9 Days Holiday To Take – Whooohoooo

While all my “if wishes were kisses I’d sure be a floozy’s” dreams of what could be done are delightful to contemplate, I still need to be realistic somewhat.


Our company holidays run from April to March.  Being in the UK, we have an organised system for holiday days from work.  Mine currently run at 25 days per year plus Bank Holidays.

Much has happened this year around work.  There was a company restructure which took a few months for word to reach us individually on how we were impacted, if at all.  During that period I looked for new roles, was successful in an internal role and an external role.  I enjoy working here so opted for the role within the organisation.  Then the training was scheduled and that will take a while because the job is in a completely new discipline and bears little to no relation to what I was doing before.  If all goes well and if everything is signed off on to a permanent contract at the end of March, happy days!

During all this period, I’ve been banking days holiday because transitions and training take up one’s calendar.

Now I have 9 days to take before the end of March.  It is currently nearly the end of January.  That’s a huge quantity of days to take.  Almost unprecedented among my peers.

What to do, what to do?

I could see if we have a few shekels left for a get away in the sun.  I could schedule days out in the UK.  I could schedule absolutely nothing and just sit in a chair in the conservatory and read books.  I could visit friends.  I could do house repairs and maintenance as the shed needs a new roof and the stairwell could do with a lick of paint.

9 days is 7 days too many to waste.  I can mooch around for 2 days happily but after that I start to feel the guilt of a slothful life.

While all my “if wishes were kisses I’d sure be a floozy’s” dreams of what could be done are delightful to contemplate, I still need to be realistic a little and accept that this year I’ve cleared down £25,000 in legal and other expenses, bought a house, bought a car, put my kiddo through an expensive state school and seen her pass all her 16 year old exams, nearly lost my job, secured another job and I learned how to fix a wall which was missing bricks, renovated a home to go from vandalised to liveable, sourced some food storage and put up a curtain rail.  That’s quite a heavy load for one year and not one that I’d wish on another person.  Had fun though.  How often can a person say they cleared £25K liability, bought a house and car, raised a kiddo and saw friends often – most frequently down the pub?  Not many, I’d bet.  Sometimes my wants outstrip my ables.  At some point I have to accept that I shall remain dissatisfied, or shall have to learn some grace in dealing with this malarkey we call life.

So, 9 days.  I have 9 days.  9 days to call my own.  Now, deciding how to spend them, that’s the next challenge.  What to do, what to do…..


Down to 4000 calories a day

First day back to work after the winter / Christmas / New Year break.  I feel I should have brought more provisions with me…. I don’t know what suddenly dropping down to 4000 calories a day will do to a woman after the holiday excess!  My clothes are no indicator of whether I have overindulged as I wear jersey wrap dresses or long loved jeans on any given day and both are relatively forgiving.  Three squares a day with Hobbit-esque mid-meal-meals thrown in to the mix and all should be well.  I ate fruit willingly yesterday, that’s a good thing, right?  So, if I eat an apple, do I have to sacrifice a square of chocolate to offset the calories?  Hope not.  No resolutions here, just an onward and upward trend toward awesomeness.  Happy 2018, folks.

Do Not Scratch The Surface

Flipping heck.  There I was, bimbling along, having a nice time making new acquaintances and learning new skills at a First Aid refresher course and they talk about recognising heart problems, described the symptoms and inexplicably and unreasonably I started feeling upset and raise my hand and say in a quiet voice “I’m not having fun anymore, this happened to me” and like a freaking cissy I start fighting back tears and feel stupid.  “I’m not having fun” was a light-hearted way to indicate distress to the instructor who was flipping amazing and brilliant and responsive and kind.  But stupid happened and the tears came and every time I was alone for the rest of the day tears came again.  Continue reading “Do Not Scratch The Surface”


Passion not Panic

Almost nothing is so urgent that it requires an absolute split second decision. There is time. Time can be our friend in most cases.


Chatting with a colleague friend yesterday I uttered the words “the decisions I’ve made recently have been borne of panic not passion” and a moment of clarity ensued.

I desire to live a life of passion, to passionately pursue my goals and to enjoy my 72 free goes around the Sun. Continue reading “Passion not Panic”


The surprise benefit of being free of bad debt

To not be shackled to yesterdays worries so that we can fully face todays challenges is a beautiful gift.


I am pragmatic.  I decide to talk about positive things.  I believe we either talk and act ourselves in to or out of a happy life.  However I don’t care whether the glass is half full or half empty.  I know how much water is in the glass, I know what I am working with on any given topic.

So the benefit, or even blessing, of being unshackled by debt during a period of potential financial constraint is a superb comfort and reassurance.

Like everyone, I have income and expenditure.  Thankfully I was blessed with the moxy and ability to get out from under a serious financial burden in the tens of thousands of pounds range and reset the financial accounts to “we don’t have a lot but we’ve paid our taxes for the benefit of the country and what we do have is our own” as we paid down every debt we’d been left with.

When guaranteed income is in jeopardy we start to look closer at the expenditure side of the spreadsheet.  It has been one of the few delights recently that unlike previous times either house or income is at risk, this time I am not carrying a negative financial legacy like an albatross around my neck.

I have to find a way to generate revenue to cover our modest living expenses but I don’t have the worry of paying for things on instalments, I don’t have the worry of credit card debt, I don’t have the worry of consumer spending spread conveniently on an unreasonable monthly payment at an exorbitant APR.  I just have to make sure that enough comes in for Mortgage, utilities and groceries.  That’s it.  That is far less of an ask than carrying the worry of paying for something I bought and used up two years ago.

Being in this fortunate situation brings a degree of peace, a calmer disposition than I would otherwise have had.

It also frees me up to be flexible with regard to the future opportunities I can pursue.  I don’t have to find a position to cover Bills and Debts, I just have to find something to cover Bills and anything else is a bonus.  That is a freedom for which it would be hard to quantify the optimism and relief felt at the moment.

I am the head of my household and the responsibility sits on my shoulders.  Until you’ve been the head of the household you have no idea what so ever how heavily that mantle sits on the shoulders.  It is completely and utterly different to being the 2nd earner.  Head of the household is like being an Adult Plus.  Nobody is going to bail you out, you are it.  The buck stops at your feet.  The responsibility for keeping everyone in your abode alive, sheltered and fed sits with you.  Once you get the hang of it, it starts to sit easier a little but the knowledge in the back of your mind never actually quite goes away.

If I could wish for you one thing, it would be the freedom of being bad debt free.  It is worth the blood, sweat and tears, the overtime, the going without for a while, the humble birthday and holiday presents, the dinners in rather than takeaway or restaurants, the forsaking holidays in the sun or snow to reach the goal of being without that burden.

Bad times come for such are a part of earth life and mortality.  To not be shackled to yesterdays worries so that we can fully face todays challenges is a beautiful gift.



I Hate Sausages

I hate sausages.  There, I said it.  The food item is what I am talking about.  I buy a sausage roll to eat the pastry and discard the meat, I buy a sausage in a roll (a different thing to sausage roll) just so that I can have a warm bun and ketchup and throw the sausages away.  To be fair, the cheaper the sausage the better it taste but the less you want to think about the contents.  I eat sausages at home because it is cheap food and we are still of the pile it high sell it cheap variety right now at this phase of our lives.  I could never enjoy living in Germany or Poland, purely because of the culinary choices.  But I surely hate sausages.


Wasted Saturday

A wasted Saturday is a rare and glorious gift to ourself.


It seems that I am good in company at the moment, feeling genuinely cheerful and happy to be in social situations just chatting or dancing or listening to buddies, but am plunging in to worry and anxiety when alone when there is nowhere else to run from myself.  Feeling emotionally breathless is absolutely rubbish and I recommend it to nobody at all, not even my worst enemies.  So, Saturday my daughter and I took a day off of everything, absolutely everything.

When I’d awoken before dawn I realised that I could afford to get a bad day out of my system as I wasn’t required to be anywhere particular this weekend apart from Sunday Services.  I had a two A4 page of Honey-Do’s I’d written for myself, each line being a tiresome project which needed completing in the house preferably before winter falls. And I couldn’t face it.  I was close to tears, on a Saturday! What a waste of tears.  I determined I was not going to cry on my own time!  Instead, I was going to be still.  I was going to ignore the day as long as I could.

My teen padded in to my untidy room around midday and flopped on the bed.  We conspired together that we deserved a complete day off having run ourselves ragged for years.  It was exciting to be in this together.  We chatted a while about books we were reading on Audio because we’re both a little dyslexic and I’d rather listen to a book than struggle with text and so would she.  We’re both perfectly capable of reading but sometimes for recreation we just have someone read the darned book to us.  It feels like cheating but what is the point of technology if you can’t use it to enhance your experience of literature and make available that which you wouldn’t have tackled without the electronic intercedent.

After a while she padded off again and I settled in for more breathing.  Breathing is something I’ve taken for granted all these years but of late my glorious mind keeps trying to trick me that there is insufficient oxygen in the atmosphere.  Stupid glorious mind…

So, I lay there in my unmade bed and breathed.  Then when I’d done that for an hour or so I took a nap, then listened to a show and then breathed again.

I was roused only by the offspring’s enquiry as to what was for dinner.  Without said offspring I would gladly have spent all the hours until the next day in my room, but I’m contracted to care for the kid so up we got and a dinner of beef burgers and pasta was rustled.  Then, relocated to the living room, I sat and breathed some more until I realised it was now 2am and I really should go to my untidy room to breathe.  Brushed my teeth and toddled off to my chamber for some more breathing.

Is it me, or did somebody really turn down the oxygen supply in the atmosphere?  Asking for a friend.