Sunday, 5 February 2017

Anyone else been Kon Marieing?

I know I keep on about it but I love this book and the ideas behind it. I even love how nutty she is (thank my shoes, you say???)

So my son is home from Uni now. All academic exams passed but he still has to pass his certificate of competence in March, fingers crossed for that. As he has really been here for 3.5 years his room wasn't very welcoming so he has given it a bit of a once over. And it seems to me he has done the Kon Marie thing without ever having read the book. I think he has absorbed some KM from me! He really pruned his 'komono' section, which is really the 'random crap' section. He only kept clothes which he loves or likes. It fits well with his expected life style. When he is at sea he has 40kg allowance and that must last him for 4 to 6 months, and he likes to take a massive fluffy blanket, called fluffy, in there as well. But so far what he has learned from so much travelling has served him well. He went off to Uni for his final term by plane, so minimal luggage, although he did take the train another time to get his fathers bike up there. And when we went to Crete this year he just had his carry on luggage, for a 3 week holiday. I am beginning to think I could learn from him. Maybe he could write a Kon Marie style book :)

Unrelated, or maybe mildly related but he is now the easiest person to book travel for. When he had to get back from Togo in Africa it involved about 24 hours of travel. I think he had a taxi into Nigeria. Then only three planes a week travel to Europe. The wait in Paris CdG was 7 hours and so it went on. So when i was looking for a cheap way to get to visit his friend in the Derby area it was £85 on the train or £8 coach into London and £5 coach London to Derby. I dropped him locally at 6am and he arrived at 2pm and didn't bat an eye lid about how long it took.  I know people who come from geographically biog places take such things in their stride but this is a tiny little island. We are used to getting anywhere in a day!!

So anyway he has learnt Kon MArie from me and I am learning travel patience from him. Fair swopsies

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Eek. End of January already

I am still contemplating the end of 2016 and we are 8% through 2017 already. Argh!
So I was super frugal through January. I paid all of my money to the Greek bank account as soon as I got it so that I didn't weaken. We have been pleasantly creative with food and eating from the freezer and larder and I experimented with a lovely cheap and healthy lentil dish which everyone was fighting over, so win:win.

  1. Heat a little oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Tip in some chopped potatoes, carrots and parsnips, turn up the heat and cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are golden.Stir in a teaspoon each of ground coriander  ground cumin and ground turmeric. Add a couple of points of chicken stock ( i used Knorr stock cubes)and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the lentils, cover and simmer for around 45 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened. I topped up again with stock as I dont like lentils to be too bitey
I was working a on list of fifty thinngs I did in 2016 but somehow havent got to 50 but here it is anyway.
  1. Finally started legalisation of Crete House
  2. Changed Greek water account to my name
  3. Opened a Greek bank account (and therefore circumvented capital controls, ssssh!)
  4. Went to the Borough Market
  5. Went to Camden Lock (and drank it dry!)
  6. Taught to cook Thai Curry by Thai cook in my house
  7. Started dancing classes
  8. Walked to work on a regular basis (thats two hours a day of soliday walking and listening to the radio, right there)
  9. Seriously de-cluttered
  10. Went to the casino (twice). Avoided gambling asi ts dull but ate very good value dinner :)
  11. Lost 25kg
  12. Bought lovely new bedding
  13. Visited Newcastle and ate in a cave!
  14. Visited Liverpool for the first time
  15. Learned to make risotto
  16. Got a fitbit
  17. Had a book published and sold some copies
  18. Arranged a Christmas breakfast event at work
  19. Went to Ventnor fringe, music and arts event
  20. Saw The Mousetrap at Shanklin theatre
  21. Reduced diabetic medication by 2/3
  22. Lowered blood pressure and cholesterol without meds
  23. Attended pilates  for 6 months (and then got bored with it)
  24. Went LED on 90% of lighting
  25. Fixed boiler (but made plans for its replacement)
  26. Had a cheese fondue 'party'
  27. Went to aerobics lessons regularly but got bored with it.
  28. Held a Greek Themed dinner party
  29. Priced up and investigate wood burning stove for the sitting room
  30. Made perfect (yes, perfect) pavlova!

Sunday, 22 January 2017


I am finding current affairs thoroughly depressing at the moment so am avoid news programmes and BBC radio 4 but its not enough. Its invading my facebook too! All I want is pictures of kittens doing cute things!

This month I am going to buy a few new kindle books and find some new blogs to follow. And also try to do more crochet (how long have I been doing this blanket??) and maybe some cross stitch which I found. Also when its a bit lighter and a the temperature rises above freezing then some more exercise in the outdoors. Actually I don't mind the cold but not crazy about the dark, especially near the house where its country lanes with no street lighting (whinge, whinge, whinge). My Wednesday dance fitness class has temporarily moved to Tuesday as we join the younger dancers for a few months whilst we are short of people. In a month or so we move back to Wednesday but my friend and I will also attend to Tuesday. It was for fitness as I am definitely feeling better all the time, but also 'screen avoidance'! I am actually such an avoider of going out, especially after a busy work day, but even I cant wait until dance time, so hopefully 2 days will be even more fun.

Enough. Time to go cook brunch for the family. The younger generation are off up to London today, to the O2 for a gig, so am going to feed them up a bit first.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

2017 target and uber frugal update

I have made my plans. They are similar to2016 but just slightly 'more' of it.

Pay more off mortgage.
Sort out all the legal and tax for the other house
Lose more weight ( I did okay last year - go me!)
Do more fitnessy things.
Do a few things i wouldn't normally do. I had five things in that category so that is quite exciting and have already set the ball in motion for a couple..

My uber frugal month has remained frugal (so far) as far as personal spending goes. Groceries etc have also been good. I did have 3 major purchases though. This Tuesday we are having delivered a new dishwasher and new washing machine. And i went for new and a lot further up market than i would have once. I am in a constant battle with our ancient machine with the dishwasher that doesn't get hot and therefore doesn't really wash, and the washing machine that does 3/4 of a wash and then errors, the un-un-lockable door and the sopping wet and soapy washing. No more!

Last thing was to have the hippo bag removed and have visions of my lovely garden so much closer. However its a hipposkip and i mis read how much it could contain so consequently i have paid my £200 and i still have an overloaded skip in my garden. I have to half empty and call again. Happy days! How fortunate that extra exercise was on my list, as Fahed is awaiting a serious knee operation and Jamal has a sprained ankle. Doh!