Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Have I remembered everything?

I think I am at that age where my grey matter is getting a bit frayed round the edges, the stuff I need to remember drops off the edge and floats away into the distance never to be seen again. I no longer ask a new acquaintance their name, because I know that five minutes later I will have forgotten it, so I greet everybody with, 'hello there', when I meet them again.

I find that now I don't have the daily routine of going to work, I don't have to remember what time to get up, remember to prepare my pack up the night before, and remember to lay my clothes out. I don't even have to remember what day it is. Most mornings when I wake up it takes me a minute or two of coming round, to work out if there is anything I must do that day. I sit up in my bed and think, aha, a free day to do as I please. I'm not sure if all this free time is a good thing, there is very little structure to my day. While it is lovely to have the freedom it does worry me that I need to keep using my brain so that it doesn't seize up altogether. I do need a little bit of structure, need to know what my plans are, need to make things happen, so I need some kind of list.

I think about a year ago, if I remember rightly, I posted about my calendar on the wall. I have another use for it, instead of writing in the appointments, the plans, and things I must do in advance of doing them, I also write in what I have done after the event. This then gives me a record of how busy I have been, and motivates me to keep it up throughout the whole year. My 2012 calendar was full when I took it down, I made sure I did something every day. This pleased me enormously, at least I didn't waste time doing not very much at all. My calendar helps my memory, helps me to remember what I have to do, and what I did do.

Making lists are a good way of remembering things. Everybody knows about shopping lists, and funnily enough, I don't make one. That's because I am flexible with my eating. If I forget something when I go shopping I just say to myself, tough, you forgot it so you won't be eating it, eat something else instead. If I forget the beans I will eat the spaghetti. No sweat.

There are lots of ways that lists can help you keep track of things and help you remember. Bank statements are lists of transactions that go through your account. You can see what money came in and what went out. Meal planning lists help you organise what you are going to eat, they can be helpfull if you lead a busy lifestyle and haven't much spare time. Not for me though, I decide what I am going to have for dinner, fifteen minutes before I eat it.

Anyone following a weight loss diet would do well  to keep a food diary, a list of what they eat. It helps with the calorie counting, something else I don't need to do. Anyone who uses their car for work will need to keep a list of the business miles they do, and how much petrol they put in the tank, to claim their expenses back.

Some people might like to make a housekeeping list, a routine to follow for the tasks that are needed to keep the house clean. My list is quite simple for that. Wash the pots when there are no clean ones left. Get the Dyson out when I am wading knee high through cat hairs. Clean the windows when I can't see out of them. Don't forget to take that with a pinch of salt, ha ha. This blog has an element of silliness about it, it's up to you to spot the jokes.

So, there must be something I need to remember, I need to make a list. Remember to take library books back, don't want to pay a fine. Remember to pay bills on time, don't want to incurr any late charges. Remember what I have done so I remember to write about it on this blog, calendar on the wall helps with that.

I need to remember when I ate chocolate. Chocolate is a treat and is only allowable once every three or four weeks. I must remember when I last had a bottle of wine. Again another treat, only to be consumed once every three or four weeks. In fact I need to remember when I have any treats, because it wouldn't be very healthy to scoff bad for you treats every day. A treat is a treat and food is food, there is a difference. One does you good and the other wrecks your health. Everything in moderation but I reckon the 90% / 10% balance is about right. So next time I pass a shop and I fancy chocolate I need to remember when I last ate some, and walk on by.

I've just realised I've got a lot to remember. There was something else, oh I remember. I must remember to answer the questions that people ask me in their comments. Someone asked about a kitty update. Here's one. These two were rehomed a few weeks ago. You may remember them as the two boys which came into here with Heidi mumcat. Look at their lovely home now, much better than living under a shed where they were found. Aren't they lucky.

There was something else, oh I remember. I'm going to be on BBC Radio Humberside tomorrow morning at about 11.20am. I shall be chatting to Burnsy, from my home phone, don't need to go into the studio. You should be able to listen live if you are in the UK.
Or later on the catch up.
I'm off to make a list of what I've got to say tomorrow. If you listen in you might be surprised, it has nothing to do with money saving and frugal living. Ha ha.
Is that it, ooops, no, something else has come to mind. I had an email from an advertising company working for a well known department store, asking if I would write a review on some of their products, mainly toiletries. They said they would send me some to try out. Some may say I am mad to turn down a box of freebies, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I wonder what would happen if I agreed, then wrote that their products were a load of crap, Obviously they wouldn't be best pleased, but I suppose it would be funny. No, I have to stick with my policy of no advertising. 
I think that's all I have to say tonight, I'll go now before I remember something else. Toodle pip.


  1. The cats look beautiful,they are lucky boys indeed.
    Jane x

  2. Lots of things I have to remember are floating around in the ether somewhere. I am rubbish at keeping a diary and even the calendar hanging in my kitchen is no real reminder, because I forget to look at it regularly.
    The cats look as though they are thoroughly at home. They are very pretty.

  3. Great post! I have been reading your blog for a wee while now.

    Loved your idea of using a calendar to record each day's achievement/s. This I will use.

    Like you Ilona I don't do lists. My outlook regarding spending or doing chores is simple. Do I need it? If it's something I eat, can I use it before it wastes or can it be frozen? Does a chore need done now or can it wait?

    You're blog is very inspiring and interesting as to how we can live well with few resources.

    A like minded frugal being :)

    Retired early through ill health...aged 54

    PS I did chuckle about you getting freebies then thinking your review would say they were crap :) Good on you for sticking to your principles of no advertising....very admirable in my opinion

  4. My memory has got really bad since I reached the Mentalpause. I have a week-to-view diary, which I keep open on my desk all the time. I glance at it continuously other wise I'd never get to appointments or perform the various tasks and errands. Of course that only works if I remember to write stuff down in it LOL

  5. I couldn't stand the thought of writing out menus for the week! I have a few things frozen ready to warm up that I've prepared for other half, like Shepherds pie, but I will be having something else. What I have is decided like you 15 minutes before.

    I don't know whether we can get your radio programmes over here.

  6. Great blog. Thanks. I will tune in to Radio Humberside tomorrow.
    Dianne - Hereford

  7. The two boys look lovely! So sleek and comfortable, and my, haven't they grown? Please thank their new person for sharing the photos :)

    My trouble with making lists is that I lose them. Sometimes just before I leave the house I make a list for shopping and errands, because I'm only doing that about every 10 days or so, and want to be efficient. But so many times I get to the first stop, reach in my list! What do I do with them between my kitchen and the car, for goodness sake?!

    Thanks for the chuckle about the windows :)

  8. Campfire, you can get any BBC radio station, anywhere in the country, on the BBC iplayer. Live or catch up.

  9. I so agree with Quinn about losing the lists I have made. I have come to rely on sticking post its to my purse or on my dashboard - when I remember.

  10. Hello there. Another Helen commenting for the first time, although I've been reading your posts for a little while, and enjoying then enormously. I find that if I need to remember something I have to write it down, and have done for quite a few years now. Trouble is, I then forget that I have written it down, so the fool-proof remembering strategy fails! I am also finding recently that I open my mouth to say something, and for some reason that i'm not sure of, absolute non-sensical garbage come out in place of the interesting and highly intelligent comment that was meant. Ah well, all part of the joy of getting older I guess. Thank you for such an enjoyable blog - a pleasure to read.

    1. Also meant to say yesterday (I got side-tracked and then, what do you know, I forgot!) I like your policy regarding treats. You are right, they are not for every day, otherwise they are not treats , but to be treats they need to be not had so often, to be had infrequently. The 90% - 10% thing is good. I shall have to try and remember this. If I have them only every 3 - 4 weeks (the wine and chocolate and cake) and make it a rule, then I will not be able to over-indulge. Good thinking.

  11. MeanQueen I have turned down lots of freebies because I felt uncomfortable reviewing ( and therefore advertising!) them. YANA!

  12. Hi Ilona, many thanks for the kitty update (I asked a few days ago). They look very contented in their new home.

    Your idea of the calendar/diary is excellent. Though you forgot something ;) your fantastic blog is also a way of remembering!

  13. I do lists mainly because things rattle around in my noggin until I write them down! Then I have peace of mind :o)

  14. I love lists, but I've gotten out of the habit of making them. I have a to-read' list now at least, which please me . I have so many books, lots of them get given to me because of my role in publishing. It's like having a load of paper cakes lying around saying 'pick me, pick me!'... and then I see something I just fancy reading at the library and read that instead!

    Good luck for your bit on the radio tomorrow - not that you'll need it!

  15. I will try and remember to listen tomorrow.

  16. I have a calendar with large squares for jotting notes right beside my desk...not sure I could live without it. Birthdays, appointments, medication schedules for my bow wow and social engagements are all noted. Helps a whole lot for writing my blog posts.
    Loved the photo of the kitties in their new did good Ilona.

  17. Yes, no working week means I sometimes loose track of what day it is, the only difference is Friday when I visit my son, and Sunday when the superstores close early.

    I sometimes write down things I have to remember to do tomorrow, but not shopping lists, I plan menus around what's been yellow stickered.

  18. I like you am retired and sometimes have to look at the tv remote to see which day it is :) Housework is for tomorrow a famouse quote of Quentin Crisp "There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse". It's a nice feeling when you can say I will do that tomorrow as I can't be bothered today lol.
    Sue R

  19. When I was born I am sure I came out with my first list! I rarely finish everything on my lists but find they keep me more focused. Since retiring (3 months ago) I'm using my computer (Outlook) calendar for appointments and important notes. And I have another list of both "fun" and "not-so-fun" items that is on-going saved on my computer (so I don't lose it). This definitely works for me compared to having 100 post-it notes stuck all over me with reminders!

    The 2 cats are gorgeous ~

    Nancy from Northern California

  20. Oh gosh those kitties are characters. Lists are great, not only for keeping track of things, but it's the sense of accomplishment you get after you see everything that's been done.

  21. Hello Ilona from House fairy
    I am a list maker. It keeps me motivated on what to do as also a homemaker.

    I have food lists, well 3. What is in the freezer/suggested meals for the week (sometimes get the recipe books out)/ and shopping list.

    I have a dairy diary too this year. Christmas present.
    In there I have decided to write any appointments and accomplishments of the day.

    This year I decides not to buy calendars, pre Christmas as so many are given away free.
    Yesterday, I got another one. Seasonal fruit and veg calendar 2013. Given with the Tesco magazine.
    I am going to keep this one by my desk and cross of the days with my bright pink pen.
    These are good for seeing the month all at once and letting you know in advance. Like Burns night tomorrow or bank holiday coming up.

    We had a lovely veggie dinner last night.
    Sliced leeks, potatoes, onions and carrots. Put into a dish with cheese sauce. Home made bread crumbs( from the crusts of bread) on the top and a sprinkling of grated cheese. I served with fish cakes and oven baked tomato's.

    Take care and keep warm.

  22. I make lists, and then forget to look at them :)

    I like your ideas with chocolates and snack food. I may just have to try that too and not buy them so readily...

    I hope you are keeping warm :)


  23. Excellent post Ilona, its is all about getting organized and taking responsibility for every aspect of your life. I m like you, I dont have a set routine beyond making my bed every morning and cleaning up the kitchen to the scratch point after every meal; hate dirty dishes piling up. I sometimes cant remember what day it is when I wake up but thats o.k. it soon comes to me.
    I divide my days between mornings, afternoons and evenings. I exercise most mornings, walk outside in the good weather and in the gym this time of year, not going to attempt -19C on the trail. Afternoons it either gardening in the good weather or sewing/knitting this time of year. My house is very uncluttered and organized so dont have to bother with fighting through a lot of junk. I do two loads of wash a week, I do use the dry in the winter.
    Evenings I watch telly for an hour or two and then read for another hour.
    Great idea about the snack food - I do the same pretty much, have an icecream out once a month in the summer, dont keep it in the house.


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