Sunday, 25 September 2011


A little while back two news reports came up on the BBC website a day after each other that seemed to completely contradict themselves (nothing new there then!) at least in my head!

One was which in short says "we put too little store on family time and too much on material goods".

The following day was this one stating "any new houses in the UK are "shameful shoebox homes" which are too small for family life, the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) has said."

Now surely if our children are saying they want more time and less stuff, that means parents don't have to spend quite so much time at work earning money for the stuff the kids don't actually want. If they aren't at work quite so much they can spend that extra time with their children. And if they aren't buying so much stuff then surely a 'shoe box' house will be perfectly good enough to store the stuff that a family needs (the word there being needs!) - or am I over simplifying - I don't have children so maybe I've got it all wrong...

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


...birthday, Christmas (only just over 13 weeks away folks!), christening, wedding etc etc etc.

One of the unexpected side effects of my journey to a less cluttered life has been my re-evaluation of presents. Not just what I might ask for as a gift but what I give people.  Some of my family and friends are notoriously hard to buy for, in the past it's been a nice Lynx gift set for the boys and maybe a nice Dove one for the girls, perhaps an amusing key ring, maybe even something that I like so I kinda hope they will too.  I have no idea if they use them or if they even like them. It was a present for presents sake as that is the done thing.  


I have already bought a few Christmas presents. If I see something I think someone will like (be it April, August or December) I'll buy it there and then, and it's that point in the year when I start thinking I should start properly doing the Christmas shopping so it doesn't all have to come out of one pay packet.

This year I think more people on my gift list will be getting some cold hard cash!  What better than giving someone the means to buy that little (or big) thing they've been dreaming of? (Or at least a little helping hand!) There is that association that no thought goes into a monetary present and that you have to give more in money than you would have spent on a gift (or is that just me?). I think I would rather get £5 that i can spend on something I really do want than a £10 gift that I don't like or won't use.

So if you normally get a present from me then don't be surprised if you just get a nice little envelope!! ;-)

Saturday, 17 September 2011


I had been thinking of writing a post on friends for a week or so when Katy posted the following blog

Having read Katy's post and mentioning my thoughts in her comments I decided it was time to write my post and expand on what I had been here goes.

Friends, acquaintances, mates, de-friending, chums, besties, girlfriends, un-friending, boyfriends, buddies...the words themselves bring to mind different people and different emotions.

I was one of those kids who made friends with the other kids at the campsite on holiday even though we would only be there a few days, who chatted to the other children at the party I didn't really know, who would end up playing with other children on the beach on a day trip (and probably proclaimed them my 'best' friends even though I'd never see them again).  Roll the clock forward and I'm the awkward teenager who is the stereotypical wall flower at a party, not wanting to talk to anyone in case they think badly of me or I say the wrong thing - quite a turnaround - is it just me or is that just the change in perception from carefree under 10 to weight of the world teenager?

I am still friends with the girl who was probably my first 'best friend'. (Yes T I'm talking about you!) She was 4 and I was 3 when I started at the playgroup she was already attending. Apart from playgroup we never attended the same school as we moved away when I was 4 (nearly 5).  Our parents and therefore us kept in touch. Birthday sleepovers and day trips, joining us for a few days when we were camping.  Then I really went away, to Uni, and we drifted a bit. Birthday and Christmas cards were still exchanged and the occasional letter full of the names of people we would never meet!! In time she met her Mr Right and I was invited to the wedding, then she had her first child and I was invited to the Christening.  That as when we really reconnected, the party after the Christening was held in the same Scout Hut where we used to go to playgroup. Within minutes my Mum and hers were in the kitchen sorting out the sandwiches and cakes just like all those years ago, and there were me and her sitting on the floor with the toys playing with her daughter - how things change but stay kinda the same!!

I'm still friends with a girl from primary school (when I say still we lost touch but facebook brought us in contact again) and we meet for dinner every few months for a chat and a catch up.  I still have friends from Uni that I am in regular contact with on facebook and I visit one of them to stay every so often (twice in 12 years so far!). Then there are a few people from jobs I've had that I still get together with. It may sound strange but with them it's dinner once a year but it's as if the time in between fades away (we email and text in between).  And on another level still there are the colleagues I work with now, some of whom I would consider friends (I'd be happy to see them outside work) and others I wish I didn't work with at all!!!  And people I've met via facebook get togethers some of which I now consider really good friends and others as passing acquaintances and I wonder why I am still facebook friends with them!

I do clear out my facebook friends quite regularly. I warn people I'm going to have a clear out and if you don't interact with me every so often you're out!

But what of those people you stop being friends with for other reasons. There are those that naturally come to an end due to the end of school, a job etc. I guess they end as they aren't important enough to either of you to make the effort.  I have a few friendships at the moment that are heading towards that point. The only reason they haven't ended already is that I am still making the effort. But if it's not being reciprocated when do you cut the bond and stop trying?  I value my friends, it feels like a defeat, a failure...

And as for the flip side of that. The good friend(at least I thought they were) that defriends you on facebook with no explanation. Who ignores the text, voicemail and email you send them. Do I give up and accept I'll never know what happened? Does it matter?

Should you declutter your friends the same way you do your stuff? I haven't used it (spoken to them) in six months it's (they're) better out of my life? Is it as easy as that? 

That's quite enough from me - what are your thoughts?

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Spending Update - Aug/Sept

Here we go again!!

Well it's payday tomorrow and there is £1.14 in the bank account and £13 in my wallet...

The holiday was fantastic and I tried to be good when it came to paying for it. Part of my holiday is actually not a holiday but a paid job doing something different. I used the wages to cover my accommodation and food and a little bit of spending money and the rest went into my savings (which was nearly 75% of it!).  I did buy some clothes (all charity shop!) and decided that as most of what I'd sold on eBay was clothes it was fair enough to cover that outlay with eBay money. In that I managed to get a whole outfit for an upcoming wedding, dress, shoes, bag and cardigan for £19.50. I was aiming to do the one in one out rule when I got home but actually managed one in two out.  I put the nicer of the outs on eBay and made another £56 (from which I bought a lovely £17 dress).  I did splash out on a smart new hoodie but decided as that was a bit of an extravagance the normal monthly wages were paying for that.

So £14.14 (bank and wallet)
£200 standing order
£38.68 in coppers etc from clearing out my wallet each day
Total - £252.82
That's 10p more than last month!!

My Mum did point out that at some point there won't any thing left to sell so the extra money in will stop - all the more reason to save up!

This month I want to try and break things down a bit more and work out how much I'm spending on what! I think it might scare me...