Thursday Thoughts – Journeys and 8 Legs.

The events that have gone on throughout the world in the past week have been very sad. It makes you pause and think about how lucky we are.

Watching the news and seeing terrible images of war and destruction across the world has made me stop for a moment this week to look around and really appreciate all that we have and that in the UK our children are not growing up in fear of bombs or gunfire. I know we have problems here and that poverty is a very real issue for many but at least we live in a democracy and most of us sleep in a safe home, or in the knowledge that safe home is possible.

Aeroplane travel has become a common everyday thing. When booking a holiday I will think about the cost, the length of flight, what the food will be like, how terrible my skin feels after a long haul flight. I think about the films on offer and whether I’ll have enough leg room. I certainly don’t think of it as dangerous or that it could be a last journey. Indeed until I lived on the other side of the world I used to get positively excited about the actual plane journey. Travelling backwards and forwards from Hong Kong over two years took away that bit of enthusiasm for me but of course I still get excited about the destination. We make journeys all the time and we think nothing of it. All forms of travel do have dangers, today we on the radio that an entire family were killed in a car accident yesterday. I am not trying to fill us with fear about travel, rather what I am saying is that we should pause a moment and really reflect all that we have. I am guilty of rushing about, travelling about here and there without really pausing to think. It is fantastic that we can travel about so easily and in so many different ways we just need to remember sometimes to slow down and appreciate all that we have as we never know which journey might be our last.

In order not to finish off this post on a sad note I thought I’d give you a little home update.

We have well and truly settled into village life. So much so that we definitely do intend to buy in the area once we have the savings and job contracts etc. The house we are renting just now is fantastic and definitely feels like home but there are a couple of things we might be looking for in a house we buy that this house doesn’t offer at the moment. But as I say for the next year at least this will be our home.

One big problem I’ve had is to do with the 8 legged creepy crawly visitors. Whether it is because the house was empty for a year, or that we live in the country or because there isn’t plasterboard (painted brick walls in most of the house) for them to hide behind we have noticed (well I have screamed) spiders daily. The last straw was the other evening when we encountered 3 MASSIVE buggers without 15 minutes. I was on the internet the next day looking for solutions.

We are dealing with the problem in 3 ways.
Firstly I have de-cluttered all the windowsills where they like to build webs. This will make it easier to do frequent dusting to keep cobwebs at bay and it will also be easier for me to spot any that attempt to invade.

Secondly last night we got the pressure hose out and cleaned all of the windows, doorways and steps. Hopefully we blasted them away, especially any around our bedroom window. The Boyo is getting rather fed up with me waking him with nightmares and switching lights on in the middle of the night.

Thirdly I did what many librarians do, I went to Google and researched. I ended up buying 2 sprays. One from Amazon that is bit more hardcore and leaves a slight residue to discourage them building cobwebs and the second is from Betterware and contains horse chestnut which apparently they do not like and it will hopefully send the message that they are not welcome in the house. I have sprayed them around doors, windows and some nooks where I have seen them.

 

So here we have a three pronged attack on them I do feel a bit guilty but as long as they stop freaking me out completely by coming in the house then our lives will be a lot happier.

Tomorrows Foodie Friday will feature my very popular Chocolate Brownies and little bread rolls, perfect for any weekend picnics.

Follow on Bloglovin

Advertisements

Tuesday Thoughts – A busy week!

Apologies for my social media silence – although I’m sure no-one really noticed- I have this week moved house, hooray!!!

So on Wednesday for our last meal in the wee town which was our home we went to our favourite Indian restaurant, it was very delicious and we left with very full tummies. The last bits & bobs took longer to pack than anticipated but we had my Mum up to help us with the move and by midnight we were all packed and ready for bed. I did not sleep well at all that night, the house felt strange with all the boxes and I was very anxious about the actual process of moving and how things were going to work out in our new location. It didn’t help that there was a MASSIVE spider in our bedroom that the boyo had to squish (yes cruel but my irrational fear is huge & irrational).

On Thursday the removal people arrived on time at 8.30am. Mum & I stayed to see them begin to load up the big lorry then we headed off to Dunelm Mill and The Range for a couple of bits and pieces. This was a dangerous move on our part as suddenly when you have a new house everything in homeware shops look tempting. We made a couple of purchases that were necessary (a new mop) and a couple that weren’t (new lamp & tablecloth). Then we headed over to the new house to get ready for the removal lorry. We had a bed that Mum had brought up to build and a wee bit cleaning etc.

The removal lorry arrived and I directed where all the boxes were to go. The removal boys were very happy that the mountain of boxes of books were staying in the lounge and they didn’t have to heave them upstairs. Everything was unloaded by 4pm. The only casualties of the move were 1 glass lampshade and a bookcase. Not bad!

So we’ve been in the new house for 6 days and the boyo and I are really happy. The couple of purchases such as the tablecloth have really finished off a couple of the rooms. The nearest train station is closer than we originally thought, everyone in the new village is friendly and we both already feel much more relaxed and happy. I only have 1 box left to unpack and my clothes to put away. We still have a lot of pictures to hang but are awaiting a visit from someone with a drill. I feel this is really not bad going – I thought it would take much longer to unpack and get sorted but the new house has accommodated all our belongings very nicely. We have a list of things we’d like to get to finish off the house but nothing urgent. The only thing we deemed was immediately necessary was blackout curtains for our very lovely and bright bedroom. I’m finding waking up with the sun actually beneficial but it is driving the poor boyo demented. They should arrive by Friday.

Anything I would do differently?

Organise – Be slightly more organised prior to moving day – packing up those last bit and pieces the night before really added to my anxiety, it would have been better to have it done and had a properly relaxed evening as no doubt I would have been anxious anyway.

Structure – Pack the rooms in a more systematic way – I started out packing one room at a time then got side-tracked and my lounge became a huge mess of stuff half packed and piles of random stuff.

Purge – this move happened fairly quickly and it was easier to just pack more or less everything than go through and properly sort out stuff to go out/ recycle etc. I’m going to be a bit more ruthless and try to minimise stuff in the future. We did throw out some stuff but the trips to the recycling centre were rushed due to our short timescale.

Measure – I judged where our furniture and belongings would go in the new house just by looking, I was lucky everything fitted apart from one bookcase. If I had actually measured I would have known that the bookcase was far too tall and actually it was done anyway. So we needlessly brought it to the new house and then had to break it up and take it to the recycling centre. I could have saved ourselves and my parents who were helping us a bit of work.

And things I would do again…

Label – Label all your boxes clearly with what is in the box and where it is to go. This helped us and the removal people so much on moving day and it has really helped to do the unpacking in a speedy and efficient way. It also helped the removal people that I wrote in big red letters ‘FRAGILE’ or ‘HEAVY’ on those boxes that were – it meant they were able to take a look and plan quickly how they were loading the lorry. It means if you have people helping you then they are not asking every couple minutes where something is to go. Everyone can just get on with it.

Removal – Getting a removals company was pricey but it was worth it. We have a lot of furniture and we could have mustered up help and hired a van but the stress levels would have been pretty high and it wouldn’t have been nearly as efficient. The removal people knew how to handle everything and how to move our bulky items with minimal hassle and no injuries. So we would definitely pay for their service again.

Eat – eat out the night before you move – enjoy a little relaxing time in a favourite place. You will likely have all your kitchen stuff packed up anyway. Eating a take-away amongst the boxes means (if you are like me) you’ll be looking at all the boxes and your mind will be doing overtime thinking about the next day. So just put aside a little money and have a wee meal with good company – for us it was a fitting way to say good-bye to the town we lived in and our favourite restaurant had 35% off promotion running as well = happy!

Help – Accept help, I had my parents up helping and they really were a huge help, there were a few wee jobs that arose and it would have been very difficult without them around.

So just a few wee hints from our own experiences. We are (so far) really happy with our move and are really enjoying getting to know our new home and village.

Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday is for What: What’s in a name?

Wednesday is for What.

 

My first Wednesday blog and this week my topic is What’s in a name?

 

Next week it will be a What I wore or a What I would Like post. It might even be a combination of both!

 

So what is in a name? My name isn’t actually Merry but it is close to my real name and the purpose of the name I’ve chosen is to give me a tiny bit privacy and to also motivate me. After all this blog really is all about me trying to be positive and Merry. If I leave out my real name I feel more able to use my voice. I have chosen to stay a little bit anonymous but everything is truthful in this blog and as such there are enough clues that if someone knows me in a personal context they are probably going to twig that it is me writing this blog – that’s fine I am not trying to be a secret agent. That is a career that would never have suited me as I am a truly hopeless liar. People can even tell on the phone if I’m trying a wee white fib. Oh well best to stick to honesty then. 

So why be Anonymous?

 Well I have wanted to do a blog for ages, I have tried in the past, one a travel based one when I lived abroad this failed due to having too much fun on said travels and internet not being readily available. The other was based on food when I set myself a cooking challenge a couple of years go. However my family had a really challenging year and blogging along with my social life fell to the wayside. So this is my third attempt – and funnily enough three is my lucky number!

 Over the last couple of years my own twitter account became clogged with all sorts of people, companies, tv shows, just about anything really and some were people that were related to my work. I just felt that it would be easier to start up a new twitter account and by changing my name it means I’m not instantly connected with my work and people at work are not finding out more about my personal life than needs be. Initially I planned not to talk about library related stuff on my new blog at all but quickly realised that my profession takes up a huge amount of my time and interests and occasionally there will be things that are library related that I’d like to chat about.

 So the little bit of privacy also gives me a little bit of confidence to start blogging without everyone I know looking at my fledgling attempts.

 

Is it Cowardly? 

Well a bit I suppose and I’m happy to admit that I’m nervous about facing criticism from my friends and family so starting this way eases me into the whole business. One of the main reasons I’ve started this blog is to boost my self esteem and I believe it will help me to achieve my ‘Be Merry and Happy and Healthy’ goals. I wasn’t in a great place this winter (I’ll talk another time about why) and this blog and the name I have chosen just reinforces my message to myself.

 Thoughts on Blogging

 I’m finding new people everyday who blog on a whole range of topics I find interesting.

 Fashion – some of the information I’ve discovered through the fashion blogger world has been really good. So many more options for clothes now both to buy (mostly through shops spoken about by plus sized fashion bloggers) and how to put the things I already own in a more interesting way. I bought a chunky necklace the other day that I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do with a few months ago. So great for my wardrobe, not so great for my wallet! I will occasionally post some fashion & accessories related stuff but mostly I’ll just enjoy reading the wide variety of people I have come across. Bloglovin is great for this. 

http://www.amilliondresses.com     @amilliondresses

http://littlebitofwowe.blogspot.se/   @LittleBitOfWowe

http://terribletumbles.blogspot.co.uk/ @thesmyth

 Food – oh so many food blogs. The cakes! Drool…. but food bloggers are also  inspiring me to become more inventive and healthy and sometimes more frugal as well. I’ll definitely post recipes on this blog. I wish there were more Scottish bloggers talking about foodie places to go nearby but I now have a huge list of places for trips South of the border!

 http://www.scotlandeatsout.blogspot.co.uk

http://www.thecakehunter.co.uk/ @thecakehunter

http://www.browneyedbaker.com @browneyedbaker 

Beauty – Not something that I anticipate I’ll ever really posy about because I’m useless in that department but I’ve made a couple of new purchases recently that have worked a treat thanks to reading some great beauty blogs. I still can’t paint my nails to save myself though.

 http://www.essiebutton.com @essiebutton

http://www.ascottishlass.com @laurziecooper 

Travel – Most of my escapades are in the UK now and I regularly do weekend countryside walks. I haven’t really come across many Scottish bloggers yet but if I do I’ll always enjoy tips for great walks or places to explore. I’m off to a more exotic location in June and have been looking through blogs to get some ideas of what to do when we are away.

 http://scottishlandscapes.tumblr.com/

http://truecoloursblog.blogspot.com/ 

Home – So many ideas, I wish I was better at DIY! 

http://www.younghouselove.com/ @younghouselove

http://apartmenttherapy.com

 Library  –  for this get on twitter and have a look at my ‘Library Folk’ list. So many Library related people around! 

Other – Everyday I’m finding new blogs on interesting topics, from time to time I’ll do a Follow Friday Post.

 

Anyway I hope some of those links are useful. To answer the question What’s in a name? for me the name I have chosen is a little reminder of who I am and what I hope to be.

 

Does anyone else blog under a different name? And any blogging tips for this new blogger would be most welcome, as would any other tips on interesting blogs to read.

 

Thank You! Merry 😎

Follow on Bloglovin

Thought of the day: Finance

Todays thought is quite long but finance isn’t much of a lightweight topic.

Listening to a discussion about mortgages on the radio on our way to work has me thinking about our finances.

We are planning to rent for the next two years until Boyo gets his permanent contract so we have time to save for our next mortgage.

Now I am thinking about various things:

* Ways that we can save money
* Keeping better household expenditure records
* And what are we actually aiming for?

I’ve got a lot of ideas buzzing in my head about becoming more frugal.

* My cooking – but still aiming to be both delicious and more healthy.
* Our hobbies – that is actually easy as the boyo and I like nothing more than wandering the great outdoors.
* Travel – we’ve already booked an expensive holiday to Hong Kong but our other jaunts could me UK based, short camping weekends.
* Challenging myself to become more fit and healthy so that I once again fit into more of my wardrobe and experimenting with what I have rather than buying anything new.

I think keeping better records of expenditure will help me to see where I could make potential savings and appreciate what I have more.

And lastly, what are we aiming for? Do we want a big house with lots of space? Or do we want somewhere that looks fantastic? Is the postcode important?
These are interesting questions and to answer properly we really need to think about our future, a family? pets? I don’t think the Boyo and I have grand or fancy ideas, after all any house can become a home with a bit of care and attention.

What are your thoughts? How do you budget? What are your priorties?

Thinking about all of this makes me feel terribly grown up, it’s not wonderful that so much revolves around money and whilst winning the lottery would be fantastic I think the important thing is to value what you ahave and embrace simple things which can lead to so much happiness. For me a walk in the fresh air with the Boyo is simply one of the best things around.

Follow on Bloglovin