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  • FIRST POST
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 11th Mar 18, 7:28 AM
    • 8,207Posts
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    Cheery Daff
    Cheery's country living adventure
    • #1
    • 11th Mar 18, 7:28 AM
    Cheery's country living adventure 11th Mar 18 at 7:28 AM
    Hello lovely people

    I'm Cheery, been around these parts a long time now and had several DFW diaries over the years, most recently here.

    We are two - Mr Cheery and I. We've been together over 12 years now, and last week we moved from the middle of the city to the middle of nowhere. We were snowed in within 24 hours and unable to leave for a week Quite an introduction to country living

    I now have a mortgage for the first time in my life Mr Cheery had one before, but as it was near the end when I met him, we never added me, and then it got to the end of its 25 year span a few years ago. Now we have a brand new one, and I would like to pay it off as soon as possible

    It's going to take a while - we've borrowed 215,000 over 25 years A reasonable rate though (1.8%), fixed until Sept 2019. Our monthly payment is 890, and I'd like to overpay by 10 at least - with the aim of on average paying off an extra 110 a month to take it up to a round 1000.

    If we don't pay it off early, it'll run til I'm 62, and Mr Cheery is 80 A good incentive to get on with it

    Sadly our building society doesn't have online banking for mortgages (bloody ridiculous) and only sends annual statements, so it looks like I'll be ringing them up every five minutes for a new balance

    I would love it if you dropped in occasionally for a nice cup of tea, especially if you brought along some cake

    More details in a minute
Page 12
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 27th Jun 18, 3:04 PM
    • 29,430 Posts
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    Karmacat
    Cheery, thanks so much for that, about the compost. It did help, absolutely, in that I could see what I don't have (oxyen access!) and, erm, the knack! But I'm sure I could do something with a turner. The linkie that madvix gave was great too, thanks madvix - I could maybe turn an unused and unplaceable water butt (too big for current placement with my drainpipes where they are) into a hot composter, I'll have a think about whether thats possible. The ones on Amzz are 80 and upwards, so that would be a great saving, if it was manageable. Then the existing dalek could just be used for leaf compost.


    Good luck at the dentist, hope you're doing okay.
    Retired August 2016
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 28th Jun 18, 2:48 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Thanks folks, dentist was bearable... Got to go back again in a couple of weeks to have the proper crown put on (they just took moulds and put a temporary one on this week). Yawn.

    Gosh it's warm. Not inside, but I'm still listless and can't be bothered Taking tomorrow off and I'm working but out of the office next week so lots to do this afternoon but just can't work up the enthusiasm...

    Nothing much to report I don't think. Someone else gave us a pot of jam yesterday so that's two we've been given this week Went to the cafe this morning (6.30 between us). Lots of lettuces growing - harvested one yesterday to take to a friend's house Lots of bought veg inside the house that needs eating but I'm struggling to be bothered to cook at the minute...

    Oh dear, I'm a right moaning old thing today! Sorry!

    Mr cheery has removed a false wall upstairs We're still struggling to get a builder to come and give us a quote for removing the downstairs wall/chimney so basically he's just starting to do the job himself (and will stop short of the structural bits - although they only involve removing the chimney and replacing a few floor joists so if this carries on I wouldn't put it past him to learn how to do that himself too )

    Builder 1 was a friend of a friend, first came in March and again in early April, promised to send a quote - I've now asked for said written quote more than 15 times (!) in various emails, texts, phone conversations, I've sent pictures (because he didn't bother to take any), and all I've had is a 'rough estimate' which is approximately the same as the one he gave when standing here before he'd gone away and looked at materials - and didn't include any of the options we'd said we wanted costed so we could choose between them. It's been over three months now and after being told about his van breaking, internet breaking, hard drive malfunctioning etc, I've had enough

    wouldn't have bothered being this persistent if we didn't know him but I'm afraid I won't be contacting him again - let's see if he ever bothers to get in touch with me.

    Builder 2 - someone localish I know from a previous life - wouldn't even quote as they're booked up for a year

    Builder 3 - from CheckATrade. Turned up when he said with a co-builder and a mate who 'just came for a nosey'... Rang me a week later to apologise for not sending a quote yet, his phone had been broken. Said he'd email me that afternoon, but it's now 4 days later and I've had nothing.

    Builder 4 - from RateMyBuilder. Due to come last Sunday but didn't turn up and hasn't been in touch. I confess I forgot he was meant to be coming (but I WAS here all afternoon!) so didn't chase him at the time and now can't be bothered

    Builder 5 - recommendation from someone I don't know on the email group for our local village. Replied to my email, I had to chase him by phone but he is apparently coming tomorrow afternoon. Have photographic evidence from local person that he has actually done some work so I have high hopes

    Gosh it's hard work - this is exactly why I often refuse to 'get a man in' and why we ended up doing the vast majority of DIY stuff ourselves in the old house! Bloody ridiculous.

    Local farmers are building their own extension for the same reason (but sadly can't be persuaded to do our building too ) They reckon we'll have more luck when the weather turns bad again as local folks are doing outside farming-type work at the minute and only do building in the winter.

    I'll believe it when I see it!

    Hey ho. Best go and crack on...
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • therocket
    • By therocket 28th Jun 18, 5:14 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 161 Thanks
    therocket
    We found builders to be a right pain due to similar issues that you're having Cheery! In the end, the husband of a friend did it for us, but we weren't overly happy with the end result - hence the breakdown of that particular friendship unfortunately! Has put us off using people we know for other jobs now, which is a shame. At least we have learnt new skills that we would normally have asked someone else to do for us (every cloud.....)!!

    The house/lifestyle/adventure sounds wonderful and I love reading your diary - very keen to one day be in a similar situation! Keep plodding on, you're doing great and it makes great reading!
    MFW - diary incoming!
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 29th Jun 18, 10:15 AM
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    Karmacat
    What a shame, Cheery - I must say, even when I've had builders so local they only live a few streets away, they've been really bad. And the renovation of my brick shed isn't anything like I wanted builders are so disappointing - like you, its why I'm tempted to do as much as I can myself. And now I have more energy, thats exactly what I *will* do.


    How you doing today? Can't be bothered, that isn't like you
    Retired August 2016
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 29th Jun 18, 10:42 AM
    • 1,774 Posts
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    themadvix
    Hope you're feeling a bit cheerier today Cheery!

    I feel your pain with the builders.... that's an impressively long blacklist Hope no. 5 turns up today!
    OPs 2018 = 2090
    Moving savings = 1345.52
    OPs 2017 = 3103
    Starting balance 2012: 132000; balance Jun 2018: 92,000
    MFW2018 no. 38
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 29th Jun 18, 11:49 AM
    • 12,666 Posts
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    greenbee
    My builder actually answered the phone the other day and is apparently coming over on Wednesday. I'll believe it when it happens...
    • Pooky
    • By Pooky 30th Jun 18, 7:11 AM
    • 6,877 Posts
    • 43,699 Thanks
    Pooky
    My pet hate is when they turn up and tell you what they are going to do rather than listening to what you want them to do. Hence I learnt how to fit a new kitchen, a parquet floor, a new bathroom,a new downstairs loo and replace radiators. All stripped back to bare bricks and plaster and started from scratch. At least I know what's where if I need to fix/replace anything.

    Frustrating though when you see other people having these renovation works done and they look stunning, I can only assume they are giving the builders free range or paying well over the odds.
    "Start every day off with a smile and get it over with" - W. C. Field.
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 30th Jun 18, 8:37 AM
    • 4,321 Posts
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Frustrating though when you see other people having these renovation works done and they look stunning, I can only assume they are giving the builders free range or paying well over the odds.
    Originally posted by Pooky

    Or on TV programmes, where the builders turn up with days of the work being decided upon, finish the project within 'weeks' and it only goes over budget because the homeowners get carried away with high-end fixtures and fittings.......... I was watching 'love or list' recently - grrrr!


    I too feel your pain Cheery as we rarely get past the 'will you come and give us a quote' stage.......


    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug' 'Your Vibe attracts your Tribe'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 30th Jun 18, 4:13 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Oh dear, such builder-related woes! I do apologise for sparking so many unhappy memories very pleased that for some of us at least it can lead to learning new skills though

    Yesterday's builder did actually turn up, seemed knowledgeable and cheerful and trustworthy We'll see what happens next

    Weird day today, frustrating morning fighting with technology, went for a rather hot sticky run and had a chat with a couple of neighbours, popped to the local school fair for a cake, and also to a kind of Tudor fair happening a few miles away, where I had a go on a drop spindle, and a nice chat with a lady I've seen at other events locally (who knew the person who previously lived in our house) -she gave me some Tudor butter they'd made as part of a demonstration

    Not a dead cheap day out mind you

    2.50 cakes at school fair
    6.50 tea and cake at the Tudor day (2 for a scone?!)
    5 to get in (Mr Cheery sat in the car...)

    Not too bad I suppose in the grand scheme of things...

    Might be back later with a list,feel like things aren't progressing as I'd likeso far this weekend...

    But for now I'm going to sit in the garden with a book and a drink for half an hour
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 30th Jun 18, 5:29 PM
    • 8,207 Posts
    • 40,759 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Ooh, I forgot to tell you about our bargains yesterday!

    Called into a 24 hr supermarket about 10.45 last night on the way home and got a load of stuff reduced to 1p each! Yes, 1p!

    We did stock up a bit... didn't want it to go to waste... there was hardly anyone else in the shop and we did leave some on the shelves for others...

    However, we did get

    - 2 cabbages
    - 4 bags of diced carrot and swede
    -coriander
    - basil
    - a tray of peaches (2 had gone off but 3 nice peaches for 1p is still good!)
    - 2 boxes of 'carrot spaghetti'
    - a bag of organis carrot batons

    Not bad for 12p!

    Anyway, a list...
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 30th Jun 18, 5:33 PM
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    • 40,759 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Really I just want to lie down on a blanket with a book but I also want to get things done!

    5.30-7
    Swap jackets that are airing on the line
    Ring sister
    Plant out beans
    Plant out squash
    Water all the growing veg

    7-7.30
    Bring in the jackets
    Fold up as many shirts as I can and put into baskets to go into the attic

    7.30-8.30
    Tidy living room
    Clean bathroom
    Clean kitchen
    General tidy
    Hoover everywhere

    8.30-9.30
    Nice garden pottering while it's still sunny

    9.30-10
    Quick shower

    10-10.30
    Flute practice for rehearsal tomorrow

    10.30-11
    YNAB/banks
    Online tasks
    Blog post

    Of course this is wildly overoptimistic but a plan will help me not drift toooo much...
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 30th Jun 18, 8:55 PM
    • 29,430 Posts
    • 168,897 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Huge bargains, huge plans. I like it have a great Sunday
    Retired August 2016
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 30th Jun 18, 9:03 PM
    • 8,207 Posts
    • 40,759 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Thanks KC, you too

    Getting there... slowly...

    5.30-7
    Swap jackets that are airing on the line
    Ring sister
    Plant out beans
    Plant out squash
    Water all the growing veg - [JUST DOING NOW]

    7-7.30
    Bring in the jackets
    Fold up as many shirts as I can and put into baskets to go into the attic

    7.30-8.30
    Tidy living room
    Clean bathroom
    Clean kitchen
    General tidy
    Hoover everywhere

    8.30-9.30
    Nice garden pottering while it's still sunny

    9.30-10
    Quick shower

    10-10.30
    Flute practice for rehearsal tomorrow

    10.30-11
    YNAB/banks
    Online tasks
    Blog post

    Hmm, maybe I'm not making that much progress after all But house isn't THAT much of a tip and after all, it's not the Queen coming to visit tomorrow (or my mother) so I might just run the hoover round and she'll have to take us as she finds us (or - a better plan - I might just insist we stay in the garden... )

    Right, best carry on watering before I lose momentum Then I'm going to come in and do some flute playing, run the hoover round, and then that might be it for the night
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • starnac
    • By starnac 2nd Jul 18, 9:03 AM
    • 5,286 Posts
    • 24,858 Thanks
    starnac
    I know I'm late to the builder party but we've had a similar issue. We need a new toilet fitting, the plastic that holds the flush handle has broken so DH temporarily removed the top of the cistern so we could pull up the flush for a couple of days until his mate's son (who does bathrooms) could come and quote us for replacing the toilet (it's cemented to the floor so not an easy removal job). That was months ago. In fact it's been so long I can't remember how long ago it was. It could be more than a year ago!

    Said mate's-son has since been to replace our boiler and made the "I'll be back to quote on the toilet next week" promise. That was 2 months ago maybe??? I'm so tempted to do it myself with DH who is pretty handy. I'm just worried what the state of the floor will be like when we take it out as the previous owners are known for their dodgy DIY escapades!!!

    Anyway, sorry for hijacking.

    I love your idea of splitting your tasks into time slots
    Savings 1450
    Overpayments #182 made 400/1208.15
    Make 2018 in 2018 #70 548.42/2018
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 4th Jul 18, 8:42 AM
    • 12,666 Posts
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    greenbee
    I'm in shock... my builder turned up today and apparently he actually has some time/availability to get on with some work over the summer. So he's going to put up blinds, shelves and coat hooks today and then work out a plan for the utility room, external doors and odds and ends so they can be done.

    One of the issues we're having is finding solid wood external doors. Solid doors are fine... but when you ask what they core is made of people start being vague. Often what you think is a wooden door turns out to be veneered. So it may take a while to source the right thing.
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 4th Jul 18, 10:14 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Gosh Greenbee, that is shocking indeed, but exciting! Hope you manage to find what you're looking for - bizarrely difficult sometimes!

    Good grief starnac, it's difficult to know why people find it so hard to just do what they say, isn't it? If I behaved like that at work I wouldn't last long! Maybe there's just so much work out there they don't need it?

    Speaking of which... we FINALLY had a text from useless Builder 1 yesterday. Basically saying it's unfair to drag it out any longer, he's not had a 'moment's peace' from work to sort out our quote (er, I thought quoting was *part* of work?), and therefore 'with a heavy heart' he's going to have to decline our kind offer to put work his way. Oh and apparently he's just realised how far our house is from his house, and he can't afford to be travelling all that way every day (despite him having already been there twice, and the fact that we said we'd pay both travel time and diesel costs).

    Hey ho. At least he finally told us I suppose. I've not replied yet - tempted to tell him we gave up on him weeks ago. I'd LOVE to tell him we'd already got someone else lined up but sadly that isn't the case

    Never mind!

    In other MSE news... not spending much this week as I'm in a hotel with work all week (not staying over, just the daytimes). I suppose I'm spending more on diesel as I'm here every day, although it's not as far away as my normal office. But breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided

    Brought my foldy bike with me so I can stop off on one of the trails on the way home for a bike ride - free exercise (and I'll park somewhere I can use my residents parking pass )

    LOTS of lettuce growing in the garden at the minute Sadly we still have an iceberg to use up in the fridge but hopefully that'll be finished tonight and then we can move on to our own That's the only thing that's actually producing so far mind you

    Nowt much else to report I don't think. Not done anything on prolific for ages as I haven't been looking Might have a sneaky peak today...

    Have a cheery day folks
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 4th Jul 18, 9:17 PM
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    greenbee
    Apparently there's a lettuce shortage, so maybe you should sell it?

    I'm in a hotel too, but only for tonight.
    • edwink
    • By edwink 4th Jul 18, 10:01 PM
    • 1,922 Posts
    • 12,755 Thanks
    edwink
    No lettuce shortage here as we have over 50 growing at the moment All "cut and come again" Lollo Rosso. That way we can take off the outer leaves for hen and duck treat food and of course for our salads too. Just in case others didn't know if you grow the cut and come again varieties you just keep taking off the outer leaves and they will continue to grow back again for 4 cuts. So instead of having to pick a whole lettuce and only use up so much of it before it goes all limp you just pick what you need each time and they will keep going for ages and ages. Really cheap way of growing lettuce with less work involved. Lollo Rosso come in light green, red and purple so look really pretty in a flower bed or 3 to a pot with one of each colour.

    Glad yours have come up ok Cheery. Just think of your next salad with your very own home grown lettuce. You just can't beat the freshness and taste of home grown Once you have tasted that it will encourage you to grow even more salad cos you can't beat the freshness of it.

    Happy gardening cheery and everyone else that grows their own

    Edwink x
    Last edited by edwink; 04-07-2018 at 10:04 PM.
    3.36 kWp system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solar Edge Inverter
    6 ducks ~ 4 hens ~ 1 handsome Cockerel
    2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing Hybrid Toyota Auris car

    Hens & ducks chat thread
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
    • starnac
    • By starnac 5th Jul 18, 2:23 PM
    • 5,286 Posts
    • 24,858 Thanks
    starnac
    Just in case others didn't know if you grow the cut and come again varieties you just keep taking off the outer leaves and they will continue to grow back again for 4 cuts. So instead of having to pick a whole lettuce and only use up so much of it before it goes all limp you just pick what you need each time and they will keep going for ages and ages. Really cheap way of growing lettuce with less work involved. Lollo Rosso come in light green, red and purple so look really pretty in a flower bed or 3 to a pot with one of each colour.

    Edwink x
    Originally posted by edwink

    That is interesting to know. Thank you
    Savings 1450
    Overpayments #182 made 400/1208.15
    Make 2018 in 2018 #70 548.42/2018
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 10th Jul 18, 8:24 AM
    • 8,207 Posts
    • 40,759 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Morning all

    Poor neglected diary Poor neglected YNAB and banks too but I'm at work so ignoring that til another time

    I'm now eating my own lettuce Some of mine is cut and come again too Edwink, although it's packed so tightly in the tubs that at the minute I'm pulling whole ones out to give the others room to expand Eaten about 6 so far Once they get bigger and have a bit more room I'll start just harvesting leaves. Got enough smaller ones to start another planter too I think so I might just do that, and maybe sow a few seeds now to get some more later in the season

    No sign of any other veg yet Well, two teensy tomatoes barely the size of peas Beans I planted out last week are finally getting over the shock and have started growing up the canes Everything was looking a bit yellow so I've given most of it a feed with organic liquid fertiliser stuff - never done that before but then I've never had a decent crop of veg before Planning to make my own feed next year but not quite there yet.

    In the office today, for the first time in a fortnight I have been working, honest! Got here early enough for a free parking space by the door, and have brought my lunch with me, so shouldn't need to buy anything while I'm here Do need to pop to the shop on the way home but only for a specific couple of things....

    Have a cheery day all
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
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