Sunday, 21 January 2018

In a better place.

Hello. It had slipped my mind that this blog has an anniversary coming up, in fact the anniversary has now passed. I wrote the first post on the 2nd of January 2009. I sometimes look back and read my own blog, and can see consistencies throughout the nine years I have been writing it. Although I am not a fan of routine, it stifles creativity, I am still running my life more or less the same way as I always have done. That is living within my means, cutting back on my day to day living expenses so I have more cash left over for pleasures. Working out my priorities have always been at the forefront of my budgeting. There is a slight change there, in the beginning I was dead skint, having cut my working hours giving me a smaller income. Getting the work/life balance was important. I now find that by being strict with myself has put me in a good place, I can ease off a little bit because I now have the confidence and skills needed to maintain my present lifestyle.

So, let's have a look at my first post all those years ago.

Hi there, thanks for taking a look at my blog, this is my first attempt at blogging, so I hope you find something of interest. The main theme for the blog will be frugal living, because that is what I have been aspiring to for the last ten years. I decided to reduce my time at work, so reducing my income, and creating a whole new challenge, I now work at how to make ends meet. That may sound daunting to some people but it's easy, as long as you can differentiate between what you need and what you want. Making ends meet gives the impression that you are scrimping and saving worrying about where your next meal will come from, that is not true. For me it means making the most out of the money you have, getting the best value, the most food from the supermarket, and the challenge of surviving by your own means. I have never been in debt, always paying my way, so perhaps I am used to living within my means, luckily my mother taught me all about it. 

I have been a lorry driver for 32 years, something I am immensely proud of, in total I have worked for 44 years, and now it is time to slow down. All my hard work has almost paid for a house, still a bit to go so not completely debt free, but I am working on it. I am now looking forward to a fabulous retirement, but of course I will never fully retire because I like work. But from now on, any work I do will be on my terms, it will be something I want to do, and I will do it when I want to do it. There, a bit bolshie maybe but that's how I am, I know my own mind. Life is too short to be a slave, and by that I mean a slave to money. I have realised that I am perfectly happy with just enough, a simple life for me means less worries. Do I worry about money, of course not because I haven't got any. 

Please join me on my frugal journey, I am going to record just how I live my life on very little money. I'm not setting any targets, or making any rash statements like living on a £1 a day, it will be a true story of how it really is. Don't expect me to be complaining about how expensive the cost of living is, or how fed up I am of having no money, that won't happen. Instead I want to open your eyes to the pleasures of a simple life, the enjoyment you can have out of life's free gifts, and how I wake up each day looking forward to the day ahead. See you later. Ilona

Two people commented on this one, Norfolk boy and Dancewriter, both from the USA. I was thrilled that someone had found me. I wonder where they are now. I can't find a blog for Dancewriter, and Norfolk Boy stopped blogging in 2012. I hope they are both alright and have a good life. 

So, What has happened to you over the last eight years? Are you in a better place, or about the same place. Have you moved forward one step. or taken two steps back? Thank you to everyone who has traveled with me along this road, here's heading for year nine. 

It's snowing here, a couple of quick walks to see Tina cat is all I will do today if it keeps on. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon. Enjoy your Sunday.
Toodle pip

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Cats visiting, and food

Hello, no clowns tonight, just me :o) This is Garcia in the window looking out. He pops in from time to time when there is no one in at his house. I was busy on the computer at the other end of the room when I heard him growl. He obviously is not impressed by another cat who is muscling in on his patch. I don't know where this new cat on the block lives, but he/she has taken a liking to my garden. There is a table just below the window outside and cats seem to like that. Sometimes they put their front paws up onto the sill and look in. It's funny to see their little faces peering in through the glass. 
My dinner tonight, veg left over from last night. I'm not sure if I deliberately or accidentally make too much, but never mind, if I can't eat it all there is always some to warm up the following day. There wasn't quite enough for a full meal so I chopped a leek and some mangetout peas, and added that, with some spinach. When all that was cooked I added two eggs and sort of half scrambled them. I think they used to call reheated leftovers Bubble and Squeak, or was that something with cabbage in it? This plate is now empty, I have eaten it all.

I took some cooked chicken for Tina cat, she likes that. I see some of the furniture has been removed from the house so maybe they are starting to clear it. I'm just off back there for the second visit as soon as I have done this. I've been sewing today, and watching videos. Can't stop watching Puddles, his singing is so good. I see Scott O Connor has another wood sculpture video out, he seems to be getting on with creating more art since the fire.

Just before I go, I've found FQ's recipe page, (on Web, she had started to archive them. A lot of people were disappointed that all her recipes were lost when she closed her blog. So if you were a fan of her recipes here are some of them.  The links to the recipes work, and the links under the header work, and the links to the popular posts work, but not the blog archive or the labels. Maybe this will help some of you who liked her recipes.

That's it, I must go now. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Puddles in the flesh.

Hello. After posting last night I carried on watching Puddles on yooootoooob, I just couldn't stop, was up until gone midnight. There are some vids of him in the flesh, as Big Mike Geier, before he became Puddles. Some interviews as well, he is a big man at 6ft 8ins. He sings like Elvis and Tom Jones but in his own style. He sings Elvis better than Elvis.

For those who don't like clowns have a look at this. Some of his earlier videos are not up to top quality, but if you want to hear the very best covers ever click on Puddles and scroll the picture off the screen if you don't like his face. His voice is just awesome.

See you later.

Friday, 19 January 2018


Hello. In the absence of anything witty, funny, interesting, inspirational, educational, shocking, crazy, or creative to say, have a look at this sad clown.

Awesome or what?
We'll catch up tomorrow. Toodle pip

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Inspiration from an art teacher

Hello. I went to town today, needed to pay a bill into the bank and pick up a few essentials from Aldi. I also had a bimble around a couple of charity shops, looking for a canvas or two, found one, 50p. I also found these items which looked interesting. This wire thing was 50p, not sure what it was in it's previous life, but I have an idea what it could be in it's next life. 
In the Scope shop I found a set of 12 chrome coasters, for just £1. There is something pleasing to the eye about a spiral. I have an idea for these as well.

My inspiration for these two projects comes from one of the bloggers on my side bar, so not strictly my idea. Cassie Stephens is an art teacher, she is just amazing, the kids must love her. This is her blog post which inspired me to find something I could yarn bomb. In fact if you love art have a look at her blog she has some great ideas. Here is the video she has put on her blog post.

I've just managed to eat this massive dinner, all good stuff. The carrots, peas, broccoli, potatoes, baby sweetcorn, and parsnips, all yellow sticker, with two eggs scrambled into it. A fabulous dinner and I'm stuffed.

Time to go and do my walk and check on Tina. She was ok when I popped in this afternoon but I think she is missing her mummy. I will take some sewing and sit with her for a while.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip