Hello and welcome to my blog. I've been getting some thoughts & feelings, exasperations and the odd happy moment down on the blog which helps my sanity and, I hope, provides a little entertaining read for you for a couple of minutes!

Right now I am mostly concentrating on getting through a rocky financial patch which I really hope will be cleared (all being well) by the end of Summer 2013. In the meantime I need to concentrate on continuing to do well in my "new" job (actually got it in Sept 2011 but it still feels new!) and living my life as frugally as possible.

Thanks for stopping by and if you leave me an encouraging comment, it'll make my day. :-)

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Here I Go Again!

Well howdy!  What an age it's been since I last posted.   So what's been going on then, I hear you cry (hmmm!).

Well as you know if you've read my other posts, I left the old job & started the new one.  And it's kept me REALLY busy.  Last week was the end of my 5th week and I feel like I have been training pretty much constantly.  I know I haven't really but when it's all new and you are learning all the time, it's bloody exhausting.  I am also cycling into work & home again (more on that in a moment) so I am mentally tired and physically tired too. 

So pretty much I have been working, coming home, doing the necessary and then vegging out/going to bed early to get up & do it all again.  Happily I feel like I am adjusting a bit more now and I feel a bit more energised.  I guess it just takes a while to adapt to a new routine and the older you get, the longer it takes.  I had quite a few jobs through my twenties and it was a breeze!  Not so any more.....another reason to want to stay in this one till I retire I think!!

So anyway...the cycling.  The hospital charge a small fortune for parking there - an annual ticket about £450.  If I have £450 spare, I can tell you, it would not be going on a parking space.  It's about a 20 - 25 minute ride there (and another 20 - 25 minutes home) and a pretty cycle friendly route most of the way so I cannot justify spending that sort of money on a car park.  That would be insanity.

So, I have kitted myself out with some appropriate cycling gear (which makes all the difference believe me) and I have spent money on getting my bike checked out/serviced/new, slicker tyres & mudguards fitted.  I have spent money yes (taken from money that was supposed to be going into a pension but that's another story) but I am still at least £150 better off than I would be if I had of coughed up for the car park.  And the money I have spent should last for AGES as the clothes are good quality and the 'hardware' for the bike isn't going to need replacing for years & years.  The tyres are - touch wood - puncture resistant.  Finger's crossed!

So I am feeling great about the cycling as not only does it let the endorphins loose and thus make me feel happier, but now, going forward, it's 'free'  and it's eco friendly AND there will be no scraping of an icy car in the mornings come Winter.  Yes I might be cold for the first 5 minutes on a bike but it's not exactly a warm glowing feeling scraping a car and waiting for your heater to kick in whilst you sit in slow moving traffic for fifteen minutes either.  Then you have to do it all again when you come OUT of work, by which time I will be half way home, yipeee!

(OK I say all this now, we'll talk again in two months when I have actually had to cycle in with icicles on my nose.  Nice.  But I do remain optimistic!)

The love affair with Aldi continues.  I am there pretty much every week, feeling amazed every time I walk off with a big box of goods for about £11 which I know damn well would cost me at least double that in the Sainsburys across the road.  I am really having to pull in our belts now.  There's just not a lot of money left at all at the end of the month once all the bills are paid and if I want to try and save some money too.  My pension money is dwindling away to nothing as life and it's challenges sucks it dry.   So Aldi has been an absolute God send and I love it.  Yes some of their stuff is not great but you have to try it at those prices.  Not really anything to lose.  I just wish I'd shopped there sooner. 

This weekend I have been spending more of that said pension money, to try and get us a bit better prepared for this Winter.  Gas bills are just f***ing insane and we simply can't afford big bills like last year...and they will be big because the crooked b*stards have put the prices up again since last year obviously.  So....I have bought some thermal & blackout lined curtains for the bedroom and also the living room.  The living room has a front window and patio doors so two pairs for that room.  I had to get curtains about 6 inches longer than the patio doors but to be honest, I can get them taken up if they look really ridiculous but I am hoping for a) a romantic, drape-y look as the curtains are (apparently) quite soft and b) that the extra length will just function as a draft excluder if nothing else!  

I have also purchased on-line some radiator heat reflector panels (Radflek) which gained rave reviews on Amazon from most people so finger's crossed they work and do reflect lots of heat back into the room instead of just heating the outside wall.

What else have I bought.....oh yes, two more indoor drying rack things for washing if it's not dry outside...I just cannot bring myself to use the tumble dryer unless I have to. 

A wind up lantern - good for emergencies (we had a power cut recently and only had one torch!) but also good for when you just want a bit of light in the evening and switching the light off will save a bit.  Not much, granted but it all helps.  Two minutes of winding gives over one hour's light apparently.  Sounds good to me.

Another hot water bottle also purchased which will be good not only for bedtime but for cuddling on the sofa on really chilly nights, under the fleecy wraps things I bought a year or so ago, once the central heating has gone off.  Cos that will not be staying on all night I can tell you.

Finally, some draft excluder tape for our ageing windows for £2.99.

Hopefully that will all arrive this week in time for next weekend and hubby & I can tape up windows, fit reflector panels and hang new curtains....whilst washing done overnight for cheaper electricity is drying outside obviously :-)

I really hope it's snugger & cosier after that else I shall cry.

I have got washing drying outside at the moment actually (and yesterday) thank goodness for a better weekend this weekend than last.  I have managed to get about 4 loads done & dried which is heaven.  Last weekend it wasn't supposed to rain - just be cloudy - so I set off washing overnight on Friday and hung it out on a gloomy Saturday morning, only for it to start p-ing it down 5 minutes later after I had set off the stripped bedding in the washing machine.  Reluctantly I had to use the tumble dryer - gutted.  So this weekend I have made hay whilst the sun shone (so to speak) and got a fair bit done.  I know it's only simple stuff but it makes me happy.

Well that's me up to date.  I hope you're still with me and if you feel the need to share in my joy of line drying or ways to keep warm this winter in a house that wasn't built to accommodate a wood burner or anything that requires a chimney then feel free!

Take care, bye for now.



  1. Looks like there'll be a new, fit, you with all this cycling. What you need now is a cycling machine in the house to keep you warm so you don't need the heating on!! :) It's been very warm here for the last two days so fingers crossed for the warm weather to continue as long as possible.
    Love from Mum

  2. Oh, you're really going for it big time - well done you! One thing I MUST start doing is closing our curtains at night...we never do that (downstairs I mean) and I guess it keeps the rooms warmer. Not that I'm planning on heating my rooms any time soon!
    Nice to see you back!

    K xx

  3. I'm doing the same, trying to use as little energy as possible.

    I use candles and tea lights in my living room. My room is quite small and, when all the tea lights are on (I have about 25 on at once), I don't really need the heating, or any lights on! And the cost of the lights from Ikea are really cheap.

    I also love to be snuggled up under a fleecy blanket. I have fleecy pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers too, so I'm lovely and cosy!