Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Lessons on Life

Firstly well done to Connie. She has spent the last two days ploughing through the whole blog, and at last she has caught up with the rest of us. Welcome Connie. I really ought to go back and read some of it myself, but it's such a mammoth task I keep putting it off. I keep thinking I might go back and edit it, polish it up a bit, smooth out some of the rough edges, I am sure to find loads of mistakes. One day I might.

I don't know about you but it feels like a Sunday to me. It's been raining for a good part of the day, so I haven't ventured too far. I popped round the corner to visit Janet and Paul and meet their new pooch, they have adopted a beautiful Irish Red Setter. Dougal is four years old, and a lovely boy.

I wonder what you do for entertainment on the web? Most of us probably read each others blogs, I really enjoy reading what other people are getting up to. I also watch a few TV programmes on the catch up channels, bit of a Coronation Street addict, don't know why, I know it's a load of tosh. I also use the web like a library to look up things I am interested in, and of course I am always studying maps on it as well. There are four forums which I visit, and sometimes post on these, so all of this keeps me busy.

There is one forum I visit a lot because as well as providing me with lots of information on mainly money matters, it is also an eye opener on how other people get through their lives. Some of the posts are about the ups and downs of day to day living, it's like having a good gossip over the garden fence. Sometimes I join in but mostly I don't.

Money Saving Expert covers just about every subject you can think of. As well as the obvious ones of how to get out of debt, or where to get the best bargains. You can also read about relationship problems, family disputes, looking after your pets, and where to find the cheapest hotels. Some of the topics amaze me, nothing it seems is taboo. If you've had a sheltered upbringing, or haven't much idea of how the nuts and bolts of life work, then you can pick up all sorts of information from the people who have been there, done that, and got the teeshirt. Thrown into the mix is the opinions, advice, and the downright amazing responses the original poster gets to his or her initial query.

I sometimes browse through the MSE forum purely for entertainment. Some of the chat is very funny, some of it is whacky, but some of it is very witty and clever. The moderators are always on the ball, and so are some of the regular contributors, they can easily spot a troll a mile off. I am quite impressed sometimes at how they can suss someone out from their previous posts, in completelely different categories, in other parts of the forum. Some of the moderators must have photographic minds, there's not much that gets past them.

There are some parts of the forum I never venture into, obviously topics that I don't need to read up on. Anything with big numbers baffles me so I don't go there. The ones I visit most are Old Style, that's all about ways of cutting back on your day to day living costs, and Food Shopping is another favourite. Another one I read is, Up Your Income, not that I want to up mine but I find it interesting to read some of the ideas that people come up with. Then there is UK Holidays, Days Out, and Entertainment, Motoring and Public transport, and Utilities, all interesting to me.

I quite like the Health Beauty and Fashion Money Saving, mainly because I don't do beauty and fashion, it's interesting to see how people are trying to save money in those departments. There is a topic called No Buying Unnecessary toiletries in whatever month it is. I have to laugh when they post long lists of all the toiletries they already have, it's usually enough to last me a couple of years. They should rename the topic, No Buying Unnecessary toiletries ever again, ha ha.

The, Marriage, Couples, and Family Moneysaving topic is a bit of an eye opener, people post all sorts of personal stuff on there. Some of it is like what you might find on the Marge Proops agony aunt page of a womens magazine, only with a lot more detail. Anyone training to be a marriage guidance counsellor would do well to read this section, if not qualified the case studies would help with future course work.

So, if you want to learn more about life get yourself over to the forum. It's interesting, there is a lot to learn from it, and it makes my life look pretty simple. Toodle pip.


  1. Love reading your blog ilona,just wanted to say that.

  2. Thank you yorkshireman. I love Yorkshire :o)

  3. MSE's beauty thread has stopped from going near Soap and Glory.

    I don't smoke, drink, or chase men. My bills are paid, so my every so often slip down the nailpolish slope isn't going to deprive my dog of kibble or vet care.

  4. After 40 years of running my own establishment I am now looking for "pearls" Virtually nothing I read about thrift and economy is new to me so I dont read many tightwad blogs anymore. Also what some people think of as thrift is quite wasteful to me. Everyone is in their own situation and has their own ideas about what is good value for money and what is not so therefore MSE is not worth more than a glance IMHP. I read craft blogs - just learned how to make five yards of bias tape from a fat quarter - now that saves money.
    As I make/alter/restyle/thrift shop all my clothes I love the internet for inspiration; when I get tired of that YouTube is good laugh.

  5. Ilona, I discovered your blog by accident a few days ago and have been hooked since! I'm interested to see what you think of MSE as I started reading it about 6 years ago at a time in my life where things - financially - weren't so good and it helped a lot. I visit the same boards regularly. I have a soft spot for DFW as I got a lot of tips and inspiration from there when I needed those, and I read the Marriage and Family board too, probably because I'm interested people and how they live. I am amazed at some of the stories I read on that board. Horrified too, sometimes... because if it wasn't real life, you'd think it was too far-fetched!

  6. I have done as you suggested and had a look at MSE, I found it a very difficult forum to navigate and far to 'busy' to look at, also, whatever happened to common sense, can people not work out for themselves where they have gone wrong financially, we have become a nation of thickies. Thanks fo the tip but it is not for me.

  7. Hi Ilona, well I have a lot to be grateful for with MSE as it has really got me started in taking control of my finances. The oldstyle ladies, and the DFW peeps are salt of the earth folk, who give so much time to help other people. However, MSE has got so big, and populated that I find it an uncomfortable visit now. There seems to be an increase in rude, arrogant, self opinionated, point scoring, argumentative posters, that spoils so many good threads. So many of the knowledgable and interesting posters have gone. The moderators are ok, but they don't seem to pick up on the constant fighting and petty bickering. I am a member of another forum that prides itself on being a community, and I must say, the slightist hint of unnessarily aggression is stopped in its tracks. I used to think the moderation was a bit OTT but actual I know I can post something without the fear of being jumped on because someone else has a different POV. I also don't like the 'like' button. It causes allsorts of point scoring pettiness amongst cliques. Its just not as friendly as it used to be.

  8. I don`t visit any of these blog forums. I use the net for info browsing when needed. I visit YouTube and stick to reading blogs I like, like yours. I don`t always comment but I do read the posts. I like cookery blogs as well as simple living ones. If I need any other info the net is wide enough and gives good answers most times. I listen to music while reading my favourite blogs. That`s about all I use the comp for.

  9. Thank you so much for the mention MQ. I enjoyed every word and IMHO, there's no need to go back to polish any of it. They are your thoughts, dreams, plans, at the moment you wrote them and they are perfect. It took me a while to read through because I had the google map right beside and was walking along with you on your walks enjoying every step. I stumbled on your blog by googling "extreme and radical frugal ideas". I have implemented many frugal ideas over the years drawn from my background, from reading, from observing and I needed to "virtually" vacate North America for some new/different thoughts. And I have had some light bulb moments from reading Brit and Aussie blogs, and will continue to search for more. Your mention of MSE has me scouring that one now for tips. Keep thinking to start my own blog; not sure just yet. Have a wonderful day! :)

  10. I too follow a couple of threads on MSE, one of them is the no more toiletries one. on the subject of owning toiletries - each to their own, but they are the nicest, most friendly and supportive group of ladies you could ever find, supporting each other through loss of pets, redundancy, parents/friends/ownselves going through cancer treatment etc. I agree with comments that some threads leave a lot to be desired.

    As to your own blog, carry on as you are, I love reading of your travels and your helping rehome the cats, and of course dear Rocky.

  11. MSE well I love it, I don't visit as often as I did but it so helped me start waking up to the life I was living. Started sorting out finances and avidly followed DFW. Then when I realised what was the major cause of the financial (and other problems) I started to follow the relevant threads.

    Upshot of it all was I got rid of the problem in my life (now ex-husband). I had support from various people from MSE and are still in contact with some of those wonderful people.

    Love your blog.


Comments are welcome from anyone with a Google account. I have had to change the settings due to the amount of troll comments coming through. My apologies to genuine readers who have been with me for a long time.