Thursday, 23 March 2017

God Bless

I was going to write an upbeat post about financial matters but the events at Westminster yesterday have to take priority.  I am heartbroken for the innocent victims; the mother with small children, the policeman simply doing his job, the two people who ended up injured in the Thames, the tourists caught up in the wicked act which caused such carnage, the people with life changing injuries and all their families. 

It would be too trivial to write about mundane matters today....

Oh, and I don't normally swear but I say to Katie Hopkins " Shut your mouth! You only speak for yourself!  People are NOT cowed, simply in shock. The terrorists WILL NOT WIN "

God Bless you all my friends and keep you safe xx

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Manic March and I'm Home!

Where on earth is the month disappearing to?  I'm sure there's a malevolent being which gobbles up days in great chunks so that the month has barely begun before it's halfway through.   Anyway, I digress.  We spent the whole month of February based in Bridgnorth despite previous plans to decamp to Cornwall halfway through.  The weather forecast was not good and high winds were predicted which is a nightmare when planning on towing a caravan nearly 200 miles!  So....we stayed put.  The site, Stanmore Hall, was very nice.  We had a lovely view of the lake with it's ducks, geese and a resident Heron which I was never quick enough with my camera to snap a photo of.  We were warm and cosy.......

The caravan shower room contained all my favourite toiletries which I had saved up for the very purpose and we were attached to the mains water tap and drainage so that I could shower without leaving the warm environment of our vehicle......

There was an abundance of wildlife the whole time including two peacocks, well strictly speaking one peacock and one peahen which were mother and son.  The poor father got attacked by a dog and died. 

We walked and rested and walked again.  We visited Bridgnorth town where there were some fantastic charity shops (I picked up a few bargains too) and The Old Mill antiques centre where I could browse for hours and had to be dragged away on more than one occasion!

There was an M & S Simply Food and we bought a meal deal consisting of a large pie, mash and fresh cream roulade which cost just £6 the lot.  It could easily have fed 4 but we were a bit greedy and ate the pie, mash and half the dessert in one sitting (insert a shamed, blushing face icon) :/

On another occasion we went in to buy milk at exactly the right time for YS bargains.  We couldn't resist all the sweet treats for just pennies, it was too good to miss.  These lasted us for several days and we eked out the fruit bread by toasting the last few stale slices.  It was delicious.

Our normal food budget was just enough each week to keep us ticking over and we ate out twice a week using our saved cash of £68 plus hubby chipped in by paying for one of those meals from his own cash.  There was a super pub a short drive away, The Bandon Arms, with 2 meals for the price of one.  Two meals plus 2 soft drinks came to less than £20 and we ate there twice.  Breakfast was usually cereal, fruit and yogurt or toast or croissants.  If we went out for the day we took sandwiches or a banana and I always carried a bottle of water to drink.  A small bottle from a multi-pack cost 12.5p instead of paying up to £1 a bottle in a shop.

As we didn't make the trip to Cornwall, we had £20 left from the diesel fund which has gone back into the piggy bank for our next trip.  I have no idea when that will be but I sincerely hope it will be to Cornwall this time.  With that in mind we will be adding to our £2 coins in the piggy bank in the weeks to come.

I am happy to report that my health is slowly picking up.  My vertigo lasted a good 2 weeks followed by a tummy upset which I put down to a re-emergence of the IBS I suffered from a few years ago.  To cap it all I hurt my neck the first weekend we were home!  I was struggling to remove the soap dispenser from the washing machine when I felt the bones in my neck crunch followed by a shooting pain down the side of my neck.  Good grief, when will it all end ?

The blog title Manic March is how I feel about the last couple of weeks.  I don't feel my feet have yet touched the ground.  We have so many bills to pay including insurances, car services etc that I seem to have spent all my waking hours chasing up quotes and looking at comparison websites.  I'll tell you more about that in my next post.

For now my painful, stiff neck and I wish you well.  Thanks everso for popping in x

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

February Freeze

Just a quickie today, I'm afraid.  February Freeze refers not only to the potential weather conditions but the condition of my blog.   I will be taking a blog break during February.

I managed to see the GP yesterday and I have something called Episodic something or other  :?  I had never heard of it but it is basically Vertigo which comes and's to do with the inner ear.  I am no wiser now except that the condition usually resolves itself in about 4 weeks apparently. One down, 3 to go then.  My swollen thumb and painful arm are...guess what... arthritis and it ....guess what....comes with age.  Great, in other words put up and shut up!!

Our last bit of shopping for January came to £8.59 making a total for the month of £98.23 which is fantastic.  Target achieved :)

The piggy bank of £2 coins saved throughout the year spewed forth a respectable £80 for diesel.

During the next month we will draw the usual food budget cash every Monday but also have £68 in the kitty for our 'eat out' fund so are all set to go. 

Thanks so much for the replies on my last post (and for the sympathy, I am very grateful). Internet access will be sporadic during February so I might be able to read some blogs but not comment.  Rest assured I will still be with you all in spirit :)

Have a lovely month and we'll catch up in March.

Stay warm and safe x

PS forgot to say we have WATER! The main is still not mended but they are pumping water in to the system so that we can at least wash and cook.  Hurray!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

A Precious Commodity

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post.  It seems the GP service in some areas is great but in others pretty dire.  I still feel rough this morning, quite light headed and wobbly but I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon at least.  To cap it all my right thumb has swollen up for no apparent reason.  The pain extends up my hand into my arm right up to the elbow and it's difficult to carry anything.  I'm a walking disaster at the mo!

Speaking of disasters...we have a broken water main in the village.  It has been spewing precious water for several days....

We had no water at all yesterday from sometime after 9.30am  The family came to visit in the afternoon and with 6 of us using the loo it became a bit of a logistical nightmare :/  When we realised there was a potential to have the water cut off we filled the kettle and a large bucket (for flushing the loo).  Boy did we need them!  Luckily, I already had some bottled water to drink and DD brought some large potatoes (already washed at home) and a tin of baked beans, I had beans and some grated cheese so we had a scrumptious tea of crispy baked potatoes with cheese and beans...yummy....The washing up was a bit trickier.  We waited to see if the water came back on but, no, I had to heat bottled water in the kettle.  This is noooo good for our food budget!!  OH managed to buy some water on his way home from work but I don't think I will include the cost in the challenge as OH paid for it and it was a necessary spend.
When there is a problem with mains water it often comes back on quite discoloured and gritty and I'm loathe to let it flow through the combi boiler until it has cleared.  Repairing/replacing the boiler would be horrendously expensive. To avoid this we don't use the hot taps for several hours after restoration of supply.  I know I'm likely to absentmindedly turn them on so I turn the tap handle to the cold setting instead of tidily in the middle where I like it to be :)

We don't flush the loo for a while either....

And I have refilled the bucket just in case....

DD brought me some HM leek and potato soup yesterday so I'll have some of that for lunch today with a wholemeal roll....

At the moment we have water, albeit a bit discoloured and smelling strongly of chlorine, but we have a slow flow.

We are so lucky in this country to have clean water at the turn of a tap and don't realise it until it's taken away.  Any tips on coping without water in an emergency?  What do you do?

Thanks everso for popping in.  Stay safe and warm x