Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Moving news!

Well. This is exciting! Our staff meeting revealed that we are moving (which isn't a surprise to me - ha ha) and it will be to the western edge of the Forest, to a town called Ringwood.
Ringwood is a market town, much nicer and it edges into the Forest on its eastern side. It has all the amenities and conveniences you could want - except direct bus or train transport. You can see it here, and where it sits in relation to Southampton.
This is much nicer for me, as I had more or less decided that Totton (which is not indicated on the map, but is almost exactly halfway between Southampton and Ashurst, at the very eastern edge of the Forest and bumping up against Southampton Water). I don't much like Totton other than for its convenience, so this actually gives me a much wider net to cast as far as looking for available properties.
I've found a super one that I'd like to go and view - all inclusive, including being furnished, which is extremely rare. It's slightly more expensive than I'd like to pay, but during my review the words 'pay rise' were bandied about, but that will be hammered out at a further meeting in the summer, once we know for sure what our new premises will be and what they will incorporate.
This is the little flat - here. It's probably a 20 min drive from Ringwood (you can see Burley on the map, just a little south of Ringwood). But the further I dig, the more I find, so this is looking much better than my options for Totton. I've since found a tidy little one-bed, detached flat - a converted garage from the looks of things - for £500 a month! It's further north, towards Fordingbridge, but what a find!
So I'm feeling much more positive about things.
My colleague, though, is not as happy as I am as it means a much further commute for her, although there will be parking at the office and we were told that travel could be compensated - there's no point discussing it at the moment when we aren't sure exactly where we'll be and when we'll be there, although it's looking like the autumn at this point.
But it'll also mean a lot of hard work, packing up and moving stuff, so I'm sure there's going to be discussion about that as well.
Lunch is over! Back to work I go :D

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Taking time to rest


This is what I'm planning to do this week. I've been sleeping very well since my procedure on Saturday and am thinking I would like to take the rest of this week off to rest and recuperate while I can.

Regardless of it not being major surgery, my body has still been through some serious trauma and needs time to heal. I'm enjoying being at home and being quiet and calm. There's been no pain, but I'm aware of the area if that makes sense. A little 'nudge' here and there to remind me of it. And I have a gigantic bruise where the anaesthetic IV went into my hand. Doesn't hurt, but it's pretty impressive!

I've not been eating much at all, but have been getting lots of fluids (water and tea), so I'm fasting I suppose. It's not necessarily a conscious thing, but it feels like the right thing to do.

I admit I don't really want to go back to work just yet, either. I'm enjoying this quiet and calm and want to go back when I feel both mentally and physically ready, rather than just when I feel I 'should'. Feeling guilty means I care about what I do, but I know that if something were to happen, it could potentially mean even MORE time away and why open that kettle of fish?

My supervisor isn't in today but I will call her tomorrow to discuss. I'll enjoy my peace and quiet today and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. :)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Update: week ending 6 May


It's going to be a quiet few days for me. I'm off work tomorrow and Tuesday, just taking some time to recover from a routine out-patient procedure I had done yesterday. It was under general anaesthetic so I'm feeling a bit delicate today as the anaesthesia works its way out of my system (approx 24 hours).

All went well. I arrived at 12:15 and was called in almost immediately. Paperwork in quadruplicate as each staff member had to come in and chat, check and sign paperwork and I was asked the same questions about 4 times. No getting around it, but it is time-consuming! At any rate, I didn't wait long to be prepped and taken to the OR.

I was having a lovely dream and then woke up to a nurse called Rachel greeting me at about 3:30. A few minutes in the recovery room, where the doctor came in and said some stuff to me (which he admitted I likely wouldn't remember) and off I went to the ward for a few hours. They loaded me up with water as I needed to pee 200ml before they would let me go. That seemed to take ages and ages, but finally, they got enough to release me and let me go with loads of pills - all of which I'm supposed to take 3-4 times a day, but I'm a bit confused with them, so will read the directions and see what I'm supposed to do with them. They're all for pain management, but so far have only taken an Ibuprofen last night. I imagine I'll need them a bit more as the anaesthetic wears off during the day.

The staff were great and the nurses really lovely. I will need a follow-up at some point, I think, and also need to make an appointment with my regular doctor anyway, so can drop the discharge information there when I do that. 

So I'm not venturing far, today at least, and fortunately have plenty of unread books at hand, as well as a few emails and letters to write. I feel I need to take advantage of a couple of days off and get caught up there.

I've started looking at flats and there are several that I really like but as I said previously, there doesn't seem much point looking for something I can't yet afford to do. If I'm feeling up to it on Tuesday, I may take myself into town and register at a couple of places to get started.

I had a brief chat with my boss on Thursday, however, and he said not to make any sudden move plans for the moment. The reason being that the MDs are thinking of moving the office closer to home (on the western edge of the Forest) so my plans on where to move might change. This wouldn't happen right away, obviously, but it does open up options for me, although Totton is where my ladies group is and I don't want to be TOO far from that. At any rate, we're having an office meeting in a couple of weeks so that the MDs can have a chat to us about it. I've been sworn to secrecy at this point, so will have to act surprised.

I did get a 6-month train pass, too, which makes more sense than an annual one at this point, seeing as neither I nor the office knows where we'll be come the new year. So that's handy, although a bit more expensive than an annual pass. Oh well, not complaining! I'm very lucky to be able to say 'I need a new train pass' and get one. Ha ha!

Otherwise, it's been a quiet week! I've set aside some cash for moving (£32 - woot!) and have about £25 more at the moment from various bits & pieces. Can take that to the bank this week and feel better about doing something. I've found a job ad for a tea shop in Lyndhurst that might be right up my alley, so am going to apply for that (weekend shop front staff). No guarantees, but it doesn't hurt to try. I don't have any experience in food service, but this is quite a nice shop and serves 99% tea, so might just be perfect.

Anyway, this was just a quick update. Hope you're all having a good weekend!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Planning a move!


I'm moving! 

Not right away but it is an absolute now, probably in the new year. My cousin sat down with me yesterday and we had a further chat about things, as she'd been thinking about this again. Mostly she wants to get on with 'house stuff' sooner rather than later and, to be fair, I've taken advantage - and not in the best way - of being here and having so few responsibilities.

The biggest obstacle for me is deposits & affordable rents once I'm on my own. I've called in the debt that my sister owes me (£200) which will go straight towards that, and have to shave, shave, shave my already relatively slim budget, and put all those funds towards a deposit. My cousin has said I can have two months rent free at the end of the year, which will give me £900 and is a huge relief. I've been thinking about a Saturday job but they seem hard to come by, although I will keep my eyes peeled and have just this morning had another thought about the current rent with my cousin which I'll discuss with her at some point.

She's also willing to sell me her old sofa and all the bedroom furniture for about £100 so that I'm not starting with nothing. I'm happy to accept! As well, it means I'll be scoping out the thrift shops looking for fun, colourful and funky bits and pieces to put in my new place. I've found one in Lyndhurst which has a gazillion cutlery items, so can mix and match to my heart's content. It's a start.

Things I need to consider and budget for:

1. Rent - what's the maximum I can comfortably pay each month?

2. Council tax - like property taxes, this pays for rubbish removal, street lighting, road maintenance, etc. There's no getting around it, but each property pays a different amount so I have to account monthly for this.

3. Water.

4. Heat/electricity/gas.

5. Broadband/internet, TV license fee.

6. Food, car & transportation.

7. Managing agent's fees (if using one), deposit and first 4-6 weeks rent.

8. FUN! I need to entertain myself and have enough fun money to go out for tea and cake or lunch or take a weekend away somewhere once in awhile. I can't be 'house poor'.

I've decided that I need to find a place in Totton which, honestly, is a bit of a dump, but has both direct bus and train connections to Southampton, three big grocery stores, a library, my doctor and dentist, and my social group. It's still close to the Forest and my cousin, too, so while it's not pretty by anyone's standards, it's convenient and the prices aren't more or less than anywhere else. It's only 5 mins on the train to Southampton, too, and there are more trains in the evening as it's basically a bedroom community for Southampton. There's also a direct bike route into town.

There are just fewer places to rent, that's all. But no matter! I'm confident I'll find the perfect place.

So what would I like in my own place? A flat or maisonette; one-bedroom; off-street parking ideally and a place for my bike; walking distance to train/bus; bright and not too modern. I love a bit of character but appreciate that all the 'newly refurbished' places are clean and modern and what most people want and expect.

So the hunt is on! There are several places online at the moment that I'd consider looking at but there isn't much point until I have some money put aside in case I find 'The One'. I'm going to put the word out to my friends, colleagues, etc., as that can work too. They know far more people than I do and who knows what'll turn up?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

York 2.0 - Walls continued and into the Minster

Along the south-west portion of the walls now. The homes inside the walls are quite lovely, although not as cheap as I'd have thought. I suppose that goes with living in such a unique place. Prices were surprisingly high.

So pretty!

The Perky Peacock cafe. We had decided on a visit to it later in the trip, but never actually made it, unfortunately. Next trip! :D

The River Ouse. It has a lovely river walk alongside. Again, something I would've liked to have done, but you do have to pick and choose what you want to do. I think we did plenty!

Lendal Tower at Lendal Bridge. This is apparently a holiday let property! How much fun would that be?

Up Museum Street towards the beautiful Minster.

This was a half-hourly tourist train direct to the Minster. From where I'm not sure.

Daffodils brightening the city up.

A beautiful building that took 200 years to build!

Heading back to the hotel, two blocks from the gate at the end of the street.

The Georgian House Mews. A three-star guest house that isn't trying particularly hard for the fourth star. It was absolutely fine for our purposes (location and cost), but we had a few little issues. Despite dirty glasses, no toilet paper, it not being the cleanest of rooms and a rather lengthy wait at our first breakfast (the staff weren't paying attention - a German guest approached them first, then me), I would stay again as it was comfortable enough and the price was definitely right!

Around the Minster.

Some of the hundreds of grotesques decorating the building. There is ongoing work to repair and refurbish the brickwork - you can see some new bricks here, the fresh yellow ones.


The Minster organ.

Everything is so beautifully and elaborately crafted.

The ceiling in the Chapter House.

Some of the hundreds of little grotesques all around the Chapter House walls.

The beautiful floor.

I climbed to the top - this is only halfway!

Finally made it all the way up! Phew - it was quite a trek. Well worth it, however! Look at the views.

A few of the 275 steps.

The kings from the beginning of the building of the Minister through its completion! Two walls' worth! 

The windows are truly amazing. Some were being cleaned and refurbished, but the colours really are glorious.

The Kings Book of Heroes - listing all those who fought and died in WWI. A beautiful tribute.

I'm finally feeling better after being sick for nearly two weeks! So frustrating, added to by email problems at work last week. I was pretty grumpy for awhile, so good for everyone that I'm feeling better. Ha ha!

My cousin is visiting her mum this weekend so I have the house to myself. I didn't do much of anything yesterday: booked a tune-up for my bike and went out to get a few staples, but otherwise puttered around and didn't get much of anything done. 

I haven't been on my bike in M-O-N-T-H-S and am feeling quite guilty about it. I'm intending to ride it to work over the summer as my train pass is expiring in May and it would save me some money, but I'll see how it works out. It would take me almost an hour to get there, but I'd feel really good about it! I'd still like another train pass, though, so will discuss with the MDs for another one. They were very open to it last year.

Today I was feeling well and energetic enough to take myself for a walk this morning. I did just over 3 miles and felt great doing it. I've not felt like it since I got sick, so I'm glad to be feeling better enough to start again. I've missed it! I got the best of the day today as it was sunny and bright and by the time I got home an hour later the sun had gone in and it was considerably cooler. I'm planning on a similar walk tomorrow and Monday.

I've got some baking on my to do list as well which I'm going to tackle tomorrow: a loaf, some breakfast muffins and a lime coconut cake. YUM!

(More photos tomorrow or Monday!)