Anthems For Our Times

The UK has responded to the last two terrorist attacks in the usual way.

I was moved this last week by the concert arranged so quickly and supported by so many to raise funds for the victims of Manchester and was pleased that The Red Cross started a fund for all the victims of these horrendous events.

The song of the moment was by Oasis, a Manchester band sung here by Ariana Grande and Coldplay’s Chris Martin.


Supporting victims of the Manchester attack

Here is a link if you want to donate to the Red Cross.

Robbie Williams ‘Angels’ also took on special meaning:

Thanks Youtube for the links.


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Money Stuff – Road to Freedom

One of the things I have been concentrating on over the last few years has been raising cash for projects. Initially it was to pay off my mortgage and take a year out from work.

As usual in life, especially mine, plans are only dreams until they happen.

The plan to go travelling is now on hold as DH has moved jobs.

The plan to clear my mortgage will be complete in 3 years in June, a full year before I can retire.

This is AMAZING. Five years ago I had no savings. If I wanted cash in a hurry I used a credit card or asked bank of DH. For personal reasons I would rather have borrowed money and pay for the privilege than borrow of him.

Five or so years ago I started looking at my life. What did I really want for ME as I approached 50. Once I had decided I wanted to travel and clear the mortgage it was like someone had switched on the proverbial lighbulb.

I now have the smug bonus of never having credit card charges because I would forget to pay in time. I pay no interest on my spending because I pay off in full every month whatever I put on credit cards. I then get a bit of a bonus because I only use cards that give me rewards which I can spend. So good all round.

This year I have managed to claw back from insurance companies about £400 and Child Benefit about £650 plus all the bits I have as rewards from surveys and cashback sites. It amounts so far this year to three months mortgage payments equivalent.

I have also been consistently able to save about a third of my monthly wage, even managing to save for the first six months off sick from 2015 to 2016. One thing I didn’t worry about was money while I was off. This is in sharp contrast to my previous experience 18 years ago  when my back gave up the ghost after having my DD.

It has took a lot of hard work and some scrimping on my part but I have managed to save enough now to pay off a chunk of mortgage and still have enough savings in the bank to last me 6 months if I lost my job tomorrow.

I think the reason this has worked  is that I have been consistent with saving a regular amount as soon as my money comes into the bank. I have an allowance (fun money) which although I am not rigid about I spend about the same each month.

If I had known when I was a teenager what I know now I would have cleared my mortgage a long long time ago. In fact I could have bought a property outright on how much I earned in the two years before I left home at 19 years of age. That factory job, babysitting and fruit picking money added up.

The thought of being completely mortgage free in a few years plus saving all that interest I would have paid makes me very happy. It has given me choices I might not have had.

I am now educating my children to think about saving a regular sum, even if it is only a few pounds. That an emergency fund is a neccessity not an add on. That they can have fun and save.

This is especially important for my DD who goes off to university in debt before she has even started. She has accepted it easily and didn’t want us to pay but I don’t want her to be weighed down by it for the next 25 years.

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The last few days have been awful. How else could it be when people, especially children, die this way.

As a mother of a teenager I am touched more than usual by this event. My heart goes to the parents and families of the dead and injured. I also feel for the unnamed thousands who got away unhurt with all the emotional fall out that that can entail.

Well done to the emergency services, the people who helped even in small ways, and even the Beeb who I feel handled this so much better than usual.

Take care friends.




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Decluttering and Minimalism

Just recently I have had a bit of a breakthrough with my attitude to the clutter and collections of stuff I have. My house is heaving with craft stuff, books, ornaments, clothes, stuff other people gave me to get rid of…..which I hung onto, just in case.

We are about to start the process of replacing the kitchen and our DD is off to uni in a few months time. This means we can thnk about down sizing. To do that we need to move a lot of stuff.

My relationship with stuff has been a life long affair. We didn’t have much as children but boy could we shop…….at the local jumble sale. Charity (thrift) shops were too expensive.

Over the years I have upsized and so has the amount of stuff I hauled about. I arrived in Derby with a suitcase and a carrier bag, and a lot of the case was taken up with books and pictures for my wall.

My house is now four bedroomed with large shelves all over. Things are stashed in nooks and crannies, under beds and sets of draws, in and on wardrobes across the whole house.

I can’t blame any one else, nearly all of it is mine.

Soooo things are achanging. With DD leaving and may end up living abroad after uni, I am realising that some of the stuff I have has been sitting around for an awful long time. It is time it went. Which is the problem.

I am not a thrower. I can let things go well enough but items have to go somewhere usful or be recycled. I have rubbish sheets I can’t let go because I don’t want them to go to landfill. Old quilts well past their usefulness but sitting waiting to be rehomed; you get the picture.

A few weeks ago we cleared the garage and emptied out most of the loft. This was a great thing to do. We got rid of a load of rubbish to the tip but was left with a few choice items.

Since then we have listed a load of stuff on Gumtree. I never bothered before after my experiences with ebay. I grew to hate selling online. Well things are going out the door fast, and for real money. I can’t believe it.


Dummy1Round Mirror2

A set of drums went to a requester on Freegle.


In addition to larger items for sale I am finding homes for lots of craft stuff. The hospital dementia care team have taken card, buttons and ribbons. Wool I gave to my MiL is going to make fiddle muffs, also for dementia patients.

This is the sort of thing:


A load of fabric items like sheets and shirts are labelled up to go to my local Cancer Research shop labelled as rags.

I gave my MiL four bags of bits for her church summer sale and a further four to the local charity shop.

Most charity shops won’t take old sci fi and fantasy but a local church hall has agreed to sell them for the upkeep of their building.

I know I sound all excitable but it really is a relief to not have this stuff rotting away, dying in storage or just gathering dust.

The best thing is that I have missed nothing that has gone so far. This shouldn’t be a surprise but it still annoys me that I took so long to get started.


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International Nurses Day


Image result for royal college of nursing nurses day

A friend posted this so I thought I would pass it on to you although its a bit late. I am a nurse and proud of it. I have also been a patient in the last few years and have received care that is second to none.  Each day I see my colleagues going above and beyond to make sure everything is done the way it should be. Power to your elbow friends. The NHS is a great organisation despite its problems made so by the people who work in it.

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Current Themes – An Update

A brief look at how things are going and where I want to be with life.

Health and Fitness:When I wrote last month I had started using antidepressants to help me sleep. Well they did ok but I was too sleepy next day and they didn’t reduce the hot sweats which is what I was after.

I have been feeling better though, a bit more energetic. This has been achieved by going to bed earlier and getting a catnap in before DH comes up. Not ideal but better than nothing.

I have a long term back problem which I set off with overdoiing it with my new battery powered strimmer. I was laid up for a few days but amd now nearly back to normal. Iknew I was going to suffer after an hour of strimming but I was having such a good time


Making Money: Had a good month with the surveys again but best win this month has been the child benefits that has been repaid following it being stopped in March. That money really makes a difference to our finances.

I have been looking to the future and realise that I can pay off the mortgage in three years time, about 6 years before intended. All part of my FIRE (Financial Independent Retire Early goals).

Prepping: At the moment this is base around decluttering and minimising. I would like to downsize when my DD has left home and so have five years or so I think to prep the house and clear all the stuff she will never want.

Decluttering and Minimising: Massive decluttering going on here. Tioday a van seat and a drumkit are going. I hope to have sold a mannequin which I got for a never done project sold in the next few weeks too. I am using Gumtree.

I found 2 good places for my other craft clutter. Some is going to the dementia care worker at the hospital for craft sessions and some is going to the local Scrapstore:

Also this week I found out that my local Cancer Research charity shop takes bags of poor quality fabrics and clothes for rags. They get about £4.00 for a binliner. I am so happy about this as I have a pile of unloved sheets that are of no use to me but not saleable. I already have a box of rags for cleaning and sheets for decorating.

Personal Growth:  Each passing month I feel more confident. I ‘clicked’ when giving a teaching session a few weeks ago and seem to have lost my fear. Not something I bargained on but lack of confidence has held me back all thses years, and now it doesn’t.

I have a lot more to say so I am going to break it down into some posts over the next few weeks.

Posted in decluttering and minimalism, Health and Fitness, Making Money, menopause, miscellanous, personal growth, Prepping, sleep, Uncategorized, Update on current themes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Current Themes – An Update

A brief look at how things are going and where I want to be with life.

Health and Fitness:

After taking an age to get an appointment with the GP I finally got to talk about my sleep issues. He prescribed me a mild anti depressant. This is not because I am depressed it is just to help me sleep through the wakefulness. I am happy to report improved sleep although my fit bit tells me I am moving around as much as I was, I don’t notice it as much or care about it.

Eating and tiredness have always gone hand in hand with me. Since starting the pills my appetite has reduced to a more normal level, so I hope it leads to some steady weight loss.

I had my blood pressure done and it was up. I have done it at work since and it is back to normal, a case of ‘white coat syndrome’ I guess.

I was talking to a breast cancer friend last week who was moved off tamoxifen onto something else which improved the menopausal symptoms. If they offer me this I will try it; I may be able to lose the anti depressant altogether then.

I just have to look at how I was this time last year to realise how far I have come.

Making Money: Had a good month with the surveys but light nights are drawing me outside so I may be taking a break for a while from them. Did get a several hundred pound rebate from my car insurance provided because they had charged me twice for my husband to be on it over the last four years. Very happy with that.

Prepping: Wills now done and signed off. next is a contact sheet for me, DH, FiL and MiL in case the worst should happen.

Decluttering and Minimising: DS1 has moved out again but the room of doom remains a mess. DS3 and I got a load of stuff down from the loft a few weeks ago. I am slowly trawling though it and burning, binning and bagging for the charity shop. Four big boxes of books are slowly being sorted and given away. It is handy working in the hospital as I am delivering a bagful here and there to different departments for their booksales.

Personal Growth:  I have been on a further date on the leadership course plus doing a session called an Action Learning Set. This is where a small group bring issues and problems for you to work through. It has a coaching element where you come up with your own answers rather than them giving advice. Also had the first of three coaching sessions. I found this a bit more difficult. Overall I am recognising that I have grown a lot over the last few years, not just because of the cancer, it started before then.

Posted in cleaning and clearing, decluttering and minimalism, Health and Fitness, Making Money, menopause, personal growth, Prepping | Tagged , , | Leave a comment