Sunday, 29 July 2018

Finally, rain!

We have had WEEKS of hot weather - not just pleasant, warm days that hover around the low 20s. No, up in the high 20s & up into the 30s (Friday reached 37C in some areas!). I think we're at five weeks now. That's a long time.

I'm not a heat fan, not with consistent temperatures like that. I'd love a few weeks with temperatures hovering around 21/22C and some evening rains to make the gardens and creatures who rely on the water happy, but I hibernate or seek shade if it gets hotter than that. Living as close to the ocean as we do, however, the temperatures have been much more pleasant, particularly in the evening. I open the windows and patio door and the breeze flows through and freshens the flat beautifully. I love that.

Grass is brown and dry as tinder all over. Trees are losing their leaves (it looks like autumn around here!), plants and animals are struggling in the relentless heat. Farmers are concerned about crops. On the flip side, bees and butterflies are prolific - they love the heat and numbers are good. But rats are becoming a problem - I didn't know they could reproduce monthly - and even I've seen about half a dozen, which is unusual.

Yesterday, after a middle of the night thunderstorm (which I slept through) and a little rain, it was terrifically windy ALL day. Always the sign of a storm coming in. Clouds blew overhead on and off all day and it was noticeably cooler. I awoke this morning to the same wind and rain on my windows! It's going to be a wet, miserable, windy day all day today. 

Fantastic! And so, so, SO desperately needed, even temporarily. We're forecast to get back to a stretch of sunshine tomorrow but with temperatures not quite as high, so that's a relief.

What else has been going on?

I've been feeling less confused about things since my last posting (a good thing) and am just letting things lie for the moment. 

Roomie E got home from a visit to Italy on Friday and we bought a table that evening. We had one temporarily from our old landlady but she took it back. She backed out of the house sale in June - after all that chaos over the past few months - and has opened a B&B of sorts. Uncertain that the legalities of it have been formalised (or even considered), but that was annoying to hear. Anyway. Not my problem.

The table arrived yesterday morning and I spent a couple of hours putting it together. It's even more cheaply made than I thought it would be. I have no idea what kind of wood it is, but it serves its purpose and that's the main thing. So much nicer to sit at a table to eat! I sat at it most of the day yesterday doing one thing and another.

There was a rather terrifying police incident in the building foyer last Sunday (very early morning). I can't/won't go into detail about it, but suffice it to say that when I was doing laundry yesterday and the drum started to bang against the machine, I jumped about three feet. It's brought a lot of old PTSD issues to the fore. I can say that I hope the fellow involved is okay. He was experiencing extraordinary mental distress and had had some kind of breakdown (not helped by a large amount of alcohol). The police were great and I sent them a note to say 'thank you' as it was a rather difficult arrest for them. The person involved was also staying in the building - his parents live upstairs. I dropped them a note as well (they slid one through all the building residents' doors to explain what happened).

The week following was mercifully back to normal but I was completely drained on Monday. I hadn't managed to go back to sleep on Sunday and was up until 10:00 that night. Ugh.

Anyway. I've also managed to save £100 on my car insurance this year by removing an item from the policy, so I'm pleased about that.

I did have to add £10 to my monthly fuel expense, however. It's costing me more than I thought, but have learned early, fortunately, and can adjust the budget accordingly.

I am, however, still spending too much otherwise. I've bought a couple of impulsive purchases on Amazon (one of which is definitely going back) and found some great deals at the thrift shops and a mid-season sale sweater. My trouble is getting rid of things now - I need a much more effective rollover process.

I've also been stuffing my face with carbs which hasn't helped my weight issues and I'm 'fitting well' into my Size 14 everything. I didn't realise carbs converted into so much sugar, so they're definitely on the '(much) less of' list. To that end, I thought I'd give Huel a shot. It's a vegan meal replacement (funded by Sir Andy Murray - yes, that one) and it cost me £45 for 28 meals. That's one meal a day for almost a whole month and even considering the cost of that initial payment (it's cheaper if you get a subscription), it still fits perfectly into my monthly grocery budget (works out to £10 per week and £1.61 per meal). I'm going to see how I feel at the end of the month before I decide whether or not I want to continue. It arrives on Tuesday.

Yesterday I was feeling at a bit of a loose end so sat down to work on my bullet journal. This is a new(ish) fad that combines a diary/agenda/to-do list/etc. in one journal. You can make it as fancy or as simple as you like. Some of the pictures on Pinterest are gorgeous, but I don't have the time or inclination to create works of art. I want it to be fun, easy, and simple so that I don't begrudge the time I spend on it, or lose interest in it. I've already torn out and restarted a few pages and have barely made a dent. Good thing I have a list of what I want to lay out (sort of!).

Anyway, August is just around the corner and another month to start fresh with. I will continue to plot and plan and adapt my budget as I go.

Hope you're all having a great weekend and summer!


T'Pol said...

I cannot stand the heat either. Unfortunately, there is a heatwave coming in our direction and the rain we get makes it even more miserable, raising the level of humidity.

I had a peaceful weekend but was feeling a bit sick. Today I am back to normal because it is a work day, right?

Northern Living Allowance said...

Hi T'Pol! The storm was quite fierce and we've had a nice drop in general temperature at the moment. But you're right, the humidity is still quite heavy, but I'm enjoying the cooler weather while we have it.

Typical! Glad you're feeling better - but you're down to 14 working days now, right? :D xx

Jane said...

The UK has definitely been constantly in the news around here due to the unusual heat. It's been crazy hot here as well with big chunks of the country on fire. There have been way more 30c+ days than we usually get and the humidity really wears me out. We had a little rain last night so I'm taking the opportunity to stay inside and catch up with everyone's blogs. Woops, just looked outside and see that the sun is coming out!
It sounds like quite the scary incident in your lobby - hopefully it was a one-off and your nerves will settle. Amazing how something like that can make you feel like you are being traumatized all over again!
I had a little giggle about the journal - I've tried so many formats and haven't really succeeded with any of them, I'm not sure why I'm such a failure in that regard. What i've used the last few years if a regular sized calendar that sits on my kitchen counter. Each morning I jot down the weather and check to see what's coming up in the next few days re appointments, meet ups with friends, appts and so on. The little boxes are just the right size as I can't get carried away and it become too wordy in which case I would give up. I guess it's another one of those things that I THINK I would like to do but not really :)

Northern Living Allowance said...

Hi Jane! Yeah, the weather has been too much for me, although it's cooled lately and has been easier to enjoy. We had a heck of a storm on Friday (wahoo!) and it's a damp and cool weekend, which is wonderful. Cooler temps prevail this week, with mid-20s predicted at the highest - I can handle that! But the continent has been awful - almost 50C in places. Ugh.

Yes, the lobby incident was quite terrifying but I seem to be back to more or less normal these days.

Yes, I was asked about my journal the other day by a colleague. It's the same as it's always been - I 'kinda' use it, but maybe I'm just not meant to use one, I don't know. I get excited about the intent of it, then it fizzles out and it all gets stuffed into a drawer... :P We'll see. I'm doing okay with it, but perhaps it's just that I don't really have enough going on to fill the spaces?? Hahahaha! xx

Jane said...

LOL! Which is why I use a regular calendar with 1.5 inch square space to write about my wee life :)

Jane said...

Missing your updates! Hope all is well with you.

Anonymous said...

Hope you are in good health and enjıying yourself. Miss your updates!T'pol

jj said...

Came here to say hope everything is ok! Stay warn!

T'Pol said...

Please let us know if you are Ok. Miss your posts.