Tag Archives: Study

A house is not a home…


so they say. Today I looked at FIVE of them with my Little Irish Friend. It’s a mugs game. I have a budget, which means, I have a budget. However, houses don’t have prices, they have ‘ranges’. So something that looks like it might be £250,000 could really be £275,000 dpending on a) what the potential buyer thinks it is worth and b) what the vendor will hold out for.

We saw the first at 10:30 and the last at 15:00. We could barely speak for lack of food, talking, thinking, and just dealing with the dozens of other viewers. A snack, some reflection and an offer went in. You can bet your bottom dollar it won’t be accepted – despite being ‘in the range’.

I am exhausted. Time now to finish a 3000 word essay, start a second one and wait for a reaction.

Will keep you posted.



Hooky time


Boy have I struggled with the recent essay – it just wouldn’t happen. I spent days and days on it. Even now it is a sort of limp incoherent mess of ideas but at least all angles have been covered and it just needs serious editing and tweaking…

To console myself I have been using up yarn from my stash to make a baby blanket. It has been a challenge as I do not do colour all that well. I don’t seem to have the knack of combining hues harmoniously, they tend to jar and then I abandon everything.

This time the palette is pinks and purples (not my favs but there are a lot of these colours in my stash). The foundation row is too harsh, but the rest is beginning to work. In fact it has been a good exercise for me and given what I have to work with, is turning out better than I hoped.

I call it the Berry Berry Blue blanket. A picture will be added soon.






Youngest has been home for a few days to recharge her batteries. She has had a tough time with the Black Dog of late. We talked a lot, ate really healthy food and she ran. I did too, only in the gym along with lifting weights!

She has gone back to get ready for a running festival over Easter…she loves to run and then will return for a few days where she will overlap with her sister, who arrives tonight. It will be lovely to have them both at home.

My father continues to battle bravely with his illnesses, but has been rushed to hospital more than once lately. Good news is that for now, no further invasive treatment, they are giving him a break.

I continue to procrastinate over essays and get very cross with myself. I did manage however, to clean the lawnmower and get it working again and cut the back lawn….

My priorities are a bit off kilter. It has been hard to blog.


Plodding on


Still struggling a bit with the black dog, or its shadow at least, which has made routine tasks challenging this week. Things are being done in tiny increments, rather than in energetic blitzes.

He in Paradise has let me know that his company has now been dissolved and that the money will be available soon…but the flat is not selling and the agents are about as useful as a chocolate teapot! The tenant tells me that 7 flats have sold in the street in the last half year…..and they are all with other agents….but, we are almost half way to me getting out of here.

Oldest daughter went back, somewhat better than she arrived, and now youngest is here to run in the GRIM challenge in Aldershot tomorrow with some friends. (Can’t post a link for some reason, but it is a muddy race over army training grounds…). I am driver and photographer and am looking forward to it. They will be filthy, wet and cold at the end…..

Uni started this week with a gruelling month of lectures planned before the next placement starts in March. The exam results were fair to middling. Whether I resit will be determined on the results of the essay. Two low scores means a definite yes. I have a personal target for my grade average…

Today 7 DVDs went to the charity shop.  7 less things.

Little steps….the day will come when I can put up photos of an empty house.





Writing from a warm bed – and an update later in the day


Wind is tossing the birds about and rain is lashing against the window. Eldest Daughter and I were up till about 2:30 this morning. It was a celebration of sorts. The end of the semester (the essay was submitted 5 hours before the deadline) for me and acceptance for her about her recent breakup. We watched The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp. It was a hoot and just right for a bit of silliness after all the recent angst.

Just before submission and reading through the thing, again, I began to worry that the question had not been answered properly. It’s bit of a problem when one doesn’t even know if it HAS been answered or not too…….In fact that wee worm of worry lingers still. Time will tell. Academic writing is hard work, non of this blog-like rambling allowed!

There are now four days of no academic commitment. Four whole days for US, for getting stuck into the house, cleaning it (nasty!), ridding it of more THINGS and getting ready for the day I move.

It also means Eldest Daughter can have more of my attention, she has been very patient with me locked away day and night, writing. And she is brilliant at editing and referencing, really helpful….She needs loads of TLC right now and I am happy that we are going to get a bit of time for that.

We might not get the best weather over the next few days, so long seaside walks may be off the cards, but we can still hang out and have fun be good to ourselves and each other.


After a slow morning reading blogs, loving Zero Waste Home especially, Daughter and I headed to town, she had things to see to. We ate lunch out, something healthy for me and comforting for her. (I know I said I was going to be frugal, but we were both tired and somewhat delicate after last night….).

We had a poke around the charity shops, but spent nothing there. The weather continued to be horrible and town was very quiet.

Once home I tackled part of the garage. A sideboard and sofa are to go, as well as the dining table and chairs from inside the house, but the sideboard had to be emptied.

For shame! Boxes of new, unopened wine glasses in the original carrier bag….they never even made it into the house. They have probably been there 6 years, or more? Dozens more cut glass and crystal glasses that he has had for more than twenty five years, plates, a whopping big cafetiere, faded old placemats and a broken Tiffany lamp (not allowed to chuck it because he might fix it one day….). Decisions were made. Some items went into his keep pile – i.e. I cannot decide for him so they will go to him and he can take over. The new glasses will come with me to replace the odd collection I have. A big box of stuff went to the charity shop and the rest went to the tip.

I even got to empty motor oil into the giant ‘can’ for that purpose at the tip and was really chuffed.

When I dropped off the bits to the Red Cross, the lady told me the van has broken down and they won’t be collecting this week after all. Pity really as I was looking forward to seeing the space in the garage. Another time….

Finally, another one of the drawers in the kitchen has been streamlined down to ONE of everything THAT I ACTUALLY USE (except chopsticks, we have a few pairs of those). Things not used are all on the way out.










All at sea


It has been a bit of a bumpy ride since the exam. Nothing dreadful, just out of sorts and not myself. Lost focus and lots of niggles.

It feels like pieces of a jigsaw are missing. I can’t move till I find a house and I can’t look for one until the flat sells, and He who lives in paradise is concerned that plummeting stock markets have made it difficult for him to produce the dosh etc, and it is all a mishmash of things not happening.

A 3000 word essay is due Tuesday night and I am about half way through. I have lost my drive. It was the one thing that kept me going, the degree, nursing and the future, but right now, even that has gone. (It will return, but it is not a good feeling when my true passion has faded).

It is a matter of (again) re-evaluating, making priorities, and taking manageable steps to get things done.

It does not help that apart from dog walks there has been no serious exercise. Endorphins really do work!

Oldest daughter had a blip at uni this week, boyfriend and other things and has been packed off home for a few days by her tutor for some TLC. It is hard when you are young and have to learn about the painful side of love. She arrives tomorrow. Having her here will be nice, although she warns me that she plans to sleep a lot!

I have vowed to do SOMETHING on the essay tonight , just to feel as though progress is being made. I have also downloaded ENDOMONDO on my phone – an app I used to have and used all the time.

I do this, flounder and then attempt to rally and boost myself up again,  we all do no doubt. But it is a bit like being all at sea, bobbing around, waiting for other things to fall into place so that I can get on.

But one thing happened today that was very unusual and very welcome. A large sum of money hit my account from Student Finance. I immediately allocated it to various places that will cover upcoming expenses, to my cash ISA and have some left which I plan to invest! (Part of my plan to put something towards my dotage as I do not have a pension here….). There are some who might think that student finance is for living on, it is, but I am so frugal at the moment that I do not for now, have to touch it. That may change when I come to buy my new home, so it may as well work for me while it can!

Wall Street – watch out!!!

why do we feel bad about getting help?


I was at the uni today, the plan was to gym then study, before seeing the Head of the programme, but ‘the best laid schemes of mice and men…’ etc etc….

My nose has been streaming and it is bitterly cold so it was warm woollies and tissues for me all day, no sitting in a draughty library and no lycra!

When with the Head, she suggested given my current situation that I should apply for extenuating circumstances….this reeks of failure and weakness and all sorts of negative stuff. She patiently explained that if I were NOT going through this whole divorce, moving out, adjusting etc thing, then they would expect that the only thing that would impede my work would be me. However, with all this going on it is not likely that I am performing at my best. (True).  I talked it over with LE and tonight have submitted a request. It means that I can do the work but if I do not do well I can have another go without punishment. Not sure how fair it sounds, but I do know that I have been diligent and have only missed two days. I have worked long and hard at all aspects of the course and on placement, but really felt as if I was floundering before the exam.

Makes me wonder why it is sometimes so hard to accept the help offered.




Shutting off


It has been a hectic week with long shifts, some horrible weather and a daughter who is doing all she can to manage her demons. She has gone back now and it was a wrench, but only she can live her life. My job is to be here for them both if they need/want me.

At the same time in Australia, there has been another operation for my father and for a few days no contact from mum. We are all reconnected now and things are as good as they can be with them for now.

A sister is now in Italy for a few months and in a week or so I hope to be able to plan a short trip there, using no less, my NECTAR points for the airfare…

Oldest turns 21 today and is enjoying the love she feels from her friends and loved ones. Well deserved too.

I am in a state about the exam next week so have cleared the desk, written a list of the things that have to be done around the house/for the ex/for student finance etc. so that it does not have to whirl around in my head while I try to focus.

The mobile is off, and I hope by shutting myself off from the world for 48 hours or so I will be able to retain enough for a reasonable mark. Feeling surprisingly nervous and lacking in confidence this time around.  Need to overcome that!!




Slipping into 2016


2016 arrived quietly here. Oldest and I were at home, both writing/studying until just before the countdown. We then went out to collect youngest who was with a friend.
Resolutions are not my thing. But there are plans and pledges and an acceptance that major, major changes are heading my way this year.

This small painting (that I own) is called ‘and we came along this road’ and it says everything to me about the future. I don’t know where the road leads, but there are sunny patches and shadow as well as trees and clear blue skies…

and we came along this road

I do know that I will need to be resourceful, frugal, organised, strong and clear about my choices, but it is a pretty road and to be enjoyed….

The tenant in my rented flat has just given notice, so this will no doubt speed up the selling process…which means the search for MY NEW HOME will begin in earnest, soon. (Excited as I love looking at houses….because I am so nosy, and nervous as this time the decision is all mine for me, that’s a biggie).

His nibs has been here since last night and tells me that he is VERY ANGRY about a lot of things….there have been a few sneaky tears on my part, but a lot of standing up to him.

He got a speeding ticket on his first day back, in the car that I now own (as I have to sell it  while he is out of the country). He suggested I take the flack as he is no longer on the insurance (rubbish). When I said no he asked me if I wanted him to go to jail? Then there was some waffle about it all taking so long for letters etc to reach him in paradise, but I said so be it. I will not accept his fine and I WILL NOT lie and break the law for him. Lots of tutting and sighing and rolling his eyes at my audacity.

But apart from that petty drama, 2016 has eased its way in and is here to be lived to the max!

Happy New Year everyone xx








A pledge and a plan


Today was significant in my small world. While loving life as it is now, exercising more, de-cluttering and being more me, there has been at the same time, a gradual slide into more frequent black dog moods, poor sleep, teeth grinding, too much eating and drinking over the last two weeks with regard to the academic side of things.

A big exam looms and I have the concentration span of a gnat when sitting at the desk trying to study. Then I worry and fret and maybe have a snack, or an early glass of wine while cooking dinner, then a bit of rubbish TV, then another go at the books and then end up playing Sudoku! These are all distraction techniques but they are destructive too…undoing any sense of well-being felt after a brisk walk or furious vacuuming or clearing out session!

But today enough was enough. My lovely uni friend, LE messaged to ask how it was going and I fessed up. While we were chatting I realised all that is necessary is a bit of refocusing and realigning.

Buoyed by her words and accepting that we all have dips, I made a pledge and a plan.

My DRYATHLON starts today. A few days early but hey! That is my pledge. Not to drink from now for all of January.

My plan was to give myself a day away from the books, to break up the relentless pressure. So, errands were run, a delivery was made to the charity shop, (including most embarrassingly and unintentionally a pair of my big purple knickers that had become entwined in some sports gear….). I hurriedly snatched them from the elderly male volunteer before he could hold them up for the world to see….A quiet coffee while reading the paper. A financial meeting with the girls and a spot of food shopping. I also bought flowers to decorate the hall for new year.

Somehow things seems more balanced and calm. Certainly I feel happier and less anxious about the exam.