Recipes from my Suffolk Kitchen

Monday, 4 September 2017

Instead of a holiday

How much would a weeks holiday for two people cost?
A week in a tent or a caravan ................pitch fees, food ,fuel, visits............ £150+?
A week in a holiday cottage ............cottage rent, food, fuel, visits............£350+?
A week in a hotel.......................no idea but I guess .£500+?
A week abroad................no idea at all

We're not having a holiday this year. There are too many hospital appointments and soon Colin will be in for the stem cell transplant and then he certainly won't be well enough for months after that.
Over the last few weeks, instead of a holiday I've spent a little money on hobbies and interests.

First........................ a subscription
Sometimes I stand in W.H Smiths or a supermarket and look at the magazines, sometimes I pick one up and flick through but I  very very rarely buy one.........they are so expensive and all blinkin' adverts and I didn't have any subscriptions to anything since Craft Creations stopped.( I remembered to cancel the 3 months for £5 offer on Kitchen Garden Magazine)


A while back I came across  The Scribbler. It's about my favourite subject - BOOKS and published 3 times a year by Greyladies Publishing who publish
                               
                                     "Well-Mannered Books by Ladies Long Gone"

I sent for a copy last year and enjoyed it, lent it to a friend who also read and enjoyed and eventually, a couple of weeks ago, decided to subscribe. This is the first of my years subscription. A good read.

Second.............. some plants
Having decided to create a bed for flowers for cutting I ordered some Tulip bulbs and Alstromeria and Monarda plants
I already have Sweet Pea,Cornflower and Sweet William seeds and there might be room for something else - probably something to use as a filler in flower arrangements (or, as they are called here- shoving some flowers in a jug!)

Third..............something for the mantle-shelf.
The first time we've had a mantle-shelf or mantle piece for years and  I don't want the same things on it all the time. My plan is to change things with the seasons or a bit more often depending what I find. I've got very few ornaments as I had nowhere to put anything at the smallholding apart from the dresser and my rule will be  ........................mostly second-hand and cheap as possible.
Normally I would have walked away from this bowl of lovely wood-turned fruit at a car boot sale as they were £5, but then I remembered the Autumn mantle and the 'instead of a holiday' and they came home. I've bought something colourful online as well and that will be on the blog later this month.

Fourth - I kept looking on ebay for some Derwent watercolour pencils and eventually got a tin of secondhand hardly used 48 colours for my Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady Colouring Book for just over £10 plus postage. The only problem is
because the colouring book isn't watercolour paper it keeps curling up. So I've purchased a pad of watercolour paper from The Works and I'm going to try tracing the pictures from the colouring book onto the watercolour paper and then use the pencils on that.


I've counted the Lindt Lindor chocolates that came from Approved Foods as an 'instead of a holiday' treat too - haven't eaten them yet - might need them to cheer myself up when Colin is in Addenbrookes!

Thank you for comments on my slightly frugal post and Hello to a new follower


Back Soon
Sue

28 comments:

  1. I think you can double your amounts for some of those holiday prices, even camping is expensive now I understand. I do not holiday either, living in a beautiful part of the UK it is unnecessary. So agree abut magazines, nothing appeals to me anymore, must be my age!! Well done for your 'instead of a holiday ' treats, we must all have something in our lives to enhance and uplift, the watercolour pens sound good. Sarah.

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  2. A good notion to spend the "holiday money" on little treats. I like your carved wood piece for the mantelpiece. We've never had one here either (beams over fireplaces instead) but now I have the smaller dresser (white one yet to be delivered) I have gone to town a bit on that with things I had stashed away.

    I hope there will be an Indian summer (quickly!) so that you and Col can get down to the beach hut to relax before he goes to Addenrbookes.

    I look forward to seeing your watercolour pictures - good idea to trace them onto watercolour paper.

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  3. Oooo bargainous pencils!! I might get on looking for some myself! I think your holiday prices are way off too, although I'm not sure on the camping!! The holiday cottage ones are easily a thousand pounds a week in high season. Google it!!!
    Good luck to Colin. We nearly didn't go away due to appointments but managed to grab a late deal where my holiday lodge was half price! Still £150 more than your estimate! Lovely wooden fruit. Very tactile. I'm wanting to pick them up and stroke them x

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  4. We are lucky enough to enjoy weekends away with the car clubs we belong to and I can confirm that your estimates of cost are greatly underestimated.

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  5. You have done the right thing, Sue; given yourself a few treats instead of a holiday. We are used to not having holidays as we've rarely had them - yes, we've had a few days away, but these have been rare occasions. Our last holiday was a long weekend in Bruges (I don't count the one in the Cotswolds in 2007 as the B&B wasn't very good and we came home early) in 2006, which we managed to sandwich in between my bouts of chemo. We don't mind not going away, we're home birds, and enjoy just having days out. Maybe our world has shrunk now we're older, but we don't mind this at all. Little treats all year round suit us better than the big gesture of a holiday. But this isn't to say we mightn't never have a holiday again ...
    Love those coloured pencils!!! Have you thought that, instead of colouring-in, you might try your hand at sketching something yourself? I know colouring-in is very popular and relaxing, but making a sketch of something you like rather than what someone else has decided (i.e. the Edwardian lady) might be fun to try ...
    The Scribbler looks a very good read. Girls Gone By also publish out-of-print books (or at least they used to; not checked up to see if they are still doing this.)
    PS It is the adverts, not the cover price, which pays for magazines; without adverts, which are about 45% to 55% editorial in a modern magazine, there would be no magazine, QED. I love magazines and while the price might appear high, a quality monthly magazine is a real treat and if you bought one for around £4.95 that works out at around 0.16p per day, which I think is quite good value. But I would say that, wouldn't I, ha ha!
    Margaret P

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  6. A little treat now and again never did anybody any harm and you certainly deserve it Sue.

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  7. I'm going for a short holiday next week; just 4 nights on a Camping & Caravanning Club site on the north coast of Cornwall - costing me £22.60 ! Ok, my annual membership is £35 but still a very cheap holiday. I was intending to drive up there for a day to spend time with family who are in Mawgan Porth for the week, but decided it would be easier to turn the visit into a holiday. (Obviously, I already have all the gear after many years of camping.)

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    1. Bargain break and the reason we used to belong to the club and camp when the children were little.

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  8. You will get lots of pleasure from your buys, Sue. We saved and save d for our holiday of a lifetime this year and DH hated almost evry moment of it. We've just had new heating fitted( we had a contingency fund in the Credit Union account) and I feel that the little buys would have given me more pleasure too. The only good thing is we now save beforehand and are not paying off any debt. Catriona

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  9. I would not be able to walk past the wooden fruit, I love the touch of polished wood, they are beautiful. I agree on magazines, for to expensive years ago I would buy 4 a month, but not any more. I do have Gardeners World delivered, which I got two years for the price of one on their 50 year anniversary deal.

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  10. They do say 'a change is as good as a rest'.
    Your changes (purchases) will give you a peaceful (restful) time 😊
    I had a friend who saved for a trip in a novel - but not unknown- way by instead of actually buying her magazines/coffees/anything else she usually squandered her cash on she put that amount away.
    I must say that wooden fruit looks so lovely and smooth and well finished ~ Cathy

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  11. A treat now and again is just what the doctor ordered. Whether its a holiday, magazine, trip to the cinema it doesn't really matter except to the people who are enjoying it. I enjoy a takeaway once in a blue moon, I enjoy it more because its not an every week occurrence like it is for most families and that not because we can't afford it. Its because we choose it that way. When will Col go into Addenbrookes?

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    1. We are still not sure on dates for Addenbrookes. We are now waiting to see if ENT at Ipswich can fit in a small sinus operation to stop infections.

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  12. I love your little bowl of wooden fruit, Sue. Just the thing for an autumnal mantlepiece!! Meg:)

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  13. In the past when we went on holiday, although they were enjoyable, we both had a great feeling of delight when we got back home. Now the children are grown up we do not go on holiday and are happy doing smallholdery things at home and just being at home.

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    1. We had holidays at the smallholding with the children but then later it got harder to find someone to look after so many different things so didn't get away often, although when we did we always came home full of idea of what we wanted to do on the smallholding

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  14. As the saying goes "you're worth it". Love the fruit. A few new ornaments/bits and bobs can make a room look a lot different at not much cost. xx

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  15. sounds like a great idea, I'm all for buying yourself treats.
    I do love a seasonal shelf or mantelpiece, it's a lovely thing to echo the season inside the house. x

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  16. We are taking a bit of a holiday this year (getting away from the never ending heat) to the mountains. Costly, but we really needed the break from DIY. Next year will be our last big holiday and after that I think I will take a leaf out of your book and buy a few "treats" instead.

    God bless.

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  17. "Well-Mannered Books by Ladies Long Gone" sounds like my kind of publication. So many of my role models are "long gone." I like that you give some thought to everything you buy. I just recently bought a small set of watercolor pencils. I had wondered about special paper.

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  18. If one can't have a few treats now and then, what's the point? Our hopes & prayers are that Col will get through the next stem cell transplant smoothly with minimal discomfort.

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  19. Yes, holidays can be expensive. We've been to the coast 4 times this year. 3 were overnite stays and one a day trip to each lunch with my sister. Doubt there will be much travel now. I like the wooden fruit for your mantle. Enjoy the Lindor chocolates. They're one of my favorites. Hazelnut and milk chocolate are my 2 favorites and we have them at work too! Have a good week!

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  20. I think you can almost double your holiday estimate prices. What you are quoting is about the current going rate for a long weekend in the UK. It's cheaper to go abroad usually.

    I think your idea of treats for and at home is a brilliant one.

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  21. What a bargain your watercolour pencils were. I used to have a tin of those bought from new and they were very expensive if I remember right.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. I quite fancied the 72 in a posh wooden box but came down to earth quickly!

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  22. Oh my goodness the price on those pencils is quite a deal! Very nice pencils, too. A treat like that is a long-lasting one.

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