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, 24 June 2012

Be Gone Damn Cold!

Hello to everyone and welcome to Michele, my newest follower, very nice to have you on board.

The good news is, after three days off work last week, extra zinc, tonnes of orange juice and a couple of Brazil nuts a day for immune system boosting selenium, the cold started to wane come Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.  I went back to work on the Thursday.  The bad news is, I am still coughing quite a lot and blowing my nose for Britain but at least I do feel a lot sparkier for most of the day.  However both today & yesterday I found myself napping on the sofa in the afternoon, completely unable to keep my eyes open so I guess my body is still fighting it off!

I didn't get to do much thinking (as I thought I would) on the days off, I was just too busy sitting there going "Gahhhhhhhh.....achooo!  Gahhhhhhh.....snuffle......splllllltttttthhhhhh"  (that last one is my attempt at the noise you make blowing your nose....). 

Since then I have pondered over my spreadsheet and I just don't know where I can make any more helpful cut backs to try and pull my overdraft back any sooner than about November, and this all hinges on no disasters happening between now and then!  I am impatient though and would love to have results now.  But I know I should grow up a bit and realise I can't have everything NOW.  Perhaps a bit of that spirit would have stopped me getting into my overdraft in the first place and would help me stay out of it in the future eh?

The plan has to be long term doesn't it?  There are no easy quick fixes.  Mainly I suppose I am worried about the space & time between now and November and all the temptations, invitations, possible problems and so on that could happen to drag me off the path between now and then.  And boredom.  There's no getting away from it, I do get bored and this sodding weather isn't helping!  Sometimes just getting out for a walk helps but lashings of rain is not conducive to country walks! 

I am envious of my fellow bloggers who have interesting countryside and geographical features to look at for free on the weekends.  I live in one of the most culture-less and  featureless places in the country (that's not an exaggeration it's the absolute truth) so please, next time you're out looking at nearby beautiful hills, cliffs, fantastic old buildings or strolling along a beach front, spare a thought for me! :-)

Still at least I have my holiday in Cornwall to look forward to.  The savings are still happening.  We've saved enough for petrol now, hee hee!  So if nothing else we have the cottage paid for and the money to get there and back plus a little bit more.  So if nothing else, we can get there, get home and buy ourselves some delicious seaside chips in between and enjoy the coast for free!  :-)   In reality if all goes to plan, we'll have saved a fair bit more by end of August so we can get out and about a bit and have a happy week.

Some of my friends are upping sticks all the time to go away on one holiday after another (with frequent weekends away somewhere in Europe to stem the boredom of home).  I am sure they see some wonderful things but I think I'm probably right to assume they won't ever appreciate a holiday as much as I am going to appreciate our little jaunt down to the West Country because we've saved and saved for this for well over a year and we probably won't go on holiday again for a few years.  I want to enjoy every bit of it from the moment we lock the front door and drive down (i.e good music on the stereo, some naughty snack along the way...!) to that moment of relief when you arrive and put the kettle on.  If the weather is kind (oh please be kind!) then every step of every coastal walk will be treasured and I may well reward myself with one or two local ice creams....mmmmm delicious.  Peaceful, tranquil nights away from the busy road which we live by and no rushing to get up early for anything in particular, except a lazy, tasty breakfast (hopefully on the cottage patio) and more fresh Cornish sea side air.

Readers, keep your fingers crossed for me that we have an Indian summer this year as if the weather is appalling after all this, I think my heart would break!

OK bye bye for now, I hope to update soon with some more positive news i.e. the cold has finally buggered off and I've had a breakthrough on the money and 'entertainment' front!

Have a good week.


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Can't Afford to be Poorly!

Evening all, I hope you're all feeling better than I am right now.

Started with a dry, sore throat in the middle of last week which has not got any better and now my nose has started to stream, I'm sneezing and coughing too.  I had aches & pains yesterday (slightly eased off now with the help of a hot lemon drink earlier) and generally right now I feel a bit crap.

Really want to get better soon....can't afford sore throat sweets, soft tissues for avoiding a red raw nose and all the rest of it!  I do have a throat spray left over from about a year ago which I am eking out and luckily I have lots of paracetamol in the medicine tin which I can just have with hot cordial if the aches come back.  My nose will have to put up with my cotton handkerchiefs and a bit of lotion rubbed in should it start to chafe! 

Have drunk so much today to try and keep my throat from driving me mad and just finished off a little ice lolly as well!  I am not sure I'll be at work tomorrow especially as I work in a hospital and very near to a ward full of elderly patients who've had falls and broken limbs.  I am sure the last thing that is required is a load of germs making them feel worse.

If I am off tomorrow, if I am not sleeping, I am going to be taking stock of a few things I think and looking at ways to improve certain areas of my life.  The work is sorted (touch wood) but life's never a smooth path, there are always bumps and potholes along the way from one thing or another aren't there? 

Bye for now all.


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

So true...

Had to share this.....hope it come out!  *Edit:  try and enlarge it to see the text underneath.  ;-)

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Not the Right Time...

Hi there, I hope you are all well despite this disappointment of a "summer" so far.  Although officially summer doesn't start till about 21st June I suppose but, nevertheless, it still feels like Autumn to me!  I've got a big fleecy cardigan on and the halogen heater is on/off as well!  Still, what can you do?

Thanks for the comments on the job front.  I decided not to apply for it in the end.  And here's why:

I have job hopped so much in search of happiness, over the last 4/5 years and finally, I feel happy in the role I am currently in.  When it came down to it, the thought of having to go through all the long formal application, a grilling interview and then, should I be selected, start all over again in less than a year of starting my current job, made me feel a bit queasy.  When I asked myself what I really wanted, the answer was, simply to enjoy this role a bit longer and really make the best of it and not go for another job just because it was there.  Sure it would have been a bit more money but truth is, I don't care about that.  It's financially tough at times but the bills are getting paid and we're getting by. 

What matters to me right now is getting to Sunday nights and not wanting to kill myself because I hated the job I was going to the next day.  It matters to me that I am really getting to grips now with the role and implementing the new knowledge and hopefully really helping people on the other end of the phone.  I simply want to have that stability for a while.

I have been in enough jobs to know that it hardly ever stays like that (forever) and one day I will realise I am coming to the end of the 'honeymoon period' in the job and I'll need another challenge.  And that's fine.  I'll deal with that when it happens and if there is another opportunity within the department I shall go for it.  But that's then and this is now.  I feel happy with my decision and it felt right for me.  My Line Manager may be disappointed with me but hey ho.  He'll get over it I'm sure!

So there you go that's that.

In other news, happily I paid off the balance to a holiday we have planned for late Summer down to Cornwall which hubby and I have been saving for since last July!  So the holiday is bought and paid for, now we are just saving for some spending money and the petrol to drive down there and back (and around and about should we decide to venture further than the beach & cottage garden!).  This has given me a boost as I have something to look forward to now.  I don't think we'll have another holiday again for a couple of years at least so, I'm really hoping for fine weather when we're there.

Our fourth Approved Foods order is due tomorrow.  I'm so grateful I heard about the site from Frugal Queen's blog, I know I have said that before, but I truly am.  This time I've saved a fortune on cereal bars and dairy free desserts which are packed lunch staples in this household.  I check most days to see what they have especially by way of breakfast cereals and it is hit & miss but I generally can use a number of things they have on offer. 

I popped to Aldi today for the usual weekly shop for fresh fruit & veg and some other usual weekly bits and was delighted to see that they had some Earl Grey tea in for 99p a box!  So a box went in the trolley and I had one when I got home...and was satisfied with it.  If you like Earl Grey, I'd say give it a go.  It may need a little longer in the cup or pot than some of the labelled brands but for 99p, you'd be crazy not to try it.

I also popped into a charity shop earlier and found a fabulous quality striped top with the modern twist 'batwing' effect (I hope you know what I mean otherwise it just sounds horrendous) and a ribbed/tight finish right at the bottom where it sits on the top of your hips.  Versatile to go with jeans or work trousers so I was pleased with that.  I would post up a photo but it's in the wash as I type!  I also got an electric blue plain t-shirt for hubby which he really liked.  He can never have enough t-shirts/tops as he's a master of the spilled curry or pasta sauce which refuse to come out no matter what I do, so spending top dollar on clothes for him, even if I was minted, would be pretty stupid.

Something else I decided to try last weekend (Jubbly weekend) was start using bicarbonate of soda after cleaning my teeth normally, for whitening.  I can't even entertain the idea of spending £4+ on whitening toothpastes now so I just heap a little onto my toothbrush when there is still some toothpaste left on it, and clean for about another minute, no more than that.  It tastes foul however it does the trick and no mistake!  A large pot from Tesco cost me 99p and it'll last for AGES.  I'm chuffed with that.  My teeth feel so clean and although they're hardly Hollywood white (you'd need bleaching kits for that!) they are clean, bright and healthy looking. 

Well not too much else to report from here....I am out tonight...being treated to a film at the cinema so I am looking forward to that.  All I have to do is drive there which I am happy to do!  I can't remember the last time I went out on a Tuesday night so it'll be appreciated.  I've cut right back on money for 'going out'.  I won't say I never go out as that would be a blatant lie but, it's barely anything these days.  I have made a plan for the next 6 months or so and if I stick to it, I should be overdraft free within that time and will have put some savings away.  I know some people would say "Why save if you are overdrawn?" but I do because:

a)  If something crops up I don't want to go deeper into my overdraft
b)  My overdraft is completely free/no interest up to a certain point so it's not costing me anything to save if that makes sense.

Wish me luck, I have to say I need all the encouragement I can get to stick to the plan!  I do like to be a little social and see my friends & family but not a lot is free is it, so some money always ends up getting spent.  And I can get carried away with the moment at times, I'm the first to admit it.  More education (or even some!) is required for the whole country on how not to be a hermit and not run up debts in the process I think!

OK that really is it so I shall bid you adieu for now.  Thanks for reading!  And feel free to add your comments on what you do to be social, for free or very little money.  I'd love to read them.


Sunday, 3 June 2012

The Jubbly Weekend!

Hi there, how are you on this rainy Jubilee Sunday? I am having a day of enforced relaxation as it's pouring down outside! It's been lovely though - I had a bit of a lie in, then came down to a lovely breakfast of tea & brown sugary porridge which hubby made, then after washing up I embarked on some home administered pampering (free!) topped off my a long hot shower with my favourite soap "Dove" which I treated myself to yesterday as I had some Tesco vouchers.  I love the smell of Dove soap it's so nice.

After a frugal lunch of beans on ALDI seeded bread toast (which incidentally is one of my favourite lunches!) I am now watching some tv.  I don't know about you but I am middle-of-the-road when it comes to the Royal Family and all this Jubilee stuff.  I'm watching the start of the flotilla because it's history in front of me and I feel I want to see at least some of it.  So here I am, on the sofa, cup of tea, tv on, laptop here...and I'm quite happy.  Hubby has closeted himself away in the other room with his OU studies - he's hardly what you'd call a Royal fan!

Life's been quiet generally although I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday to discuss my recent blood test results.  I already know what it's going to be about......I am vitamin D deficient.  I had to visit the nurse for something else in this last week and she looked on my notes when I mentioned it and told me!  I am happy that at least I know what I am being "recalled" for and I know that it is quite easily treatable.  And on the plus side, once my Vit D levels are back up to what they should be I am hoping this will give me a big boost and help my back problems as well.  For those who don't know, Vitamin D deficiency can give way to aches & pains and bone pains amongst other things.

There is a vacancy opening at the hospital within the department I work in and I am in a dilemma about it.  It's going up a banding and I would be a "Senior" should I go for it and get it (and my Manager thinks I should go for it and that I have as good a chance as anyone even though I have only been there 8 months!).  However I quite like the job I am doing right now and would quite like a bit more time doing it if I am honest.

But these opportunities don't come up very often.  I know I could do the job although there may be a short period of time to get some foundation knowledge built up (wouldn't take too long) but the big question is...do I want to do it?  Lots of people are saying "Just go for it!" even if for the interview experience but I need to answer the question of myself first:  "do I want this job?" before I waste anyone's time (including my own) filling out a long application form and going through the tough interview process.  And what happens if I do all that and actually get offered the job and I am still not sure if I want it!  Imagine that!  (Getting ahead of myself a bit there though I know.)

OK well I hope you all continue to enjoy your "Jubbly! weekend break and the spectacle that is this flotilla, should you be watching it.

Bye for now.