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  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Jan 18, 8:48 AM
    • 3,629Posts
    • 23,673Thanks
    caronc
    Cooking for one (Mark Three)
    • #1
    • 13th Jan 18, 8:48 AM
    Cooking for one (Mark Three) 13th Jan 18 at 8:48 AM
    Welcome to Cooking one (Mark Three), time to get a shiny new thread up and running. The link to "Cooking for one (Mark Two)" can be found here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=73708876&posted=1#post73708876

    Cooking For One
    13th Jan 17 at 7:32 PM
    Hi, newbie poster though long time lurker trying to adjust to being an empty-nester and due to some substantial changes income-wise in the next couple of months trying to cut my costs and adjust my shopping to mainly solo dining. I abhor waste so good that way and do cook from scratch/batch cook the vast majority of the time. I do "sort of" meal plan but it can be a bit hit or miss depending on my health is on any given day. I'm reliant on on-line shopping so can't take advanage of aldi/Lidl etc. What (if any) changes did you make when changing to a single-person household?
    Last edited by caronc; 13-01-2018 at 8:51 AM.
    GC - Jan18 55/120, Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200
    GC YTD - 391/590
Page 43
    • caronc
    • By caronc 12th Feb 18, 8:39 PM
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    caronc
    Good evening everyone,
    I'm still swithering re do I want to pay my mortgage off early, it's due to end in Nov 2029 (I had planned to retire in Dec 2029 - but that's a moot point now) or once my current deal ends enjoy the benefit of much reduced payments each month. Meantime there is no hurry to decide as I'm on a deal until Nov 2020 which I'm overpaying as much as I can while the interest rates are so low.

    Unfortunately the "wonky donkey" decided to pay a visit earlier, I think I managed to get it in time but I'm feeling pretty washed out this evening. Thankfully the stew was doing it's thing in the SC so just needed to make the dumplings. Ended up not going with the blue cheese version.

    Assuming my OOD eggs aren't floating tomorrow I definitely fancy some savoury pancakes and think I may well "jazz up" a tin of M&S chicken in sauce as the filling. The tin has been in the cupboard for ages and any LO mix can be used with pasta on Thursday instead of having lasagne from the freezer.

    I had thought I would need a grocery delivery either tomorrow or Wednesday but looking at my meal plan and what I have in I've put it back until Friday.
    GC - Jan18 55/120, Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200
    GC YTD - 391/590
    • mcculloch29
    • By mcculloch29 12th Feb 18, 9:27 PM
    • 4,776 Posts
    • 47,173 Thanks
    mcculloch29
    Wednesday, that's amazing! Well done! My mortgage was much smaller than yours, but I paid off 2/7ths of it, and remortgaged to a better deal over ten years. Since then my income has dipped, and how grateful I am that I did that. I've got a few hundred to pay off on a credit card, and then I will look at overpaying on the mortgage.

    This has been a 'don't want to eat much day, for me. I'm not ill, I just don't feel hungry. I had a large portion of noodles earlier and enjoyed them, a couple of the aforementioned Golden Syrup Weetabix for brunch, but that's it.
    I have my lovely 'free' coffee for a treat, if I want it, although at this time of day it's likely to be an Aldi lungo decaff. Which is equally nice, but free always tastes better!
    Erma Bombeck, American writer: "If I had my life to live over again... I would have burned the pink candle, sculptured like a rose, that melted in storage." Don't keep things 'for best' - that day never comes. Use them and enjoy them now.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 13th Feb 18, 7:34 AM
    • 15,391 Posts
    • 42,877 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Caron - sounds like it's time for what I call a "cost/benefit analysis" re what to do re your mortgage.

    I'd sit down and think out what else (the "opportunity cost" I believe it's called) I would spend the money on instead and figure out which I got the best value-for-money from. To me - the other things I would have spent that money on instead boiled down to:

    a. Further work on the house = well I felt I'd done enough on it, bearing in mind it was my "starter house" and not a "forever home" house. I wouldn't have added that much to the price I could sell it for eventually/chopped that much time off how long it would take me to sell on eventually and the house had what it needed to cover me for a few years (quite a few more than planned on in the event - but that's another story)

    b. Holidays = well...when you think the way I do personally = you think "I'll be doing loads of travelling later on. I can wait....".

    The other element is how secure your finances are. I had a job-that-was-supposed-to-be-secure (ie Civil Service) - but I was all too conscious that that job wasn't as secure as it was supposed to be. Also all too conscious that I'd lost salary I was due for more than once prior to that job (courtesy of being a "political animal" for many years and thus being refused jobs/even unfairly dismissed from a job I already had). I wasn't going to alter My Life to suit employers - that was a given - and I knew I needed financial security more than many because of that sort of thing happening. I needed to put myself in a financial position that any such actions by employers would have less of an effect on me (well it was either that or give up doing what I decided to in My Own Time and be prepared to "shut up and put up" if any alternative employer I ever needed was in a line of business I wasnt happy with).

    SO:
    - what else would you spend the money on instead if you don't use it for that?
    - how secure (or otherwise) do you feel financially?

    In your position personally - I'd want as much money available as possible in case the NHS being the way it is meant I had to spend all sorts of my money on healthcare costs (ie because the NHS refused to do so). Maybe you'd feel you had more spare income available (with no mortgage to pay) in case you had to cover their costs for them? Maybe you feel you'd have more of a lump sum to hand in case you had to cover their costs for them in one huge chunk (eg an operation) on the other hand?
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 13-02-2018 at 7:43 AM.
    Fastest way to get a headache = try and make someone that thinks for themselves conform to local "group think"
    • wort
    • By wort 13th Feb 18, 7:45 AM
    • 725 Posts
    • 9,851 Thanks
    wort
    I had huge jacket potato, half a small tin o beans and a wodge of grated cheese with salad of tomatoes onion and peppers, for tea yesterday.
    I'm back in work today so have made a piri piri chicken salad gf thin, with a lemon whipped yogurt and blueberries for lunch.
    I have no decided re tea today yet but took some sport leggings back to tesco yesterday and Picked up 2 aloo saag and 2 jalfrezi curries offer for 5. The curries for dgson and I to share half each over the next 2 Fridays, 1 aloo in freezer other still in fridge!!
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 13th Feb 18, 8:51 AM
    • 3,577 Posts
    • 5,316 Thanks
    bouicca21
    Caron, I think Money is suggesting the right questions to ask yourself. Personally I'd come down on the side of at least paying something extra towards the mortgage. I'd want to be sure that if major sources of income dried up I would still have a roof over my head, and that I could swap that roof for one that suited me better elsewhere. Being mortgage free is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Feb 18, 9:04 AM
    • 3,629 Posts
    • 23,673 Thanks
    caronc
    Caron - sounds like it's time for what I call a "cost/benefit analysis" re what to do re your mortgage.

    I'd sit down and think out what else (the "opportunity cost" I believe it's called) I would spend the money on instead and figure out which I got the best value-for-money from. To me - the other things I would have spent that money on instead boiled down to:

    a. Further work on the house = well I felt I'd done enough on it, bearing in mind it was my "starter house" and not a "forever home" house. I wouldn't have added that much to the price I could sell it for eventually/chopped that much time off how long it would take me to sell on eventually and the house had what it needed to cover me for a few years (quite a few more than planned on in the event - but that's another story)

    b. Holidays = well...when you think the way I do personally = you think "I'll be doing loads of travelling later on. I can wait....".

    The other element is how secure your finances are. I had a job-that-was-supposed-to-be-secure (ie Civil Service) - but I was all too conscious that that job wasn't as secure as it was supposed to be. Also all too conscious that I'd lost salary I was due for more than once prior to that job (courtesy of being a "political animal" for many years and thus being refused jobs/even unfairly dismissed from a job I already had). I wasn't going to alter My Life to suit employers - that was a given - and I knew I needed financial security more than many because of that sort of thing happening. I needed to put myself in a financial position that any such actions by employers would have less of an effect on me (well it was either that or give up doing what I decided to in My Own Time and be prepared to "shut up and put up" if any alternative employer I ever needed was in a line of business I wasnt happy with).

    SO:
    - what else would you spend the money on instead if you don't use it for that?
    - how secure (or otherwise) do you feel financially?

    In your position personally - I'd want as much money available as possible in case the NHS being the way it is meant I had to spend all sorts of my money on healthcare costs (ie because the NHS refused to do so). Maybe you'd feel you had more spare income available (with no mortgage to pay) in case you had to cover their costs for them? Maybe you feel you'd have more of a lump sum to hand in case you had to cover their costs for them in one huge chunk (eg an operation) on the other hand?
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Caron, I think Money is suggesting the right questions to ask yourself. Personally I'd come down on the side of at least paying something extra towards the mortgage. I'd want to be sure that if major sources of income dried up I would still have a roof over my head, and that I could swap that roof for one that suited me better elsewhere. Being mortgage free is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
    Originally posted by bouicca21
    Thanks folks,

    Yes getting it as low as possible during this fixed period is my main aim. I've overpaid my mortgage since I got it in 2006 however under the deal I'm restricted in how much I can over pay in any 12 months without a stiff penalty.Having done the maths the penalty outweighed the benefit of breaching the ceiling. I paid the max I could off in December so can't make any more overpayments until this December. Meantime my overpayment funds are in a savings account which I add to every month.

    I would love to be completely mortgage free but short of an unexpected windfall that is a bit away even if I used all my savings which I don't want to.
    GC - Jan18 55/120, Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200
    GC YTD - 391/590
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Feb 18, 9:22 AM
    • 3,629 Posts
    • 23,673 Thanks
    caronc
    Good morning everyone,
    It's another cold & miserable one here. Lots of snow round about causing havoc on the roads and few rural communities effectively cut off. No snow here, there was some overnight but it's mainly away now.

    I'm looking forward to pancakes tonight, gone are the days when I would seem not to be able to make enough of them as hordes of hungry boys would seem to be able to eat their own body weight of them. I might though make enough crepe type ones for savoury pancakes, then thicken the mix and make some scotch ones for the freezer.

    Lunch will be more of the pea & ham soup and then I'll freeze what's left. I also have a portion of stew and dumplings which will also be getting popped in the freezer for a future meal. My stash of HM ready meals is quite decent at the moment so I'll plan to use these up (and no doubt add some) over coming weeks. Hopefully the weather will pick up mid-March and I can move back to less "winter-warmer" type meals for a few months anyway.
    GC - Jan18 55/120, Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200
    GC YTD - 391/590
    • kittie
    • By kittie 13th Feb 18, 9:49 AM
    • 11,828 Posts
    • 73,830 Thanks
    kittie
    welcome back mrA and thanks for giving me a giggle

    Me too re the mortgage and money is right about holding some back for an nhs rainy day. There was no penalty in my day and we had one of those interest only mortgages with an insurance link, the one that took many people by surprise and would have left many short. Every time I managed to get some cash together, I would put it into specifically paying off the capital. We were mortgage free at my age 55 and that is when savings took off, when I had to make up for lost time and also when we still had to help support the children. Such a big psychological relief when the bank didn`t own the house or any part of it
    • kittie
    • By kittie 13th Feb 18, 10:04 AM
    • 11,828 Posts
    • 73,830 Thanks
    kittie
    There is a need to think of food and plan for the day, I had weetabix protein for breakfast, with berries. Only one meal of weetabix left and then will have either spelt toast or porridge as I have spelt flour and oats to use. I am still ploughing through the overbought organic dried apricots, I have 4 soaked each morning for a snack but fear they will last a long time. Apricots and walnts and pistachios, needing the protein for my hair

    I found 2 nice turkey wings in a vac packed bag in the freezer, they are thawing and have just realised that I have half a tub of rollmops to use today. No cold salad left, so will get cracking on chopping and peeling shortly, at least it will be done. I am going to make a one meal casserole from the turkey, in the pressure cooker, for tonight because turkey is a food that helps me sleep the whole night through

    ooh I had a hm pizza yesterday at lunch, from the hm dough divided and frozen. It was fab, such a lovely lunch and one to look forward to. Topped with tomato puree, 6 small defrosted tomatoes, sliced shallot, crumbled de-frosted feta and sardines, the better ones from costco. I gave all the JW sardines in tomato to the foodbank, 14 tins, bought in a mad moment when I thought they were banning sardine fishing
    • spirit
    • By spirit 13th Feb 18, 10:10 AM
    • 2,710 Posts
    • 6,135 Thanks
    spirit
    I agree with the other MF people (as per my sig) There really is nothing like knowing that no one can take this from me.


    Cold and a bit wet south of Manchester. No snow thankfully. I had beans with poached egg on toast for breakfast. Having a coffee now and had an apple a short while ago.


    Had 2 rehome the 2 'new' cats on Saturday, broke my heart but my existing nearly 15 yr old cat, was scared of them and hid in the wardrobe. she'd not been in the sitting room for the last 6 months. Luckily, the shelter I'd got them from found a lady they could go straight to rather than going back into those tiny pens. I miss them terribly, but in a way it's nice to have my house back and not have to divide the house in two, to keep them separate. Catface can now come and go as she pleases.


    Keep warm everyone.
    Mortgage free as of 10/02/2015. Every brick and blade of grass belongs to meeeee.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Feb 18, 10:15 AM
    • 3,629 Posts
    • 23,673 Thanks
    caronc

    I decided to cycle to the pool this morning - what a plonker - the wind was blowing me everywhere lol.
    When I did eventually arrive, I was absolutely exhausted, and extremely hungry too. Ended up going in the cafe for eggs and bacon lol. I will probably be nibbling on lettuce leaves for lunch
    Originally posted by MrAPJI
    but

    Pancakes about 7.30 ish....
    welcome back mrA and thanks for giving me a giggle

    Me too re the mortgage and money is right about holding some back for an nhs rainy day. There was no penalty in my day and we had one of those interest only mortgages with an insurance link, the one that took many people by surprise and would have left many short. Every time I managed to get some cash together, I would put it into specifically paying off the capital. We were mortgage free at my age 55 and that is when savings took off, when I had to make up for lost time and also when we still had to help support the children. Such a big psychological relief when the bank didn`t own the house or any part of it
    Originally posted by kittie
    Absolutely - I have 3 main funds "mortgage overpayment", "house improvement" and "rainy day/me" as well as a number of smaller day to day to savings accounts. Thankfully my mortgage is all repayment so no shortfalls to consider. Unfortunately I was only just getting out of the tight years of single parent/2 kids at uni years when my health failed but at least they had both graduated before this happened.


    ooh I had a hm pizza yesterday at lunch, from the hm dough divided and frozen. It was fab, such a lovely lunch and one to look forward to. Topped with tomato puree, 6 small defrosted tomatoes, sliced shallot, crumbled de-frosted feta and sardines, the better ones from costco. I gave all the JW sardines in tomato to the foodbank, 14 tins, bought in a mad moment when I thought they were banning sardine fishing
    Originally posted by kittie
    Your pizza sounds divine
    GC - Jan18 55/120, Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200
    GC YTD - 391/590
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Feb 18, 10:20 AM
    • 3,629 Posts
    • 23,673 Thanks
    caronc
    I agree with the other MF people (as per my sig) There really is nothing like knowing that no one can take this from me.


    Cold and a bit wet south of Manchester. No snow thankfully. I had beans with poached egg on toast for breakfast. Having a coffee now and had an apple a short while ago.


    Had 2 rehome the 2 'new' cats on Saturday, broke my heart but my existing nearly 15 yr old cat, was scared of them and hid in the wardrobe. she'd not been in the sitting room for the last 6 months. Luckily, the shelter I'd got them from found a lady they could go straight to rather than going back into those tiny pens. I miss them terribly, but in a way it's nice to have my house back and not have to divide the house in two, to keep them separate. Catface can now come and go as she pleases.


    Keep warm everyone.
    Originally posted by spirit
    Och that would have been hard but you can't live your life in a "war zone" so to speak, at least they got to go to another home.

    I'm getting there MFW wise (73% me, 27% building society) just later in life than I would have liked but needs must as I was determined to buy my ex out so had to take on a large mortgage in my 40s, not ideal but it was the right thing to do for me & my boys
    GC - Jan18 55/120, Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200
    GC YTD - 391/590
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 13th Feb 18, 10:22 AM
    • 15,391 Posts
    • 42,877 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    I can see the point re caution on the amount of mortgage overpaid whilst there's a penalty for doing so above a certain amount. In that position - I'd probably pay back 1p less than the limit before a penalty came into play and put the rest aside for when I got a new mortgage deal and penalty didn't apply any longer.

    'Tis true it was easier in the day of standard repayment mortgages (which I chose and refused to have an endowment one - whew!) and I could/did pay off bits "as and when".

    ....and back to food...and I don't go by date on calendar as to what I do at all food-wise (or any other-wise) but am partial to pancakes.

    I shall have to have a go at some point at conventional pancake recipe, but with chia "eggs" instead of eggs iyswim.

    Now I'm working more on the idea of having some "good to go" homemade "basics" in the freezer - I'm wondering whether I could make some pancakes and have them there readymade in the freezer to hoick out one or two at a time? I don't have a microwave - and so re-heating would be down to = whack into a frying pan and heat briefly on both sides I guess??

    Thoughts?

    Further thought on that being - how to actually store them in the freezer - as I shall be trying not to replace my plastic ziplock bags as they wear out. I gotta plan currently to check out what's now come re "goods to replace plastic" in an imminent shopping trip and shall see what shop concerned has available so far...and not at all sure what to use. I have bought several zip-able cloth bags for bread now and that are freezer-friendly - but wondering what to use in some other respects.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 13-02-2018 at 10:25 AM.
    Fastest way to get a headache = try and make someone that thinks for themselves conform to local "group think"
    • spirit
    • By spirit 13th Feb 18, 10:26 AM
    • 2,710 Posts
    • 6,135 Thanks
    spirit

    I'm getting there MFW wise (73% me, 27% building society) just later in life than I would have liked but needs must as I was determined to buy my ex out so had to take on a large mortgage in my 40s, not ideal but it was the right thing to do for me & my boys
    Originally posted by caronc


    I think you should look back on that time as a fantastic achievement Caronc. Look at it from the standpoint that the BS ONLY own 27% of the bricks, the rest are yours.


    it doesn't matter especially whenabouts in life this happens, many won't achieve it until after state pension age going forwards.
    Mortgage free as of 10/02/2015. Every brick and blade of grass belongs to meeeee.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 13th Feb 18, 10:36 AM
    • 1,404 Posts
    • 13,807 Thanks
    Hollyharvey
    I



    I shall have to have a go at some point at conventional pancake recipe, but with chia "eggs" instead of eggs iyswim.

    Now I'm working more on the idea of having some "good to go" homemade "basics" in the freezer - I'm wondering whether I could make some pancakes and have them there readymade in the freezer to hoick out one or two at a time? I don't have a microwave - and so re-heating would be down to = whack into a frying pan and heat briefly on both sides I guess??

    Thoughts?
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    They will be fine to take out of the freezer and re-heat in a frying pan. That is how I do it with pancakes. I did try to re-heat one in the microwave once and it was awful. It was just soggy and went really stodgy as will.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 13th Feb 18, 10:37 AM
    • 15,391 Posts
    • 42,877 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    True - ie you own the major part of your home.

    I must admit to being surprised to discover just how many of my agegroup still have/have gotten back to having mortgages - but I guess it's often down to the divorce rate of our generation and I can see you had no option but to do "clean break" stuff and buy out the ex - so that was that and finito.

    I even have a friend that lost owning a house they already had basically down to their own carelessness (which they admit - to some extent - whilst I keep my mouth firmly shut...) and they just started a mortgage again at about the same sort of age I am.

    A much better position too than a couple of people I used to know that were well into middle age and sold their houses and started just blowing the house equity on "spending". I was sitting there gobsmacked - as you can imagine...
    Fastest way to get a headache = try and make someone that thinks for themselves conform to local "group think"
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Feb 18, 10:54 AM
    • 3,629 Posts
    • 23,673 Thanks
    caronc
    I can see the point re caution on the amount of mortgage overpaid whilst there's a penalty for doing so above a certain amount. In that position - I'd probably pay back 1p less than the limit before a penalty came into play and put the rest aside for when I got a new mortgage deal and penalty didn't apply any longer.

    That's what I'm trying to do....

    'Tis true it was easier in the day of standard repayment mortgages (which I chose and refused to have an endowment one - whew!) and I could/did pay off bits "as and when".

    ....and back to food...and I don't go by date on calendar as to what I do at all food-wise (or any other-wise) but am partial to pancakes.

    I shall have to have a go at some point at conventional pancake recipe, but with chia "eggs" instead of eggs iyswim.

    Now I'm working more on the idea of having some "good to go" homemade "basics" in the freezer - I'm wondering whether I could make some pancakes and have them there readymade in the freezer to hoick out one or two at a time? I don't have a microwave - and so re-heating would be down to = whack into a frying pan and heat briefly on both sides I guess??

    Thoughts?

    Further thought on that being - how to actually store them in the freezer - as I shall be trying not to replace my plastic ziplock bags as they wear out. I gotta plan currently to check out what's now come re "goods to replace plastic" in an imminent shopping trip and shall see what shop concerned has available so far...and not at all sure what to use. I have bought several zip-able cloth bags for bread now and that are freezer-friendly - but wondering what to use in some other respects.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Pancakes freeze just fine just separate them with greaseproof or waxed paper.

    I think you should look back on that time as a fantastic achievement Caronc. Look at it from the standpoint that the BS ONLY own 27% of the bricks, the rest are yours.


    it doesn't matter especially whenabouts in life this happens, many won't achieve it until after state pension age going forwards.
    Originally posted by spirit
    Thank you. I'm "nerdy" enough to have grid which represents the value of the house with each square representing 1k , green squares represent the bit I own, red the bit the BS owns..... I love updating it
    GC - Jan18 55/120, Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200
    GC YTD - 391/590
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 13th Feb 18, 12:10 PM
    • 62,185 Posts
    • 363,968 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    I got fish fingers/chips out of the freezer to put them into a bread roll.... then changed my mind and put them back into the freezer.

    Reheated the final slice of pie in the end, served with carrots, peas, instant mash and gravy
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 13th Feb 18, 12:12 PM
    • 1,813 Posts
    • 12,402 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    Congrats W2000 on the mortgage repayment plan. I'm with Money on this, like her I paid of early. It was fairly easy in a way because at one time the mortgage interest rate was over 12%, as it slipped down to around 8% I continued paying the same sum in, thus rapidly decreasing the capital balance owing

    A big relief when paid off, as Money says, not beholden to anyone from then on, and in my case enabled me to snatch voluntary redundancy and "retire" go on the dole, not eligible and thus not paid, at 60 as male was not allowed to
    Originally posted by Farway
    Yikes 12%. The highest rate we have had was just over 5%. That must have felt great to pay it off, I can't wait until the whole thing is gone.

    I calculated that we do actually have enough in savings to pay the whole thing off, but I want to keep a healthy emergency fund too. I'm fairly cautious as my husband and I have both had health problems.
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 22/60
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 13th Feb 18, 12:13 PM
    • 1,813 Posts
    • 12,402 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    I just had a banana, a clementine and a cup of coffee for breakfast.

    Roasted chickpeas, HM potato wedges and salad for lunch.
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 22/60
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