This Weekend and The Search For Some Pals

Last night I woke up about 3am. I was too hot and I’d been having a strange unsettling dream. I struggled to get back to sleep and then I woke up again at 5.30am. The curtain pole fell out of the wall the other evening and I have not got round to fixing it yet as it involves filling in a hole in the wall. This means that for now I’m using a sheet, which is too thin and too small to combat the brilliant sunshine we are getting just now even at early-o-clock in the morning.

We started off our day with a swim which always leaves me feeling refreshed and awake, every time I tell myself I should do this more often and yet somehow I never quite manage to make it a habit.

I am crabbit today though. I’m in my office and the sun is shining so I really want to be outside doing something nice. We were supposed to be flying to Thailand today but as you may have gathered via Instagram and my last post we are spending a lot of time in Northern Ireland just now with my Boyos family. I can’t really say more without invading the privacy of everyone, so for once I’m learning to censor myself and say less. (On another note do any of you suffer from runaway talking? I quite often say way more than I mean to because I get all awkward and forget to stop talking). Anyway the family situation meant that a holiday just now was absolutely out of the question, it was the right decision and whilst I really wish circumstances could be different, not for the purposes of our holiday but for the health and happiness of everyone involved, they are not.

It does mean I now have a weekend on my home on my own as The Boyo travels back to N.I tomorrow. My best friend is working and my other friends live too far away to arrange something at the last minute like this. I’m also a bit tetchy anyway with everything that is going on so I probably would not be the best company. It has got me thinking though about friendships.

I met 3 of my closest friends at University. We all shared the same flat in the halls of residence and then on and off we lived with each other during our undergraduate years. One lives an hour away from me, the other two live further away. We communicate nearly everyday on Whatsapp. My other closest friend is from School and she lives in my hometown which is a 2.5 hour drive from Fife. I have lots of other friends from University (both times), from my various jobs (Scotland and Hong Kong) and from my hometown but we all live fairly far apart. What I don’t really have are local friends.

Just how do you go about making friends when you are in your 30s? For example, this weekend when I’m on my own, the ideal thing would be to call up a pal and go for coffee (and cake or ice cream). However I just don’t have those friends locally to do this with.

I do an exercise class but I’m too shy to just strike up conversations with quite a large group of ladies.

I don’t have children so going to groups to meet other Mums is out because I am not one.

I do work full-time and I get on well with my colleagues but I have not made the sort of friends where we go for coffee together here.

I volunteer – I am a Girl Guide Leader and that gets me out the house 1 evening a week, I have a small unit of 12 girls and I love doing this but at the moment I’m the sole leader.

I know a few of My Boyo’s work friends but without him around I probably would not feel comfortable arranging a meet up.

I have ways of occupying my time but it would be nice to just be able to call someone up and go for coffee, or the cinema or anything really. It doesn’t help that I’m a bit shy and I can be a bit awkward initially – even when you do get to know me I certainly have plenty of faults! There are plenty of people who I’m sure are in the same boat, moving to be in a relationship or for work or for other reasons.

Anyway I’m hoping this weekend to get a little sewing project done, I have lots of admin for my Guide Unit to do and I have some errands to run so I’m sure I will be kept occupied for the most part.

What are your weekend plans? And any advice on finding friends?

Merry

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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.

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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.

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