Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Gannet City!


Bonjours mes amis!  It is I, Lovelygrey who has taking an imposed rest from blogging as finding Internet connectivity in this part of Brittany involves forking out wonga that I’m not prepared to part with!  However, I had a mini mental crisis last night and remembered that I hadn’t ordered the blinds that I needed for Great Tits House in readiness for the lodger who moves in next week.  So, I had to stump up 2 whole Euros for an hour long Internet pass from the bar at Le Ranolien where we’re staying.

Paying to go online is the only grumble that I have about this beautiful campsite perched on the cliff tops of the Granite Rose coast.  C’est superbe!  There’s  beaches and coast path walks just outside the site, indoor and outdoor family pools, a cinema that’s free so I’m finally get to see Argo and Life of Pi.  And wonder of wonders, there’s a spa so I’ve block booked five sessions where I wallow hippo-like in a haven of child-free tranquillity.

Yesterday we took a boat trip out to the Sept Iles, a archipelago that’s a nature reserve and the home of sea birds and seals.  Sadly the mammals didn’t make an appearance and my attempts to snap a photogenic puffin were pants.  But I am rather proud of my picture of the forty thousand strong  gannet colony.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Ingrid Loyau Kennett, This Scouting Family Salute You!



I am absolutely blown away by the bravery of Cub Scout Leader, Ingrid Loyau Kennett who, at the risk of having her own life taken, tried to reason with  the killers of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich  with a view to saving others from the same horrific fate.  It feels a real honour that Louis, my smiley Cub and I are part of the same fun filled yet value driven organisation that she volunteers for.  If I was in the same position would I follow her example?  Lets hope so but unless I was faced with that truly dreadful scenario I couldn't be sure that I'd be so courageous.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Normal Spending And Saving to Be Resumed?

For a supposedly thrifty blogger who successfully passed her financial planning exams in the dim distant past, my monetary position has been in an rather state recently.  That rainy day that we're supposed to save for came and then, instead of turning into glorious sunshine after a short while, set in for over a year.  It diminished my nest egg and for a while I've had to rely on good old Visa to set up the home that I currently live in and to do up that swanky new house of my dreams in readiness for letting out.   Of course, I used a 0% balance transfer to minimise interest payments.

Now though, my fortunes have turned and funds have come in.  The credit cards have been paid off and there's money over.  Not vast six, seven or eight figure sums but sufficient for me to sleep soundly at night.

What do I do with my new found micro-wealth?  'Buy loads of shoes!' that annoying devil on the shoulder is shouting.  He's easy to ignore though because planning for a comfortable future is more important than dapper footwear in the present.

When I was married we were using all our spare capital to pay off the mortgage and that's an approach many of you are taking out there.  But it may not be the path that I take.  'Make your money work for you' said Salty Dog wisely before she headed out to sea again.  I'm having a good think about how I could do that with a range of financial products that spread risk and allow me to have access to funds when I need them.  Stocks,shares, savings accounts, pork bellies on the futures market!  What will that balance be?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Genius Recycling Idea Though I Say So Myself!

No-one would contradict me if I said that I was one of the messiest blighters who's ever lived on this planet.  Mama Lovelygrey said that, as a child, I could walk along a street without touching anything and I'd still get dirty.  So, it is, two days after leaving Great Tits House in Brixham I'm still covered in paint from my decorating endeavours.

Sensibly though, I didn't reach for my camera whilst my Jackson Pollock-esque body art was still wet.  It means that I didn't take a picture of the quick and easy recycling project that constitutes the subject of today's post but my camera has retain a uniform silver sheen. No matter, I can describe it easily.  If you take a plastic milk carton, cut off its bottom and then turn it so the lid is at the bottom, it makes a handy paint pot.  Once you've finished you can just return the unused contents back into its tin nice and neatly by opening the lid.  It doesn't stop you creating chaos whilst filling it in the first place!

Monday, 20 May 2013

How's That Diet Going?

Funnily enough that's a question being asked of me that's usually accompanied by a barely disguised snigger.  Rude!  Well, okay those that mock have a point.  For someone who's supposed to be calorie counting I'm seen tucking into hearty fayre, similar to this rather gorgeous Full English,  rather too often.  There's been rather a lot of revelry too involving calorific drinkies in celebration of  life in general.

But ha!  I have the last laugh. For today I weighed myself and, in spite of developing a rather serious fish and chip habit whilst working on my future Brixham home I am, six pounds lighter than my start weight.  That means I'm sticking to my target of losing a pound a week.  Slow but sure.  At this rate I'm sure to be skinny by 2020!

As on other occasions when following this type of diet I've now stopped logging my food and exercise intake.  What I find is, that once I've done this for a few weeks, recording every last crisp, nut or pace walked isn't necessary as I develop a feel for how much I can eat in relation to daily activity.  On days where I'm sloth like, a diet of battered catch of the day or indeed the grilled gurnard in garlic butter that I scoffed down at Simply Fish Saturday lunchtime is a no-no.  Whereas if I've been up a ladder painting all day those calories disappear in a puff of smoke.   Pooooof!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

2013: The Rules: Another Update

My delivery from the postie got me quite excited on Friday because in advance of a jaunt over to the continent next week, the latest edition of  All the Aires arrived.  Not that I'm going to need it very much as I'll only have to use one of these free or cheap parking stops for my beloved motorhome once on this jaunt.  But there's a super exciting road trip coming up in the summer where I'll take the van over moors, mountains, to cities and the coast.  I'll need this veritable bible to plan where we going to rest up on route.    Watch this space!

Seeing that this is my only legitimate book purchase that my self imposed spending rules for 2013 allowed I thought that it was time to give you an update of how I've done.  Would the thrift police have sufficient evidence to lock me away?  Let's go through the list and find out.

  • Books:  Yes I've done pretty well here.  There's just this one caveated volume. Hard as it is,  I've managed to avoid  being tempted in charity shops and avoid new book sellers like the plague.  Instead I've stuck to the library and am bashing through the books that I already own.  The sneaky deal that I did with my brother may be viewed as a  grey area though.  He bought me some cookbooks and one about lino cutting in exchange for a Grayson Perry coffee table volume for himself.  Surely, as the tax men would say, that constitutes efficient planning rather than evasion and doesn't count as a trangression!
  • Shop bought lunches:  There's been a very occasional lapse but nothing to write home apart.  I can't recall the last time I succombed to this temptation. The expensive habit of supermarket sandwich buying has been well and truly broken.
  • Shelf consuming knick knacks:  No violations here since the Hornsea Pig.  As my defence, he is much admired and I do love him very much.
  • Cards and wrapping paper.   Here I've been very, very, very good.  Absolutely squeaky clean guv'ner.  I've made cards and Lou's birthday presents were wrapped in leftover Christmas paper.  And guess what?  He didn't even notice.
  • Craft materials:   May I point out the fact that I've already owned up  to buying printing supplies.  But they're going to be put to use very soon, I promise.
  • Kitchen gadgets:  Again, not guilty at all your honour! 
  • Alcohol for lone consumption.   As near as damn it, I've cracked the 'pouring a glass of wine after every hard day at work' habit.  I think I deserve a big pat on the back in spite of the occasional lapse.
  • Clothes except underwear after weight loss:  Ah! The thrift police would have me here!  I was pure as the driven snow until March but have since lapsed big time with charity shop and supermarket purchases.  How could I resist a £6 suede jacket or that perfect dress or three!  Perhaps I can get back on track before my next round up.  I do love my glad rags and this may have been a step too far.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Working from Home

Back titivating the Brixham house this weekend and the novelty of camping out in a near empty dwelling is wearing off.  It'll be wonderful when I move in properly beside the seaside but for now I'd prefer to be enjoying Lovelygrey Cottage on the edge of Dartmoor where there's a fridge, proper beds and all the other everyday stuff that it's so easy to take for granted.

So it was great when, this week, after months of fannying around I finally got secure remote access to NHS computers.   It meant that on Friday, I could enjoy working in my current home.  I saved the diesel associated with a day's commute, slobbed around in comfy clothes with the laptop on my lap and cracked on with reviews.  If I'd done these in the office I'm absolutely certain it would have taken longer because I'd have sought distraction from this ultra tedious task.   As an added perk I also took delivery of two parcels and was home so that a repair man could call.

I don't think for a moment I'd like home based working all the time as miss the hustle, bustle and bonhommie of the office. But having an extra option to manage where I work is sure to improve my quality of life and productivity.

Friday, 17 May 2013

What Animal Would You Be?

Photo: Kirk
Did anyone see that strange sad  Channel 4 programme Dogging Tales backalong about people who have sex in public places with strangers?  Lord lummy, how bizarre!  I must reassure Mama, Papa and Nana Lovelygrey that it's not a hobby I'm thinking of taking up any time soon.  As I demonstrated yesterday I'm far too busy for one thing.  Moreover, my family and friends will be reassured to know that exposing my jubblies to all and sundry disguised as an animal in a  freezing cold car park isn't really my bag.

Nevertheless the programme got us talking at the office.  We briefly considered that a trip up to a secluded wooded spot could be an idea for our next work's night out but quickly settled on a nice pub meal instead.   Our other thread of conversation was pondering over what  mask we'd wear to preserve our anonymity. This is my choice!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Sorry....

....not only for the crap image of a tearful puppy that's no doubt pooped somewhere inappropriate but also because I haven't blogged earlier today. But I have....


  • ...completed the Guardian crossword with only the tinsiest insiest bit of cheating.
  • ...dropped Salty Dog off at Totnes train station as she's off to warmer climes.
  • ...popped off to a double glazing merchants and ordered a new back door for Great Tits' House.  I reckoned that if a door needs to be made of more than 50% polyfilla it might require replacing.
  • ...wrote up two assessments
  • ...checked a letter and emails
  • ...attended a meeting
  • ...tried to set up my computer to work remotely from home sometimes.  This should be a breeze but you know how long these things inevitably take.
  • ...munched my way through a rather lovely lunch of ham, eggs and chips.  Not diet food but hell you only live once!  And it happens to be the only thing that I've had time to eat all day.
  • ...tidied the bedroom so I can now see the floor.
  • ...helped at the school disco 
  • etc., etc., etc.
And all this with a bit of a headache caused by revelry on a school night as it was Salty Dog's last  in the UK for a few months.  

So, now I've explained my tardiness, am I excused?

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Five A Day

We all like a good old moan about our employers.  Come on, admit it; You know you do!  My personal work related bug bear at the moment is the new computerised expense system introduced to stop us fiddling our mileage claims.  You just pop in the postcodes of A and B destinations after a sometimes lengthy search on Google and there you go.  It gives you the mileage for the shortest route between say, the hospitals at Totnes and Dartmouth, ten miles apart.

Hang on! Along with my colleagues, I have been claiming 13-14 miles for that particular journey the last nine years.   That's without taking into account the distance covered at each end whilst being held in a holding pattern for parking!  We defy anyone to do the journey in ten miles without a  helicopter or at the very least a state of the art  4x4 to traverse the mucky farm tracks.  The system kindly acknowledges that a longer distance route might be quicker so at our manager's discretion there is provision to claim the additional miles covered.  But all this pfaffing about takes far more time than when I just used to pop the figures on a trusty old spreadsheet.  And I didn't ever fiddle my figures.  Honest guv!

However my own particular nugget of the NHS, Devon Partnership Trust produces some jolly useful stuff that deserves to be publicised wider. It's a shame that it sometimes overlooked by a workforce overburdened by sometimes nonsensical bureaucracy.  For example some of the literature it has produced on recovery, helping people live well in spite of mental illness, is second to none.   And then there's this little booklet that I've unearthed that's so sensible and  useful that it's going to form the basis of groups that I'm soon to start.  You have peruse it further by clicking here.  It describes the '5 ways to wellbeing' and  suggests actions that individuals and organisations can take to look after their wellbeing.  What I like is that the ideas aren't just pertinent for those with serious mental health problems, they're universally applicable. I'll be delving more into this little booklet over the next few weeks to explore what I can practically do, with its help, to improve my va va voom!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Monday, 13 May 2013

Effing Gulls! Part 2

I had in mind to write something contemplative and uplifting this morning, perhaps about the power of mindfulness in everyday life. Instead I'm back on the topic of shite-hawks, the rather apt slang name for the herring gull that I've newly discovered. Thanks Wiki!

Yesterday there was a rumpus on the rooftops over the road from Great Tits' House(!) and I paused from my exterior painting to discover that one gull on the rooftop holding another who was slipping down the roof by the wing.  What looked like a heroic mountain rescue, which initially had me thinking that I had to seriously revise my opinion about these hulking seabirds was in fact a vicious attack. The 'rescuer' had grabbed its victim, the other by the wing as he was flying off and giving him an almighty drubbing.  Well, he won't be looking at other birds' missuses ever again!  The 'Spawn of Satan' label remains firmly in place.

I don't think I've mentioned that the herring gulls at the hospital where I work who liberally dowse our cars with their paint stripping poo.  Well, I was right there with matron, who as part of rooftop repairs installed a hawk kite.  We were gull free for a day and then they returned with a vengeance to mock the franking unconvincing fake prey bird.  If you're tempted to try this deterrent yourself don't bother with forking out the £150  - unless of course you want a blooming good laugh!


Sunday, 12 May 2013

What's In A Name?

Howdy to my friends in the US of A!  Now  you lot across the pond know that a 'knob' is a feature in a mountainous landscape whereas for us Brits the word can reduce us to childish sniggering.  For it's a term used to describe a man's winkie, yet another euphemism that might be lost in an international context.  Tricorner Knob may be an innocuous name for a hut on the Appalachian trail to you guys but for us it's something that sounds as if urgent medical attention is needed.

I've been giving thought to changing the name of my new home and, seeing as bits of my frontal lobes are probably missing, this was the first idea that I had!  Thankfully I'm not so disinhibited that I'll actually act on this, even though Mr Metrosexual is keen for this particular house name change to go ahead.   But I've been toying with including the word 'Grey' in my house name because a) that's the eventual colour of the exterior paintwork when I can afford to change it and b) it will reflect my hair colour and philosophy on life.  I was loving the plan until I met the neighbour over the road whose relative built the house  for her nana who named the house back then.  So now I know that I'm in a bit of a quandary.  Shall I keep the historic name that dates back to the 1930s, change it slightly to incorporate the word 'grey' or change it altogether when I move in?  I don't think my neighbour should be too offended if I reflect my ornithological bent and she has to live opposite Great Tits' House, will she?

Saturday, 11 May 2013

6:3:3


As the M&S advert goes, 'These are not ordinary plums dusted with a light coating of sugar.....'.  No, they're Asda Smart Price plums, hard as bullets and knocked down to 88p from an already economical £1.18 or suchlike.  I'm too lazy to remove the packaging from the bin to find out the exact prices.  But they were just the ingredient I needed to make my favourite dessert -crumble!

I don't make hot puddings very much as Louis is not keen on them.  But I'm back in Brixham and invited a lone Mr Metrosexual round for tea.  I had him to myself as  Ruff Stu cuts ladies' hair on Friday evening so was unavailable.  My last two meals for them have included culinary disasters due to being flustered because I had to deal with emergencies just before starting cooking.  The last involved calling out a plumber after instructions for washer changing on eHow proved insufficient for the job in hand,



Now crumble is one of the easiest peasiest recipes in the world and pretty failsafe.  Let me know if you've discovered different.  So I was pretty confident that I could knock up pudding without incident.  Take a quantity of plain flour, rub in half the weight of butter and then stir in half the weight of sugar.  I'm a semi-imperialist when it comes to weights and measures and find 6oz of flour and 3oz each of sugar and butter does the trick to top the fruit in one of my pyrex dishes.   Stick in the oven at 200 degreees until brown and bubbling et voila!........
.





...pudding manna from heaven.   All this needs is a good dollop of posh vanilla ice cream - or double cream does the trick when you find yourself in a house without a freezer!

Friday, 10 May 2013

No Slap

Because I don't wear a stitch of make-up people naturally assume that I'm not too bothered about my appearance.  Bien dans ma peau as my French friends might say. Wrong!  I'm one of the vainest people I know and think that I'm ravishingly gorgeous au naturelle.  As my photo on this blog attests!  Actually my conceit isn't quite this extreme but I  happen to think that I look perfectly okay without slap.  It's a great big time and money saver.  Furthermore many of the blokes that I know don't like the stuff so I still have the allure as Stevie from Miranda would say.  Not that I'm thinking of using it much at the moment but it's there if I need it!

So, I've been more astonished than most to discover from watching a couple of episodes of Superscrimpers that women on seemingly normal incomes spend thousands and thousands of pounds on eyeshadows, lipsticks and the likes.  Now this is a programme that normally dispenses sensible advice but I was disappointed to see that they were encouraging two spendthrifts to go out and buy more, albeit cheaper, cosmetics even though they each had sufficient to make up the whole cast of the Rocky Horror Show for a lifetime!  The moral of this story isn't about going without make up; That's entirely up to you.  What I'm trying to say today, in a rather convoluted way, is don't buy more and more of what you've already got.  That's an addiction not a need.


Thursday, 9 May 2013

Just Finishing Reading: My Policeman


If any of you lot out there in the blogosphere believe I've got time for reading at the moment then you've got another think coming!  I'm lying when I say that I've just finished this novel because I reached the end some time back.  Goodness knows where I first got it.  Although it's got a label from a book crossing scheme in Brighton I'm sure that I didn't pick it up from a park bench on my stay there.  Leaving a book somewhere for a stranger to find is a lovely idea although mine tend to be passed from friend to friend.

And so it is that  Scary Secretary and Mr Metrosexual have also read 'My Policeman'.  As they too enjoyed it very much I though I'd best share it.  It's set in 1950s Brighton and tells a story from the perspectives of two characters who both love the same man.  One is his wife and the other his gay lover.  It gives an interesting take on the social mores of the time and reveals just why gay men in the time before homosexuality was decriminalised in 1967 had to be very careful that their closet door remained firmly closed to avoid discovery.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Once

Niles: "A funny thing happened the other day. One of my patients had a rather amusing Freudian slip.  He was having dinner with his wife and he meant to say "Pass the salt," but instead he said "You've ruined my life, you blood-sucking shrew."

Yes, a quote from Frasier which has to rate as one of my favourite comedy series of all times.  Perhaps I like it so much because I work alongside psychiatrists and the programme got some of the character traits of many of them off to a tee!  

Enough said before I get myself into hot water.  What I really want to talk about is that I've found out that the average Briton now changes their suites seven times in a lifetime.  I'm horrified and I'm sure that Martin Crane, the wisest character in Frasier, would be too.   Homes don't need  constant creative makeovers to match current fashion.  Carefully chosen pieces stand the test of time.  Not like those cheapie sofas I've written about previously which look shabby after months.  Don't always be tempted by cheap and cheerful.  It will cost more in the long term. The mantra for today when it comes to furniture purchase is Buy wisely, go with your own taste rather than fashion and aim to spend on those household essentials just once.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Ugly, Wugly Furniture Makeover

Out of the goodness of my heart I'm sharing a recycling project that was brought to my attention via Interesting and Creative Designs that I subscribe to on Facebook.  In among my friends' comments about the health of their pets, everyday dillying and dallying and holidays planned and taken I get more inspirational posts than I could ever act on in a lifetime.

Here's something that I'll probably never make unless Lou supplies me with culinary minded grandchildren in the future.  We've a way to go yet as he's only ten and finds the idea of doing anything touchy feely with a girl rather abhorrent at the present time.

What's more, he doesn't need a play kitchen  as he's advanced to experimenting with real life appliances and gadgets.  Smoothies are his big thing at the moment.  He learnt the hard way that you really should put the lid on a blender before you turn it on!

But if I had a little one in need a tiny place to play, I reckon I'd be running off down the recycling hard or scouring Freecycle for an ugly wugly display cabinet and making something like this.  Full instructions are on the website of  Giggleberry Creations  if anyone's in need of a teeny pleasing project.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Effing Gulls!

For the last two days I've waxed lyrical about how perfect my new home and its environs are.  But I've found a downside of living by the seaside that didn't feature in the seaside idyll that I had in the head. A rather handsome herring gull glowered at me as I walked outside the front door.  It had removed the dustbin lid and was strewing vast quantities of the ex-owners' unwanted possessions down the windy street in its hunt for food.  Some rather strong persuasion was required that involved me waving my arms and uttering the expletive that makes up the title of today's post.  All that sea air  must have brought out my inner fish wife.

It wasn't until I was within about six foot of  that l it reluctantly flew away spilling its bowels in the process.  Any animal that uses its own poo as a weapon or a instrument of protest falls within the category of spawn of Satan!  I secured the overfull bins with some rocks but blow me down if it didn't happen a second time.  Both now have what looks like a rather substantial cairn to keep the garbage in until the bin men come.

Instead of the gentle lilting bird that awaken me in rural Devon I was brought back into the land of the living by the raucous laughter-like cry of the gulls on the roof.  And you better hold onto your pasty down by the Golden Hind for dear life. Otherwise the blighters will help themselves!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Perfect Seaside Idyll?

I'll put you out of your suspenders and finally tell you, that in two years time, I will be making my home in Brixham!  After swearing for the last two decades that I'd never ever, ever move into Torbay I've succumbed to the charms of this wonderful fishing port which, in character, is miles away from the towns of Torquay and Paignton that are lumped together under the same unitary council authority. They're the ones that I'm actually  not so keen on.  Terrible road access was the other nubby problem that put me off but a new bypass that is being built should make life a whole lot easier on that front.

What you get for your money here is rather amazing when compared to the other yachting and holiday centres along this South Devon coastline.  I can't believe that others won't get on the band wagon too causing a hike in property prices.  So that's why I've bought now and will be letting the house until we're ready to move here.   Delaying the decision to buy could have meant that I might have been unable to afford somewhere two years down the line that met our requirements so well.

But of course, when thinking about making a home economics can't be the only consideration when choosing where to live.  If it were, I might have been tempted by  those homes in Stoke on Trent being marketed for just one pound!  No, there's other factors at play. Lots of  friends live locally and those who don't will be sure to visit and stay in the swanky spare room I've got planned. It's brilliantly resourced with the South West Coast Path, marine activities and a swathe of local businesses and events right on my doorstep.  And it'll be convenient for work and school.  With all these plusses what's not to like?


Saturday, 4 May 2013

The Great Reveal!


Finally I am able to show you what you can get for your money down in Devon.  My new home is £150,000 less than this studio apartment in Knightsbridge that's currently the cheapest that I could find on Rightmove.  This is £100,000 less pricey than the next lowest priced counterpart in that posh part of the Big Smoke.  But instead wouldn't you prefer my rather more spacious newly acquired three bedroomed 1930s home that's hust a stone's throw from a thriving harbourside, the South West Coast Path and a secluded beach?  I'll let my pictures help you decide!

Swanky Kitchen

Minimalist Living Room (Only Beanbag Needed!)

Dining Area and Sunroom nattily furnished in the campground style!

This will be my bedroom one day complete with Juliet Balcony  to call  for potential Romeos.

Nautical themed Bedroom 2

Craft Area

Attic Room: It looks like Louis has bag-sied this  one!

The obligatory estate agent 'Sea Peep'

And a garden for someone who doesn't like gardening!
Look out tomorrow when I'll give some clues about where my lovely new home is situated.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Is the Hedgehog Dead and Buried?

The alert and observant among you will notice that I haven't  tried particularly hard to come up with a picture to illustrate this post.  The only ones I found that were more pertinent when I did a search on Google Images were plentiful and disturbing.  So I've edited a less unsettling picture.  Had this been a homework assignment I guess my score out of ten for my rendition of 'Dead Hedgehog' may have been around the two mark. By the way there's a brilliant mini supermarket affair called The Happy Apple in Totnes.

It's a long time since I've mentioned Churchill's black dog, his metaphorical beastie of choice that he used to describe depression or indeed my own inner hedgehog of depression .  That's because Spike hasn't troubled me for ages.  With the help of mindfulness and cognitive behavioural techniques I learned way along, it started to retreat and then the pills kicked in.  Citalopram has been my drug of choice that finally kicked this debilitating illness into touch without any long lasting pesky side effects.  I even functioned without relapse during 2012, my own annus horribilis. I was very careful to spell that right!

But yesterday I was summoned by my GP and as my life is going swimmingly at the moment she suggested quite assertively that I give stopping the pills a go.  I've agreed to reluctantly.  For the first time in ages as I drove away from the surgery another of my scary animals, the 'Tiger of Anxiety' stalked me from Ashburton to Totnes.   I felt frightened contemplating a possible recurrence of symptoms of low mood, lack of concentration, constant panic and paranoic.  Will the depression come back as I lower the dose in the interim period or when I stop the medication altogether?  There's only one way of finding out if the nails really have been properly nailed into Spike's coffin so let's be brave and give it a go.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Bear on the Bay

As I'm on the subject of bears here's a message to Papa Lovelygrey.

'Dad, I never took Nicholas to university with me.  If I am very insistent like this on a subject I am 99.9999999% sure that I'm right.  He's still lying neglected in the loft or else you've been a very bad father and surreptitiously thrown my childhood bedtime companion away.  Either find him or own up and take your punishment!'

There!  Now that I've got that off my chest let's move onto another subject, Ebay.   'But I thought that you were going to give us some facts about bears, Lovelygrey?'  I hear the cries through the ether.  Okay, here's one. Bears are choosy about their alcoholic beverage.  One passed out in a campground in Seattle.  After sampling each of the beers in a cooler it chose just the brand it preferred for its drinking binge!

Oops, still not on topic so I'd better get to it.  After all there's a busy day ahead and I need to get to it.  A bear market is one where the market has lost confidence in stocks and share prices plummet.  The canny investor can get a bargain at a time when others are not buying but instead selling their wares.  And so it is on the world's most popular auction site.   Grab yourself a brilliant deal by thinking ahead to next winter and buying against the trend.  Whilst everyone out there seems to be stocking up on summer togs and garden bits and pieces some are making a bit of cash to do so by selling things that they don't need at this time of the year.  So fill your boots with wintery treats!  I've done just that and 'won' a pair of almost new ski boots for £28, a fraction of the price I'd pay if I'd waited until the weather got cooler and the thought of others are turning to more chilly pursuits.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Boring Stuff about Men in Grey Suits!

Finally after much mucking about I have bought a house! Photos and more about its location later.  I would have shown off my new pad in today's post but after exchange, property details disappear off Rightmove in a jiffy so I wasn't able to nick their photos in time.  I'll have to leave you all in suspenders for the time-being until I've got time to get my own camera out.

For any potential house buyers or sellers out there I'm going to give a free plug to my brilliant online advisers who've save me thousands.  London and Country Mortgages were ever so professional and found me a mortgage deal that bettered the one that I'd found myself.  Unlike the local broker they didn't charge a fee.

And Conveyquote has changed my view that all legal eagles are  not feathered friends but are snakes in the grass in disguise.  Through them I appointed bpl solicitors in Poundbury, the toytown of Prince Charles who charged me just £312 for the basic conveyancing work and were honest and upfront about their reasonable fees for a bit of extra work that cropped up.  Their communication was faultless and I have no hesitation in recommending them.

That gets the boring stuff over and done with.  It had to be mentioned because there are considerable one off saving to be had!  Further posts will be far more exciting and give you all a glimpse of the house that is to become my home in 2015!