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    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 11th Mar 18, 7:28 AM
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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 17
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 30th Sep 18, 8:22 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Evening MSE chums

    Gosh I've been absent lately! Tis my super busy time at work right now so it's just one thing after another, and I've been riddled with a grim cold on top of everything else this week. I've had the two cars taking it in turns in the garage (exaggerating slightly - but only slightly) and today I had to call the breakdown people for the one that was in the garage on Friday (unconnected - garage did the tracking and this morning the battery was flat). Other one is going back tomorrow after having had an MOT last week to have a leaking fuel injector repaired so the smell of fumes inside the car won't be quite so overpowering (or rather, won't exist at all)

    Yawn.

    I'm in the big city every single day this week too In fact, pretty much every single working day between now and Christmas This is NOT what I had planned when moving to the middle of nowhere, and I have tried and TRIED to get things changed to no avail. There will be the odd week when I only do four days, and an occasional week with only three. But otherwise it's two hours of driving every day for me for the next 12 weeks or so.

    Sigh.

    Hey ho. I am thanking my lucky stars that it's only until Christmas, and after that I shall be working at home pretty much until next October So I can't complain TOOOOO much (although I probably *will* complain...)

    MSE things...

    * we've had the contract for the wayleave so I'll get that signed and sent back and then 2000 should be winging its way to our bank account

    * the less said about the cars the better

    * had a good haul of reduced bargains in the supermarket the other night - a couple of giant bags of leggy parsnips, huge and tasty apples reduced for no reason that I could see, half price yogurt, and some heavily discounted flowers which are brightening up the whole house and making me extremely cheerful

    * I've got soup in the slow cooker ready to take to work with me tomorrow (and probably the next day too)

    In other news, I'm extremely pleased that the chickens have now been moved to their permanent outdoor run, so are no longer in the stable I'm not sure they're quite so pleased as it's been a bit drizzly today But they'll get over themselves I'm sure - they've still got their house to shelter in and their whole run will have a roof in the next couple of weeks. They're staying locked in the run for the next few days to learn where their new home is, and after that I'll let them out a bit (and hope they don't all try to head back to the stable!)

    I'm in danger of letting the evening drift away with me so I need a list...
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 30th Sep 18, 8:24 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Right, a miniature list for the evening

    * soup in slow cooker
    * write blog post
    * reply to friend's email
    * email other friend
    * lay out clothes for tomorrow
    * get an early night - want to have set off by 7 tomorrow morning and my track record is NOT good in this respect...

    Er, I think that's it But I've been trying to do at least three of those things for a week and not got round to them so if I can do them I'll be very please
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 4th Oct 18, 9:24 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Evening MSE chums

    Not much to report here. Went out for lunch with a friend today, spent 6.20. Went out for lunch yesterday but someone bought me lunch, what a treat

    Mr Cheery has been away for a fortnight Haven't said much about it online as I don't think it's wise to be advertising such things, especially not when you live in the middle of nowhere But I have managed admirably In fact, everywhere has been clean and tidy, I've only been food shopping once, and I have had no crises whatsoever, not even when one of the cows broke into the garden (twice) or when the car broke down

    Speaking of the car... 60 to fix the fuel injectors on one, and another 60 for a battery for the other, which I've fitted myself (with the help of a chicken pathering round under my feet )

    Anyway, I will be VERY glad to have Mr Cheery back in a few hours Tracking his flight as we speak - he's over Kazakhstan apparently All very strange - the longest we've been apart since we met is when I went to Norway for 3 nights And I've never stayed in a house by myself for longer than one night

    Still, no time to be busy as I've been back and forth to work pretty much every day Diesel bill is going to be through the roof between now and Christmas but it can't be helped After Christmas will be far more civilised!

    Someone at work just left to set up their own bakery. Worth a thought... (or it would be if I could bake )
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • edwink
    • By edwink 5th Oct 18, 3:52 PM
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    edwink
    I've only been food shopping once, and I have had no crises whatsoever, not even when one of the cows broke into the garden (twice) or when the car broke down

    Speaking of the car... 60 to fix the fuel injectors on one, and another 60 for a battery for the other, which I've fitted myself (with the help of a chicken pathering round under my feet )

    Anyway, I will be VERY glad to have Mr Cheery back in a few hours Tracking his flight as we speak - he's over Kazakhstan apparently All very strange - the longest we've been apart since we met is when I went to Norway for 3 nights And I've never stayed in a house by myself for longer than one night

    Still, no time to be busy as I've been back and forth to work pretty much every day Diesel bill is going to be through the roof between now and Christmas but it can't be helped After Christmas will be far more civilised!

    Someone at work just left to set up their own bakery. Worth a thought... (or it would be if I could bake )
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    You did well not panicking when cows got in to your garden Cheery . We got chased out of a field once by some that had not left the field when the farmer rang the bell for them to come back home. We were taking our dog for an evening walk in the dark and went across a very shallow stream in to the next field only to hear a rustling sound followed by a stomping sound. My god that was it we ran towards the nearby gate which had a small gap in it and pushed the dog through, I climbed over followed my by hubby and he narrowly missed getting shoved over the gate by a couple of them. They were really not happy about us being there at all. Maybe we worried them so they went in to survival mode and ran for us. That was some years ago and boy was it frightening especially as it was pitch black and we could only hear them and not see them at all. We live and learn I suppose.

    Motoring is never cheap is it? Our previous car began to get all and sundry wrong with it and started to cost a small fortune so we took the plunge and bought a Hybrid and have never looked back. We gradually paid extra on our mortgage, like you are now doing, and are now mortgage free which has made such a difference to us. So keep up the good work Cheery you will get there in the end. Up hill struggle doing it sometimes but very well worth it in the end.

    Good on you with the battery fitting

    Well if you can't bake Cheery you must learn if you get the time of course. We bake a lot at home now but hubby and I both worked in the bakery trade years ago so that gave us the experience we needed. Home baked tastes so much nicer you will find, honest. If you need any help/advice just ask its not a problem. We will get you baking in no time . Oh and much, much cheaper too especially if you make things in batches and freeze. For example you can make pastry in a large amount and cut it up in to blocks and freeze in separate parcels until you need one. That way you wont be making pastry every time you want to make a pie or similar. Saves a lot of time. Have easy peazy recipe if you want one in the future and it really is so easy.

    Bet your pleased hubby is on his way home

    Take care

    Edwink x
    Last edited by edwink; 05-10-2018 at 3:55 PM.
    3.36 kWp system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solar Edge Inverter
    6 ducks ~ 3 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
    • fannyadams
    • By fannyadams 6th Oct 18, 12:01 PM
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    fannyadams
    For example you can make pastry in a large amount and cut it up in to blocks and freeze in separate parcels until you need one. That way you wont be making pastry every time you want to make a pie or similar. Saves a lot of time. Have easy peazy recipe if you want one in the future and it really is so easy.


    Edwink x
    Originally posted by edwink
    Oooh Edwink. I never knew you could do that with home made pastry. I thought they (manufacturers) did something to the frozen pastry in the shop to make it freezable/thawable/usable after thawing.

    Would love to get your easy peasy recipe please. Thank you for sharing.
    FA
    xx
    just in case you need to know:
    HWTHMBO - He Who Thinks He Must Be Obeyed
    DS#1 - my teenaged son
    DS#2 - my other teenaged son
    Barkin Things - my two retired greyhounds
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 6th Oct 18, 1:11 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    at your cow experience edwink ours are pretty tame - they live in our fields so we're quite familiar with them, and when you go towards them they turn and walk away so not difficult to get them out of the garden! I've always been a bit scared of being in a field with them, but I'd be less scared now. Still wouldn't deliberately walk through a big herd though, and I've heard they're not great with dogs, especially if they have calves with them

    To be honest I've neer tried too hard to hone my baking skills - I have SUCH a sweet tooth if I baked too many cakes at home I'd be the size of a house before long I sometimes do fairy cakes or scones if we have visitors, and am not averse to the odd Christmas cake. Mr Cheery can't eat too much fat so anything pastry-related tends to be out (we mostly eat separately anyway actually but again, I quite like pastry but I fear it may not fit with my slimming world goals...)

    Speaking of which, I have not been remotely following slimming world this week and have put on a pound. Not surprising ... But back on it now, bought a load of fruit & veg this morning and NO CAKE

    Very cheery to have Mr Cheery back most jolly had a cuppa in the cafe & a scone & fairy cake (one each, not both!) 5.70 between us.

    Had a quick potter round the charity shops, didn't buy anything. Tried on some jeans - I've lost nearly a stone and my size 14 M&S ones are literally hanging off me. I tried on some M&S size 12 - couldn't even do up the zip!!! surely there shouldn't be thatuch difference between one size and the next from the same shop!!

    Hey ho. Off home now to play with the chickens and do a bit of batch cooking
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • edwink
    • By edwink 6th Oct 18, 7:10 PM
    • 2,011 Posts
    • 13,256 Thanks
    edwink
    Oooh Edwink. I never knew you could do that with home made pastry. I thought they (manufacturers) did something to the frozen pastry in the shop to make it freezable/thawable/usable after thawing.
    Would love to get your easy peasy recipe please. Thank you for sharing. FA xx
    Originally posted by fannyadams
    Here is the recipe for you and others if they would like to try it. Just be warned it makes a huge batch the size of a large bloomer loaf of bread. No weighing to be done which makes it so easy

    You will need...
    1 x bag of 1.5kg self raising flour
    2 x packs of Trex (250g size)
    1 x 250g block of butter
    500ml cold water

    Tip the flour on to a clean surface, rub in all of the Trex and the butter. Make a pool in the middle of the mixture and add the water and mix the whole lot together.

    Should take around 10 to 15 mins to mix it all up in to a bundle. Cover in cling film and chill in the fridge for an hour. Take out fridge and divide in to portions for freezing. To defrost leave in fridge overnight.

    If you divide it in to 8 portions you will have enough in each portion to make the base and crust of a family sized pie with a little left over for some cheese straws or a few jam tarts.

    For the cheese straws just mix some grated cheese in to the left over pasty, roll out and cut in to lengths, can add pepper too if you like pepper. Bake in the oven on a baking tray until they look raised with a slight colour change. Eat and enjoy, hopefully

    Edwink
    Last edited by edwink; 06-10-2018 at 8:01 PM.
    3.36 kWp system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solar Edge Inverter
    6 ducks ~ 3 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
    • Dobbibill
    • By Dobbibill 9th Oct 18, 8:55 PM
    • 3,370 Posts
    • 4,310 Thanks
    Dobbibill
    Hi Cheery - I hope you don't mind me gatecrashing your diary.

    I've recently joined the MFW thread and was looking around the board for some interesting reading, I came across your diary and got hooked within the first couple of posts.

    Your country adventure sounds wonderful with the amazing chickens and the egg skelter.

    I hope you don't mind but I've subscribed

    Dobbi
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 10th Oct 18, 9:06 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Thanks for the epic pastry recipe edwink, and welcome Dobbi - of course I don't mind! I am both delighted and humbled that anyone is willing to read my wafflings make yourself at home

    Nowt to report today. Not spending much at the minute, in the office every day but managed to avoid paying for parking at all through a combination of permits (9 a month), parking further and walking in, and arriving before 7am for one of the very few free spots

    Also been taking lunch (uninspiring some days but hey ho). No time to go out for coffee much either at the minute!

    Glorious morning here. Let the chickens out (in my pjs as I didn't crawl out of bed til 7.45) and ended up wandering down to the bottom of the field to take some pictures of the mist in the valley. So very beautiful. Feeling very lucky to live here today!

    Going to be a long one today, hence the slightly later start... Got meetigs at 12, 1 & 2, and then a few hours to do some of my own actual WORK before a meeting at 7 (not work) til 9, then hanging around til I pick Mr Cheery up from band practice at half 10. Yawn. We usually don:t get back home til nearly midnight on Wednesdays, and sadly I"m back in at 9am tomorrow. Going to investigate possibility of staying with a friend one night a week to cut down on a bit of the driving at least...
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 13th Oct 18, 5:03 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Evening chums

    Hope all is good in MSE land Had a bit of a tetchy day here, hormonal and a bit thrown out of kilter by this ridiculous wind! However, I have the evening to myself, and am determined that not ALL of it is going to be spent tidying!

    So, a plan

    5-.630: let the chickens out again to roam around for a bit and hang around outside with them, probably fixing up the fallen-down wall, collecting things that have blown around, starting to clear out the beds (and mostly just holding onto my hat).

    6.30-7.30: wash dishes, hoover kitchen, and make food - want to do a bit of batch cooking, so probably a curry (and some rice), and maybe a kind of potato or pasta bake, and some crustless quiche egg things. Maybe some soup too but that might be overambitious...

    7.30-8.30: flute practice - I joined the local wind orchestra and we're doing a concert in a couple of weeks and there is an embarrassing amount of stuff I still can't play Trying to do at least an hour a night practice now...

    8.30-9.30: online tasks
    - order chicken food
    - order wool
    - YNAB
    - finish writing blog post
    - sort photos out and line up another couple of blog posts


    9.30-10.30: do some garden-related plotting and scheming

    10.30: curl up and doze off

    Let's see how much of that might get done First of all I MUST find some ibuprofen - got a right old stomach ache and it's not helping my temper!
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 14th Oct 18, 6:53 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Evening chums

    Well the only thing I didn't manage last night was a blog post! most productive

    Excellent batch cooking Made

    1. Leek, potato & kale bake
    2. Sausage & pasta bake using up some far-too-liquid sausage casserole I'd frozen a couple of weeks ago
    3. Spinach & lentil curry

    Work lunches sorted all week and hopefully some teas too Helpful as Mr Cheery is progressing nicely with dismantling the chimney so the kitchen is a tip and coated in a fine powder of soot most of the time so cooking of an evening isn't that straightforward

    Today started a bit grumpily - nipped into town to potter round the charity shops & have breakfast & do some food shopping, but when we walked into the charity shop (through the open door) we were thrown back out into the rain cos they didn't open for another 10 mins. Went to the cafe instead - walked in through propped open door (tey had music on too) only to be told to come back in 5 minutes cos the coffee machine wasn't warmed up yet

    Clearly we weren't going to walk round in the pouring rain for 5 minutes waiting for them so we went to Aldi & then came home and had cafe-at-home instead.

    Shame really - it's the only 'nice' cafe we've found in town but now not only have they lost our breakfast today, Mr Cheery flat out refuses to ever go back there. Their loss I suppose...

    Still, after that I had a lovely afternoon sat on the sofa reading a book then about 4pm it FINALLY stopped raining so I let the chickens out and pottered about digging up the greenhouse base from the plastic one that collapsed yesterday, and carrying on with a bit of dry stone walling.

    The sunset was glorious, lighting up the hills in a quite spectacular fashion

    So all in all an excellent day despite the shaky start. And nothing spent either in the end except the food shopping
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 14th Oct 18, 8:14 PM
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    rtandon27
    Aww Cheery - what a pants start to the day! Terrible customer service in both places!!! I don't blame Mr. Cheery one bit for his stance!

    Glad to hear you had a nice cosy afternoon at home cuddled up with a book - such a luxury!
    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!
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