Monday, 2 February 2015

If I Were Steve McQueen...

Hello to my new followers, Frugal Queen and Christine. Honoured to have you on board!

Apologies for taking so long to post a new blog. I am deep into a work project and it is a very anxious time for me as I want to do really well with it, hence I'm not around to blog very often.

Exciting times ahead. Now, if I were to tell you I'm just about to get into a big bucket of debt, you'd probably think, well, Frugal Wench - not doing too well at the old frugal thing, then, are you? But don't panic.

Don't Panic!

Thanks, Douglas Adams...

No, don't panic - it's all planned in, has been on the books for years and will stop the walls of my house falling off. And it will be my dodgy roof, as I will be part-owner!

Okay... I'll admit. I am a bit anxious. This a humongous thing I'm taking on, and it's oh-so-slightly eating into the big escape plan.

Steve McQueen: someone's nicked his bike.
No, the big escape plan.
It's a good plan, and I can see it clearly. Just like that pin on the floor, there.

Here is the plan:
  • Take on responsibility for the house I am living in. Fix the roof and windows. Put in a proper bathroom. If time and resources permit, build a TARDIS in the garden.
  • Work like a donkey. Live like a hermit - a hermit who has to get out there and network occasionally.
  • Pay back the banker a bit quicker than the 60 months on the schedule.
  • Get rid of that pesky mortgage.
  • Earn enough to live solely on my freelance and performance work - this is all weighted towards editorial work at present. Hard slog ahead.
It's a plan that has concertina-stretched from 5 years to 7, to 3, now back to 10. At times I despair a bit. My dreams have been vivid and frightening. I think the important thing though is to keep on pushing - yes, it's a bit of a never-ending endeavour, like Sisyphus, though as Camus said, "The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart." Which is something about trying makes you happy.
We have a few social engagements and work travel, all booked and paid for last year, so we shan't be confined in our misery. However, a few additional need-to-spends have cropped up - my dad is getting married, for one!  So it's unlikely I'll be able to make a uni reunion abroad, and we will have to re-think our holiday plans, as Alsace turns out to be a bit too pricey to get to. After some discussion, we may just wait to see what turns up in the bargain last-minute breaks, but as we're not really too much into being herded into endless Hotel Miramars and Bellvueses and Bontinentals with their international luxury modern roomettes and their Watney's Red Barrel, we're not certain what we'll be able to get. Torr-e-mol-i-nos!
Isn't it weird, how you can sometimes get a beach holiday with all-inclusive chips and lager for cheaper than a 'self-catering' flat with a two-hob stove and dodgy lino somewhere cold near a museum?

Does travel broaden the mind, or merely increase the tan?

I think I need to stop thinking about holidays... wrong kind of escape.

It has been a good start to the year on the no-booze front. I decided to drink on one day, in solidarity with a friend who has been told she can no longer have any yeast-based foods, so it was a last hurrah to cider. But the next day I felt like someone had taken a pumice to my soul. I am not one to get hangovers, and not a frequent drinker either, but it has taken this break to show me how much booze affects me mentally as well as physically. I am quite sure I will continue to snaffle the occasional 'free wine' at a book launch, but I have absolutely no itch to start drinking again soon. Plus, I'm sure I have a few extra quid in my pocket as a result of this dry period.

Very happy to be the opposite of Nigel Farage too.

I'm also getting faster again. I did the a 5km run last week in 32.09, and this week at Parkrun achieved 31.39. My PB is 29.52 from 2013 - I will be back!

My attempts to do knitting in the round to make a baby dragon from the Ravelry website ended in a big fail, so I'm working on cute owls instead. Hope to finish by March. Let's Knit sent me access to a free magazine from May 2014 though, and there are loads of good patterns on there too!

Right, I'll try my best to post again soon. Take care everyone!

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