Saturday, 24 February 2018

February update

Here we are again, at the end of another month - more or less. Honestly, where does the time go? I feel sometimes like I'm imagining how fast it goes, but I don't think I am.

So what's been happening?
  • I had a proper job review at the beginning of the month and got a big ol' gold star, which I'm pleased about and a very, very modest raise (but my first since starting in 2015). I'm pleased, but using it as a benchmark for next year's review. We have TWO new surveyors starting in the next few weeks and my workload will increase, so I'm going to be paying attention to what/how much I'm doing and try to negotiate a bit next year.
  • My writing group is having a 'book' launch for our (very small) anthology, which we published just before Christmas. Although not until April, it's going to be held at the gallery where it all started, on a Sunday afternoon. They were very keen to promote this, as it's exactly the sort of thing they're working to encourage - arts in the community - so we're having an afternoon launch - reception? tea? soiree? - with a couple of short readings and some of the gallery patrons in attendance. It'll only be about an hour, but it's quite exciting nonetheless!
  • My very stressed and sick Roomie E is back home in Italy for a two-week holiday, hopefully getting force-fed by her Italian mama and coming back healthy, rested and relaxed. The landlady (T) is here from Spain during this time and pretty much the first thing she told me was that she's put the house on the market! :O There's no panic, as house selling in the UK isn't quick. She needs a minimum price for it and if she can't get it, then she'll take it off the market again. I told her not to tell Roomie E until she gets back because otherwise, it's the only thing she'll think about (I wouldn't put it past her to come back early) and the last thing she needs, while she's on holiday, is another stressor! 
  • To that end, T is going to be here when Roomie E gets back - they're good friends anyway, and Roomie E was quite disappointed that she might miss T - and take her to lunch and have a proper chat to both catch up and explain things properly to her. I have to admit I was a bit shocked by this - I love this set up and am very comfortable here - and had just decided that morning that I need to be patient, give myself a year to be able to save up deposits, etc. and just focus on getting debt paid down, savings up and figure out where I'd like to go from here. Ah well. Sometimes decisions are made for you, right? I've decided that Plan A (B?) will be to chat with Roomie E and see if she'd like to continue sharing with me somewhere. I like this 'end' of the county, it's close to work for both of us, and it will help keep her calm. It's not entirely altruistic, though, as I can't afford to live on my own (yet). If I do the legwork of searching, making appointments, etc. within a price range/area, I think that will help too. She'll trust me to pick something nice. But, as I say, it's all a big 'maybe' at this point because nothing has happened yet, and T wouldn't make a decision without taking us into consideration or talking to us anyway.
  • Payday is Wednesday and I'm carefully adding all my spends onto my budget spreadsheet. It's adding up in all the wrong places at the moment! I've been uber-spendy this month and payday can't come soon enough, sadly. I have another bill to start paying as of March 1 too, so have added that to my expenses. It's only until July but still hurts.
  • I've read one money book this month. It was written by a woman in Bristol who gave herself the challenge of living on £1 a day for a year (2006). The reason behind the challenge was to save up for a wedding present for her brother, a Lifetime Membership to the National Trust. It was an easy, quick read and quite enjoyable for the most part. Obviously, prices have changed quite considerably since then, so I don't think £1 a day would be doable today (end of day prices for loaves of bread at 10p??), but does give you things to think about. It changed the way she looked at things: food, waste, the environment, getting around (she walked, biked or hitch-hiked), etc. I'm considering something similar in March but focusing only on food and trying to keep the cost at £30 per week, which is about £25 less than I've been spending on my no-sugar programme. That's my sister's budget and she eats very well, so obviously it can be done, but it will take a bit of creativity, some batch cooking, and a little sacrifice.
  • I've started a second book behind which the idea is to manifest $1,000 in 21 days. Each day gives you a process, affirmation, or writing exercise to release 'stuff' that's holding you back from attracting abundance (more or less the law of attraction). I've been on Day 2 for over a week now! It's all about forgiveness and releasing the negative associations/feelings that you've been hanging onto FOREVER. They don't even have to be money related because everything is connected to worth/value (of self). I have a long list and am trying to figure out why I can't just do the process ... definitely something I need to do this weekend and keep moving on in the process.
  • Ooooh! Snow forecast for this part of the UK next week, which is unusual, although not entirely uncommon. How much, though, is the question. Unlikely to be what the north gets, but if there's a warning from the Met Office then it could be enough to affect, well, everything.
  • I have a hospital appointment at 10:00 on Monday morning. This is the follow-up with the consultant post-procedure of two weeks ago, so I hope all is well. I also have to drop my car at the garage near work that morning for 8:00 for new front tires. So I bought a bus ticket, which works out well to get me to Southampton in plenty of time for my appointment. And it's only slightly more than taking the train. Plus, I didn't really want to change my car appointment. The tires need doing (and I have funds for it!).
  • I went to the pretty town of Swanage to visit my sister for a weekend while she was housesitting. The bungalow was very pretty (the owner is an artist, and Canadian, so the perception of space is different) and comfortable. It was a miserable day on Saturday when I arrived, but we did a quick visit to town - buying what was absolutely fabulous Guinness cake at a cake shop - and went for a walk on Sunday when the weather was better for it, although it wasn't particularly warm. I bought a Himalayan salt bowl, something I've wanted for some time. This isn't mine, but like the one I bought:

I think that's about it. I had a great clearout last weekend and plan to do much the same this weekend. At the moment, we're all prepping for a house viewing this morning, so I'm going to take myself for a walk then pick up some things in the village. There's painting going on, vacuuming, cleaning, tidying, dogs out, cat's out, flower baskets up...phew. Not all by me, mostly by the landlady and her boyfriend, but my room is tidy and vacuumed and looks very nice, if I do say so myself.

Have a great weekend everyone!


MW said...

Good luck with your follow up appointment next week! And also with the potential sale of the house -- In that it doesn't happen too fast and put everyone into high pressure mode trying to find something else. Maybe potential new owners might want to keep it as a rental...

Gill - That British Woman said...

fingers, toes and everything else crossed, that everything works out the way you want.......

Northern Living Allowance said...

Hi MW! Thanks. Appointment was fine, but there will be yet another one later in the summer after a few months of a prescription. *sigh* Age. What are you going to do? At least they're doing due diligence, so I certainly can't fault them for that!

I'm not too worried about the house - the landlady won't kick us out and will keep us apprised of how things are going. I trust her to do that. And that was my thought, that the new owners may keep it as a rental. Although rent may go up and that would leave me needing to move again anyway... No point worrying about it until there's anything to worry about! xx

Hi Gill! Nice to hear from you. Thanks - all things crossed will definitely help! xx

MW said...

"*sigh* Age. What are you going to do? At least they're doing due diligence, so I certainly can't fault them for that!"

...tell me about it... totally feeling my age right now... : )

We'll have to hang in there together!

Jane said...

Sorry to hear you may have another move in your future. You're going with the flow, however, and remaining positive. Your landlord sounds like a real treasure and you just never know how it may all turn out so you're doing a good job keeping relatively stress-free about it.
Swanage (brings pleasant images to mind :) sounds like a nice place to visit and I'm thinking that Guinness cake would be right up my alley!
If things improve will you be able to go off the prescription after your summer follow-up? Age is unstoppable unfortunately - here I sit on a heating pad!! I have certain muscle groups that get very stiff and sore but again, what we we going to do??

Northern Living Allowance said...

MW - right? Yes, one appointment at a time.

Hanging in! x

Hi Jane! Yes, nothing for sure, but it's a possibility. I'm not as bothered by it as I could be, but it's the uncertainty that's a bit frustrating. I'm looking, as I do anyway, and that helps a little bit.

Swanage is lovely - I didn't take any photos as the weather wasn't great and we didn't really get out and about at all. Just relaxed.

I hope the prescription will just be temporary. I don't like them at the best of time, but this one is supposed to help the 'mildly abnormal' cells they found. There's another sample required after about 4 months of this, then we'll see what happens.

A heating pad sounds fantastic actually! xx