks great GG, so glad you managed to see the northern lights. They really are spectacular!

    Would you recommend Fred Olsen for older travellers? My grandmother is looking for a new cruise, but I don't believe she's tried Fred Olsen. They did their big cruising days on ships likes the QE2.
    Originally posted by michelle09
    I think Fred is very good for older travellers. I'm 58, and I was one of the younger ones. I'd say most passengers were in their 60s or 70s (or older). The ships are smaller than the mega ships, and some older people prefer the smaller ships as its not so far to walk! If your grandmother likes Cunard or P & O, she'd probably like Fred, as there is a similar onboard atmosphere. I hope to cruise again with Fred, I really liked it.
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 27th Apr 18, 3:13 PM
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    Goldiegirl
    It's been quite busy since my last update.

    We've had the new carpet laid in the living room and the flooring laid in the dining room.

    The new sideboard and display units for the dining room have arrived , plus a really cool glass coffee table for the living room. Next week we have a new dining table, chairs and a couple of side tables being delivered, plus a table lamp, and we will be nearly finished! I have to say, it's looking really good. I was apprehensive to start this big project, but I'm glad we did it.

    Before we started, we did a cost projection, and, believe it or not, the end result is just a couple of pounds from the projected figure. Some things cost more and others less, but I'm really pleased we didn't overspend.

    There's a few more things we'd like to get to finish it off, like a couple of new pictures and ornaments. We have some 'extra' money from eBay sales of old furniture, Quidco, and M&S Premium Club vouchers, so we'll use those funds for the little extras.

    I'm currently listing on eBay a few old ornaments that no longer fit in, and when we get the new dining table in place I'll ebay the old dining table and chairs. So far we've been lucky with the furniture sales, as people have collected their purchases promptly and as planned, so that is much appreciated.

    Some ornaments have gone in the loft as they have sentimental value. I don't want to build up clutter again, so I'll look at them again in a year or two, as I might feel ready to sell them by then, as I won't have been looking at them every day.

    As I'm not micro-managing myself, I'm not trying to keep to a walking schedule. I found I was beating myself up if I couldn't get out for a daily walk (like today due to rain). However, I normally get out for an hour or so most days - but I will add up the mileage at the end of the year, to see if I'm close to 1000 Miles in 2018.

    I weigh myself once a month on the last Saturday of the month, so that's due tomorrow.

    This week we finally managed to get out into the garden to get on with tidying it up. What with concentrating on the house and poor weather, we hadn't had much chance to do anything. We intend getting someone in to cut back the shrubs. We didn't do it last year, and it's getting too overgrown and tall.

    We haven't been out much what with being so busy, but when it was really hot we went to Canterbury, to see Sunset Boulevard at the theatre, one of my favourite shows.
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 27th Apr 18, 10:26 PM
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    Karmacat
    It sounds like everything's going really well, Goldie, and its *so* nice not to need to micromanage, as you say. I hope the ornament buying goes well - the thought of it makes me shudder, to be honest much safer for me to have blanket rules in place, buying one or two things (ornaments or chocolate or cake, take your pick) is bound to end in tears ...

    In any case, enjoy the V&A.
    Retired August 2016
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 29th Apr 18, 2:36 PM
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    Goldiegirl
    I'm quite looking forward to the ornament/picture buying. There's no rush for it, so we're going to buy something we like when we see it, so there's no pressure at all, it could be months before we do it.

    I know I'm not micro-managing myself, but I was gutted yesterday at my weigh in, when I found out I'd put on a quarter of a pound this month! I still weigh less than I did at the start of the year which is good. I don't over eat and what I eat is healthy, and I walk regularly, so I may have to accept that this is the weight I am now. However, the weight is not the full story, as my body fat has decreased each month. Not by much, but my body fat is has reduced by one percent since the start of the year, so I'm pleased with that.
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
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