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Sunday, 17 September 2017

Christmas Thoughts

It really does feel like Autumn this morning.  Last night was very chilly indeed but the sun is trying to break through....fingers crossed :)

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post.  It was so nice to have 'get well' wishes, I just hope I didn't come across as feeling self pitying :/



Yesterday, my thoughts turned to Christmas. Yay! I love Christmas! But not the expense :(
Last year I had some cash from selling my handmade cards to a local shop.  This year I have precisely....zilch....so my thoughts turned to ways of buying gifts for points not cash. I know I have Nectar points as I haven't spent any since last Christmas (well, post Christmas actually as I tried to eke them out as long as possible in January 2017) as well as some Boots points which I have been saving up.  I don't spend extra to get these points I just maximise the ones available.  For example, Sainsbugs have been offering extra points for a set number of card swipes in a given time so whenever near the store I buy a couple of items I need from there.  It's usually 8 swipes in 4 weeks so that's 2 per week and fuel purchases count too. I only buy items the same price or cheaper than elsewhere too, otherwise it's a bit pointless (lol....please excuse the pun, I couldn't resist it!)  So I have:

Nectar £25.61
Boots (as yet unknown)
M & S (ditto)

I also have a sealed pot to be opened in November

DD and I usually go Chrissie shopping the first week in November so I need to have a good think how to fund it this year. We have new babies to buy for this year too but I just want to put cash in a card for them.  I don't want to start having to choose gifts which might be totally unsuitable.  I'll start as I mean to go on.  We don't buy gifts for many adults in the family.  There is DD's family of 4, my brother and sister in law, and token gifts to 2 neighbours and a young couple we know. 

Perhaps I can make some stocking fillers again this year.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Lists done? Bought anything?

Have a wonderful Sunday x

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

An Apology and Autumn Arrives

First of all an apology for my long absence from my blog.  As soon as I get two new followers I go AWOL so a big welcome to Deb S and Janipi P  :)

I have had no blogging mojo at all for the last four weeks, I'm afraid.  My energy levels have been low and everything apart from day to day living has been an effort.  I got the results back from all my tests; kidneys, liver function, ovaries, and thyroid.  None of them showed any worrying results, thank goodness, so I still have no idea exactly what has floored me.  I feel a little better today apart from a headache so I need to soldier on and make sure I eat healthily in order to get my strength back (pause for some paracetamol....)

We managed to get through last month on a very tight budget although the bank account was squeaky by the end of the month.  There was just £9.48 left in my own account by the end of the third week and the annoying thing was that I couldn't withdraw £5 from that at any of the cash machines I tried...grrr... in the end I managed without by combing the house for every last bit of change.  Every handbag, pocket and potential hiding place was searched.  Boy was I glad when 1st September arrived!  The downside of this month is that it is now officially meteorological Autumn and it's getting colder.  Chilly mornings have meant that I have allowed the heating to click on (it's set at 13 degrees ) just for half an hour to make the start of the day a bit more welcoming.  We have not had an LPG top up since May so I feel justified in using a bit of what we have saved to warm us up first thing.  The heating is not needed in the evening as we can put the electric fire on if necessary and we tend to have a hot meal around 5.30pm which, in itself, warms us up.  I have brought out my fleecy blanket to snuggle into as I watch TV.  OH has always laughed at me when I use it but he actually shared it a couple of night ago when his legs were cold :D

I have been watching the news of hurricane Irma, the devastation, the flooding and the heartache.  My own heart aches for the people caught up in the storms.  We are so, so lucky here.......

Stay warm and safe wherever you happen to be in the world.  God bless you all xx

Monday, 14 August 2017

National Numeracy Challenge





I always thought I was ok with numbers and numeracy in general, enough to get by with on a day to day basis.  When I saw this challenge on the MSE website I clicked on the link and took the test.  Boy, it really gave my brain a workout and I scored 87 out of 100  87%...not bad... but not as good as Martin Lewis!  I think he got 98% The test is really good because it pinpoints any weaknesses (mine was interpreting graphs and pie charts accurately) so that you can work on any weak areas.  If you fancy having a go yourself the link is here:

www.nnchallenge.org.uk/msefriend

It costs nothing but about 30 minutes of your time.  Go on I DARE you ;) x

Has anyone had a go yet?

Have a brilliant day folks x

Friday, 11 August 2017

On eBay and feeling Under The Weather

Another week has flown by in a flurry of activity.  DD returned home safely from the family holiday in Kos (sigh of relief) There was an aftershock whilst they were there but very slight so it didn't cause any panic and she said the hotel staff were very blasé about it.  They are quite used to it happening apparently.

It's been 17 weeks since OH had his tooth extracted and he still has a hole in his gum, albeit a tiny bit smaller.  He went to his follow up appointment and they have booked him in for another check up (no treatment given) for 30th January 2018!  He is totally fed up with the whole experience and I'm heartily sick of having to keep wiping water splashes off the bathroom mirror after his swooshing the cavity out 3 times a day still.  It's looking increasingly likely that the hospital is waiting for the gum to heal itself.  It's a very slow process.....

I can report some success with my decluttering and eBaying this month, thank goodness.  I listed some of my lovely glass which I couldn't sell at the car boot for more than tuppence halfpenny and have sold 4 pieces for a total of £120 minus fees...yay!  I really needed the cash this month so I am really pleased with the result.  There is a new baby in the family so £20 is winging it's way off to the family in a HM card.

Frugal In Derbyshire has been requesting eBay-ing tips in her post.  I've been selling on there for about 15 years now and find it very useful for me as no one needs to come to my home to collect stuff unless I allow it (as in the case of heavy or bulky stuff).
  •  At the moment Royal Mail have a half price promotion for medium parcels weighing between 2 and 5 kgs so now is the time to sell bulky stuff and post it out.
  •  For newly registered eBayers it might be a bit of a faff to get your account up and running as they need so much info these days and remember....it's free to list a certain number of items but they take 10% of a sale price including postage & packing so do remember to cost it in.
  • Save all kinds of sturdy boxes ready to post your item in.  It's very frustrating to find you've sold something and don't have an appropriate box.
  • I ask the supermarket staff if I can have the loose bubble wrap in fruit display boxes (ONLY the loose stuff, I don't want to whip it all out and damage the fruit!)  It's great to fill spaces and save money.  No one has ever refused me yet.
  • Good photographs are a must, you are allowed to put 12 in a listing.
  • Be totally honest with your description and take time to describe your item accurately.
There is so much advice out there on the forums too, have you found eBay useful?

 
 
UNDER THE WEATHER



On a different subject, I have still been feeling 'under the weather' so I gave in and rang for an appointment with my GP last Wednesday.  I couldn't be seen until the following Monday morning :? but I have had blood tests taken for liver & kidney function, ovaries and thyroid as a starting point.  Watch this space......

I have a stall at the craft fayre again tomorrow but I'm not holding my breath for any useful takings.  It's fun anyway.... :)

Have a great weekend folks wherever you happen to be, take care x