Saturday 6 June 2020

Project 366 week 23

A late shift at work with some crocheting and tv watching before I went out.
I think my Persil is breeding in the upstairs cupboard…..I had four £5 vouchers to spend but could only use one per transaction and one per item, so rather than buying something worth a pound or two with each one thought I might as well get full value. Should last a year or two. 

Housework and washing done and started a new crochet piece, a rainbow otter, Bob loves otters. The knitted one was done from a crochet pattern as not sure about adding writing on a piece of crochet work, maybe worth experimenting with at some point, the crochet one is bigger because crochet stitches are bigger.
Watching The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair. An entertaining series with lots of twists, turns and red herrings.
An evening walk with the dog down the woods and spotted this dinosaur head.

Car was going in for its MOT today with a time of “drop it off early and we will get to it”.  Hubby and dog came as well and we walked round the village while we were out. 

Walked back down with dog and hubby to pick the car back up again. 
DD1 and the children were out in the garden when we walked by and they were all very excited to see Dixie dog.
Finished off knitting the otter. 
A very muggy cloudy day but still very very warm, 22.5 according to the car.

I am getting very can’t be bothered, do it later but later never comes mind set lately. Happy to spend my days crafting. Finished the otter off. Finished watching Harry Quebert and spent three hours listening to the end of Good Little liars on audiobook while doing Bob’s diamond painting.
Met up with DD3 to go for a walk with the dog along the river in Ayr, first time I have seen her in about ten weeks.
Drove past McD’s on the way to meeting her and the queue was stupidly long, they have set up cones etc to make a snaking queue. You could have been to the supermarket next door and bought your ingredients and then driven home and made them quicker.

Spotted this algae in the river that looks like a map of the UK.  


Some house work, some blogging comments and then a new audio book and more diamond art. Spent the morning waiting on the rain that never came to anything other than a few spits.

Went and did three miles along the River Ayr, not been there since the lock down started. It is only a couple of miles away but no reason to be there.

Started a crochet unicorn for Dinky to go with her rainbow doll after tea.  


Went early and did a shopping as the industrial estate shares the same roundabout as the recycling centre and KFC so would expect long queues later in the day. Choose Food Warehouse as they are doing 20% off this week for NHS staff. Object to this in principal as there are many key worker groups not just the NHS as we in theory are no poorer now than any other time of the year, but a saving is a saving.

I rarely before last month buy frozen pre made food but have to say I can see the appeal of" take it out the freezer and throw it in the oven thinking", no mess no prep time and no clearing up afterwards. So mixing it this month with some cook from scratch and some throw it in the oven food. Frozen foods have become much better quality over the decades than it use to be, better quality meat, less fillers, additives or other junk added so probably not a bad alternative any way.

Popped into DD1 on the way home as I had added a few bits to her home delivery and dropped her off some eggs I picked her up. home by 9.30 am. Worked on the unicorn, now finished apart from the tail needs puffing out. Chosen my next make for Minky which will get started over the weekend.

Put a washing out as the promised rain was not on the horizon and took the dog for a walk. Started spitting just before we got back but managed to catch the washing in time. Only rained for ten mins but was heavy so washing would have got soaked. Weather was freezing and I am glad I pout a wind proof jacket on. 
Cooked a nice roast chicken dinner and made a pear upside down cake.

Blogging and then diamond painting for an hour before getting ready for work, nice to have somewhere specific to go. They have another type of mask for me to try but asked for a break this week as it is taking longer and longer to feel normal again, was still feeling the effects of last weekend on Thursday this week. Pushing my IGE levels up and not giving it a change to even out again means I am having issues with things I would not normally at home so having to adjust what I eat/drink/do to save making myself uncomfortable. 

This is my mileage until the end of May - 789 miles so far this year.

I am on holiday next weekend and normally we would be off to Oban for a week with DD2 and the girls, but not this year. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
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Thursday 4 June 2020

Relaxing Your Body And Mind

We could all do with feeling a bit more relaxed, right? I certainly can, lost my get up and go so maybe
some of these ideas will be a great help. If you are someone who feels stressed at the end of
the day, you need to know how to relax both your body and mind. This will make you feel calm and
peaceful. Your body also reacts when you start to relax. For instance, your muscles will be more
flexible and less tense. With that being said, read on to discover some of the different ways that
you can relax both your body and mind. 

Relaxing the mind

There are a number of different things that you can do to relax your mind. This involves trying different
breathing exercises. Start off by taking slow and deep breaths. You can also find information online about
different sorts of breathing exercises that you can try.

There are many people who also vape as a way of relaxing their mind, so this is something you may want to

Other ways to relax the mind include using guided imagery. With guided imagery, you are to imagine yourself
in a specific setting or scenario that helps you to feel relaxed and calm. You can use scripts or audiotapes in
order to guide you through the process.

A lot of people also find that writing helps them to relax the mind. If you write your feelings in a journal,
it can feel like you are offloading them, and this can make a massive difference.

We also recommend practising mindful meditation. The aim when it comes to mindful meditation is focusing
your attention on things that are occurring right now. For example, you can listen to your body. Are you
breathing shallow, deep, slow, or fast? Do you hear silence or are there other noises, such as traffic?

You can also try listening to soothing music and soaking in a warm bath.

Relaxing your body

Now, let’s take a look at the different ways that you can relax your body. One option is to have a warm drink
that does not have caffeine or alcohol in it, for example, warm milk or herbal tea. 

Massages are also great for relaxing the body. You can book yourself in for a professional massage
( once all this is over) or right now get your loved one to give you one.

Talking a walk or doing some other sort of activity that you enjoy will help as well. 

Progressive muscle relaxation is good for the body. This is a process that entails relaxing and tensing each
muscle group. This can be effective in terms of lowering muscle tension and anxiety. 

Finally, we recommend trying out some yoga too. You can get videos and books so that you can do yoga at
home or try taking a yoga class. 

So there you have it: some of the different ways that you can relax your body and mind. If you follow the
advice that has been provided above, you should be able to notice a considerable difference in terms of how
you feel both mentally and physically. 

Wednesday 3 June 2020

A Grandparent's Guide To Managing Money

There are many odd stereotypes about those of us over 60 that have never really rung true. One of
which is that we’re all inexplicably wealthy. The assumption, of course, is that by the time
we reach retirement age we’ve all paid off our mortgages, acquired significant savings and
have our pensions to cover our basic living expenses. And while this is a charming fantasy,
it doesn’t quite measure up to the real-life experiences of many pension aged people in Scotland
and all over the UK. Around 3 million Brits over the age of 60 are still paying off their mortgages.
The past few decades have not been kind to ,any of us financially, and even if you’ve owned your
home for decades, you may have had to refinance to free up more spending money. Combine
this with the increasingly challenging cost of living (particularly in Scotland) and it goes a long
way towards shattering the stereotype of the infinitely wealthy pensioner. 

Of course, as grandparents we want to be able to support our grown up kids and treat
our grandchildren whenever we can. We want to be able to enjoy the odd indulgence
without worrying how it’ll affect our ability to pay our bills. But the sad truth is that almost a
million people over 65 in the UK are just one bill away from financial ruin.

If you’re recently retired you may have all sorts of money questions. Retirement, after all,
doesn’t come with a manual. But it’s how you’ll spend roughly 25% of your life. So, let’s take a
look at some money management tips for retirees...

It begins with budgeting

It’s impossible to make the most of your money without a budget. Only when you can account
for every penny going into and out of your bank account can you take control of your finances
and free yourself from the feelings of worry, stress and dread that money can bring up in so
many of us. Budgeting is a skill, and like any other skill, it needs to be learned and developed.
The truth, however, is that many of today’s pensioners have gone through life without needing
to master this skill. Many of us have earned decent money and grew up at a time when the
basics were relatively affordable. And since the ‘60s we’ve had easy access to credit cards
and unsecured loans to make up the shortfall when our spending exceeds our income. 

If your only source of income is your state pension, however, you’ll need to work a little harder
to address the balance. Use a budget template to track where your money is coming from
and where it’s going. Here are some digital templates you can use, or print out if you prefer
to keep it all on paper. They’ll make it easier for you to identify areas where your money is
slipping through the cracks. Very rarely is it the big, flashy purchases that erode your finances.
It’s the little expenses that add up a great deal by the end of the month.

If your only source of income is your state pension, you’re left with a maximum of £168.60 a
week (or £8,750 a year) to cover your expenses. However, there may be other benefits for
which you’re eligible. Age UK has a comprehensive list of benefits for those with low incomes
and / or of retirement age. It’s much easier to balance your budget when you take advantage
of everything that’s available to you. 

Remember: Goals are important at all stages of life

It’s hard to stick to your budget when you’re lacking in motivation. And it’s hard to stay
motivated when you don’t have clear goals and things to anticipate and look forward to.
These are your golden years, after all, and you’ve worked hard all your life to enjoy them.
So start thinking now about how you want to spend this part of your life, and start putting a plan
in place to make it happen. 

You may decide that you’d like to live out your days being treated like royalty in the company of
your peers. If so, you might want to look into the cost and logistics of moving into one of these
luxury retirement villages. Or, if you decide that now’s the time to see the world, you might want
to look in to a cruise (once the pandemic has died down and people feel safe to travel once again,
of course). Alternatively, you might want to save for something like a new car. There are no wrong
answers, but it’s important to have goals. 

Getting your debts under control 

It’s extremely hard to balance your household budget when you have debt placing a
stranglehold on your cash flow. For many Brits of all ages, debt is just another unpleasant fact of
life like drizzle or constipation… but that doesn’t mean we have to let it ruin our best days.
Many of us are paying far too much in interest on our credit cards, loans, store cards etc. And
when we let our debts pile up, they can become much harder and more stressful to manage.
The good news is that there are lots of ways to keep debts under control and claw back a
surprising amount of money every month that might otherwise have been lost to interest payments. 

Keep moving credit card debt to a new card with a better rate of interest. You’ll be charged a fee
but this will be absorbed into your debt and will pale in comparison to what you save. Or, if
your payments have become harder to manage, you might benefit from a consolidation loan
that condenses them down into a single, manageable monthly repayment with a much lower
interest. If your credit score prohibits one of these, however, you might benefit from arranging
an IVA or Individual Voluntary Arrangement with your creditors. You might be able to waive
interest altogether and substantially reduce your monthly expenses while paying your debts
off faster. 

You’re never the wrong age to take control of your finances and start thinking about what you want
to do with your money. It’s time to stop worrying and start enjoying the best years of your life!  

This is a collaborative post.