Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Increased Productivity At Home

This weekend, productivity on the home front has increased, which is very encouraging.  Removing all of the things from the spare room really gave me a boost and I started to look around the room at the small piles of sewing  jobs that needed attending to.

There were a couple of cheap scarves that I'd bought from Poundland, whose ends I wanted to stitch together to make infinity scarves, so now that I could reach the plug to switch on the sewing machine, I did these. There were also a couple of small hand sewing repairs to make to a couple of  items of clothing too, which got done and the said items finally got put back in the wardrobe.

I also managed to cut up a few old pairs of leggings to make another big ball of black jersey yarn to knit my fabric scrap rug with.  There's still a few t-shirts left to cut up, which I'll do another time.

The room is now looking decidedly less cluttered, which makes me want to spend more time in there when I next get the chance.

On Sunday, I finally got around to spending a little bit of time on myself.  My eyebrows were looking ridiculous, so they got re-shaped to help me face a new week. When things get crazy, it's the little jobs like these that get overlooked and it feels so good to finally do them.

On Monday, I was also a bit more productive than usual too.  I woke really early, probably because of the clocks going back and decided to get out of bed and do the ironing.  This made a great start to the day, as it got me ahead on my jobs for the day.

After doing a class at the gym later,  I came home and caught up on a bit of paperwork and some personal finances and then this was followed after lunch, by doing my Weekly Home Blessing. It took a few hours, but it was nice to get the house back into shape before going back to work on Tuesday.

The only job I didn't get around to doing over the weekend was the allotment.  There's still a bit of clearing and weeding left to do, but I'll maybe make time to do a couple of hours there on Thursday, ahead of a planned group clear up of the site on Sunday next.

I hope you've all had a productive weekend too.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Keeping Track

This last month, I've been trying to keep track of both my health and fitness a little more.  Now I've paid off my overdraft, I treated myself to a pedometer to track my steps.  It's something I've wanted for a while, but couldn't justify the expenditure. 

I didn't go for an expensive blue tooth one, as my phone is useless and wouldn't be able to connect to it.  Instead I spent just £15 and bought one that I can wear as a watch/bracelet that tracks steps, calories and sleep (although I don't wear it in bed) and so is pretty basic. 

To be honest, I suspected if I got a complicated one I might have difficulty using it or get bored with it after a short time and it would be a waste of money.  This one, however, now set up properly, is doing a great job on a day to day basis.

After tracking my steps for a few days this week, it seems that on days where I work and walk the dog I do an average of 11,000 steps.  On days I don't work and walk the dog or work but don't walk the dog, it's more like 8000.

On Sunday, I did my first class at the gym wearing it, so I was excited to see how many steps that racked up. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to pick up the steps I made in class very accurately, so I'm going to try again at my class this morning and wear it slightly differently to see if I get more accurate results.  I'll let you know.

I mainly bought the device to see how many steps I do at work, with all the running up and down the stairs.  I have to say that the days I've worn it this last week haven't been typical days, as I've been more static either on the till or stood pricing and steaming clothes, so I probably haven't done as many steps as I would in a more normal day. I'll try again this week and see if it's any different.

I'm adding the results to my bullet journal so that I can compare results on different days. It might make interesting reading on particularly busy days.

The second health tracking device I've acquired recently is a blood pressure monitor. This was a birthday present from OH (I asked him to get me one!) You can tell I'm getting on a bit now.  My main reason for wanting one is partly due to having high cholesterol and partly because a close family member has just been diagnosed and medicated for high blood pressure, so I want to be able to keep an eye on it myself at home, as I rarely visit the doctors. In addition, work can be quite stressful too, so I want to make sure it's not creeping up over time. 

So far the results have been encouraging.  I'm going to try to take it once or twice a week, once resting and once after an exercise class and see the difference.

In addition, OH has recently purchased a new set of digital bathroom scales.  He doesn't like my old ones with a dial, as he doesn't think they're accurate and he's very weight conscious being a keen cyclist.  I will probably donate my old scales to the next Give & Take and just use his.  There's no point in having two. I'll just have to get used to weighing myself in kg instead of lbs and oz.

I'm not sure how long the health tracking will go on, but it'll be interesting for as long as it does.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

A Busy Saturday Morning

This weekend, I spent my Saturday morning doing one of my most favourite things in life, getting rid of stuff. Yes, it was Give & Take Day again and I had yet more boxes and bags to take along.  Just 4 or 5 this time, instead of a car full, plus a few boxes and a bag for the local CS. All the stuff I've collected together leaving the house. Yippee!

Before doing this though, whilst still in my nightdress, I decided to try to find a way to display some collectables that have been sat in my hall cupboard for years. I liked them, but just didn't have a place to put them. In the process of getting them out and trying to display them in various places around the house, I came across a few items I wasn't particularly bothered about keeping and decided I could let them go, so another 3 or 4 items got added to the CS pile.

In addition, I decided that another 18 items I was going to try to sell on eBay.  I don't usually sell things on my personal eBay account, as it is just too much hard work, but I've made an exception for these items, but if I haven't got around to listing and selling them by January, then I'll probably just donate them.

In the process of all this, I got out and unwrapped, a shelf that I'd bought at IKEA and intended to use, but which has sat in the corner of our reception room for over 6 months.  After trying a few different combinations of display, I eventually settled on one.  OH then finally put the shelf up and here's the result:

And here's a close up of my favourite ones:

These are all muramic plaques made by John Clappison when he worked at Hornsea Pottery in the 1960's and 1970's. They're probably not to everyone's taste, but I just love the quirkiness of them, so it's finally great to display them all together in one place.

I've got some more Hornsea muramics to display in the house, but I need the right display method, and I haven't found it yet, but progress has been made, which is all good.

Anyway, eventually I got myself ready, got everything in the car and took them to the various drop off spots.  I also stopped off at the opticians to get my glasses mended, as the arm fell off last weekend and I just couldn't be bothered to schlep up the road to get them mended at the beginning of the week when I was off, so I did it whilst already out and about.

The final things I managed to drop off were some clothes for recycling which went in the TRAID collection point and a small electrical item that went in the electricals recycling bin.

Ironically, whilst dropping off the last box at the CS I was approached by a lady who was looking for the Give & Take herself, so I was able to give her accurate directions to the venue and help her on her way to donate her car full of stuff too. Serendipity, perhaps?

In any case, it was very satisfying to get all this stuff off the spare bed and out of the house and meant that I could finally reach the plug to switch my sewing machine on. So, watch this space, I might even get some sewing done in the very near future.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Freebies, Frugal Measures and Frugal Fails 18

This post there hasn't been a lot to report lately, as I've been working quite a lot and have not had much time for being as frugal as possible, although I guess working does help, as I don't have the time to go out and spend money either for the most part. Here are the frugal measures and fails that have occurred recently:

Freebies and Frugal Measures

1) I used £7 and £5 off a £50 spend vouchers at the supermarket for my first two grocery shops of the month.  They were both pretty big shops, mainly so that we'd have plenty of food in the house for when I got busy at the CS, to provide lots of options for quickish meals when I got in.

2) OH repaired the worst of the rotten decking in the garden to help make it last another couple of years or so and prevent either of us falling through it. He's also done a couple of other niggly outstanding jobs around the house recently, which is good.

3) OH bought me some new trainers for my birthday, plus another item from my current wish list, which meant that a couple more things were crossed off it without my having to spend anything from my budget. I asked for quite an inexpensive pair of trainers, so I got a few other small gifts too which was, lovely.

4) I managed to buy LB some cans of Arizona Iced Tea at Lidl for 79p each, that she had asked for for Xmas. We paid over £2 for one of these when we went to the cinema the other week.

5) One pack of Cherry Tomato seeds from a gifted magazine subscription.

6) I've sold quite a few items on eBay in the last month, which has provided a bit of extra income.  Some, of course, went on fees and postage costs, but some is also straight profit and adds to the coffers. I'm happy to sell as much as I can at the moment, as it declutters the stock from the house. I'm no longer buying any new stock in a concerted effort to reduce the stock I already hold.

Frugal Fails

1) I forgot to cancel a class at the gym one Sunday when I was working and incurred a £3 fine, which really annoyed me.

2) I didn't take enough bags to the supermarket on a few occasions and had to spend money for a strong bag and three 10p plastic bags to carry shopping home, which I almost never do normally.  Another very annoying oversight, that I'm conveniently blaming on being so busy.

3) A virtually new pair of brogues that I bought a couple of years ago, but have hardly worn, had to be donated to a CS. After trying to wear them for work one day, they hurt my feet so badly, that I had to take them off and borrow some boots from the shop. Said boots felt so comfortable by comparison, I was almost tempted to buy them, but they were just so ugly. Anyway, the offending shoes just aren't worth keeping if I can't wear them for work, so away they go to a new home. My feet incidentally were still recovering two days later. Not good.

4) I treated myself to a new silver ring on eBay, but when it came it was a touch small and not comfortable to wear.  I was a bit disappointed, but I'm keeping it to see if after I lose some more weight it might fit better.

Staying Home Instead

Well, our planned trip to Amsterdam didn't happen this week.  Our dog sitter was fully booked up and getting accommodation with a dog was virtually impossible and would have incurred vet visits for injections, etc., so we stayed home instead.  We considered hiring a cottage in the UK for a couple of nights, but then decided that we would just be going away for the sake of it and not to somewhere that we really wanted to go, so decided not to bother.

In any case, I was glad to stay home, as I'd seen little of the house for the past two weeks and had lots of chores to catch up on before going back to work this week. Going away would have set me back further and created lots more laundry to boot.

So, the past three days have been all about catching up on chores; dog walking, laundry, ironing, Weekly Home Blessing, grocery shopping, a bit of impulse shopping (!!!), etc. Not wildly exciting stuff, just the stuff of normal life really, which can be comforting and reassuring after a busy period.

It's been nice too to spend more time with LB, who has been off school this week for half term. Just hanging around at home with my loved ones has felt like taking a break.

Today, is my last day off before I head back to work for two days. I've got a couple more jobs to complete in order to feel like I'm back on track, i.e. clearing the remainder of the allotment and finishing the pruning in the garden.  I also need to get my glasses mended as the screw holding one of the arms on fell out the other day and I lost it.  I'm hoping the optician will be able to make a speedy and inexpensive repair to them.

This Saturday, there is a Give and Take event on a housing estate up the road, so I'll also be gathering all my donations together and taking them there.  There isn't a huge amount this visit, but finally getting these things out of the house is always very satisfying.

With the busy run into Christmas at the shop almost upon us, it will be good to feel like I'm on top of things at home. I'm currently trying to plan my Christmas shopping too, so that I don't leave it all until the last minute.

Apologies for lack of blog posts lately, but all work and no play has made me a very dull blogger. I'll do my best to rectify that in the coming weeks if I can.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Enjoying Some Time at Home

Well, after my post yesterday, there was change of plan. LB was heading out to try to arrange her Duke of Edinburgh voluntary placement at a charity shop in the next borough, so I decided to go with her and we had a girly afternoon out together.  I'd say shopping, but we didn't actually do much.  I bought a few groceries, but little else.  We had a coffee together in Starbucks which was nice too.

Anyway, the CS concerned told her they had too many volunteers at the moment and to try again in a few weeks. I really felt for her as I could tell she was really disappointed and had set her heart on working there.  They are a fancy and very trendy vintage style CS, which is why she wants to work there.

She tried asking at another shop too, but they didn't take on under 18's for voluntary work.  Anyway, she may end up working at the shop I manage at this rate, she'd definitely be welcome there I'm sure, it's just a long way for her to travel. I'm trying to let her sort it out for herself.  She knows she can come to us if she wants to.

The rest of the day I took it easy.  After an afternoon dog walk, I sat and watched Strictly for most of the evening.  Bliss for me as I've worked every day of the last 2 weekends.

Today, I was back to the gym for my Sunday class.  It felt good to get back there after a two week absence. This was followed by a small grocery shop at Lidl, during which a very loud shouting match started between two customers at the till. To be honest I was all for one of them, who was being hassled by someone in the queue and she more than put them in their place. Good for her. I spoke to her later and she looked very upset by the whole incident, as one would be.

Anyway, I had a stroke of luck whilst in Lidl, as they had something on offer in their American week, that LB wanted for Christmas, namely an American brand of iced tea, that she'd tried whilst we were in the States. I managed to get her half a dozen cans at 79p each (they can cost up to £3 in some shops) as part of her Xmas present, so another gift was crossed off the list.  I did, of course, buy her a couple of cans to drink before Christmas too.

This afternoon, I really am going to start catching up on some jobs around the house. It's always the case after a long stretch of working, that it takes me at least a day to recover physically, before I can even think of starting to clean and sort out the house. It's probably both a mental and physical thing. I almost feel like a stranger in my home at the moment, so little time have I spent here recently.  I can't wait to get it back in order again. The fact that it's blustery outside also helps, as the best place is definitely inside this weekend.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

I'm Back

It's been a busy couple of weeks, but my two week stretch of managing the CS in the Manager's absence has now come to an end, and I'm very relieved. As you might expect, things didn't go to plan and I ended up working several more days than initially expected. (Surprise, surprise).  This time, however, it was due to ill health of another member of staff, which couldn't be helped, so I just had to suck it up and carry on regardless.

I got a surprise call from my Manager yesterday, who knew nothing about the events of the past week, and offered to come back a day early and work today, otherwise I would be there again.  I was very happy to hand over the reins and get back to my own life. The good news, from subsequent discussions, is that I should get my days back in lieu, when I get the chance to take them.

This morning, I've had a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea, and I am having a leisurely Saturday morning surveying the devastation around me that is the house (It's not that bad really, OH has been keeping on top of it for me) and deciding what I'm going to do with myself now I've actually got some longed for free time.

It's a bit wet outside to do any work at the allotment or in the garden and there's supposed to be a storm later today, so I guess I will probably spend most of the day getting to grips with the house and laundry.

As it's half term this week, we may be going away for a few days to Amsterdam.  I'm not back at work until Thursday and I've wanted to revisit the city for a while now, so it would be a good opportunity to get away and just chill out a bit.  I haven't been to Holland for at least 20 or even 30 years, so I'm quite looking forward to it.

I think we'll be taking the ferry to France and driving from there (it's a four hour drive), so one of my tasks this afternoon will be to look for some accommodation.

Other than the above, a dog walk and watching Strictly are the only other things I've got on my to do list for the day and I'm very pleased about that.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Freebies, Frugal Measures and Frugal Fails 17

This last two weeks, I feel that I have finally made progress toward living a debt free life.  Having had paid work for the last few months has been a major factor, and whilst it's had it's problems, I am grateful that I've had the opportunity to do work that I essentially enjoy and get paid for it.  So here's the frugal and not so frugal progress of late:

Frugal Measures and Freebies

1) My paid position at the CS has been extended for  a while longer until the end of January I think, but I'm still waiting for confirmation of dates. There are however a few issues to iron out in the next week or so, which I'm not really at liberty to go into here. Subject to these, it will be good to continue to earn some money for a bit longer.

2) I paid off my overdraft this month and I am now debt free, save for any money owed on my credit cards, which I use for online shopping. These balances total just over £200 and will be paid off next month as always. I now intend not to use my overdraft facility going forward, although I will still use my credit cards on a monthly basis to order online and then continue to pay off the balance each month.

3) I've had a few dividend payments on my shares this month, which have added up to far more than I would get in interest on the money.  This has increased the amount of passive income I receive each month, which is all good. There's quite a few more due next month, which is good too.

4) Two packs of free seeds this month, parsnips and sweet peppers.  I think that my subscription to Kitchen Garden has just about come to an end, so I'm not expecting many more of these freebies in the near future, unless I decide to use my Tesco club card vouchers to re-subscribe and I'm not sure if I want to do this.

5) I attended my first Manager's meeting and training day for the CS last week and got a free lunch of sandwiches and fruit, which saved me buying anything, as I didn't take anything with me. It was quite interesting to put a face to some of the other managers in the area. Also, I got to come home at 4.30 pm instead of 6.30 pm and the bus journey was shorter, so I was home at a reasonable time for once.

6) I started listing again on eBay for my small business, which has been a bit dormant for the past 6 months.  I decided to make the most of the lead in to Christmas, which has traditionally been a very busy time for me. I've made a few sales so far, but have noticed how much more expensive eBay's fees are this time around.  I'm doing it more to declutter the stock, rather than make lots of money, but if I do make some money it's a bonus. The things I've sold so far have more than covered the fees incurred to date, so I'm pretty happy at this.

Frugal Fails

1) Despite starting to benefit from paid dividends from my shares, the value of them has been falling lately.  I'm hoping it's not a sign of things to come with the economy, although it does look that way.  I'm not too concerned, as I'm intending to keep them in the long term and they should rise again over time.

2) I ordered a pair of winter ankle boots from ASOS last week. I've put this as a fail, as it wasn't budgeted for. My current boots are looking very scuffed and a bit battered and need to be relegated to dog walking and allotment duty.  Going out to work now, means that I do need to pay a bit more attention to what I wear and the image I project whilst at work, although when working in a CS the pressure to look immaculate isn't that strong. Even so, there does come a time when things need to be replaced and I think I've had my current boots for nearly 3 years and have worn them constantly.  In addition, I find them quite slippery on pavements in wet weather, which isn't ideal and I've nearly come a cropper on a few occasions.

3) Whilst attending the CS meeting last week, I purchased a cup of tea from the cafĂ© on the premises, not knowing that if I'd gone straight to the meeting room, there was free coffee, tea, orange juice and food available.  Never mind, I'll know if there's ever a next time. Also, I bought a bottle of wine to give to my old manager to thank him for supporting me, but he never turned up to the meeting because he was on a course elsewhere.  I'll have to give it to him another time, if it doesn't get drunk by OH that is.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Sunday Night/Monday Morning

After working all weekend, I was met from work on Sunday night by OH and LB and the dog, who came into town to pick me up.  We stopped off at the pub again down the road from the shop, had a bit of refreshment and then headed to the car to go home, via a new to us Italian restaurant in another part of the borough where we live.  It was nice to sit outside and eat and watch the world go by on a busy London street, especially when I'd seen little but the inside of the shop for three days.

Following on from Sunday night, Monday morning was a busy one.  I was up and out with the dog, and had to collect my bike on the walk as I'd left it near the bus stop the day before on my way to work and had too much wine to cycle it home after the restaurant.

Then it was off to the gym for Zumba.  I had realised on the dog walk that I'd not attended or cancelled a booked class at the gym yesterday and thus had to pay a £3 fine.  Very annoying.

A couple of friends and I had pre-arranged to go for a coffee after the class in a local Turkish restaurant, to catch up properly, instead of in passing.  It made a nice change to have time to chat freely.  I ordered us all a plate of humus and pitta bread, mainly to facilitate my using my debit card, as I didn't have any cash and there was a minimum £10 spend. It was my shout this time around and now that I work and earn more money, it was great not to worry about paying the bill. I felt like a grown up for once.

Next, I headed off to do the weekly grocery shop. I got a text from LB whilst out, saying that she needed to use a  head lice treatment when she gets home! Urgh, I itch just thinking about it. She's not had head lice for a good few years. I had to get the required medication whilst I was out and her bedding and the towels will all be changed once it's been done.

The grocery shopping this week got a bit out of hand, as I kept throwing a few extras into the trolley to get us through the next couple of weeks of busyness at work. I'm not sure if I'll get chance to do another big shop for two weeks, so I made up for it. As a consequence £97 was spent, even after using a £5 off voucher. I also paid a visit to Home Bargains, which is always dangerous and bought a few Christmassy bit and bobs for various people and the house, plus some needed toiletries. I couldn't believe it when the bill came to £45.

Tonight, I'm just taking it easy.  It's Morrocan meatballs with cous cous for supper and I might try to catch up with Strictly, which I completely missed this weekend. Plus there Rellik to watch too.  OH and I have our suspicions about who has done what in it.

Tomorrow, I hopefully have a free day and lots of ironing and work at the allotment to do. I might even do an allotment post if I remember to take the camera and actually get there. I hope everyone has had a good weekend.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

A Slow Week and Some Good News

It's been a slow and steady week for the most part this week.  I wasn't working at the CS until Wednesday, so I had 4 lovely days off at home just relaxing and doing what I wanted to. I managed to get back to the gym on Sunday and Monday, which was great.  It was nice to catch up with friends I haven't seen for a few weeks and lots of news was exchanged.

On Tuesday, I went to see the nurse at my GP clinic. I needed a smear (TMI), a general health check and some bloods taken for cholesterol and thyroid function. It was good to get everything taken care of in one visit, especially now I'm working.  Anyway, I got the results today and everything was normal, save my cholesterol which as I've mentioned before is currently high.  The GP gave me a year to lose some weight and try to get it down, and I'm happy to say that it had come down from 7.1mmols to 6.4 mmols, which was very good news.  The best birthday present I could have (it's my birthday next week). I know it still needs to come down further, but it's encouraging that it is finally going in the right direction in a more significant way.

On Tuesday night, we had tickets for a live recording of Jools Holland's TV show, which is filmed in a studio in Maidstone, Kent.  We were hoping LB could arrange a sleepover with friends, so that we could go, but in the end it didn't happen, so we went out for tea instead.  The tickets were free, so we didn't lose any money. It would have been a very late night too,especially with work the next day, so it was probably just as well we didn't go.  Maybe we'll be lucky enough to get tickets again sometime.

Work on Wednesday came as a bit of a shock after 4 days off. The manager leaves today for his two weeks leave and there's still a question mark over whether I'll be getting any help to run the shop in his absence.  As the day wore on, he had arranged to meet with a couple of candidates who might be able to help, and one of them seemed to be available, which meant the day ended on a more positive note. I'm hoping it will all be confirmed and arranged by the time I go in tomorrow.

Today, I was back at a different gym again, for another class that I've not managed to attend for a couple of weeks.  Again, it was good to see people I haven't seen for a while and I enjoyed the class. The rest of the morning I spent doing a some work on my personal finances, so that I know where I'm at with them. 

I had to pay for LB's Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition next year, which is costing £220. OH gave me the money to cover it though.  As part of the award, she needs to do 30 or 60 hours of voluntary work.  There was talk of her coming to the shop with me, but I think she's found another opportunity closer to home.  It was good that she sought it out herself.

Today, I also paid my allotment fees for the year, my credit card bill for the month and then started to put some money in a savings account for LB's university fees and living expenses, should she choose to go, and I'm going to do this every month from now on, now that I haven't got any debts to pay off anymore. It's never to early to plan for this and even if she decides she doesn't want to go to university, the money will be there for driving lessons, to buy a car or rent a flat or whatever.

This afternoon, I popped out to do a few errands, such as posting off some birthday cards and doing a bit of clothes shopping for the coming season.  I bought a couple of black sweaters, (one thick, one thin) two black tops for work, black socks and another pair of black jeans for work. Very boring to wear the same colour all the time I realise, but I just enjoy wearing black and although I tried on garments in other colours, they just didn't look quite right to me, so black it was. I also bought a new night dress from M&S, yes black again, but with multi-coloured birds printed all over it. It's so pretty.

Whilst out and about, I banked a couple of small cheques in the building society that I've had for a few months, and topped up my Oyster card in readiness for the next couple of weeks at work. It's one less thing I'll have to worry about on the way to and from work.

Tonight, I cooked a chicken casserole for OH and I and later I'll be having a shower in readiness for going back to work tomorrow. I'm working all weekend, but am quite looking forward to it, as I haven't worked on the weekend for a few weeks and it's usually less hectic and much more enjoyable than during the week. Let's hope so anyway.

OH has also been busy this week and has completed the repairs to the decking, which is now looking much better.  The new wood will take a while to tone down and blend in with the older wood, but it looks a lot better and more to the point is a lot safer to walk on now.

Anyway, I hope to catch up with you again in the next week. 

Have a good weekend.

Monday, 2 October 2017

This Weekend

It's been a quiet, gentle and totally normal weekend as they go, the first I've had in a while. I had a list of things that I intended to do, but do you know, I didn't do many of them, and that's fine with me.  Sometimes you just need to step away from to do lists and just enjoy your free time, and I haven't had much chance to do that lately, so this weekend was all about this.

We didn't really go anywhere, save for the garden centre again as OH needed some wood to repair the decking and I needed some compost to plant my bulbs in. We also got some bark to top up around the garden as it constantly gets dispersed into the borders by the dog.

We dropped a few things off at the tip, the result of my doing a bit more pruning last week. I've just got two fruit trees to prune the tops of and the bulbs to plant into pots and then the garden will be taken care of for the winter, save for sweeping up leaves and storing them until they make a leaf mulch.  I did this last year and the three bags rotted down nicely and now have been used to top up the raised beds.

So, much of this weekend was spent indoors.  I did a Weekly Home Blessing, organised my finances, did some more eBay listings, some ironing and cooked us a roast dinner on Sunday evening.  I managed to get to my class at the gym for the first time in a few weeks on Sunday and then did the weekly shop on the way home, so I'm all set for the week now.

It's going to be a busy few weeks from Thursday as the manager of the CS is going on leave for two weeks and I will be taking the helm again.  I'm determined not to work 7 days a week on this occasion, as it just totally exhausted me the last time around.  I may be getting some help from another shop in the vicinity, but nothing's confirmed yet.

My birthday also falls within this period, so I'm sure we'll be doing something to celebrate the occasion. I have to say that I'm already looking forward to November and October has only just begun.

My temporary contract at the CS has now been extended until the end of December, but it is possible that someone else is going to be working the 12 hours of the full-time post I'm covering, that I'm not working, which should help things a bit, especially in the lead up to Christmas.  I was asked if I wanted to work full-time, but I just couldn't make that commitment at the moment, as the days are long ones and it would put too much strain on family life.

As a consequence, I may not get much time to post in the next few weeks, but as soon as things return to normal again I'll be back.