Friday, 28 July 2017

End of Month Financial Review

Good morning everyone :)  Well, what a mixed bag of weather we have been having;  sun, wind, torrential rain, more sun, more rain..... It's been decidedly chillier than of late and today has dawned overcast.  Luckily I have nothing more planned than washing ironing and cleaning.  Oh joy! (insert a wry smile emoji) but first a review of my personal finances....

I think I have said before that my state pension goes straight into the joint account to help pay the household bills and my personal spending comes from a small works pension which goes into a separate account so that I know exactly what I can spend.  It's just £87 per month and has to cover fuel for my car (insurance, road fund licence, MOT etc are included in the household budget) birthday gifts for the family, as well as all personal spending such as crafting stuff and any treats like books, magazines etc.  I generally supplement this income with eBay sales, if I can find anything to flog that is. This month I have sold a couple of things but I have had several birthdays, anniversaries etc and it's my lovely grandson's 10th birthday tomorrow so money is going in his card too.  I have decided to give up buying the GC birthday gifts from now on as they prefer to choose their own.  I must confess it's much easier and less a waste of money than buying a toy which is never played with.

This has left me with £54.04 in my account to last until the end of August :/ I still need to buy petrol but will eke out the drop left in the tank for a few days yet. September will bring another round of birthdays and, of course, Christmas planning will begin (sorry to those of you who can't think of the dreaded C word yet!)  I plan to list a bit more stuff on eBay as I really do need to do a bit more decluttering.  Don't you feel much better after a good sort out?

Anyway, must crack on.  A big welcome to my new follower, Sally I think it is, it's lovely to 'see' you.

Take care all x

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Holiday ?? What holiday?

Well, school's out for Summer once more and DD has a holiday booked for next week.  Where do you think they are going? guessed it...Kos....  Last year it was Turkey and I was worried the whole time until they returned.  This time the family don't really want to go after the devastating earthquake, the little ones are scared, but the penalty on their Thomson holiday will be 100% if they don't go.  They lose the complete cost even if they choose another destination. A holiday is supposed to be relaxing .....isn't it?  Is anyone else due to go soon?

Today was the local Craft Fayre once more.  It wasn't well attended (again) because the school holidays have begun and people are whizzing off on holiday but I took a little more money than last month and had a laugh with the lovely stallholders.  Of course I agreed to do one next month too :/

The rain lashed down the whole of last night so everything is looking and feeling freshly washed and clean once more.  It was lovely lying in bed and listening to it.....

See you tomorrow.  Thanks everso for popping in x

Sunday, 16 July 2017

God Bless The Air Ambulance Service

God bless the men and women of the Air Ambulance service all over the country.
On Friday we had a bit of an emergency here.  A neighbour, who is a young 60'ish tripped over her flip flops and fell head first down the back steps of her home, knocking herself out in the process.  Within minutes of the 999 call a paramedic who lives locally arrived in his own car closely followed by a regular ambulance crew. God bless them all too.  Shortly afterwards we heard the shugging sound of  helicopter blades and a low flying helicopter circled slowly before landing in the small field nearby.  How they managed to land is a miracle.  In order to take off again the pilot had to turn around at almost ground level then lift off and fly backwards to avoid the electricity lines crossing the field.  My heart was in my mouth.  The neighbour has head injuries and broken ribs so she is in quite a state, poor soul, but she should recover given time.
The incident made me think how I've let my fundraising and donations slip a little lately.  The AA has no government funding at all so help is always needed. I intend to donate again as soon as I can.  I still support Help4Heroes by donating a percentage of my eBay sales but my Food Bank donations have been neglected compared to last year.  On Saturday I donated 4 items as cash is tight this month but I will ramp that up too next month.
We are so lucky in this country with our emergency services.
Have a lovely, safe and relaxing Sunday x

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Specs, Teeth and a Tenor

Saturday again!  I have suddenly realised that it's been almost 2 weeks since my last post but I confess that I've been feeling 'under the weather' for a while and not much interested in anything. The flashing in my eye is back but in the right eye this time and it's very disconcerting.  When I had it in my left eye it eventually stopped (after some months) and I kind of learned to ignore it but this is new and scary.  I have had to buy new specs too as my old ones, although the prescription hasn't really changed much, have started to fall apart.  A lens keeps falling out and they are loose all over.  I chose the cheapest frames I could find that I actually liked but they have still cost £236, an amount I hadn't budgeted for this year :/   Most of the cost has come out of my savings but I'm desperately cutting back on all other spending this month.  I've put just £10 worth of fuel in my car (usually £20 a month) and I'm just over 1/4 tank full so I hope it might just last another two weeks.

In addition to my eye problem I've had a delicate stomach.  I think my IBS has reared it's head again so I'm watching what I eat and trying to eat small and often.  It seems to be helping.  Jacket potato and cheese for lunch today.

OH had a hospital appointment come through to see about his toothy problem.  The socket still hasn't healed and he's still having to wash it out 3 times a day.  The consultant said that it will heal in time and the undescended wisdom tooth doesn't need to come out after all....sigh....he has to go back in a couple of weeks  for them to check the progress of healing.  If it's not healed they will (and I quote) "Do Something" .....bigger sigh......After more than 3 months it's no joke.....

On the brighter side, we took a trip to Stratford on Avon last Wednesday as the weather was warm and sunny.  Near the river was a young man who has been on the TV program 'The Voice'.  He had set up his sound equipment and was performing songs from the musicals for the eager crowds.  We sat and listened for quite a long time, eating our sandwiches, and he was lovely!  Coins were falling into his music case like rain so he must have made quite an impression.  His rendition of 'Bring Him Home' sent shivers down my spine.  He will be performing in September at Stratford ArtsHouse   I won't be able to go but I expect it to be excellent :)

Have a lovely day everyone, wherever you happen to be.  And a big welcome to my new follower Margaret (I think it is) x

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Awesome Knitting & Baking C*ck Up

Crumbs...another week has gone in a flash.  Somehow there just aren't enough hours in a day at the moment.

In my last post I promised to share details of the knitting exhibition which we found purely by accident in Honiton, Devon.  It was at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery which is housed in a lovely Georgian townhouse, the former home and studio of the artist Thelma Hulbert.  I was in awe of the knitting skills of everyone who contributed.....

I LOVE this clown!

A picnic.....

Vegetable garden produce.....
Beautiful knitted roses....

A sweet little blue tit.....

Yummy looking cakes....

Cacti galore......

This was a favourite, a bee hive!.....

The exhibits change every few weeks and, sadly, this one has now closed but for FREE admission it was awesome (donation made, of course)

Baking c*ck up!

As money was a bit tight by the end of last month I tried to eke out the desserts by making a lemon curd sponge using a fatless sponge recipe from an untried recipe.  BIG mistake!  It was so dry despite following the recipe to the letter but I was determined not to waste it.  It contained four eggs after all :/  I opened a small tin of pears, placed them in the bottom of a big dish, sliced up about half the cake and laid that on top.  I sloshed brandy over the sponge (it soaked it up nicely!) and emptied a tin of value custard (cold, straight from the tin) on top of that and chilled it. It made 4 good and tasty portions of pudding with a drizzle of cream one day and a dollop of ice cream the next. OH thinks I'm a Domestic Goddess ;)

Today is wonderfully sunny and I've had a wander around the local garden centre this morning.  I had enough cash for a pot of tea in the teashop too....lovely.

Enjoy your day wherever you happen to be x

30 a Week Challenge Day 7

Saturday meals: Breakfast: Porridge oats with cinnamon (1/4 point) Lunch : Lunch was a bit of a cheat.  I saw this little pot of Red Thai st...