Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 2nd Jan 18, 3:38 PM
    • 29,864Posts
    • 172,551Thanks
    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
Page 62
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 9th Aug 18, 10:17 AM
    • 29,864 Posts
    • 172,551 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Good to know that thats a regular thing, beanie



    We have rain here! Not a deluge, thankfully, but just steady, and longlasting, just what we need. More important than ever to be working on the brambles and weeds, which is what I'm doing. The forecast is for the whole day, so it's all about indoor stuff. A ta-da list will be along later
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 9th Aug 18, 12:36 PM
    • 1,943 Posts
    • 11,225 Thanks
    themadvix
    Glad things improved for you yesterday.

    It's precipitating here too - definitely makes me feel indoorsy, if you see what I mean. Which makes a nice change in some ways (I don't think I could live somewhere where you couldn't tell the seasons apart - it would be so boring!).
    OPs 2018 = £2090
    Moving savings = £3085
    OPs 2017 = £3103
    Starting balance 2012: £132000; balance Jul 2018: £91,552
    MFW2018 no. 38
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 10th Aug 18, 10:01 AM
    • 29,864 Posts
    • 172,551 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Morning! And oops, no ta-da list yesterday, but it would've been fairly minimal. I focussed on scanning photos (done two thirds of this last box now!) and I'm starting to think about the next big thing.

    Meanwhile, the kitchen is in chaos I haven't been paying quite enough attention to everyday stuff story of my life I really have to do that today. While the scanner's going

    Oh, plus hopping off to buy veg, I stocked up on my last delivery and my freezer has let me down. Grrr. But that means I'll use the walk home as my first C25K
    Last edited by Karmacat; 10-08-2018 at 10:10 AM.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 10th Aug 18, 5:38 PM
    • 5,070 Posts
    • 28,740 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    I'm sorry to have ben absent for so long. Thanks so much, KC, for the valuable advice about the 111 NHS phoneline which you gave on Sunday. Thanks to for your good wishes , and yours too, beanielou. What special people post on this diary


    Needless to say I didn't phone as I didn't see the message until very late and I knew I could try for a GP appointment the very next morning. After a fair amount of speed-dialling I eventually got through and was given an appointment late the same afternoon. The receptionist asked me who I'd like to see so she could check if there was anything available and the 2 I mentioned have both been retired at least 2 years. Shows what a regular customer I am


    The Doc I saw was wonderful, nothing too much trouble. I started hurrying things along as there was still a waiting room full of people and it was stiflingly hot but she told me not to bother about them, I could have as much time as I needed but I knew they were rushed off their feet and my appointment was already 45 minutes late by the time I was called as it was. Reassuring to know that she is the second most senior partner in the practice and she was very thorough. I'll encourage OH to see her in future, he'd never met her either. I'd already prepared a urine sample to take (massive still water bottle though but it was all I could find that was lidded and transparent) which she tested and said I had an infection which she prescribed antibiotics for. Picked them up at the in-house Pharmacy (a blessing with rural practices) and brought them home with me . No waiting or having to go out again to collect them. She didn't mention diabetes which I assumed they test for with a urine sample? Maybe they do that via bloods, I was beyond caring to be honest, just so relieved that someone was in control now. She also arranged and appointment for first thing Tuesday with the Practice Nurse to take some bloods which was a boon as there's normally a wait of days to get an appointment to get them done. No wonder I'm feeling washed out, the amount of blood she took. The Doc said she could tell I am very anaemic (not sure why that should be as we eat a very healthy and balanced diet). The blood results may throw something up which could or couldn't lead to more tests by a haematologist or some other specialist


    I've to phone back on Monday afternoon for the blood test results unless anything untoward shows up when the Doc checks them as soon as they come in on Monday morning. The antibiotics are making me very sleepy and I had a lovely long nap in the recliner this afternoon only to be woken by a call on the landline, the only number the surgery has on file for us.. Of course, as soon as got myself to it it stopped but they left no message, not even asking me to call back so I'm assuming it wasn't anything to do with the surgery and I doubt they'd have the results by now anyway. It was a mobile number not the usual surgery ones which I know


    Anyway, I've rambled enough. I feel more like food now although still don't want much. Had a cup of tea this afternoon, my first in about 10 days (which is saying something, me being a real tea-addict) and I really enjoyed it. Not going to go mad, taking this one day at a time, but not stumbling around, feeling permanently dizzy and slightly nauseous is a lovely feeling for someone who's never had any experience of any of the illnesses that beset so many people I know. What's more, it's been raining all afternoon which surprised me as it looked from all the forecasts I saw that it would completely skirt our patch. Stopped now though



    Have a good weekend, KC and everyone, and thanks again for always being there with such valuable and caring advice
    Last edited by carbootcrazy; 10-08-2018 at 6:08 PM.
    Original Debt: £56804 (@02/13). Now: £9048. Almost sub £9000 at long last.
    • earthgirl
    • By earthgirl 10th Aug 18, 5:59 PM
    • 2,160 Posts
    • 23,913 Thanks
    earthgirl
    Hope you feel better soon cbc and it sounds like your doctors are really looking after you. Take care.
    15/5/12 Paid off Mortgage 1 (£220k) Bought Dream House Dec 13 - Mortage 2 -£116,508. 15/7/18 Mortgage Free Again
    Kids savings 13,578/36k
    2k Monthly buffer 2k/2k 5k Travel savings £3203/5k
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Aug 18, 6:09 PM
    • 57,427 Posts
    • 235,119 Thanks
    beanielou
    So glad carbootcrazy that you saw such a lovely DR who took time.
    Hopefully they will have you feeling like your old self really soon.
    Take care
    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. MFW 2018. No 144
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 10th Aug 18, 7:22 PM
    • 29,864 Posts
    • 172,551 Thanks
    Karmacat
    From me too, CBC - it sounds like I went through a much milder similar process, thank heavens it never put me off my cups of tea I'm really glad they're following up the anaemia numbers, thats important - it means so much! Let us know the next info you get



    Rain here too - nearly all day, though its cracking the flags now. Couldn't get to a supermarket, so I went to the local shops - they're evolving apace! The old "corner shop" type place stocks a bit of fresh food, so I bought tomatoes and cucumber. The new one, that started as a Morrisons, has suddenly turned itself into an off license hybrid, it sells ready made sandwiches and drink. Weird. So I still need to buy proper amount of veg - even if I get rained on, I'll go for it tomorrow morning.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 11th Aug 18, 2:03 PM
    • 5,070 Posts
    • 28,740 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    From me too, CBC - it sounds like I went through a much milder similar process, thank heavens it never put me off my cups of tea I'm really glad they're following up the anaemia numbers, thats important - it means so much! Let us know the next info you get



    Rain here too - nearly all day, though its cracking the flags now. Couldn't get to a supermarket, so I went to the local shops - they're evolving apace! The old "corner shop" type place stocks a bit of fresh food, so I bought tomatoes and cucumber. The new one, that started as a Morrisons, has suddenly turned itself into an off license hybrid, it sells ready made sandwiches and drink. Weird. So I still need to buy proper amount of veg - even if I get rained on, I'll go for it tomorrow morning.
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    Thanks, KC. I hope you're feeling a lot better yourself now. Apologies for not mentioning it in my last post, very remiss of me, Not proud of myself

    Well, OH says yesterday's rain which lasted several hours and was real rain not just drizzle, has had no effect on the garden whatsoever. The grass still looks parched, it's the first rain we've had in weeks. Our runner beans are struggling, very tall indeed and with a reasonable amount of flowers but only a tiny sign of any developing beans yet. I'm sure we've been harvesting them well before now in other summers. OH hasn't been watering them much though and they do need a lot of water. There isn't a hosepipe ban here but it seems scandalous using 'drinking water' from the tap for such purposes at the moment. We have several water butts but they're nowhere near the growing veg and are practically empty anyway


    I must be feeling a lot better as I stood outside this morning (whilst drinking a lovely cup of tea) and watched the housemartins swooping about. I seem to have missed their antics this summer although they've certainly been there. The mess they've made is phenomenal this time, from 4 of the nests in particular. Needless to say, with the water situation, OH hasn't been scraping up the poo and hosing down the paths as regularly as normal



    Whatever you're all doing, enjoy the rest of the weekend
    Last edited by carbootcrazy; 11-08-2018 at 2:07 PM.
    Original Debt: £56804 (@02/13). Now: £9048. Almost sub £9000 at long last.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 11th Aug 18, 3:29 PM
    • 29,864 Posts
    • 172,551 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Ewww, poo scraping not doing that is *good*
    Don't worry about not checking with me - you were *very* ill, I think

    I hopped off to Waitrose this morning to get some veggies to tide me over till a delivery next Tuesday - no torrential rain today, thank heavens. I used the walk as a **fast** walk, like Day One of C25K - but I already know I don't want to start running. Ligaments, especially knee ligaments, are tricksy, I'd rather do the walking. Felt a bit shattered tho!


    Recovered now, so I'm finally about to mooch around in the garden, though first I need to see to the spider hatchlings in the stairwell ... a dozen or so at lunchtime, probably quite a few more now ...
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 11th Aug 18, 4:16 PM
    • 2,289 Posts
    • 14,652 Thanks
    rtandon27
    Hi KC!

    Stairs have been my bane for the better part of the last year - creaking knees are not fun...

    Give these a try, about 3 times a week seems to be helping out with strengthening mine...

    xox RT
    1 YEAR & 11 MONTHS 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!
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 11th Aug 18, 8:57 PM
    • 29,864 Posts
    • 172,551 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Thanks RT! Those are *very* good! It's just this year it's happened, for me too - I realised I was walking downstairs like my dad we used to say he was walking like a drunk sailor But there's a twanging pain too, like being stabbed, very very occasionally (of course, I have been stabbed many times, I know exactly what thats like ).
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 13th Aug 18, 9:35 AM
    • 29,864 Posts
    • 172,551 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Morning! Okay, two fast walks done, and I'm off just now to do a council-run healthy walk, which is much slower but keeps me connected to the group.

    I'm going great guns on the scanning, plus sorting the very old photos - many of them are over 100 years old now, they need special acid-free storage, I'm working out sizes of pockets I need.

    The other thing that helps the property hold its value, and also provides me with ground to plant food crops, is gardening - the proper navvying type today, digging up perennial roots, since the ground is so soft from all this rain. My garden *will* be lurvely, front and back both
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • maddiemay
    • By maddiemay 13th Aug 18, 9:43 AM
    • 3,669 Posts
    • 33,630 Thanks
    maddiemay
    Morning! Okay, two fast walks done, and I'm off just now to do a council-run healthy walk, which is much slower but keeps me connected to the group.

    I'm going great guns on the scanning, plus sorting the very old photos - many of them are over 100 years old now, they need special acid-free storage, I'm working out sizes of pockets I need.

    The other thing that helps the property hold its value, and also provides me with ground to plant food crops, is gardening - the proper navvying type today, digging up perennial roots, since the ground is so soft from all this rain. My garden *will* be lurvely, front and back both :)
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    You are doing great with your walking, I need to do more and will look into the short "healthy walks".

    My garden will be lovely too I have almost finished the back, we have had some rain at last so hope to spend some time at the front now that the weeds should be more easily removable, DOH has been helping with brambles and all the dead leaves from next door's holly and magnolia trees, but I cannot trust him to weed

    Sun shining, need to shake a leg and get out there
    The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time. (Abraham Lincoln)
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 13th Aug 18, 10:56 AM
    • 1,943 Posts
    • 11,225 Thanks
    themadvix
    You sound like you're feeling much better today KC!

    Thanks for the reminder - I'm tackling our (large and neglected) front garden in 10-minute chunks, but had forgotten to put it on my to-do list today
    OPs 2018 = £2090
    Moving savings = £3085
    OPs 2017 = £3103
    Starting balance 2012: £132000; balance Jul 2018: £91,552
    MFW2018 no. 38
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 13th Aug 18, 12:04 PM
    • 29,864 Posts
    • 172,551 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Hiya both

    The front "garden" is a narrow strip, thats all, and I shall keep the roses, a big heather, the grape hyacinths, and the geums (I'll harvest the seedheads to grow as microgreens, I've discovered they're edible). I want perennials, useful to me or to bees, preferably both. I got out there with my garden fork straight away that I came back from the council walk, and its slow going - partly because there are so many roots of so many plants I don't want, and partly because on the edges of the clods I'm digging up, I can see worms - don't want to get rid of them!!! So I lay them elsewhere on the border, to encourage them to wriggle out of the clod the soil is so heavy I can't really pull the clod apart to release them, that'll just kill them. It's a very accessible piece of work, though, I'm happy to be doing it. And my neighbour will stop eyeing it in pain, maybe


    Council run walk was useful for linking up: a woman I often chat with told me she goes foraging, and ended up inviting me along with her friend
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 13th Aug 18, 12:18 PM
    • 1,943 Posts
    • 11,225 Thanks
    themadvix
    Ooh, the foraging sounds good! Exciting stuff! It sounds like you'r doing well with your gardening.... it keeps raining here, so I've not been out yet.
    OPs 2018 = £2090
    Moving savings = £3085
    OPs 2017 = £3103
    Starting balance 2012: £132000; balance Jul 2018: £91,552
    MFW2018 no. 38
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 15th Aug 18, 9:03 AM
    • 29,864 Posts
    • 172,551 Thanks
    Karmacat
    I did a proper amount of digging in the garden yesterday, plus once the quince have ripened, I'm going to give it a severe prune - it's generally not advised, but less than a foot of the narrow passage to the actual garden is still passable, so it has to happen. It's that, or get rid of it altogether. And I'll be able to cut back next door's ivy properly then, as well as having more sunlight reaching the ground I've just dug over (separate bed from the garden, so I'm thinking of mint.

    I'm planning days out right now:
    - a trip to a famous local arts and crafts village (garden centre nearby ).
    - replacement trip to see my newest great-nephew.
    - trip to see great-nephews numbers 3 and 4, also in London, hmmmm.

    Must, must must finish writing a blogpost today ... it's just a review of a Matt Damon film, but it means faffing about with the remote control looking for the quotes I want its a hard life
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 15th Aug 18, 9:32 AM
    • 5,070 Posts
    • 28,740 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Council run walk was useful for linking up: a woman I often chat with told me she goes foraging, and ended up inviting me along with her friend
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    Love the idea of foraging. We have/had a book called Food For Free (I think that was the title) but I haven't seen it for ages. May have been sold/donated years ago but I'll see if I can find it packed away somewhere and find out some of the things it's safe to eat. Some plants look so inviting but it's always better to be safe than sorry.

    What do you forage for, apart from the blackberries that you often mention? We've had field mushrooms many a time, and samphire on the rare occasions we visit places where it can be found, plus the usual hedgerow berries of course. There must be so much else that would be edible, especially in a rural area away from polluted verges.
    Original Debt: £56804 (@02/13). Now: £9048. Almost sub £9000 at long last.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 15th Aug 18, 4:24 PM
    • 29,864 Posts
    • 172,551 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Love the idea of foraging. We have/had a book called Food For Free (I think that was the title) but I haven't seen it for ages. May have been sold/donated years ago but I'll see if I can find it packed away somewhere and find out some of the things it's safe to eat. Some plants look so inviting but it's always better to be safe than sorry.
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    I have the pocket version, CBC - its a brilliant book. I did hear somewhere that the information is a little bit out of date for some plants, but I don't know where, sorry. And I can't say how much I agree that research is needed - there's a hemlock that looks like parsley, that sort of thing. And I wouldn't touch fungi even with a book - only after a foraging course, at any event.


    Please write your foraging experiences here



    What do you forage for, apart from the blackberries that you often mention? We've had field mushrooms many a time, and samphire on the rare occasions we visit places where it can be found, plus the usual hedgerow berries of course. There must be so much else that would be edible, especially in a rural area away from polluted verges.
    Respect for doing the fungi! I haven't done a huge amount just rosehips and crab apples with my brother, and plums, cherries, sweet chestnuts, elderflowers and elderberries. None of it regular, I guarantee you.


    What I'd like to do is forage greenery, to help make my own pesto - hawthorn, beech, good king henry, blackberry leaves and nettles, plus greenery from my own garden - lemon balm, geum, chives, salad burnet, winter savory, garlic, rosemary, all sorts.



    I just bought mint, and fennel, I'll keep the latter in a big container.


    I'm working on it
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • earthgirl
    • By earthgirl 15th Aug 18, 4:26 PM
    • 2,160 Posts
    • 23,913 Thanks
    earthgirl
    Hope you are ok after a "proper amount of digging"?
    I always feel quite sore.
    15/5/12 Paid off Mortgage 1 (£220k) Bought Dream House Dec 13 - Mortage 2 -£116,508. 15/7/18 Mortgage Free Again
    Kids savings 13,578/36k
    2k Monthly buffer 2k/2k 5k Travel savings £3203/5k
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,435Posts Today

8,039Users online

Martin's Twitter