Saturday, 30 May 2020

Strange Times End of Week 11 and (Almost) End of the Month

Rounding up the week and the month today.

Another mostly sunny week in Suffolk - no rain again so much watering has been needed and now the water butts need filling with the hosepipe .
This is a sunny sitting-out spot although it hasn't been really hot in my bit of Suffolk all week as the wind is East and quite breezy.

I've been half listening and watching the Dominic Cummings stuff all week - wondering what it feels like to be so hated by so many people, not just recently but for a long time and thinking what a idiot he is if he thought no one would notice and do I care anyway? I think it's all making me tired and lethargic.......that's how I've felt most of the week and it can't be because of working too hard!

More relevant  for bloggers is the latest change to the layout of stuff in the drafts pages bit - do wish Blogger would stop modernising. It's OK but takes longer - a bit like shopping! Speaking of initial thought about all shops opening in a few weeks was Oh Good. Then "but what do I actually need to go out and buy?.........Can I be bothered with all that queueing?" ..............On Tuesday I had to go and pick up a prescription and post a parcel both in a village 5 miles away and it took an hour - usually it would have been about 20 minutes. What a good thing I now have all the time in the world for everything!

I've been thinking about what will happen as we return to normal and get to see more people after all the isolation - being  reminded of what happened to many ancient tribes in Africa and South America when they were discovered by Europeans who brought with them things like common colds which then wiped out the native people as they had no resistance. Hope we haven't all been isolated so long that we've lost out immune system for ordinary ills!

  Now a few frugal bits from May
  • Rhubarb, lettuces and herbs from the garden
  • As always catching the cold water in a jug before the hot arrives and using elsewhere.
  • Boiler not used for ¾ of the month
  • Mixing milk half and half with water
  • Washing dried on the line all month
  • Cut my own hair
  • All bread was home made
  • Hardly going out - no coffee and cake at charity coffee mornings!
  • Not going to the Suffolk Show - cancelled of course, but I would have gone and a ticket would have been over £20

 3 good savings made this a low spend month

A very good saving on heating oil in the middle of the month when I ordered 600 litres for half the price of the 500 litres bought in January. The oil tank is now full and since then it's been warmer and the boiler hasn't switched itself on at all . The solar thermal panels on the roof have heated the water and the stored warmth from the conservatory has warmed the living room every evening.

The price of diesel is also at it's lowest for donkeys years so I've been keeping the car full. I put in the grand total of £13 worth this month..........compared to an average of £70 a month before Covid and price collapse.

The third saving was the car breakdown insurance - I rang to cancel to see what they would offer and got a years cover for the price of 9 months.

Food spending was just under average even though prices of fruit,vegetables and many other things are going up. The cat got food of course and the direct debits for phones, broadband, council tax and charity went out as usual plus there were two family birthdays in May and I've been buying the Saturday local paper which has the weeks TV listings and a double page of puzzles - giving me an extra choice of things to do.

My other spending was nearly all online, mostly secondhand - Games and puzzles and craft things for grandchildren (plus postage to send them)  also sent for a new pair of soft summer Earth Spirit shoes that I can wear sockless. Almost identical to my old tatty pair so I knew they would fit and be comfortable. ( I can't wear sandals comfortably due to needing an arch support). My old tatty pair have become summer gardening shoes. I'm never bothered about what clothes look like but shoes Have to be comfortable.

The only spending on gardening was a bag of multi-purpose compost and beetroot seed.

Oh and I bought books. ..............Confessions to come later!

Looking ahead to June when the electric bill is due plus the window cleaner will be round sometime and there is one family birthday so as long as I stop looking on ebay/amazon it should be another low spend month.

This week I'm grateful for
  • Plenty to read
  • My hoover to hoover up the flying ants that are emerging from the old chimney in the kitchen yet again
  • Lots of tidying done in the garden

Have a good weekend everyone
Back Monday


  1. I love that picture. Thinking how nice it would be to sit and drink tea in the Suffolk sunshine!

  2. DC just goes on my list of people who do not contribute to the human race. How can anyone be so flagrant of everything that matters so much to our safety and well being?

    isn't it wonderful to be warmed again by the sun? My living room is still over 22C every morning this week at 5:30 a.m. Can't make up my mind about the wind. Bit to breezy, but tempering the heat to bearable. Have a good weekend.

  3. I am keen to know what books you bought and look forward to the post (plus Furrowed Middlebrow has announced more titles and Girls Gone By new ones are due out soon).

  4. LOL that habit of staying home is getting strong! I think, what do I have to go out for? Do I really want to queue up to give others my personal details (for track and trace)? Do I really want to face all that traffic rushing around again? Luckily for me, son is adamant I make more effort to get out and about again - or I think I could quite happily become a recluse! Have a great weekend :) xx

  5. What a lovely, peaceful corned for sitting and lounging. Delightful.

    I'm just working myself up to trying the new platform. I hate changes too and am quite happy with what it already is but I suppose these social media things must move on or they get left behind. It's a right nuisance though!

  6. the wind is a tad brisk here most of the time , ive a spot of skip diving planned if the builders over the field have vanished for the weekend . im gradually amassing bits to build a small wall to keep the wind off the veg at the bottom of the garden

  7. Your positive attitude week in week out spurs me on Sue. xx

  8. I like Earth Spirit sandals too, for the same reason. I wondered about getting new ones but decided the old ones would do as sandals don't get that much wear. Crocs are good enough for indoors.

  9. We have full sun on our back garden for most of the day and I would love a little corner that is in semi shade. As I've said before the sun and I are not the best of buddies. Instead of encouraging me to be out in the garden, the sun makes me want to hibernate more than I already do.

    The only extra expense that we have made that I can think of, is a more robust hedge trimmer to tackle a difficult part of it.

    I don't want to get too political, but I don't think our government have covered themselves in glory over Brexit or this pandemic and I wish I'd never voted for them.

  10. I dislike the new blogger interface. A lot of web sites, including banks, are changing to be more "mobile-friendly" so that people with small screens and fat fingers find them easier to use, to the detriment of laptop users. My bank site used to look like a printed statement, but now there are only about 6 lines per screen and you can't easily understand it or find anything. Blogger seems to be going the same way, but for the time being right down on the bottom left is a revert to classic option. How long it wil be there I'm not sure, it might disappear completely in July, but for now I've reverted to the old interface.

  11. What a lovely positive post, and that's a gorgeous sitting out corner.

    It's been far too hot for me to sit out here this week, a walk around the paddock with the dogs and then a long sit on the hillside watching the world go by has been shortened dramatically this week, I've left Alan sat on his own for a couple of days now. Once when I silently sneaked off while he snoozed on the grass to see if he would hear me go ... no he's getting as deaf as a post!!

    I've not put any fuel in my car since I returned from the Van, so from £35 a week I've gone down to nothing. I'm most likely not in any great profit though as I've bought far more books and DVDs than I usually would.

  12. Love your sitting out corner. It looks very inviting. I know what you mean about shopping. Where we used to "nip in" for a few bits, we now think "Can we be bothered?" Queuing to get in, pay and get out - no thanks! Don't get me started on Dominic Cummings... xx

  13. I have saved a lot of money during lockdown when my classes stopped and I have not been able to go out because nothing that I do is actually open or running. I will pay off some Council Tax with what I have saved.

  14. "no coffee and cake at charity coffee mornings!" Poor you! but have you lost weight? Roderick

  15. Your patio looks so nice and welcoming! You always do good with your budget. We have a tight budget since we retired and the months with birthdays can set us back. We have two birthdays in June so I have to watch my spending!

  16. I’m getting worried by the number of people I hear about who are scared to leave their homes...not people who are necessarily required to shield. Unfortunately without a vaccine the healthy population does need to mingle and become immune to the virus in order to protect those who really need protecting. I think they have almost done too good a job at scaring. Unfortunately many people with no underlying health conditions have died with COVID 19. What we don’t usually hear about is how many people with no obvious health conditions drop dead every day normally. Sadly it happens. It has happened in our family. How can it ever be right to go to a crowded beach and paddle in the from the same takeaway...sit on the same seats...yet some of these people wouldn’t allow their own children or grandchildren in their garden. Better the devil you know I always thought was safest. Hope you are soon able to properly catch up with your nearest and dearest Sue. x

  17. Your sitting out corner is lovely, Sue. We have a sitting out area, but it’s halfway up the garden , which is a great spot, but not cosy. I, too, have saved money due to the fact the Devon County show has obviously been cancelled. Initially, they did postpone it to the end of August which I thought was a bit late for the farmers. However, it has now been cancelled completely, which although sad for the farmers and rural businesses, I don’t think I would have been comfortable going to such a crowded place. Looking forward to your book confessions :)

  18. Envious of your sheltered sunny spot. We live on the coast with a great view of sea, but every day that onshore breeze comes up and makes every spot a gale force challenge. Thanks for the positivity in your post.