Thursday, 29 June 2017

Let sleeping cats lie, and cheap food.

Hello. I told you a lie yesterday when I said I'm not going anywhere, no money spent. It was true up until about 6pm when I suddenly thought it would be a good time to go on a yellow sticker hunt. Because I hadn't been out all day in the rain, I guessed that a lot of other people wouldn't have bothered to move from their comfy chairs either, and there would be lots of food unsold. 
So after a quick scoff, I braved the pouring rain, dodged the floods, and got my arse down to Tesco for ten past seven. Straight to the reduced veg and fruit, not much on offer, a bit disappointing. I headed for the bread and picked up two multiseeded loaves for 20p each, and a packet of pancakes for 18p, then meandered to put a few other essentials in my trolley. I kept glancing back to the veg to see if there was any sign that an assistant might appear with a trolley load of goodies that he had freshly stickered up. 
Hovering around the veg thinking I might have to pay full price, I spotted a lady I know, also hovering. Good job I chatted to her because she told me that she had seen a lot of plastic crates of food being taken through to the warehouse, and was expecting them to appear back on the shelves soon. 
We waited, and chatted. The shop was fairly quiet so we hoped we would be lucky, and we were. 
WHOOOPEEEE. I was right, a rainy day is the best time to go yellow sticker shopping. This lot is worth £26.59 full price, I paid £6.94. So what did I get. Sliced melon. Blueberries. Bags of prepared salad. Three pots of Houmous. Strawberries. Potato salad. Caesar pasta salad. Large flat mushrooms. Button mushrooms. Sliced butternut squash. Bread and pancakes. Most of this I can eat straight from the fridge, so money saved on not cooking. It's salad and fruit all the way now.

The rain has kept the cats indoors. I did have the back door open several times to give them the opportunity to go out if they wanted to. One look at the rain coming down, and on the ground, and they looked at me as if to say, not on your flaming nelly. I didn't see Garcia all day yesterday so I assume he must have felt the same and decided to stay in his own house.

Mayze found herself a snooze spot right in the middle of my crafting bits and bobs on the dining room table. Didn't look very comfortable but she must have thought it was. She stayed there for a couple of hours.

Still raining today, they've had breakfast, quick five minutes outside, and back indoors to bed. Heidi has rediscovered how comfortable it is among my fabric stash. Think she has given up with the bathroom.

I removed a duvet from my bed and put it to one side until I find a place for it in the cupboards. Seems Mayze has claimed it for her bed.

Thanks for all your comments yesterday, I do enjoy reading them. Another day of sewing I think. I've not been walking in the rain, just as well that I got a few extra miles in last month. We're almost at the halfway stage of the challenge, so, Walking Group members, your check in day is on the first of July on Saturday. Let's compare notes and see how everyone is doing. I want some big miles please.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Check list

Hello. I was on the radio this morning, wont tell you where it was, somewhere in the Midlands. Rushed interview that's all they want, usual money saving tips, no time to get down to the real nittygritty of how to save money and live within your means. Me feeling frustrated as usual, two minutes and it's all over. What can you say in two minutes? Just the usual. They want it short and punchy, jokey and giggly.

I made notes, reeled a few of them off, no time to get to grips with the topic before I was cut off. Don't know why I do it really, that's me trying to be helpful. They don't realize that people are desperately trying to pay off their debts, they need sound information in straight talking language, not some airyfairy skimming the surface. I got to mention the blog, so some listeners might find their way here, if they do, here is a rundown of the notes I made but wasn't able to talk about.

Prioritize your spending. Mortgage/rent first, must be paid. Council tax must be paid. Utilities must be paid. 

Buy food to live. Petrol in the car to get to work.

Look for better deals on phone - broadband - mobile.

Check comparison sites for good deals on utilities.

Dump Sky TV, or get rid of the television altogether.

Dump the gym, walking is free, do the 1000 mile challenge.

Are you getting all the benefits you are entitled to. Check.

Start a spending diary, write down every penny spent, read it every day.

Check bank statements, cancel any direct debits that are no longer applicable.

Do you really need a car. (I do, ha ha). Get rid if it is not important to your lifestyle or getting to work.

Can you find more work, extra part time job maybe. Earn more.

Stop eating meat, or at least cut down. It is expensive and should be classed as a treat.

Shop late at supermarkets look for reductions, yellow stickers.

Shop around, find the best bargains from all the shops. Discount stores.

Don't go shopping if you are hungry. Eat before you go.

Check your cupboards and freezer before you go shopping, can you delay shopping for another day or two.

Buy second hand from car boot sales and charity shops.

Know the difference between a NEED and a WANT. They are not the same.

Stop smoking, stupid thing to do, cost mega bucks in terms of cash and health.

Think before you get a pet. They cost a lot of money over the course of their lifetime.

Cut out impulse spending. If you didn't want it until you saw it, you don't need it.

Shopping is not a leisure activity. Shops are full of stuff you don't need.

Take food out with you from home. Make a pack up

Eat everything you buy, do not throw food away.

Put small amounts of cash away in an emergency fund. Things break down.

There are many more, and most of it you will already know, but it's always good to have a reminder. There may be people coming here for the first time so it might be helpful to them.

Raining today, no money will be spent, not going anywhere.
Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Create your own life

Hello. It was a stroke of luck that Carol came to our Open Garden, and even luckier that she spotted this lampshade for sale on Janet's cat stall. I saw her pick it up for a closer look, and thought, yes it has potential. It has been kicking around here for a few months, I thought I might do something with it, but had not had that flash of inspiration, so I decided to let it go. 
Carol saw something in it, and this is the new life she has given it. Turned upside down onto a suitable flat object, it is perfect as a tee light holder. I'm glad it has found a new home. Thank you for the photo's Carol, it looks fabulous, and such a good idea. 

So. Carol has a creative mind, so what I'm asking today is how creative or inventive are you? I'm not just talking about turning objects into something else, I want to know how you have created the life you live today? How much thought did you put into where you want to be, in your teens, twenties, and beyond. Did you just stumble into it, or did you create your life?

I have always questioned things, when I've made mistakes I think, why did I do that? Didn't always learn from it, sometimes I was just as daft a second time. I always wanted to earn my own living, to work and pay for myself, which I did. I knew I never wanted children, I wasn't in the right mindset to accept responsibility for another person. It was an instinct that I was born with, so I went with it.

When I found myself in a place I didn't want to be, I changed it. I changed jobs many times always looking for new opportunities. I don't like routine. Every time I learnt how to do a job it became routine and boring. I am not a robot, I need mental stimulation. For almost four years I had a summer job and a winter job, just as I was getting bored it was time to leave. Indoor office job in the winter, outdoor selling hot dogs and donuts  in the summer.

Changed boyfriends, stayed with those I loved for a long time, dumped those I didn't like very much. The long term relationships I had with men were over long distances, it suited me to have my own space in between the times we met up. Tried living as a couple, it didn't work. Moved around a bit, left home at 18, lived in bedsits, flats, a caravan, and houses, in Blackpool, Birmingham, Majorca, back home, now Lincolnshire.

All in all I have found the changes quite easy. I like to think my creativeness has played a large part in how my life has panned out. Also my ability to question things, not take things at face value. Always always question. What am I doing here? Do I want to be here? Could I change direction and do something else? How can I make my life better?

Yes, shit happens for sure, when it does the questions become more intensive, then at last the way seems clear and the changes become more apparent.

After a busy weekend I am mulling things over, as I often do. The same question always pops into my head, what next? Something will, because life can't go on for me in a mundane fashion, there's got to be more. Now I am creating memories, one day I won't be so mobile, I may not be the full shilling in my head, but while I am still functioning normally, I don't want to get off this roller coaster.

This morning I had no idea what to write in this post, then the email appeared from Carol, that was the inspiration I needed, and this is what I created from it. Thank you Carol, you have saved the day.

Thanks for popping in, now go and create your own life, and don't tell me you are not creative, because I don't believe you,  you are. We'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Open house at the Summer House.

Hello. I just dozed off while sat at the computer. It's been such a busy day, I have no energy left. The day started when I woke at 5am, and I didn't stop until I had everything out of the Summer House by 7pm. It's still not all put away, but I will have to live with the mess till tomorrow as I ain't doing any more tonight. 
It was a smashing day, loads of people came, hardly anyone wanted a drink so I have enough to keep me going for the next six months. Janet came and set the cat stall up, and sold a few more things. She was a good help, taking some of the pressure off me when it got very busy. The weather was ok, not much sun, a bit breezy, but thankfully no rain. 
The first people arrived at about 11am, then they kept coming and finally stopped at closing time at 4.30pm. I was amazed, three people introduced themselves as blog readers, how fantastic is that. In the first photo is, on my right, Stan the library man  and Bev his wife. On my left blog reader Jane and hubby, they came all the way from Oxford. No they didn't come all that way just to see me, they were looking at houses in the area. Please excuse my pose, I don't want to go to the toilet, I am crouching because I didn't want to block out those behind me.  
Blog reader number two is Alison. She came to the Fair yesterday and I completely forgot, my head has been buzzing with all the different people I have spoken to over the weekend.

And blog reader number three is Nicki. She is a member of the Walking Group. It was very nice to meet you all ladies, so chuffed that you came. All smashing ladies, I could have talked to them for ages.

This is my friend Graham, he looks after this little dog called Molly for his friend. Such a cutie.

More visitors, lots of faces I knew, but don't know their names.

This is it, all dressed up. I have to apologize because I only took one interior shot, I was so busy I forgot.

These have been under wraps for a while, I hung them on the side of the garage.

These three are normally hanging in my house, so here they are on the front of the garage for today.

I had to re position the bracket for the everlasting hanging basket when I added the new doors.

 This is something I made for the Arts Centre a few years ago. We were told to pick up a used cardboard drinks cup and make something with it. I covered it in gold sticky back plastic, made a cutout to expose the name, added pink beads, a bracelet, and ribbon. Inside I put cat litter to weigh it down, and topped it with a scrunchy bath scrub and curly plastic straws.

The gap between the Summer House and the back of the garage is mostly paved now, I just laid the slabs on top of the bricks. Looks tidy.

I quite like the bold colours. My little pots of paint are getting used up, I'll have to keep my eyes open for some more.