Wednesday, 2 December 2015

A BIG shop and Advent photo 2

Those of you who have been reading a while might remember when Col had the first heart problems back in 2013 and was stuck for a fortnight in Ipswich hospital waiting to go to Papworth for stents. Do you remember  how terrified I was driving the 25 miles up to hospital? I'd done very little driving since moving here because I either biked everywhere locally or got a lift to Ipswich when Col was at work. Well .... things have changed a bit since then. He's been in hospital several times and I've been forced to get behind the wheel more often, I still don't enjoy driving and I've still never had the chance of driving on a motorway but yesterday I nipped up to the big Tescos on the outside of Ipswich - All By Myself! I know that sounds pretty pathetic to everyone who is used to driving all the time and practically  everyone else under the age of 80!, but when I learned to drive in 1973 Suffolk there were no by-passes, no duel-carriageways, very few roundabouts and about half as much traffic.......not quite the time when men walked in front of cars waving a flag......but almost!

Anyway - I did the BIG shop for December for  8 of us here mid month, 6 Christmas day and 2 the rest of the time. I got all the things that they don't have in our local Tesco and went to Poundland  where I bought a 2016 diary and some things for Father-in-laws hamper. I'm always astonished at the prices of diaries in other places, because if you just want somewhere to write down dentist appointments and birthdays then £1 will do the job perfectly adequately.


I found some comments back on old posts that I'd not read  so I need to explain that although we are living on savings we do have a good amount of savings thanks to an inheritance several years ago. We also have this smallholding that we've  accepted an offer on of £495,000( not bad considering we bought it as a wreck for £85,000 back in 1992)  We can buy something for less than half that, either to rent out or to live in, so we will be OK until pension time. We had many, many years living on a low income when Col was a council road-man and we had 3 small children. That was when we started growing food to stretch the housekeeping. We've never been extravagant, never had debts except the mortgage and have always been ingenious at earning a little extra and stretching what we had. I've always kept my eye on what we spend and know what we can afford, if we needed to cut back further then we could and would.


Thank you for comments about the advent calendar, I was pleased to find it as I don't like chocolate ones or branded  ones ...... when the children were small I was the mean mother who refused to let them have chocolate advent calendars!


So here's advent photo 2

My Christmas cup and saucer. I bought this from a charity shop a few years back to fill with chocolate things to make a gift. But I liked it so much I decided to keep it. I use it all through December.


Welcome to mchild  a new follower over there on the right.


Back Tomorrow
Sue


44 comments:

  1. Sue. I must have missed an earlier post. So pleased for you having accepted an offer on your smallholding. It must be a great deal off your mind considering Col's health concerns. Well done on the driving, too.xx

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    1. We ended up with two people wanting it at the same time! Just waiting for their flat in London to finalise selling now.

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  2. I do things like that, buy something and keep it because I decided I liked it too much.
    (mchild is me - long story, it was when our son first set up the computer many, many moons ago and he was still a schoolboy - he is now 34 and creates apps)
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

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    1. Hello Julie thank you for letting me know your alias!

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  3. Also well done on the house sale. At least your main bills will be cheaper, excepting heating. I'm sure you could still grow some food for you both when you move. It isn't always easy living on savings until the pensions kick in but great when they do.

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    1. It's just a case of waiting to find out when things will happen and whats wrong with Colin so we can work out where we will go next

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  4. I can empathise on the driving. I have patches where I find myself very nervous. I guess I don't drive much either now, but I know I could as and when I need to. I have made myself drive longer distances alone too just to keep my hand in.
    I like the fact that you are so wise with your pennies - it's an excellent example to us all. :)

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    1. Col loves driving and doesn't like being a passenger so he does most driving but I really should do more

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  5. so pleased that you have managed to sell. Now this is the start of a whole new adventure. I am going to hold on to your coat tails and follow you! Hovel in the hills, I cant wait to read about it.

    ps, I hate driving and after the accident I still cry a little when I get to the destination.

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    1. Hovel in the hills is on hold until we know what's the matter with Col.
      I can really understand not wanting to drive after an accident - very frightening. I' ll try and be brave if you will too:-)

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  6. It's weird that you should write about your driving today, I was only thinking the other day how you now seem to be out and about so much more, and not sounding anywhere near as nervous as when you first had to pick up the reins (so to speak) of driving again.

    It's amazing how many people we think are super confident about driving aren't when it comes down to it. For instance when I passed my test when I was 30, a couple of days after passing I went on the motorway to go to Manchester with just me and the boys for the first time (we lived in Cumbria) and although I as slightly nervous it went off like a dream and I never looked back. One of our neighbours heard about me going here, there and everywhere, she had been driving for years and I thought her a really confident outgoing person, it turned out she had never left the village we lived in with her little black Mini, and she thought I was super brave.

    So don't think you're the only one that has a few jitters when negotiating roundabouts, dual carriageways and motorways there are lots of folk out there exactly the same.

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    1. That's interesting about your x neighbour. Col loves driving and hates being a passenger, but I ought to do more whenever I can.

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  7. Sue...well done you...speaks someone who didn't drive for over a year once due to undiagnosed balance problem...I thought I was going nuts and made myself really ill. Thanks to some specialist exercises to retrain the brain I can drive most places, though I wouldn't do a motorway, and a section of A road I had some traumatic experiences on when undiagnosed and still struggling to drive are still a no no. Hope Col is keeping warm and his spirits up. Jackie X

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    1. thank you for the good wishes for Col, he has more hospital tests next week, hope they can find what's wrong.
      We don't have any motorways in Suffolk so I've not really needed to drive on one but I ought to try it sometime.
      Thank goodness you got a proper diagnoses in the end.

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  8. love the Christmas teacup - has reminded me to get the Christmas mugs out and start using them! :) x

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    1. A Christmas mug is not just for Christmas day!! :-)

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  9. Well done on the driving, I don't do M ways as we do not have any in Dorset and I rarely drive out of county, and I have notived this year that night driving is becoming harder. Good luck with your Christmas, a lot to cook for and hope Col. makes a good recovery. Sarah. Dorset.

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    1. We don't have any motorways in Suffolk either, so difficult to get used to driving on them. I know what you mean about night driving, I can't seem to see as well as I used to in the dark

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  10. What a pretty cup! I too love to use my seasonal coffe mugs during the holiday season. Have a great week!

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  11. Well done on the sale! My past jobs meant I drove a lot all over rural counties and to distant conferences; but since retirement only drive when out together when husbands arthritis is too bad. The other day he let me out on my own for the first time in 18 months - freedom! I went to the fish mongers. Not exciting My Xmas Noel mug is coming out soon!.

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    1. I love the idea that all round the country people are using Christmas mugs or cups

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  12. What a lovely teacup and saucer.

    I drive but don't do motorways unless I absolutely have to and considering I haven't had to for a few years, I'm not sure I'd be safe on them now.

    Mark is a really experienced driver and has his HGV but the amount of times he has to take quick action to avoid other driver's mistakes is frightening. When I took my test the rule was was mirror signal manoeuver. Not sure when it changed to pull out without looking, nearly cause an accident, then put your indicator on to redeem yourself. xx

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    1. I seem to need more than one pair of eyes when I'm driving!

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  13. We never buy chocolate advent calendars for the boys, but we always get them decorations to make each year.

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    1. When I was a cub leader I found a company that did make-your-own-advent- calender's - they were fun

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  14. knowing the traffic around that Tesco, I admire you for doing it. I don't drive (had lessons/test a long time ago, realised it wasn't for me), and I'm glad. Traffic is scary. When we went to London recently, Bill drove to the O2, which is where we then get on the Thames Clippers. Approaching the Blackwall Tunnel is so scary, people use their cars like tanks and I end up screaming! I digress, but what I'm trying to say is well done you, it's scary on the roads.

    Love that teacup, I want it! The house looks a little like my house! :O) x

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    1. Yes the house does look like your house from the photos on your Christmas lights post.
      Hows the wallpapering going?

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  15. Well done with the driving. I know what you mean. We live quite a long way from the motorway and I really no longer care for driving on it. When I remember that living in the Midlands I happily drove over Spaghetti junction without giving it a second thought.
    Glad things are working out for you house-wise - you certainly deserve it when I think of all the work the pair of you have put into it. And I know from visitng you both that it really is such a lovely house.

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    1. I will miss my kitchen when we move and all the fruit trees, but it will be good to have less responsibility

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  16. Well done with the driving! I am in Essex and I am scared of learning to drive!
    The cup is really pretty! Love it when you find nice charity shop items like this!x

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    1. Suffolk is so quiet compared to other places, not sure how I would manage

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  17. I love your cup and saucer! I would have kept that too I suspect. I know what you mean somewhat about the driving. I drive regularly by myself, but if I have to go to unusual places or somewhere busy I don't like it. I take the sat nav as extra reassurance and that helps me. No fun though is it! xx

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    1. If I had to go far on my own I would need a Sat Nav........and calming tablets too I think!

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  18. I see a Christmas house theme coming along in your advent photos. I bet your tea tastes lovely in that cup and saucer X

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    1. Just coincidence about the house pics - sorry
      A frothy coffee is very good in this cup - even if its the cheap ones from Poundland

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  19. I adore your cup and saucer. Beautiful.
    For my "Wednesday in Japan" post today I had some of my cups and the two Christmas cups I use.
    But I really love your Christmas Cup !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I shall pop over to look at your photos

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  20. I am in complete admiration that you drive at all. I can't and it's causing more and more problems. Both myself (cardiac, kidney transplant etc) and disabled son (brain tumours, stroke, renal failure, dialysis soon etc) have so many clashing appointments in the major London hospitals. Only my husband drives - brilliantly - but the other hellish drivers in London, particularly in the City of London are a nightmare. As for parking! Last week it cost £15 one day and £10 on another. (Anyone granted an ambulance is not allowed an escort)

    Far too late for me to drive now; but how I wish I did; so I think you are managing brilliantly.

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    1. Thank you.
      So sorry about your health issues that need all the London hospital visits. Even the thought of having to drive somewhere that busy would give me nightmares

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  21. I only learnt to drive at 40. Life happens, living in the small country town of Porterville, I haven't driven much for the last 9 years.
    Fast forward we live in a Cape Town suburb and driving, is a mission for me.

    Congratulations on getting the smallholdng sold, and good luck with next chapter of your life!

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  22. I can see why you didn't want to part with that cup and saucer I wouldn't have wanted to give it away either. I do like the idea of buying one to fill with chocolates - I may just borrow that idea for next year- thanks!
    I'm with you on driving- I hate it but as it's only me that can drive it falls to me. Although any long journey is done on public transport!
    Lisa x

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  23. What a gorgeous cup, I wouldn't have given it away either. lol

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