Thursday, 13 October 2016

More pie

Push ups.
Weekend plans.
Work successes.
Full financial freedom.
Life better than the internet.
Reality as always better than fiction.

Especially when Bob Dylan gets the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016


During our weekend out, we passed several houses offering free apples.
I put a few in my back pack and made apple pie for the man today.
Several good wife points acquired.
Prized beyond rubies. Price included sugar, butter and some flour with old bread as bread crumbs. And ice cream.

A hard day made easier with love pie.

Monday, 3 October 2016


Hard work, lots of work, ambitious money making and money saving through a frugal life style has paid off.

I have currently financial assets that would cover 30, 88 years of financial freedom with a frugal but not in any way unreasonable budget. A lot of people would not choose to live on my budget but my budget is a budget a lot of people have to live on. A lot of people are also told by authorities to live on my budget. It is enough to pay for my own bathroom visits (internal joke), it is alsp enough for laugh, love and plans.

It is not enough for continuous indulgence, uncontrolled shopping or aims for unlimited luxury.
But it is a safe basic blanket and I am very very and gratefully happy about it.

Weight is also good. At least the weight identified through the weight jeans (you know, the pair that are used to measure fit.) My jeans are loose and nice and fit really well.
The scales have been returned home after servicing a friend's mother for a few months. They must have been broken. Or they just hate having to come back to us. The scales tell me I am +6,5.
(That is not 6 kilogrammes more than before, it means I am 6 more than I would like.)
I had expected +3. I would have liked +2.

Oh weeeeell, fitting into my clothes is more important, I suppose.


We took the weekend off and took off this weekend.
Our every second month weekend trip was due. And the man always gets a trip for his birthday.

We took the train, rented bikes, cycled 30 kilometre and came to a village in a nature reserve where the roads are canals. We stayed the night. There was nothing to do. Almost no people around.

We walked all little foot paths along the canals, contemplated a canoe to take us out into the nature park with only water, peat and bog, but stayed on terra firma and kissed on every bridge. If I remember correctly there are 27 on the north side of the village and 52 on the south side (but the lack of oxygen due to that much kissing may have disputed my counting). I am not far off though.

We both did our best to put time and space between us and all worries and had a lovely weekend.
Nothing has changed but at least we are are going to handle it supporting each other.

Friday, 30 September 2016


And when the going gets tough,
and the pity party had run its course,
I will eventually get going.

To combat the feeling of being out of control, I take control of the things I can take control of.
I do dishes.
I vacuum.
I do a load of laundry.
I sow on a button on, stitch up a sock and mend a pocket.

The movement moves my feeling of despair into the area of calm.
It makes me feel much better.
My focus is reduced from the unlimited to the limited.
From the future to here and now.
I get a sense of order with being organised and organising.

I printed tickets and organised the forthcoming work trips. I have the day off and therefore time
(I have FI - financial independence due to being highly frugal and stingy - so I retired a day a week three years ago.)
I sent a short supportive email to a friend.
I sent an equally short instructive email to a family member.
I am even planning to resow a few summer tops that have not serviced well (as in they do not fit me.)
I will run another load of laundry.
I will take all recyclables out.

And when that is done, I will feel even better.

Thursday, 29 September 2016


There are days.
Days with no silver lining.
Days that could go down in history as days without benefits.
Days that really shouldn't have got out of bed in the morning.
Days when there is nothing happy to write in a blog about and I spend my sleepless nights reading and loosing myself in other blogger's contentment and satisfaction with their successes.

The family now has two, not one, but two, members with dementia diagnosis. There is also one official exhaustion diagnosis, one heart problem and one in complete denial.
That is it. That is the family in its entirety. (The extended family is still huffing on as the train.)

The friends are either unhelpful, has a hospitalised daughter with anorexia, a hysterectomy, a sister with schizophrenia (well, yes, but that is not new so this only is added to the list because I am having a pity party) or is unemployed going on 11 months.

I also failed not one but two in a row papers I've handed in for my history studies. New teacher, different criteria but I have not failed a paper in years. Exams yes, but never a paper. I am slightly stunned and contemplate failing.

We are going away for the weekend and the man is not preparing or not communicating the plan, the route, the weather, the needs and the potentials which annoys me. I can do spontaneous but I have a hard time planning to be spontaneous.

The work is lazy and possibly without future after next year. Last week I was complaining that I didn't get to travel very often and now I complain I have to go away twice in October. And to add to the frustration is that it is to the same place! Apparently not possible to combine either. New legislation may squeeze me moving into another country but nothing is decided yet.
And it has started to rain.
And I burned the porridge this morning.
And ... and... and...

...but I did fix my bike. The lights and the luggage straps are replaced and in full working order.
I made lots of mince meat, green bean in cream sauce with penne pasta for dinner and grated extra cheese for on top. That was nice.
I am also happy about my weight currently and I can do seven push-ups in a row. Almost all the way down too. It only hurts a little afterwards.
I am also wearing all my summer clothes one last time before I succumb to the cold and start digging in to the sweaters and winter jackets. I just add a tank-top under, or put a cardigan over.

Possibly it is not too bad all in all...
at least I am not spending money to make me happy so the frugal finances are keeping me safe for the future.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016


Besides feet and public transportation, my main means of transport is my bicycle.

I bought it when I started spending longer periods of time in Amsterdam (and had fallen off the man's gigantic spare bike a few times) AND we had figured out how to fit three bikes in the basement storage.

Everybody cycles in Amsterdam, in all of the Netherlands and that is just what I am used to from Scandinavia. There we also cycle in the winter snow - in the Netherlands they cycle all year round too but I would not call the weather here winter. Bah!

When my bike doesn't function well, my life does get quite complicated. Do I trust it? Can I take it on long trips? What else do I need to fix? When will the next flat tyre come?

Currently the problems are that the packaging straps are broken, front light doesn't work, the gears - all seven of them - are non-functional as the gearbox (is it a gear box on a bike?) is worn out and the whole thing wobbles in the back because the back wheel isn't completely round any more (probably happened in the bicycle rack at work.
I have fixed the brakes and the lock this year and it is a constant struggle to keep it going.

I went to the bicycle man to talk about the gear box and because of the model, it would cost almost half of what the bike is worth. Although I need my bike, I do not think it is worth putting another €100 on a bike bought for €225 five years ago. I think I will be riding without gears for a while!!
A replacement bike will cost me €300-400. Of course I can go and buy a new bike but in this town that would be quite a pointless thing. Bicycles here need to be made from high grade steel, weigh a ton and be designed so the driver sits up straight when cycling. No other bike will be strong enough to survive a few weeks being parked around town and only if you cycle like a flamingo do you have a chance to catch traffic in order not to kill yourself when cycling in Amsterdam.
But it is fun and if you ever come here, a rented bike is a must!

Anyway, I have done some bike work today. I took apart the "gear box" to see if the bike man was right. (I am not sure but since it is not being replaced and I can't fix it, it doesn't matter).

The front light is a cheap piece that is simple to replace as well as the straps for luggage. I will have to go and buy that tomorrow. I released the back wheel and re-set it, let the air out of the tyre and re-pumped it in an attempt to see if the back wobbling can be reined in. I'll take it for a spin down the large bridge tomorrow to see how it performs.
Yes, a bridge is the only hill I have access to in this country!