Sunday 27 November 2022

Feeling the Festive Spirit

Our little street has suddenly begun to fill with sparkling lights, baubles and glitter. It's almost as though everyone has decided to bring forward the Christmas festivities to enjoy a bit of warmth and cheer before the Winter power cuts set in. It all looks so lovely that I splashed out on a fresh door wreath this morning, just £18.99 from our favourite nursery.  The decorations have been dug out from the boxes in the cupboard for a display on the sideboard too. It has cheered me up immensely 😊🌲 ⛄🎅

I'm not sure we will be putting up lights this year,  but candles will certainly become a regular feature.

Are you putting up decorations yet?

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x 

Sunday 20 November 2022

Feeling Overwhelmed

 Gosh, it's been more than two weeks since I last posted on here.  During that time, I have been feeling quite overwhelmed by life and fit for nothing.  The news depresses me with constant footage of the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and talk of strikes. Even nurses are now threatening to strike before Christmas.  On the news was a couple with a small child complaining that they are worried about affording things now that they will pay more tax after April 2023 due to the Autumn statement.  She is a nurse and her partner a 'health care worker'.  They have a joint income of over £80,000....WTF 😏  The people I feel sorry for are simply not in that income bracket.  I still worry about the people of Ukraine, about worldwide disasters, climate change, abused children, people not being able to eat healthily or warm their homes, the homeless.  The list goes on and I feel so helpless.

On the home front, my Sister is struggling to look after her husband on her own at home.  He has had several strokes, is now incontinent, on loads of medication and keeps falling down.  She lives in Suffolk so is too far away for me to help her.  She is desperate for respite and can't get it. They are both 83 years old.

On a personal level, I feel that our social lives have just withered away.  Each day is more or less the same.  The highlight of our week is either a trip to the supermarket for a forgotten item or a visit to the garden centre, taking sandwiches and eating them in the car as it's now so cold!  I can't get G to plan anything as he's in constant pain with his neck and shoulders and he can't drive for more that 30 minutes without making the pain unbearable.  Even as a passenger, he doesn't travel without more pain setting in. I can't see us having a holiday again, ever, and I feel our lives are over.

OK whinge finished...sorry.... 😌

One miserable, rainy day last week, I drove us to the garden centre and I treated myself to a lovely, planted arrangement for my table.  For just £14.99 it will give me pleasure to look at it every morning whilst eating my breakfast.

Frugal Things:

The central heating thermostat has been set to a default 15 degrees C so it will only click on if the temperature drops very cold during the night.  We are so lucky to have a well insulated bungalow so that it usually stays above that even during the coldest months.  Whoever gets up first in the morning can then turn it up if needed.  At the moment, the lowest the temperature has been on rising is 17 degrees.  We have been putting the heating on for a short time (maybe half an hour) during the evening whilst sitting watching TV but it warms up quickly and retains the heat until bedtime.

In order to do our bit for the country and to stave off potential power cuts, I'm avoiding the use of appliances during peak times of 4pm to 7pm, even though our supplier is not one of those paying consumers to do so.   I use the washing machine in a morning after 10am, dishwasher at the same time, only when absolutely full and the oven at lunchtime rather than evening, although I try to use the microwave instead whenever possible.

Reasons to be thankful:

We have already received two Government payments of £66 towards energy costs

My little 12 year old car passed it's MOT with flying colours so the cost was just £48. Yay!

The sun is shining this morning!

Thanks so much for popping in and listening to me moaning.  Stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x

Friday 4 November 2022

On Pootling and Ordering Ahead for Christmas

 Crikey, already into November!  The past couple of weeks have been spent doing mundane things like attending a dental appointment, sorting out finances & budgets, and generally pootling around doing nothing much.  The highlight of the week was my birthday on 1st of the month when G took me for a pub lunch.  It was a reasonable £12 for 2 courses and my Vegan lentil bake was piping hot and totally delicious.  G had roast pork with lots of veg so I was spared cooking for the day, a birthday gift in itself  😀  DD and the Grandchildren bought me warm fluffy PJ's, slippers and a hot water bottle which will all come in very handy in the coming weeks as the temperature was down to 4 degrees during last night. 

 She also bought me 4 small bottles of wine including my favourite red.  I find a normal size bottle far too much even for the 2 of us lately.  They'll last me a while......

She rang this morning to say that she had decided to pre-order the Christmas turkey early this year but that M & S were already sold out of the smaller turkey crowns we normally have on the day 😱 However, she's managed to locate one at Morrisons instead so has placed an order to be on the safe side. won't be a total disaster if Avian Flu causes supply problems when the time comes, as we'll just eat something else, but fingers crossed that the worst won't happen.  Who a worst case scenario, there could be no electricity on the big day to cook with, but we'll cope somehow 😏  We're going to DD's on Christmas Day and they are coming to us on Boxing Day.  I'm planning to cook salmon en croute, fingers crossed.

Are you ordering your festive fare early this year?  Do you have a backup plan if things go awry?

Budgeting health check:

All the Direct Debits for the month of November have been paid, including the increased one for energy (increased from £120 to £159 per month) plus the half yearly water bill of £254.  The food budget is still being squeezed as much as possible, but I am buying a few extra tins and paper goods like toilet rolls and tissues to cover any future shortages.  Eggs are still in short supply, although I did get half a dozen in the shopping order on Wednesday.  Now I want to get a few toiletries in stock too for when the weather turns and we can't get out.

I topped up my car with petrol yesterday (£25 worth) and it's still 161.7 per litre.  My MOT is booked for the middle of the month.  It will cost around £45 so I pray it will pass as I really can't afford a repair. 

I need a haircut this month too and I'm booked in for next Tuesday at one of the cheaper salons.

Nothing is coming down in price is it?

How is your budget coping with the increases in costs?

Have a great weekend everyone and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x

It's OK.....

  Angie 💓 xx