Wednesday, March 4, 2015

So...


Remember that fellow I mentioned in several posts? The Scot who looks superb in a t-shirt?

We're going for dinner.

Right?!

Monday, February 2, 2015

New Digs




What a difference a day makes, as the saying goes, although in this case, it's a week.

My car was collected today for repair. I thought for sure the garage had forgotten about me and fixing the rear taillight, but I got a call on Friday to let me know that the car would be picked up today to finally be repaired. I requested a courtesy car and got a brand new little Nissan Micra. Nice, zippy little car. No idea how long I'll have it, but as none of this is costing me anything, it doesn't really matter.

I've just settled into a new space, where I've committed to be for six months. It's not as cosy or colourful as my room in the Forest, but it's all what you make it and as I've only been here about 3 hours, this is its current state. The landlady is clearing out a cupboard for me in the kitchen, and a small space in the fridge (which is slightly larger than bar size anyway, typical of English kitchens), so I'll have a bit more room when my dishes and food items are tucked away elsewhere. Despite moving only from one room to another, it would appear I have too much stuff. It seems I'll have to spend time decluttering, which is not a bad thing at all.

I have only one wardrobe and a small one at that (the door on the right). The other door holds the boiler/water heater so is of no use to me. I do have the spaces on the top of the built ins, however, although I'll stick with just putting my plants there, as I don't know how sturdy they are. I have a small storage dresser and that's about it right now. I'll be making another run to the Forest on the weekend and will be bringing back another storage unit with me, but I don't want to get carried away.

The pros:

1) 5-minute commute to work!!
2) free time again - to read, stay up a bit later, go for a walk...
3) reasonable rent - £450 p/m, which is only £50 more than I was paying my cousin. Plus I'm saving over £300 a month in gas, so really a win-win there.
4) Close to a gym & a library!
5) I have a new place to explore!
6) I'm feeling a bit more independent, even though it's not a full flat of my own (which is not doable on the salary I'm currently making)

Cons:

1) No cousin company!
2) No cat!
3) No full house access
4) No New Forest
5) I have to make my own dinner (:P)
6) the mattress is hard...I'll be collecting my foam topper this weekend.

I can't really make a thorough list either way until I've been here a few weeks and seen how things go. The walls are thin and I can hear neighbours, I overlook the rear of the building and as we're in flats situated over businesses, it could get noisy at stupid o'clock. 

Still, here I am. Let's see where we go from here...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Up and down and up and downupdownupdownup...



My home away from home. :)

It's been another rocky week work-wise. It started out well enough, hit a rough patch in the middle and then smoothed over by Friday, which is not a bad way to end a week all things considered.

On an UP financial note, the funds from my cashed out CSBs were deposited into my bank account and I now have the funds to hammer down my debt for at least 6-8 months if I manage them properly. Hurrah! A bit less stress there at least.

I am realizing that I'm spending far too much time stressing about my finances than I need to so am trying to figure out the best way to clear them with the least fuss possible. I've sent an email to my mum's lawyer in Victoria to get some details about Power of Attorney (approx $250) so that once I decide what to do, it can be done. My choices are (short term),
  1. pay off the LLP/RRSP with my LOC & funds from CSBs, leaving me with a $5k increase in LOC and not much to cover my MC & LOC repayments;
  2. put $1k into my RRSP from my CSBs, leaving me with enough funds for MC, LOC repayment and meeting my obligation to the LLP repayment scheme for this year; or
  3. pay off my MC with the funds from CSBs ($1662.38), put $1k into RRSP for LLP repayment scheme, and use the rest to chip away at the LOC with mostly min payments until I get myself sorted out.
The least stressful option is #2, the most ideal #3. Long term, the amount I'm looking at cashing out is over $30k and miserable exchange rate notwithstanding, once everything is paid off and exchanged and whatnot, I'll wind up with less than £10K, but it's still a deposit on an apartment, car repairs, emergency fund, savings, a trip somewhere, fun, etc., etc. It will count as income for next year, but that should clear everything and I'll be able to leave it all behind me.

Then that will be that.

Down: Work wise things are still not without curve balls. One of the fellows who opens the yard at 6:15 is on holiday for two weeks, so that means someone else has to open early until he gets back. That came down to me and my friend. I tried for two days - getting up at 4 a.m., on the road by 5, but home at 3:30 - and it was a disaster. Does. Not. Work. So my friend is doing it instead, as it really doesn't seem to bother her. Quite the opposite, actually. She was on fire Friday. I rolled in at 7:30 and had a great day, so now we know.

Up/Down: we had another chat about various things, mostly work-related and cleared some more air. She realized that no matter how hard she is on me, she will never match how hard I am on myself when I do something wrong.

Down: It ended on a very sour note when we learned that the funding for our main installation scheme has been stopped until at least April (industry-wide, not just us) which meant immediate installer layoffs. Shitty. Really, really hope to see them back sooner rather than later, but it's unlikely. The funding process is quite complicated, involving the Goverment and the energy companies, carbon scores, etc. and if the funds to pay for these schemes (there are several) dries up, so does the work. It's unclear at this point if we in the office are totally safe, but for the time being, yes.

Up: The Crush was in for a good part of the day and I managed to make some conversation with him at the end of the day while he was waiting to see the MD. He made tea, I shared biscuits and we talked a bit. 

UP: He looks superb in a t-shirt. There are worse images than a well-built man in a t-shirt that can be burned into your retinas.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Cash outs, cars and work stuff


The Blue Rooster of Trafalgar Square

I believe I've shared the above photo before, or at least a similar one, but I think it's just so much fun I had to post it again!

This week has been a bit crazy. I've had several bollockings (I love that word!) at work for things that were - or weren't - done as asked. All deserved, but something I need to work harder at avoiding, so have noted the issues. Part of the problem is that my brain seems extra-fuzzy at the moment (I'm not eating right or drinking enough water) and nothing is sticking, not even when I write it down. I'm feeling desperate to get to a gym, but unclear where exactly it would fit into my current lifestyle. Do I rejoin the one in the Forest and go when I get back from work (7:30) or go straight after work in Chertsey and get home an hour later? I'll have to look into the Chertsey gym as it would mean missing the worst of the traffic if I did that, so that should count as motivation on its own.

The commute hasn't been too crazy this week. The drive home always feels faster and I seem to arrive at my travel points much more easily than I do on the morning run. It's absolutely miserable when it's raining, but on a typical night it's not so bad.

Renee Verde is running well. I FINALLY managed to get her into the local garage this morning to have the temperature sensor replaced (it's only taken me two weeks). I called my CC company this morning to prepare them for a big hit and to let them know it would be okay, as it was me doing it. An hour after I presented my car for the work, it was complete and I took a deep breath as the jobsheet was handed over. I think I squawked. £83.10!!! I was anticipating two or three times that amount, so to say that I'm pleased is an understatement. I also want to take her over to have them look at the list of things I was given in Chertsey and give me a second opinion. I still have to get a few things done and want to make sure it's all absolutely necessary. If I can save some £££, it will be worth it. The new temperature sensor will stop me worrying if the car is overheating and the fellow topped up the coolant as well, so I'm all set there.

My cousin and I then went to do a grocery shop and spent over £100! That's a big one for us, but we got lots of stuff for the freezer and I got more apples and snacks for work (like hummous & rice cakes, some fruity biscuits and things like that). New Year's resolution for both of us: stop wasting so much food! We're truly terrible in that respect. I bought some coconut milk this time, too. I don't like milk much, but drink a lot of tea and feel that I can cut back a little bit there.

On an accomplishment roll, I then figured out how to cash out my Canada Savings Bonds. I was a bit sad to do it, as I do like the CSBs, but it simply doesn't make sense to have money "stored" when I still have debt. Besides, the amount of interest I'm making on the CSBs is so small, it's hardly worth it, because the of the higher CC and LOC interest rates. So in about 4 days I will have another $2,899.17 towards my debt!

The next step is to find out how much a Power of Attorney costs, as I need some "fiddling" to clear the remaining debt. I'm not sure what I'd like to do is possible, or makes sense to do, but it's the only way I can think of to fully clear it. I have two RRSPs. One is locked in, one is flexible. I'm hoping that I can cash out the locked in one and use the funds to pay off the remaining LLP amount (approx $8600) owing to the flexible plan (which is where it came from), my LOC ($5800), and then just get the rest transferred to me here, although the exchange rate is horrendous right now. I can't do anything at all from here, so it would have to be done with a PoA. Hm. I have to look into this. I'll ask my mum to ask her lawyer how much it would cost to get a PoA done and get some guidance from my bank about cashing out over the next couple of months. I'll have plenty in the bank to continue monthly payments in the meantime, so at least I'm not stressing about that on top of everthing else. This is part of what the psychic said - I know what I need to do, I just need to do it, clear it and let it go.

Anyone have any insight/thoughts/etc on that? I'd love some feedback.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Finding some direction - in just a week!



This time last week I was feeling melancholy and a bit directionless. I was looking forward to a reading from a psychic and needing to talk with my friend on Monday when we started back at work.

Thanks for your comments and support. It means a lot and honestly helped.

I was dreading the drive to Chertsey on Monday morning, and of course didn't sleep well the night before because of it. When I arrived I was tired, which always makes things seem worse than they are (because then you start to look for - and find! - things like: why no one loves you or ever will and why you suck at work/in general and why am I here and what's going on in the world anyway, etc., etc., ad naseum). The first thing my friend said to me was, "You and I are having a conversation this morning." !! So we did.

The peanut shell version of the "Friend as Boss" chat is this: I am NOT obligated to stay at this job if I'm not happy or if something better comes along (I was feeling like I'd trapped myself by saying 'yes,' when that is quite distinctly NOT the case); she separated the friend vs business aspect of things; I have a new job title and a new wage starting Feb 1; there is a 6-month probationary period on said new position; I went to look at a room; and I feel a gazillion times better.

The new job title is Admin Supervisor and comes with a £2k - £3k p/yr raise (!) and I'm absolutely fine with the probationary period. I'm not convinced it's for me (or me for it), so having a finite period of time gives everyone options.

The room I saw was much nicer, brighter and bigger than it looks online (as they tend to be), it was in a good location and the price is definitely right, but the kitchen is teensy and it just doesn't have the tranquil, comfortable aura that I'm looking for. More student-ish than professional grown-up. I sent a query for a room that's just a few minutes drive away which I think will be more comfortable, so we'll see what happens with that. I can't say I'm putting considerable effort into it necessarily, but I feel much better for being proactive, even if I get so ridiculously picky/fussy that nothing ever comes of it.

The first part of the week started off well, but ended with a bit of a bump only because I was so tired after the first full week back. I have incomplete work on my desk and lost my mojo halfway through Thursday AND Friday. Our office junior wasn't in Wed & Thurs because she didn't have any bus fare. Friday we got paid and she tried, but the Transit Gods weren't on her side and she texted at 11:00 to say she'd been waiting 45 minutes for a bus. We sent her home because it just wasn't worth her coming in at that point as we were winding up at 4pm anyway. It just means work remains undone and looming, so we're considering a new junior. Preferably one who has a car and can get to work when we need them. Anyway, it's a discussion for next week. I'm going to have a gentle conversation with her before my friend brings down the hammer. So that's disappointing. We're hoping she has a good think over the weekend and decides that it's not the best job for her after all.

Otherwise I think I've been doing much better as the "obligation weight" has lifted and I'm not feeling so trapped. Even the commute has been better, partially because I've actually been sleeping much better! 

It was a quiet week, no installers (they're back on Monday) and for the most part just me and my friend in the office. It was nice, actually. Quite chill.

This morning I took myself to the psychic. It was an hour's drive (easy peasy these days) to a very pretty market town called Farnham. She has a delightful little cottage just off the High Street and I spent an hour with her. I recorded it and I'm really glad I did, as I wouldn't remember half of it had I not. She said she doesn't usually let people record it unless they ask, and she's glad I was able to as it was a lot even for her.

She does several tarot card spreads and elaborates on that. But, for the sake of clarity (and the fact I have to review it again) this are the basics of what she said:

  • I arrived (at the appointment) with my guardian angel, who she could see. He and I have been together in a past life; there was also materal energy around me, likely my maternal grandmother. She vists and sits with me at night sometimes apparently. They are there to let me know I'm not alone, although I feel like I am.
  • There was a 'baby' card (The Empress) which didn't really make any sense to me because children aren't something I've ever spent much time considering, although I have lost one in the past, so that's possibly where that came from.
  • Sadly, the handsome Scot does not feature (as I'd like) in my future, although a mad crush is never a bad thing. There is definitely a man, however.
  • There was a lot of information coming in which she said was quite scattered and seemed a bit unrelated, but would all eventually mesh together as it's meant to.
  • The job is not what I want either (true) and doing admin work isn't what I love, but a new job will come after I meet this mystery man, which is approximately six months time. I need to stay put (home wise), so the commute is, at this point, a necessary evil so to speak. If I move, I won't meet this man, you see...
  • She touched on feeling lonely and depressed; I need to stop "opening the box" on my last relationship, lock it up and be done with it for good.
  • My concerns/issues/worries over money are affecting my health (!), so I need to just deal with it - do what needs to be done - and let it go and simply believe and trust that I have enough.
  • Any and all decisions must be made with my heart; letting my head get involved will be disastrous. I'm far, far more spiritually sensitive than I acknowledge and have to remain open to that, pay attention and just know that my heart will never steer me wrong.
  • People see me much differently than I see myself; I'm not allowing myself to really be me, to my own detriment.
  • I'm staying in England. Canada is more or less done and dusted, and I'll return for visits, but not to live, at least not for another decade or so.
  • This man is "IT" - the love I've been waiting for and wanting and I'll end up moving to be with him - not necessily moving in with him to start, but definitely close, to be with him. Ultimately we will end up living together though ("marriage", but not necessarily married - committed).
  • I get in my own way...I know what I need to do, I just don't do it... :P
There's more, but I need to listen to it again a couple of times. I found myself in tears several times during the reading, but not unhappy tears. It's more I felt...overwhelmed, but not in a bad way. It's hard to describe exactly.

Overall, it's been a good week. The installers are back on Monday, including The Crush (which I'm looking forward to regardless of how he figures - or doesn't - in my future) and I have things to plan for and look forward to and take care of.

Clarity is nice.