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  • FIRST POST
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 2nd Jan 18, 2:38 PM
    • 32,404Posts
    • 191,546Thanks
    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
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
Page 155
    • teapot2
    • By teapot2 11th Jun 19, 9:13 PM
    • 2,501 Posts
    • 10,745 Thanks
    teapot2
    We have a shop in the high street that sells great fruit and veg and has loose grains, pasta and all sorts of goodies where you can take in your own container and just buy as much or little as you want. They will also split a bunch of herbs if you don't want the whole thing which is handy. They sell shampoo, household stuff, liquid soap etc in containers they will refill. I really like the shop and they way they operate BUT it far more expensive than all the supermarkets so at the moment I sadly can't afford to do my weekly shopping there tho I hope that might be possible at some point.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 12th Jun 19, 8:01 AM
    • 32,404 Posts
    • 191,546 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Since I read your last post I've been musing on how stores could offer such foodstuffs as feta without using some form of plastic wrap, given that feta is a 'wet' cheese. Even if they use greaseproof paper to wrap it in we might need an outer plastic bag to put that in. Or should we be taking our own small plastic food bags with us? Either way, we're still using a plastic bag for it whether we supply it or the shop does.
    Originally posted by Noella
    Hi Noella, I was a bit blurry when I read this yesterday, sorry. Yes, you're right actually, loose feta would be a particular problem - I have several sizes of plastic tubs I could store it in, however, so I'm hoping I'll be able to do that.
    I'm also at the beginning of the recycling /using less plastic journey. It is depressing that most things are so plastic wrapped.

    The NT house with family connections sounds amazing!!
    Originally posted by earthgirl
    It's the layering of plastic wrapping that makes me feel very exasperated, really thoughtless. And as for the NT house, yes, now I've realised, I'm very chuffed Their London house is very near an NT property I want to go to, so I'll take a good photo of that as well.

    We have a shop in the high street that sells great fruit and veg and has loose grains, pasta and all sorts of goodies where you can take in your own container and just buy as much or little as you want. They will also split a bunch of herbs if you don't want the whole thing which is handy. They sell shampoo, household stuff, liquid soap etc in containers they will refill. I really like the shop and they way they operate BUT it far more expensive than all the supermarkets so at the moment I sadly can't afford to do my weekly shopping there tho I hope that might be possible at some point.
    Originally posted by teapot2
    Thats it, isn't it, the huge extra expense. Only exception I know of is when I saw some linseed at a shop near my nephew's, the one I catsit for - instead of 90p per 100g, it was 29p. And I couldn't even stock up, I'd taken my own bedding and I just didn't have the space
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 12th Jun 19, 8:10 AM
    • 32,404 Posts
    • 191,546 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Right, a new day tiler is here, he may not be able to do the extra job of moving the shelf because of a little cut that needs to be done, which I can quite understand. I've texted the builder - I'd like to get the light done today, as well as making good a panel in the hall. No reply yet.


    I'm stuck upstairs again, as I was when the building work was going on, though I don't have to cook up here at least. Which means the easiest thing to do might be to catch up on some paperwork. No idea really, but I'll try, after I've finished pootling around on here.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 12th Jun 19, 8:22 AM
    • 66,940 Posts
    • 302,933 Thanks
    beanielou
    Good news on the tiler being there
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 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 12th Jun 19, 9:39 AM
    • 32,404 Posts
    • 191,546 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Thanks beanie. And yes, he's gone! Tiles look amazing, especially considering they were the cheapest available And he *did* move the shelf - if I need to use the emergency tap thats just underneath it, I'll have to sweep everything off the top shelf and jiggle the shelf upwards to turn the tap. Not a problem, and I get useable space with no fuss.

    Electrician is coming this afternoon to replace the sockets from the tiling, put sealant between the upstand (I love that word) and the tiles, and put the electric light up. I *am* going to ask about say about the panel in the hallway that he left hanging, sealant round that would be the absolute minimum I think.

    And yes, I've spent the last few hours unearthing the paperwork that was mouldering on my desk. Not bad

    I feel like I'm getting my life back!
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 12th Jun 19, 10:42 AM
    • 66,940 Posts
    • 302,933 Thanks
    beanielou
    .
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 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.***
    • Noella
    • By Noella 12th Jun 19, 10:49 AM
    • 125 Posts
    • 1,070 Thanks
    Noella
    I feel like I'm getting my life back!
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    Must be a lovely feeling when all the loose threads are finally being tied up
    When it's raining, look for rainbows.
    When it's dark, look for stars.
    • teapot2
    • By teapot2 12th Jun 19, 7:20 PM
    • 2,501 Posts
    • 10,745 Thanks
    teapot2
    So glad you are pleased with the tiles, must feel like its all really coming together now. Hope the electrician did all the outstanding jobs and your light is up?
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 12th Jun 19, 9:16 PM
    • 32,404 Posts
    • 191,546 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Ah, er, no, the electrician bit didn't happen ... I texted, and the builder replied this time, says its going to be tomorrow. I spent the day realising I hadn't got the kitchen in as good a shape as I thought, plus when the RSJ was put up, a lot of rubble happened to the back of the big bookshelves in the living room so I've been emptying and cleaning those all day!
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 13th Jun 19, 8:35 AM
    • 2,557 Posts
    • 14,142 Thanks
    themadvix
    Thats it, isn't it, the huge extra expense. Only exception I know of is when I saw some linseed at a shop near my nephew's, the one I catsit for - instead of 90p per 100g, it was 29p. And I couldn't even stock up, I'd taken my own bedding and I just didn't have the space
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    I think the expense depends on your viewpoint. I know I'm lucky that I *can* afford it, but ultimately we've all been paying far too little for food for too long in terms of embodied cost. What we spend on food is a fraction of what our ancestors spent on food in terms of proportion of income. I'm not saying we should go back to those days, because we shouldn't, a lot of things were worse, but I think people do need to accept that good quality food costs (and that cheap food is probably worse in terms of ethics). I know that will be impossible for people truly on the breadline/on benefits, but for the majority that is not the case (and those people should be picking up the slack for the ones who really can't). Our food budget comes out at about £200/month - I don't eat meat and DH doesn't tend to at home, although we do have fish occasionally. But to avoid plastic I cook from scratch (or almost) and bake all treats etc. which definitely saves money (and I think that homecooked treats are more filling so less needed to fill you up!).

    Our local zero-waste shop is keen to make things as affordable as possible - where they can buy in bulk they do and the pass the savings on (they opened the store to make a difference, not to jump on the bandwagon). However, because of the short shelf life of things like seeds and nuts, it's going to be more expensive as they sell less and can't buy these in bulk. The owners' hope is that they'll be made redundant by the supermarkets doing it all for them anyway, so fingers crossed (although I'll miss my monthly chats and personal service!).

    Anyway.... I've wittered on enough, sorry Karma! Hope the electrician turns up today!
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 13th Jun 19, 9:31 AM
    • 32,404 Posts
    • 191,546 Thanks
    Karmacat
    I think the expense depends on your viewpoint. I know I'm lucky that I *can* afford it, but ultimately we've all been paying far too little for food for too long in terms of embodied cost. What we spend on food is a fraction of what our ancestors spent on food in terms of proportion of income.
    Originally posted by themadvix
    Sadly, I agree with your overall point I say "sadly", because I don't actually have any income (except the 1.4% p.a. or so coming from savings) - I live on savings, so I watch regular expenditure like a hawk.
    I'm not saying we should go back to those days, because we shouldn't, a lot of things were worse, but I think people do need to accept that good quality food costs (and that cheap food is probably worse in terms of ethics).
    You know when that stands out for me? On the rare occasions I make something - rose hip syrup with my brother, quince jelly from my garden, blackberry jelly from the fields, even the elderflowers I used to make those pancakes I mentioned. Making that good food takes time and effort, a lot of it, especially compared to how little it takes to go to a shop and pick up a packet.

    The money is still huge to me, in my no-income, but its not disproportionate to what's being bought, if I can put it that way. The difference is that I've been an independent professional, I live in a house that I own, and I *do* have savings; I even had an inheritance of part of my mother's house when she died. A hundred years ago (lets be totally realistic, 110 years ago) I'd have been in the workhouse, just like my grandfather's grandmother, who died in 1910 in the workhouse. She'd been a laundress, who had an illegitimate child, brought up not only him but his son too, and saw her great grandchildren start to grow up - there just wasn't the money and time to look after her and look after the children. My grandad always emphasized the fact that he and his brother and sisters all had shoes, that they could wear every day of the week, and that was the choice that was made. Compared to that, I am most definitely rich beyond the dreams of avarice
    I know that will be impossible for people truly on the breadline/on benefits, but for the majority that is not the case (and those people should be picking up the slack for the ones who really can't). Our food budget comes out at about £200/month - I don't eat meat and DH doesn't tend to at home, although we do have fish occasionally. But to avoid plastic I cook from scratch (or almost) and bake all treats etc. which definitely saves money (and I think that homecooked treats are more filling so less needed to fill you up!).
    My food comes out about the same as yours
    Our local zero-waste shop is keen to make things as affordable as possible - where they can buy in bulk they do and the pass the savings on (they opened the store to make a difference, not to jump on the bandwagon). However, because of the short shelf life of things like seeds and nuts, it's going to be more expensive as they sell less and can't buy these in bulk. The owners' hope is that they'll be made redundant by the supermarkets doing it all for them anyway, so fingers crossed (although I'll miss my monthly chats and personal service!).
    I've just seen that Waitrose is trialling refills in their Oxford branch
    Anyway.... I've wittered on enough, sorry Karma! Hope the electrician turns up today!
    Thanks! And I've enjoyed your post - I was feeling really rough this morning, lots of things coming on together, but what you've written has energised me in a really positive way
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 13th Jun 19, 1:08 PM
    • 32,404 Posts
    • 191,546 Thanks
    Karmacat
    I've been in recovery mode today, though I managed to put two loads through the washing machine (and got them half lined-dried before the rain came on ). My sister and I have got a date next week to go to the regional auction house to get quotes for a book and a picture we inherited that could be quite valuable - a Winnie the Pooh first edition, which my mum bought about 10 years ago (the town she lived in being full of things like that, well off little place that it is). The picture is an unknown quantity, but there's a printed postcard of it somewhere, so its probably more than a tenner And it's always interesting to have new experiences, so auction-housing it is
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • earthgirl
    • By earthgirl 13th Jun 19, 4:41 PM
    • 2,731 Posts
    • 28,500 Thanks
    earthgirl
    Auction housing = exciting! How lovely!
    15/5/12 Paid off Mortgage 1 (£220k) Bought Dream House Dec 13 - Mortage 2 -£116,508. 15/7/18 Mortgage Free Again

    Progress not Perfection
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 14th Jun 19, 8:16 AM
    • 32,404 Posts
    • 191,546 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Morning my young electrician did eventually turn up yesterday - they work *long* hours - so the central light is up, and all the plug sockets are reattached to the walls, which is nice. But I still can't move back in, so to speak, because there needs to be sealant along the back of all the work surface - everything would have to be moved yet again. Two workmen this week, and neither of them felt confident with a sealant gun! Really hoping someone will turn up this morning, but I've said I'm not available after the morning, waiting till 6.30 or so is just too stressful, especially 3 days in a row.

    Anyway, after my wait time expires, it *has* to be the garden, there are triffids out there after all this rain. And if the rain returns, I'll see what else I can work on in the house - using the living room as a staging post for my kitchen table and chairs cleaning rubble from behind my books, there are a few online admin things to do too. Not going to exhaust myself, because I *need* to go out tomorrow and see a bit of the world.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 14th Jun 19, 8:55 AM
    • 32,404 Posts
    • 191,546 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Really disappointed with the builder, "a morning or evening next week" I've asked for a morning, he seems to have agreed, we'll see

    I've been looking at public transport in Devon, and one of the best places to base myself in terms of trains and buses combined is Totnes oh me oh my, the effort of fitting in with all those New Age types
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 14th Jun 19, 9:00 AM
    • 3,299 Posts
    • 29,334 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    I'm awaiting a delivery that is supposed to be here by 11.30. I had other morning plans really this morning.
    Save £12k in 2019 - #68 target is £7k £8,766.30 after Sep
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target £3k - 57.28% spent after Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 108.23% £43,292.24 including Sep - reducing now to avoid fees
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (£59,998) Q2 £30,085 or 50.14% paid
    My DFD is here
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 14th Jun 19, 9:07 AM
    • 32,404 Posts
    • 191,546 Thanks
    Karmacat
    I hope it arrives, SL ... very tricky. At least the builder has responded to my texts this time, so I know not to wait any more today. I'm just finishing off admiring public transport in Devon, and then I'll get into the back garden while its not raining (said very quietly, to avoid antagonising the rain gods).
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 14th Jun 19, 9:24 AM
    • 2,687 Posts
    • 4,292 Thanks
    badmemory
    Be grateful they admitted to not feeling confident with a sealant gun! Have you seen the possible results? I am not going to tell you who made such a mess of mine but the third attempt was just about acceptable. It was a replacement for some my father had done 25 years before, so definitely cannot blame him, he just didn't pass on the right genes that time!
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 14th Jun 19, 9:50 AM
    • 2,557 Posts
    • 14,142 Thanks
    themadvix
    Morning Karma! Glad you took my message yesterday in the way intended, I get rather worked up about it all and hate to think that you might take it the wrong way! With the £200 grocery budget I forgot to say that that is largely organic and zero waste, with milk and veg box, so it can be done on a relatively tight budget.

    Am writing on phone on boat WiFi, so not going to try to quote! But your point about making things from home grown/foraged stuff - doesn't it taste so much better from the effort you've put into it!

    Sorry to hear builder has mucked you about a bit, hope the rain gods have a day of rest today and you manage to get out in the garden. Totnes always sounds really cool, Totnes pound, zero-waste shop -I'd love to go there!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 14th Jun 19, 11:22 AM
    • 13,401 Posts
    • 227,214 Thanks
    greenbee
    I've been looking at public transport in Devon, and one of the best places to base myself in terms of trains and buses combined is Totnes oh me oh my, the effort of fitting in with all those New Age types
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    I love Totnes, and used to spend lots of time there. You know it's twinned with Narnia don't you?
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