Saturday, 30 April 2011

Lurching from one event to another!!!

Am hoping that life will calm down soon and I can get on with the saving!!! So far no chance!!!  Oh well theres always next month. Sheffield and Mother Biggles house again next week - am hoping to get to a car boot rather than a shopping centre! Food should be fabulous however.

Reduced the price on the house event further today in the hope that I may get a sniff of interest!!! I can always say no!!!  Biggles defending, Weeny girl at her other family's for the night. Today  I achieved nothing apart form sofa sitting and snoozing! Ok I purchased mould resistant paint and called in at the estate agents and made Thai curry for tea- a Biggles favourite.
Tomorrow I shall be productive!

I shall accomplish:
Painting the bathroom ceiling and cleaning the bathroom, cutting of  the grass, hoovering throughout and attack the ironing with gusto!!!!!! Change bedding in both rooms.  All before I pick up weeny girl at 4pm, then sister from station at 5:30pm and make sure Sunday Roast Chicken et al is well on its way for half six at the latest.  Biggles staying. First time he will have met the sister.  Will be grand! hee hee!!!

Friday, 29 April 2011

Royal wedding day and little tales

Ok we are up - Biggles still in bed  but then again he is defending the country and working Sat, Sun and Mon.  A few things to do today including cutting the grass for this afternoons barbecue fun!!! Watering the pots would be a good choice too - I am so rubbish at gardening style stuff - essential watering tut tut tut

Mum fine and the seating thing has been sorted  and many thanks to Lovely Grey for her advice.  Better seat- has been enjoying the garden and sitting outside. Royal wedding today so they will be flag waving or rather those able to will be and also watching the telly and ding relevant activities or just observing in mums case. I think the stimulation in so far as people watching will be more beneficial. Even though she has advanced Alzheimer's - minimal language and expressions, no recognition, no ability to perform personal care tasks of any sort including feeding her self-  I like to think that she might get something from a change in environment and activities around her changing on a regular basis and of course chocolate!!! There will be lots of this!!! 

Sister arriving on Sunday for a few days - have meals planned  - roast chicken dinner Sunday, carbonara on Monday and pizza on Tuesday.  Biggles being taxi driver for Sunday and Wednesday when she heads off again.

Ok more coffee before we start the days activities - we have a union flag flying on the washing line and a special table cloth for later!  Hmm what will go down better with the  weeny one- princess dress or red white and blue stuff!!! I know what my money is on!!!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Still tired!!!

Ok am off for an early one again. Work and snooze and such -  simple tea cheese on toast with beans- thick home made bread. Work fine. Car bill has the service but not the MOT or  wheel bit listed on it!  Mechanics billing can be very odd

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Finances and change!!!

At some point I hope my life will calm down a bit and get back into a routine. This will be good for both Weeny girls and my bank balance. With al the goings on- interviews, parents returning etc etc Its costing me money that I should be saving or putting toward debt.

Got the car bill - less than I had predicted though will check the bill as it seems too good to be true - £161. Not sure if this includes the wheel problem thing. My mechanic is a bit scatty at times. You paywhen he sends the bill  which is always  weeks after the event. 

Foudn out today that if I have been ticketed for speeding will have to pay a £30 admin fee on top of  any fines - boo fingers crossed eh.

I am not spendiing other than essentials nor am I checking the bank balance till I get paid which is hopfully soon.   Its difficulty to stick to a budget and be frugal when you have to deal with stuff. I will also have to budget for trips to visit the mother as well. I am thinking the train may be cheaper if I pay in advance but royal pain in the but not having transport for a weekend. Will also have to stay at a relatives house to conserve funds. I am an unsociable bugger and prefer to just do my own thing. Mum is doing fine. Smiley again today.

Pizza with added bits - mozzarella on its sell by date, ham, old red pepper getting wrinkly and some onion. Not bad for Pizza for a pound.

Got my free \RHS seeds today - pumpkin, chilles, tomatoes and beets!!! Just need to acquire a few more  tubs, bags, and some compost.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Am not convinced by the queen to be...

Yes the day is nearly upon us an well thanks for the day off but not the expense. I am not a monarchist, royalist or what ever. I can see the use of the Royal Family I suppose- the charity work and such, ambassadors for the UK I get that, tourism blah de blah. I am not convinced by Kate Middleton. The supposed commoner who is marrying a prince. I don't think there is much to her really. In the grand scheme of royal pointlessness she is there with the best of them and I find her a bit transparent. I know she is compared or will be to Diana and am sure she will model herself on the charity queen of hearts thing. I just do not see anything to suggest there will be one tiny scrap of genuineness. So far what has she done? Went shopping for a living - accessorize buyer. A privileged expedition to  Chile. You know the type of expedition only for the priviledged who can afford the experience - where was the volunteering at the local youth centre, animal sanctuary, interest in children/animals/health/education.... no sorry it was just fashion she was interested in. I see no evidence of anything other than shallow type stuff. She is 28 not 21. Am not convinced she would want to take her accessories to a princes trust event, meet with the homeless, disabled children without being dragged there by William. Not sure she will be a 'natural' at having a snotty nosed baby with aids plonked in her lap or genuinely care. I think Colleen Rooney may be more genuine than queeny to be in this respect.

So far nothing more than a daily mail reader done good!!! I hope she proves me wrong. Not a fan of Diana but she was not never phased by the snotty nosed baby on the hospital ward with gruesome tubes or the child without limbs, or the dotty old granny  and she was 19 when she married and started doing the royal thing. really quite a bit younger.

What do you think??? Likey or no likey???

Shattered, skint and back to work tomorrow

Am very tired actually got back last night but have been washing and doings some domestics. Went well as could be expected.  Mum now deposited in new care home and as happy as someone with significantly advancing Alzheimer's can be. She is pretty much immobile now just squirms and wriggles in her chair. Quite a bit smiley and hopefully there will be more smiley and sleepy times than grumpy and upset time. I hope she is looked after well and they work on using something to stop her from sliding out of her chair. She is only little and when her feet are on the floor she is not sitting up straight in the chair if you know what I mean. Other than that it seems a decent place and very nice to its residents. I shall be popping in when I can. There are no visiting hours and people - visitors - regular ones anyways are given the door code and go in and out freely which is a good sign. As long as her weight remains constant and she does not develop ppressure sores and has more smiley days than not then this is as much as we can hope for really.

Had a nice time too  B& B was very cheap and you could tell especially if you looked under the bed - not hoovered for a very long time!!! but beds clean, shower clean and breakfast good. Eating out is a pain even for a few days but not much you can do. Could of stayed with relatives but you have less freedom that way to come a go as you please and stick to your priorities and agenda.

We spent time with older sister at the coast and had coffee at the Burns museum.  ( It is Ayrshire after all)  I am hoping I did not get a speeding ticket on the way home. The hire car accelerates very quietly unlike my banger - you know if you are going too fast when the car starts to shake. The 2011 reg focus was very deceptive. I really could do with out the three points and fine. I was flashed doing 60+ on a single carriage section of the A1. :-(  Ahhh it was a nice car to drive however. Not much I can do about it now bar wait.

Sunday we went to see a chum and his kids who now lives in Fife. Spent the afternoon playing in the park, hunting and rolling Easter eggs. Weeny one has had a fab time - spoilt by relatives and lots of parks and ice creams.  Home to Biggles waiting up for us around ten last night and I sank into bed. 

My sister is in Dunfermline scoping out houses and such for when she returns later in the year. I collect her from the local station next Sunday for a few days before she heads back to London and Heathrow and back OS.

Lasagne, salad and garlic bread  for tea. Lasagne - home made from the freezer - salad bits - iceberg, cucumber, carrot, a red/green pepper - from fajitas on Thursday plus onion, a frozen sweetcorn . Garlic bread on special only 30p for quick sale and also from the freezer. Ice cream, fruit then bed. We were all stuffed. I couldn't face cooking from scratch.

We have so much chocolate it is disgusting. Weeny girl will get through it I am sure. It will just take a while.

Hope you all enjoyed the break. back to the grind till Friday!!! Spose those royals are good for a few things eh!!! Another few days off - such a hard life!!!!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Bored of wait around wednesday!!!

I just need to get on!!!! Hurry up May!!!!!

Picking up hire car tomorrow before epic journey and family stuff so may be away  for a few days from  blogland dear chums.  Acquired a few patriotic bits for weeny girls patriotic wedding barbecue- all from Aldi - I like that shop - one on my way home.  Lidl is still cheaper for a few things, Morrison's and asda are good for others. I juggle like we all do. Only £17 and a fair few bits  of food and nibbles to take away with us on our care home adventure. Back on Sunday to clean and organize before work. I also intend on familiarising the Wanderer to the ways of frugalism - This is my ex pat sister who after only paying 14p a litre for petrol and living it large in South East Asia  is in for a big shock! I am sure frugalism will be of benefit nowshe is having to put up with the old country again. Wish these niggling cramps would just get on with it. I have no patience for these things anymore. All pointless!!!

Fajitas for tomorrow - to be cooked by Biggles fair hand while I pack and organise for our road trip. Fajita pack form Aldi for 1.49 - not bad considering the purchase of tortillas and seasoning ( which if I got on with it I could make myself) I can make my own salsa. MAY MAY MAY . Must make more effort. hmph!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Pit Stop!!!

Am really enjoying this planning stage at work for the student advice and mentoring service. My boss is lovely and very encouraging. Also happy that I can help with the pastoral fire fighting -I can deal with homeless teenagers and other crisis that  occur from time to time. gammon round split with weeny girl for tea with baked spuds and veg. She has fallen asleep in her clothes again. So up early again tomorrow. 

My house is horrendous and really needs tidying, cleaning etc with this weekends jaunts I may get back in on Sunday and hopefully get time to clean it and have a rest before Tuesday and work again. I am collecting my dear old demented mother and sister ( not demented) from airport and depositing in new care home. This involves a trip to Edinburgh then Ayr then Fife then back to Northumberland.  I may have some time the weekend of the Royal Wedding!!!!  Prob friday for cleaning and barbecue - will buy patriotic crap for Weeny girl as she has been learning about weddings at nursery and wants me and Biggles to get spliced. Ha we have both been spliced before and once bitten lol!!!!
This evening I fully intend on watching all the crap TV I have bt visioned. And may eat some choc and finish off a bottle of wine.
 April it is not maybe May ................ sigh lol

Monday, 18 April 2011

Tired tired tired but all very happy

 Had a lovely Friday after shopping - ate and watched Mr Potter. Biggles had his tap dancing gear ( No 5's) on as he had a work do in the hofficers mess .So all gold lame off he went to dine in as they say! I think he looks like a Las Vegas bell hop. He sometimes tap dances and does jazz hands just for me!!!!  No one at work knows this. He would never live it down. His sense of humour for han hofficer is rather good. He doesn't take himself too seriously which is pretty rare for his breed!! And how else could he put up with an old hippie like me lol

We three set off for Sheffield around ten. Had a jolly nice journey down just chatting, singing songs including football songs. He went to the football  with Mr Mother Biggles and Mother Biggles and Weeny girl and I hit Meadow Hall. Biggles sent me off with orders to purchase nice things for the weeny one and twenty quid to boot. Ah bless.  Mother Biggles was impressed with what she referred to as spends! ( She is an older fashioned lady who expects to be a little pampered by the chaps- Mother Biggles also spoilt her as did Auntie Biggles  - Biggles sister who we met at Meadow Hall. They trotted off together - Weeny one without as much of a backwards glance. Aunty Biggles has three older children and Weeny girl was keen to go and see youngest niece Biggles who is ten. I can remember at that age thinking that ten year olds were very glamorous and the bees knees!!! This meant Mother B and I got to shop. We hit Primarni - ok for kiddies stuff. It won't last a season but then again it doesn't need to.  Silly clothes purchased, sandals, trainers with flashing lights and sunglasses. I really wouldn't purchase these things but let other people indulge if they want to. I did manage to grab a valance for the new comfy bed.

Mother Biggles likes to shop so I indulge her girly passions. I never ever need nor can I think of anything worse than going on my own to a place like Meadow Hall or the Metro Centre. Biggles knows this but is very appreciative.

Time spent in the garden, made Easter cards, decorated eggs, also scored for some of MB's old clothes. She is not your typical 65 year old which is excellent.  Per Una never worn night dress too short for MB she felt, as well as shoes that pinch her feet - some vest tops never worn and some sleep shorts - red check with a red vest - all good in my book!!!  Lucky me.

Other than that over spent but had fun. Now off to bath weeny one and get ready for work. Hope you are all well too!!!! Biggles Happy - his team won and we got to chill out so all good. Great curry and excellent Sundays Dinner to boot!!!!

Friday, 15 April 2011

OK I shopped!!

OK I shopped and spent money - lots of it but there were bargains to be had and I restocked the meat stores with three packs of sausages original price 2.65 - now 1.35!!! 18 thin sausages in each pack so two meals as a minimum from each pack and as such a conservative estimate is  6 meals. Also chicken, gammon rounds, quarter pounders, pizza, lunch items for me, some bits for when we get back from Sheffield and also a bottle of wine, two Easter eggs ( £1 each) and a Harry Potter DVD ( £6 - special at Morrisons if you spend over £40 so I did on stores).

Silly really as I intend on purchasing sandals for weeny girl and leggins for weeny girl and maybe a cheap valance for my fab comfy bed!!!

Off now to use said bed and also indulge in Potter ness!!!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

More no spends!

I have not spent a penny since Tuesday!!! I like working where there is no access to shops at lunch time, you can use a kitchen to warm up food, make your own coffee!!!

Took delivery of my divan base - all set up with help from Biggles who was rewarded with a chicken curry made from 7p a jar curry sauce. I saved half of it for the freezer.  Weeny one and I ate pizza earlier so were happy with that.

I am using up much of the freezer contents. I shall try to get rid of most of it given its need of a serious defrost. I am away this weekend and also next so minimal shops should get me through the next fortnight - til the next payday anyway.

I need to pay for my garden bin collections, weeny girl needs sandals and its photo time at school! Another £20 with 4 additional prints for a further £20  I am waiting for the car mechanics bill and the end of May is car tax!!!

Oh joys joys joys. I have filled up the car at ASDA and hope to get away with doing this twice a month - approx £80 a month for two fills.

I need to review life insurance. Its £50 a month  and will only pay off my mortgage - decreasing term with illness, sickness benefits.  Hmm am sure a better deal is available somewhere for a bit less for the same cover.

Friday tomorrow!!! Work all good!!! Nice peeps, working with teenagers again, networking so fun fun fun.. kind of!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Update and ponderings!!!

Work is fine - all good - will one day have three staff on term time contracts- Ha ha will be negotiating  a term time only contract or may be term time plus once the service is set up and working well.  Its fine so far. Benefits include local gov pension scheme, possible flexi when justifiable of course. I have a perm desk, access to a kitchen at lunch time and am miles away from the shops so no lunchtime spends ! I start at 9 finish at five - 1 hour or there abouts for lunch as and when needed. Will plan on taking less when project actually starts. I can then wrack up flexi to take during the holidays - hopefully anyway.

Was watching super scrimpers and apparently Child tax credit will only pay a max of £122.50 pw for child care - generally a decrease from 80% to 70%!!!!  My child care will be £145 pw so I need to add 22.50 per week to child care bill. That uses up child benefit and also  some of the child tax credit that I may get. If am lucky may have £10 extra to keep gorgeous one on!!!  Could be worse - might not get a thing and be stuck not even able to contemplate working! Thankful for small mercies.

I am undecided whether to focus on mortgage or pension ( once I sell the house) I am 38. I have a small child (3). I have a mortgage not due to be paid off till I am nearly 65 . Do I sell the sodding house, rent and focus on making extra pension payments??? I cannot do both on my poxy wage. It is still 7k less than my pre redundancy salary - I didn't top 30k shall we say. I am probably with maintenance making around 21k now with additional commuting costs so its very tight and I am still balancing on a high wire rather precariously. I am now hoping that the house will sell before the car goes splat. I still intend on applying for another PGCE for next year. Buy and rent maybe who knows.  Its rather depressing having your salary reduce by such an amount at 38 with out having the payoff of working less or actually needing less having paid off bills, debt etc

I get a bit jealous when I see peers moving on careerwise or getting paid more to do jobs much simpler than mine. Ie they are overpaid and work for the local authority - yes some people are over paid who work for LA's. Its phenomenal!!! Senior support assistant on 29k on a non pro rata term time contract!!!!  without any specific training  or any sort of qualification such as a foundation degree or level 3 qualification in learning support. Shocking really - am sorry they can work full time for that. An LSA does not take work home with them not enough to justify that salary! More than plenty teachers get with less responsibility.oh well suppose its special needs. hmmmmm

Monday, 11 April 2011

Hmm What is new in my house???

Trying to think of the things bought from new or at full price new!

  • Mattress for the bed
  • A bookcase I have had for 6 years - ex stressed that I buy new in his house! Its the only thing I contributed and took that with me when I left!!
  • Weeny Girl bed frame! - I didn't actually buy it so does it count???
  • Computer desk cheap cheap from Argos -£12
  • Futon - I needed a sofa type thing for the downstairs of the one bedroom house I moved into! About £112
  • TV - not purchased by me either!!
  • Towels - ASDA and doing fine
  • Kettle - Sainsburys basics - about 3.98 3 years ago - doing well as is the cheapo microwave for £25 and toaster for 3.98 as well
  • Dinner set - cheapest from Argos - now missing a few pieces!!
  • Curtain poles - needed to get curtains up and couldn't wait for freecycle!
Am not including baby stuff/toys  some of which had to be bought new - car seat, specific lightweight buggy for going abroad, cot, crib and mattress - that's it.

Aha - I lie - black out curtains for weeny girls room and also mini table and chairs for weeny girl to sit on - IKEA-  great for crafting, eating dinner, when little friends visit!

All else preloved!!!! donated from friends, freecycled, ebayed - not much is ebayed!!! I love it and have been very lucky - my sofa and chairs are excellent quality, bed though now knackered had done well! I could go on. My only new purchases  - hang on - forgot - washing machine!!! were necessitated by moving out of house with a small baby to a new house pronto. No time and not as easy  to search for  bargains when you have a small small one to look after and go to work full time and do it all on your own!!! I still have these very bland things now. I had no motivation then to seek out bargains with the priority being get settled and juggle work and baby stuff.

I think my suite and kitchen table etc are all great finds!! What are yours??? Have you indulged in anything brand new???

All of my kitchen gadgets - toastie maker, food processor, liquidiser, deep fat fryer are free cycled!!!
Just need a George Forman to complete the set!!!

Back to full time work from tomorrow!!!

Ok I start my new temporary maybe permanent job tomorrow - I look forward to it!!! Today was horrible - rain and dull and cold till late afternoon. We spent the day inside - still tired from the weekends adventures - Weeny girl had an afternoon snooze as did I - we ventured forth at half four! Forgot about the bank and didn't get to town until after bank closing time so will have to try and fit  that one in again - oops. Also forgot the library books but did manage to take the glass to the bottle bank and  vacuum out the car as well as take Biggles stuff to the alterations place. Other than that accomplished zilch - no frantic cleaning of the house no ironing and cannot be bothered to start now - We did watch Harry Potter  2 from the sofa and have a leisurely lunch and the obligatory lie in this morning particularly so as the weather was pants pants pants!!!

Lunch was baked potatoes with cucumber, tomatoes, grated carrot and cheese coleslaw ( home made)  for me and plain cheese for weeny girl.  I have left over colesaw for to tomorrows lunch. Tea was lentil soup and homemade bread- Weeny girl got her 3-£1 sweets from the pound shop earlier so twix it was for pudding for her!The other evils are in the cupboard for another day (smarties and frutellas I think).

We will take  the Easter crafts to Mother Biggles house to do on Saturday. Hopefully the weather will be nice and we will be able to play outside in the garden. I do need to purchase Weeny girl some cheap summer sandals! I go for cheap - around £7 I think I paid last year as they only have to last the season! I do not buy Clarke's sandals just shoes- so we may fit in a small shopping trip in Sheffield.  I have an Easter bonnet for her to decorate and also some eggs - plastic ones.

Will be early to bed tonight and will not forget to charge my phone or set my alarm . Weeny girl needs to be at nursery for 8am sharp to enable me to get to work for 9am. I should make it with plenty time to spare. Its a trial run kind of although have travelled this way many a time before.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Cragside Sunday, Messy Church and great lasagne!

We were off and out and at em again this morning-  after making bolognese for tonight's lasagne, armed with a picnic, camping stove and this time matches for the making of  a decent cup of tea.! Biggles was off training for his sponsored motorbike ride (visiting a number of RAF bases around the country in a set number of days)- build up hours spent on bike or you get severe numb bum and tiredness as riding take a lot of concentration especially on new roads of the A and B variety. Weeny girl and I tootled off again to visit a local stately home and estate. First time I have ever been - always been too tight to pay £16+ entry fee.  Though you could easily spend the day there in good weather - you drive or walk around the estate on a one way road - a circuit with car parks which lead off to places of interest - waterfall, lakes. play area, labyrinth, country house, formal gardens, iren bridge, clock tower, picturesque picnic spots, forest walks....

We took in the most relevant places to a three year old - despite driving round  she was getting tired after a couple of hours hard marching here and their- the estate is huge and you would need to walk well to get round it in a day. The only spend was on the ice cream - £3.60 for two and a can of diet coke for incredibly thirsty mummy. Eeeek!!!! prices!!!!

Called in to Messy Church  at 4pm- was referred by  the Debt Christians and I happpen to know the person they referred me to so I felt I had to turn up at some point. It was actually not bad - very child friendly and more of a  Sunday school with songs, games, craft activities and also tea!!! Yes the kids and adults get a sandwich tea! Not bad and more than enough to full your tum if you don't have plans for lasagne! Weeny girl happy as pig in muck! Seen  her chums and had a good play with other small ones  with some God thrown in for good measure. Its not a weekly thing but every so often - next one not till  8th May - I may go back- will see what we are doing nearer the time. We may be in Sheffield again- two trips planned for near future.

After the crappy Morrison's lasagne sheets sticking and having to cook a few more - (I salvaged the cooked bits of the lasagne - yes all of the sheets decided to stick in the middle - the ends of the sheets were getting overcooked so I made the executive decision to waste the middldes rather than wait for a complete disaster to happen . Only needed a few more sheets to add to the off cut salvage pasta.) made a med and small lasagne - we ate the small which was full to the brim the medium one is not brimming so about equal.  One for either tomorrow or the freezer - I think frozen as I have left over cheese salad to have with baked potatoes tomorrow.

 I am shattered- weeny girl though she snoozed in the car on the way back from Rothbury ( That's where Cragside is and yes its also where the mad gunman was last year) - is snoring loudly and doubly shattered!  Day off tomorrow to spend with weeny girl before full time service resumes - Ha just my luck to be part time in the winter but not during the great weather!!! sigh!!!!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Saturday good stuffs!

Bamburgh Castle 

Busy busy! We headed out to look for princesses at Bamburgh Castle then hit the beach for a picnic, a plodge and sandcastles! Despite wearing her fairy princess dress the weeny girl was mad keen on a sword!!! She looked ace prancing about as a warrior type princess. Got a bit scared in the dungeon - it has dummy people being tortured - I said they were wicked witches and trolls so she got over it and swung her sword in defiance!!!  She also lusted after a princess figurine. I asked if she wanted  a prince to go with it but she plumbed for a dragon! That's my girl - own sword and no need for a prince! I indulged despite my frugal leanings this month! The beach was a bit windy but we got changed and wrapped up  and so armed with picnic blanket, bucket and rake (couldn't find the spade) and picnic off we trotted or rather climbed up and over sand dunes playing ''We're going on a bear hunt!''. We munched then indulged in sand drawing, sandcastles and race the waves! She was brill on the way back over the sand dunes carrying the bag with the  bucket and rake in! Popped up to the village ( Bamburgh)  to check out the Grace Darling Museum - local heroine who made a daring sea rescue back in 1838 in only a rowing boat. Popped to St Aidens church - which is set on the spot where St Aiden died and is very old and lit a candle for the dearly departed and said prayers! She was very respectful in the church and I was most pleased. Also indulged in ice cream- tut tut tut

Waiting on Biggles return from getting new tyres for his bike  before starting  the barbecue- that's if the neighbours take their sodding washing in soon- been out since this morning before we left.  I even washed the car and found my glasses!!! SO have spent more than I planned as well as charcoal as I was out . The bag should do for summer however. Burgers, sausages, salad and buns for tea!

We are off to visit Mother Biggles next weekend. this interrupts weeny girls visit with her other family but hey ho such is life she would only be sent out into the concreted garden to play at her gruesome grannies house. Easter my family return from overseas so that's out to. Next time will be  the weekend of the Royal wedding. Biggles is working that weekend so I really do not care if she goes or not. I start full time work again from Tuesday so time I have with her is precious. The SD is not that bothered re access so I shall not be either.

Will post pics when I have facebooked them lol.

Cragside House tomorrow and the Alnwick Museum then messy church to make Easter bonnets.  Oh and yes fuel costs - but its free weekend and it would have cost £8.50 for the castle and £6.00 for Grace Darling or there about and Cragside is about the same. She loves it and is worth it!!! And also very tired.....  great!

Biggles bringing Beer!!!!! yay Biggles!!!

Sand Drawings!!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Waiting for pay day!!!

When is pay day!!!  Ahhhh Ok need to get serious now! Have paid two big bills - the overpayment from DWP when I was made redundant and a shortfall in child tax credits has mean't I have had to fork out £200 for child care! Seeminly they have overpaid me this year and the last payment was £200 short of the child care bill.

I am awaiting the nasty mechanics bill for the mot, service and work to get the car through its MOT. I am hoping about £350 tops. Then I have tax to pay - £120. SO the best part of a further £500 quid from the savings. I will be frugalling the shopping till the money starts comming in again. The extra spends - trips to Carlisle and such  have all added up. My mobile bill was also over budget by £20. I have beenusing the phone  to make necessary phone calls and have gone over my limit by £17!!!!!!! I never use all my minutes. I have a contract so am a bit tied. My goal is £25.

I have managed to stay within my budget for BT- intrenet has pushed payments up a few times going over my down load limit.   Working full time I should save money on heating and phone calls and such but will be paying more on fuel and using the car more.

Meagre shopping and being creative with the freezer stock should help.

Positive note  its free weekend tomorrow and we wil be taking a picnic and not indulging in souveneir shops.

Ho hum a frugaling I come!!!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Food crops a sown!!

We got messy yesterday and have planted ( in pots due to the cat poo issues)  carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, kale, spinach, radishes. I hope to add tomatoes and potatoes and a few others to this if I can get my skates on and recycle the bags for life I have collected and acquire more compost. My garden is a cat toilet so everything is in bags/pots. We also popped in some sunflowers and some cheap pansy flower type things and heather. Hoping the red currant tree will be bountiful as well. I have rhubarb but its in the grown and very close to the car turd central so will give that a miss this year ( every year so far) Shame as its looks fab. I hack it to bits on a regular basis as it grows so so well.

Car had to have some work and then was serviced. I have paid the over payment from DWP. Only the loan to go and then the proper frugal plan can begin!!!  Save for christmas ( not that I spend a great deal anyway), pay off credit card, save for car expenses on going, save in general and  repay in small amounts the loan from la famille. 

Decorating house  but thats dead cheap as I only do magnolia and white. I have most of that in the house anyway. I do need some red step paint, wood stuff for the fence, outdoor white paint for wooden bits as well. Though I could just paint the white shed bits green lol might look a bit rank but it saves money.

Second last day at work today!!! New job Tuesday. Still a bit down about not doing PGCE but I kind of knew that it wouldn't be possible without selling the house and no sign of any interest let alone a potential sale.  Car needs a good clean and I have some recycling to do. I feel this may be a job for Monday! Recycle bottles and trip to the car wash. I do not have a hose or outside water source that I could use to wash the car which is a real pain. Its a pain watering plants outside filling up the watering can and trailing back and forth.I do put out buckets and containers to catch rain water - not that I am on  a meter but lazy and why not recycle water!!! 

I love spring and am glad I have planted. I stopped composting last year thinking that I would have sold the house by now. Sods Law!!! I really should do stuff to tempt fate more often. Maybe I need to get rid of all the baby things in the house..... lol  To plant a garden is to plan for tomorrow.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

I am offered a place... the ego is satisfied!!!

Yes I have been offered a place on a PGCE|. I have decided to turn it down.  Financially it would mean disaster - descent into the mire of insolvency. After yesterdays mortgage hell I feel I need to work on the debt and finances first . I will reapply in September with the hope that the house will have sold/be selling/I have paid off more debt. I have much on at the moment. My mum is coming back from OS  to live in  a care home due to Alzheimer's. she has had this for a while and was cared for by older sister - or rather in her large house OS with paid carers.  I am glad I made it though very glad - EGO is satisfied. On with the frugalling!!!!

I figure I will need an extra  £1500 to pay the shortfall on the rent/mortgage while I am at uni. Its really not feasible.

Oh well plans plans - its not long till I reapply in September! Thanks Dave!!!  I take on board your messages - move to where the work is, retrain. Ok will do that and move from my home, lower my price so that I will just be breaking even and no joy..... What is your answer Dave you appear to know it all, Can you tell me what to do next?? How do I pay a pension, plan for my future, be independent, bring up my child in a working household with the right values. I don't drink or smoke, don't so silly debt (frivalous debt - store cards, holidays, furniture etc etc) Any answers Dave??? A post card will do????

Thanks for listening Dave I know that cheesey smile mean't I could count on you!!!  Err who is this Clegg person anyway??

Oh I have to laugh....... lol

Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Last tuesday at home......

Ok car booked in for MOT etc tomorrow - have banking to do etc etc Also payments to make. Had horrible time with mortgage company who I cannot speak about without getting angry - basically it was a miss communication and a stroppy twenty something on the other end of the phone. Anyway sorted now. I am not sure whether or not I should write a formal complaint  or not maybe if it will stop them treating other people like poo.

We will also be procuring compost tomorrow for planting. We prepped and cut grass today-  Pots are awaiting for their seeds!  May buy a few flowers to chuck about as well - you never know. I will miss the blooms in the summer. Biggles here later for tea. Other than that a no spend day!!! Tomorrow I hit it big time. Booooooo

Monday, 4 April 2011

One down two to go!!

One day at work down!! Start new job next week on Tuesday! More than I thought but not quite 20k year. Am on 23.5k but pro rata for part time three days. I cannot wait!  Will have to do some tax credit wrangling and council tax and re calculate budget but ho hum such is life.  Lots to do tomorrow - regards the paying of bills. Tonight I have the joys of beef salad with chilli sauce ( sweet chilli dipping sauce) The weeny girl will go for tuna probably which we will recycle for lunch tomorrow. The European ironing mountain also beckons as does some planting of seeds. DO I invest in compost... probably yes. Only 2.25 a bag and I will spread it about a bit. Any tips on anti slug treatment much appreciated. I think you can use coffee grounds and remnants from a cafetierre not that I drink proper coffee.

Need to work on the budget tomorrow. Tax credits have decided that I am not entitled to the full amount for child care this month only £185 leaving a deficit of 200 to pay. Grrrrrr I will discuss my position with them tomorrow. Sneaky gov cuts!!! Will only pay a max of  70% of all child care which is pants. Basically I get nowt from any  WTC or CCT as it all goes towards child care. Am hoping that the new bill will be covered.  Up to £540 a month from next week. Eeek may have to eeek out some more!!!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mothers Day, tales from 1900ft and a bit of Brisket!!!

As Weeny girl is visiting other family I have the weekend to myself - I doooooooooo miss her however. I had my mothers day yesterday morning when Biggles nad wee one produced a card and a monkey with Wonderful mum on it ( The toy will end up in her collection lol) I got to stay in bed for a bit which was fab.   Then off we trotted on Biggles bike to the Hartside top Cafe in the Penines ( 900 ft or there abouts above sea level) near Alston, Cumbria. Great views shame my phone was nearly dead and would not take pics.  Could see Hellvelyn, Blencathra, Skiddaw , other hills and all the way to Dumfries and across the Solway Firth.  Nice slice of coffee cake and a numb bum. Biggles off doing a ride of respect today for Help for Heroes charity then home for Brisket - I pushed the boat out an snaffled a nice piece of brisket for mothers day celebrations for £5.20!!!!!   Eeek !!!! but I did only spend £35 on shopping and households this week!  We had carbonara cooked ala Biggles last night and a trip to the local drinking pub - no music, just 147 malt whiskeys, proper ales and conversation. Only two drinks as neither of us are big drinkers - leffe blonde Belgian stuff pour homme and hoegarten white beer pour la femme.

So not a very frugal weekend but a lovely one. Weeny girl back in time for brisket.  I am hoping she has had a lovely one. Sometimes she doesn't want to go or start the initial journey but then is all happy when she sees her BD ( bio dad) and half sister.

Ok Coffee calls ---- happy mothers day !