Monday, 2 October 2017

Summer and other stories.

So we got through the detachment to the ME. Biggles now home. I managed to take the kids away on holiday camping and see relatives.

I go back to work/study on the 8th Jan 2019. 14mth course of work and study and the government pay me a bursary - a decent oen of about 19k and pay for my post grad dip. Am I scared. Yes I am bricking it but one step at a time. It means we will be free to leave here when Tweenager finishes Y6. we wont be flush through the course but we won't have student debt to pay off.

Just busy busy busy. Got much to organise re child care for two. Biggles is starting work early at 7am and leaving early each day other than Thursday. Ideally I take them to day care/before school care and he collects and does extra curricula till I get home. Only two days of extras to see to-Swimming and guitar.

Small boy is still small and doesn't start ft school till 2019 but this is a great opportunity which fits with Biggles likely moving date of Summer 2019 and starting secondary school not to mention the financial aspects. I will miss him very much but we will have from March until September 2019  together and weekends and all of August next year though I will have lots of homework.

Life is lovely and quiet here. Not much military intervention which suits me.

Still frugaling. We have the same sofa we had 6 years ago. it was third hand to us. its still serviceable.

Five frugal things I have done recently

1.Purchased a new to me single spare duvet for small boy for 3.50 from The Princess Alice Shop and two blue pillow cases from another charity shop for 1.00.

2.Tweeny spied  the Honey Badger from the Lion Guard for 1.50. The Lion Guard is his thing this year. Snaffled and put away for xmas.

3.While on holiday we visited a Science Adventure centre call Magna. Visit once and you get 12mth free pass. It's worth going twice or thrice. So when we went back to Sheffield to see Grandma we used our pass. Good day had by both the kids. There is enough there that is accessible for toddlers and tweenies and a great play park. In the summer there is a water splash park. Not paddling pools just squirty stuff.

4.The freezer if full of left over meals. I make enough chilli, soup etc to freeze at least one or two meals. Biggles has a choice of grub to take to work.  We are making at attempt at slimming world. Rather he is. I am doing the cooking but have been rubbish at sticking to it. It's just learning a new way to cook your tried and tested favourites.

5.Slimming world cheaper options - frozen and tinned fruit, plain yogurt flavoured with a few drops of caramel, vanilla or lemon and sweetener.  Am not purchasing muller flavoured yogurts   or other pre flavoured ones when I can save money by doing it myself. Onken fat free flavoured or muller which is most common is not cheap.  Fat free natural or greek yogurt is as cheap as 45p for a 300ml tub from the right supermarket. This lasts two people two days if you have a generous portion for pudding.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Spring Sprung

The last of the wild spring flowers scavenged from off the beaten track. I don't take them from public places. This was the last bunch. The kids enjoy picking them and exploring place to find them. Simple pleasures. 
Ducklings  Squeeeeeeeee!
My favourite view of London from St James Park. We visited at Easter. We walked  a lot. Horse guards. Big Ben, the bridges, the parks are all free. As are many of the museums.  We took a picnic. (We are also members of the Natural History Museum but the weather was acceptable for Easter so we braved outside. We love the NHM so it was worth supporting it  by becoming members.  We get to queue jump, we get the special exhibitions for free and also the cloakroom. We have made our  money back already with two trips. We need the cloakroom  for the picnic stuff, buggy, coats etc.   We also get money off at any of the shops and a magazine.) London doesn't have to be expensive and can be a really cheap day out as long as you stay away from the expensive activities and the tourist tat. We stretch to an ice cream as a treat or if it is a really long day we will do McDonald's or other skank food outlet on the way home if no more picnic food remains.  We are 16 stops away on the train and it takes about an hour to get to Waterloo. Sometimes we wont get back till way  after 6 and kids get hungry.  Generally though the picnic does the job.  Trains leave either every 30 mins or 60 mins depending on the day.

Kendo gurl! 
Tree climbing 101. Small boy and wunda dog. We walk every day. We have a few local walks to choose from.

Still baking, shopping at Aldi,  charity shops, eeking out meals, freezing etc. Life ticks along quite comfortably. Biggles home for R & R soon.  We need to work out a plan. financial and life. Given the state of the government and its self serving poor bashing obsession we need to insure against this for us and our kids, work out a way to get back to the country, save more, etc.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Garden ornaments and pinterest.

Tweeny and I are using up household junk and scavenged detritus like shells and pebbles and other stuff to decorate our sparse, dull and boring garden.
We are considering:
Tealight jam jars decorated with beads
Tin can wind chimes
Drift wood seashell wind chimes
Painted rocks/ painted concrete remnants.
Random tin can and metal chimes
Knife and fork chimes
We are amassing a stash of:
Tin cans
Bottle tops
Garden wire
Wooden bits
Old jewellery for chains and beads etc

All a bit randomly put  together. Pin interest is great for ideas.
We have bought some bells and actual metal chimes from eBay for a few quid. I bought garden wire. All in its about  £12 including wicks. We won't be purchasing anything else. Make do, scavenge, repurpose, freecycle and recycle. 
We hope to make candles too. Have bought the wicks and will use crayons and old bits of wax from tea lights and set them in silicon moulds we already have. 

These are our efforts so far. It's good to do stuff. Neither of us are arty. Like our baking and this blog, it's the process nit the end result. No mastery

Sunday, 26 March 2017

EE BT Sport 3mth free deal Moto GP

Pretty much what it says. If you are an WE customer and like motorbike racing you can get 3 mths free access to the BT sport app. You need WiFi of course. You can watch on your TV if you have a smart TV or your lap top if you can do those techy things.

I only like Moto GP. Season is March to November.  After the three months it's £5 per month. Cheaper than paying for the channel or Moto GP pass.

Biggles pays for BT Sport for  the season and casts it to the TV. He'll be back in August so it's only about £20 I will have to pay for the season. £100+ on MotoGP app.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Earth Hour.

We built a robot during Earth hour. Lit candles in the kitchen and got out some of the recycling boxes I 2as saving for model making. Just a fun quick thing to do.
We can still recycle it. We will recycle more esp the bathroom  rubbish. Two bins needed. We will walk more in nice weather too.

Quite enjoying the domestic hiatus for once.

Italy was a bit too full on domesticity. I am quite enjoying myself here however.  I have enough to keep me busy and its not forever. I have something on the horizon for the future.

Still baking, gardeningish and getting on with it. Lists are being ticked. Kids are joining in.

Taking pleasure in it too.

I have some applications coming up. I need to complete them next Thursday when Small boy goes to a childminder for the day.

Earth hour to night and we will bath by candle light and play hide and seek. Resolve to recycle more. The bathroom rubbish is a point of contention. We should do more with it. So often it is al chucked away in one. At least the boxes and paper and plastic bottles should be sorted.  I'll see what Tweeny girl comes up with too.

Enjoy Mothering Sunday. We are not doign anything in particular. I have a small £5.11 0.83kg Joint of beef to roast.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Busy. Idle hands I have not.

Baking, mending, sorting, decluttering, dig walking, child care, domestic stuff, form filling and banking.

I have a jobs list much of which is spring cleaning or rather spring sorting. I  getting through it. Removing items that are accomplished then adding more when I see or come across something that needs doing. Some of it is fun. Others are just a drag.
Tis the way of the crumbling cookie.
More to do tomorrow. I need to make the most of the nice weather.

Once we have popped put for items - I want to- make headway with the garden planting and maybe wash some reachable windows, get some washing hung out..

Fingers crossed.