Monday, 26 August 2013

I've got a Remoska

Yes, I have.  No it's not some ugly growth on my face, or a designer watch.  It's a cooker!!!!!

Well the story is, we had an external gas point fitted to Jan the Van a few weeks ago so that we can use our Cadac BBQ, only when we got home we found out that it's actually an "extend-a-stay".  Ok if you know nothing about motorhomes that is of no interest whatsoever.  Anyway it's not what we asked for and it won't do what we want, so we are currently doing battle to see what the fitter is going to do about it.  They will be named and shamed if we can't get  anything sorted.

Anyway so we decided to look at an electric option.  Did my research and found that the Remoska, although a little pricey would mean that I can cook outside when we are away.

So yesterday, of course wanting to see the thing before buying it, we did a 16 mile round-trip to Lakeland to see one and duly came home the proud owners of a Remoska. Would have been much easier to have bought on-line.

Well a new toy, a shiny new gadget, I just had to play with it straight away - oh and being Sunday what better than to try a Sunday Roast.  Must admit Mr. Fussy eater was not disappointed.  We did port and roast potatoes.  Next time I'll add the veg. The meat was succulent and the roasties were nice and crispy - being a paddy, Mr Fussy likes his roasties.

So the point is to anyone considering buying a Remoska I think it's pretty cool.  Going to try chilli or spag bol in it this week.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Am I a domestic goddess now?

Makes me sound like Carrie in Sex in the City - she always started her diary with a question.  No I don't have her money or figure (not even one out of two) so actually it's more like Anthea Turner for me!!!!!  Or is it Aggie and Kim? - don't answer that.

In a recent post I said that I had 4 weeks to get the house in a position where we could be out within a week.

I've now spent nearly 5 weeks cleaning, cleaning, clearing, clearing the house.  I've had enough!!!!  The school holidays started 5 weeks ago and I haven't had one day out, visited friends or done all the things I wanted to do. But........................

this is the first day that I have actually done ALL the jobs that I have to do and can go for a cup of tea with a friend without feeling that I should be at home doing something. So I thought I'd take some time out to update my blog. I've still got stuff to get rid of and I haven't finished clearing out everything but I do think that we could get out in two weeks at the most. The cellar and the shed are to be done this weekend.

But for the last nearly two weeks it's been the kitchen.  The problem is the more time I have to do something the longer it takes, which is compounded because I've the attention span of a goldfish (I think that's my age) and "just checking my emails" is soooo much more interesting than cleaning.  So every cupboard - and there's 14 of them in my kitchen - has been emptied, cleared and cleaned and the rubbish thrown away and the minimum put back in.  Then there were the 9 drawers to do as well. 

So now I'm sooooo proud of my achievement (well it is nearly 9 years since the kitchen was put in) and I'm not saying that I've never cleaned out the cupboards, but they've certainly never all been done at the same time.  I keep having the urge to open the cupboards and say "oooohhh it's sooooo clean".  So does that make me a domestic goddess or is that really just sad, I think I have finally flipped. Hubby said the other day - I bet Hazel doesn't keep opening her cupboards to see how clean they are - but that's because they are always clean and it's no big deal. Oh and then it was the oven yesterday - can't resist opening the doors and peering in - I'm really not well am I?

Anyway after 7 years in the planning, the thought fear of Full-timing hit home last weekend and during a fairly heated discussion I was heard to utter the words that I hoped I would never say - "This is your dream, not mine!!!".  Ooops, the words brick, drop and lead come to mind, bit of a conversation stopper. Well I do want to go but I would never have thought of  it myself and I really like living here. But then I'm not the one who goes out to work every day to pay for it.

Then today, after 4 weeks we had the first viewing on our house for letting.  They guy seemed keen enough but that will only be measured by whether or not he's happy to part with his money. He wants to bring his children back to see the house next week.  The downside is that he wants it from 23rd September - aaaaaahhhhhh.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed - that he does want it of course.

Well I suppose the boss will be home from work soon so I'd better go and start on tea.  Oh I could never be "just" a housewife - it would drive me mad - or has it already after only 5 weeks - watch this space.

The last time I said that (watch this space) to a husband I left him 4 weeks later!!!!!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

On a Happier Note

There's one good thing about downsizing and having a clear out................................

Emptying all those bottles of booze that have been lying around since Christmas.

Of course I'm drinking sensibly, it would not be sensible to throw it away.

Think I might give try the white port tonight - but the "Tesco Value Brandy" will be going down the sink - unless I can think of something to cook with it.

Can you belieeeeeve it? RIPOFF BT

Our lovely friends British Telecom have triumphed again!!!!

As you will have previously read, we have been 7 years in limbo trying to sell our house which has meant that we have been loyal to BT all that time - simply because to change provider we would have to sign up to a long contract and we didn't know when we would sell the house.  Well that didn't happen so we have been stuck with BT all this time.

A few months ago I finally convinced myself that I could justify having a smart phone.  For a very reasonable price I secured a monthly contract which gave me enough free (of course I've already paid for them in the contract) minutes that I no longer needed to use the land line.  In fact the total contract was cheaper than the call cost on the land line - I don't have many friends you see, either that or I'm just a plain misery and never phone anyone.


 BT now charge me a fine of £2 per month for NOT using my land line. What a joke!!!

Moving on - I recently purchased a long-range WIFI finder for when we are out and about travelling which boosts the wifi signal and picks up many more wifi's than my laptop. This is a brilliant piece of kit - ask me if you want more information.

Well, when sat in my study I can pick up 24 different wifi's in my area, one happens to be my brother's as he lives close and one is the Cloud at my local pub.  So actually I don't really need to have Broadband or a land line and I can still survive and be in contact with the world, and of course all my friends that I never get around to phoning (actually I don't like using the phone). I must admit the thought of perhaps not having access to broadband does leave me with the feeling of a slight  massive panic attack coming on.

So with our travels being imminent I decided (after getting agreement to share my brother's broadband) that I would cancel our contract with BT completely.

Try finding out how to cancel your contract with BT!!!! Their website is rubbish - of course they don't want you to cancel do they.  It says you can cancel by any way shown on their bill, email, phone, letter etc then when you get into it you have to call an 0800 number.  Well my experience of calling 0800 numbers to BT is that you are left hanging on for absolutely ages so I decided to take the old fashioned route and physically write to them and to give them 30 days notice to cancel my contract - yes a proper letter!!!  - in the post!!!!! Can't remember the last time I did one of those.

So yesterday I received a call from their Account Support department (or whatever they call themselves) to check that I really did mean to write them a letter and that I was really sure that I wanted to cancel my contract with them.


They are now charging me £30 for the privilege of allowing me to cancel my contract. 

Well those of you who know me will understand that  I'm not a one to rant and moan at the poor soul on the other end of the phone - ok then I am, so I did - for 23 minutes. It's totally laughable.  What sort of organisation is this?  This fee is apparently a compensation for BT to physically disconnect the service at the Exchange.  If I had moved to another provider there would be no fee.

I knew it wouldn't do any good, but it did make me feel better. I made him find the section in the T&C where it said that a charge would be made so that I could read it for myself.

If you are interested - here it is.

Broadband cancellation T & C

The poor guy on the end of the phone then had to ask me a final question:- "Are you sure you want to cancel this contract".

SURE, SURE - after that of course I'm SURE.

Well that rant made me feel better as well.

Monday, 5 August 2013


OK so I have the attention span of a goldfish - and the more time I have to do something the longer it takes me but I have just had a break from the mundane chore of sorting out the house and I have updated Vanessa's page on my blog.  Click the tab at the top of this page.

Of course in a few months time I would have had ages to do the Vanessa page but here it is.  Now I MUST get on with the sorting 1,2,3,4.

Jan the Van page is simply going to have to wait!!!!

Monday Morning Blues

I've decided that there's no point in trying to stay anonymous (especially as my name is at the bottom of each post - ha ha)  in case anyone from Iain's work sees this - so what, they know now what we are planning, he just hasn't actually resigned and agreed a date yet.

At the moment we are still planning to take our booked 3 weeks holiday in September, but things change daily so we don't really know what's going on.  I doubt we will go as far as Spain for the holiday as we originally planned (watch this space).  We might just spend it in this country visiting family and friends - as long as they have a large drive for us to park on.

Well it's Monday morning again - less than 4 weeks until our holiday - and I've got to get the house sorted by then.  I should be able to do it, I've nothing else to do - Iain says.

Anyway, the boss has gone off to work and that means that I'm on my own "doing it" - no one to chivvy me up when I get my  "there's soooo much to do" head on and I hate throwing anything away.

We started on the bedroom yesterday - the normal sort -  1. Going with us, 2. Storage, 3. Charity shop and 4. Rubbish.  I still can't quite believe that we are going to live 365 days a year in something that is smaller than our bedroom. Just look at all the STUFF that came out of the wardrobe for 3 and 4 sort.

I've found clothes that screamed at me to buy them and then refused ever to talk to me again........... and shoes ................. a girl can't have too many pairs of shoes ................ unless you plan to live in a motorhome!!!!!

Yes Yes Yes I do want to do it!!!!!

So far in a week I've done my studio, my workroom and the study.  When the bedroom is done then I will move onto the kitchen.  Then the only major clear our space left will be the cellar, which is mainly full of "his" STUFF.

Until we have the house rented, we don't know what else to clear out as we are offering it anything from unfurnished to fully equipped.  But as I keep saying - we need to be ready to move in a week if necessary.

I got my own back this weekend ............ I sold his golf clubs on e-bay.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

7 years in the waiting

7 years ago I came home one evening from coaching a local netball team to find my husband with pen and paper in hand scribbling some notes and doing some sums.  Watcha doing? I said. He replied "How do you fancy selling up and living in a motorhome?"  "WHY????" was my reply "Why Not?" was his. "Sounds good to me" I said.

So the house went up for sale and we waited, and waited, and waited, and changed agents and waited, and waited, and dropped the price (by a lot) and waited, and changed agents and waited.

We did our research and bought our first motorhome.  Vanessa she was called. See Vanessa's page to find out more.

After 5 glorious years with Vanessa,  last year we fell in love with  Jan (pronounced Yan) the Van, or affectionately known as just "Behemoth" - see the picture to the right.

We've done a few trips with Jan but he's made us realise that we don't want to wait any longer.

We've given up waiting and finally decided that we can risk renting the house out and JFDI anyway. (Just Fxxxing Do IT).

Well that was three weeks ago and since then all hell has broken loose.

I've now been tasked with 4 weeks to get the house in shape to allow us to move out within 1 week if necessary.

The other half (have you worked out whether he's the smelly one or the boss) has just said "If you had done it while you went along then it wouldn't be such a big job now, after all you've had 7 years to get ready for this".  Thanks - that's not much help is it.

So I've just spent one week sorting STUFF into

1.  Going with us,
2. Going into Storage,
3. Get rid of and
4. Just plain rubbish.

It's 3 and 4 that I'm struggling with. Being a bit of a hoarder I hate throwing anything away and get soooo depressed when I look at all the STUFF that we don't need and have to get rid of.  All that wasted money!!!!!

So how do I deal with that depression - well:-
1.  I take a break and create myself a blog to share with you all and

2.  I read and get fantastic inspiration from the people who have done it already and the people who are not fortunate enough to be able to do it yet.

We still don't have a date - but it's imminent - can't say any more because he is still trying to get an exit strategy from work.

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