Just a chit-chat

New table

My new, much smaller table.
It’s a drop-leaf table, but compared to my last table, this won’t need taking apart, to get it through a door.

DSC_0015

I missed not having a dining table, while waiting for this one.

Hoping to sell my giant bean bag

Now not used this past year, or two, this giant bean bag is still in the same good condition as I originally bought it, many years ago.
With the possibility I could be in a studio flat one day, with now bidding on these, as well as one bed flats, more reason to sell.

Twitter

I am back on Twitter. This, like before is for my own personal benefit, so I won’t be sharing my Twitter link with anyone.
I rejoined because I learnt of a fire near my mum, that was bad and I wanted to find out how it started, to ease my mind. So it was either Facebook, or Twitter and the choice was an easy one to make. So Twitter it was. Facebook is too negative for me. I will use Twitter will for local, personal news updates.

Microwave

I noticed last week how the timer was not moving, so this will mean I will need to keep an eye on it closely, so I don’t overcook my food. I thought to myself, after noticing this, am I going to buy another when this packs up completely? I have decided I won’t. This microwave was given to me by my mum, because she did not want it. But also she said it wasn’t working right. But mum wasn’t able to tell me in what way it wasn’t working. It’s been working alright for me in the time I have owned it, until now the timer not moving. If microwave one day goes, there will be room for a toaster.

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I will bide my time

Today, when I arrived home from my volunteer work, there was a letter waiting for me, from a housing association. At first, I thought how did they get my address? I soon realised after opening what it was all about and remembered. A bid on a one bed ground floor flat I made two weeks ago, it turned out I was shortlisted amongst others to view. At first I was surprised, then excited, but then I started reading the letter. The open invitation was this Thursday coming and what I am expected to put together in this space of time, I thought I will not rush for, as there was more to do than originally said when I applied at the time. I was and still am at a very high position on the list, so if that many are really turning up, more so I won’t bother, because the one highest on the list will get it.
Secondly, the day it fell on, fell on a day I have to be at home and lastly, since bidding for that property, I have since got studio on my mind. Since bidding for that studio last week, it got me excited in just knowing how much I could save and this was not counting the gas and electric I would be saving either. Comparing that rent also to this one, (this property I am short listed for,) I could still save more, by just waiting that bit longer for a council property than a housing association one.

You see where this is going?

So by the time I thought all the above through, I could just not care less,even more.
I am happy to bide my time and see what future council properties come up. Especially studios, now this curiosity has grown on me more. I will bide my time.

I know the studio property I bid on last week, with the council has gone, but I will carry on looking with them and see what comes up. When I particularly bid on the studio ones, I will especially observe just where I am on the list, because after seeing where I was on the list for the one I lost on, the chance of getting one, looked a little better.

Chit-chat June, with a bit of frugal living

On 19th June, after reading the Metro paper, I learnt that the ban on the sale of products that contain plastic microbeads had come into force. I am so happy to read this and it could not come soon enough. It’s been a ban that has been a long time coming. These tiny pieces of plastic affect sea life and are lethal to the sea creatures. Plastic microbeads were totally unnecessary in our products.

Walks, dvd’s and books

Like the previous month; ‘Chit-chat May,’ I had my walks out, watching dvd’s and into a couple of books, as well as my study. With the walks out in the sun, I should be ok with my vitamin D.
Speaking of vitamin D, since this post; ‘A bit of Vitamin D continued,’ I have decided to take this tablet daily all through the year, rather than just the autumn and winter months I was originally going to do.

I have chosen not to get the new album

The new album of Ben Howard; “Noonday Dream,” I was planning on buying originally, after listening to the preview samples of it on Amazon, I have chosen not to. I do not like this one, as I did when I bought the album, “Every Kingdom.”
But after coming across ‘2Cellos,’ via someones blog and looking them up further to listen more, I have bought their album, ‘Score.’ I found them relaxing to hear and surprisingly, I had the money to buy it.

Looking for that new home

I continue to bid for council properties in my chosen area as normal, but with one exception and that is my gut instinct I was ignoring, I am now listening to; an area I used to keep choosing because it regularly came up, when nowhere else did, I won’t choose anymore.
The only exception I would possibly be in this area, if the flat came up on the very outskirts in the opposite direction a couple of work colleagues walk home to and because it won’t be right central in the area, where it has known to be a bad area. But as big as this area is, choosing only that very small area on the very outskirts, it will not crop up often.
But if I had to live there, then it’s there I would feel safer, on the outskirts and where I feel my life would stay out of work, to a certain extent.

I have ignored my original plans of not looking privately. After decorating my two rooms where I currently live, I planned to stick out for this year. (Unless something came up from council.) But I have now ignored my original plans because a flat I happened to see when looking out of curiosity at what was going, appealed to me. I tried to forget about what I seen, but after two weeks of not being able to forget about it, I queried. I gave them details they required and then I viewed the one bed flat. The flat was lovely and perfect size for me, but because the shared entrance was dusty and musty, it affected my asthma.
I also know that for my money, I would get a better flat one day than that one, so I will be patient and keep looking. I know finding one will happen one day, but I won’t rush when it comes private. Since looking at that one, I will have a 2 months break of not looking private, then after that, depending, it may work out where I will stick it out. But it doesn’t mean I won’t look now and again. 🙂

Job interview I had

I talked about in ‘Chit-chat May,’ how I had a job interview. I was not impressed with it, so I had gone to the interview in looking forward to possibly working for them, but left because I had mixed feelings about the whole thing and a concern. I won’t go into detail here of my interview and exactly what happened, but it is not the first time I have had an interview with the same large company. The difference is, because of where my job would have been, means a different place where interview was held and different people doing it. But it still lead down to the same thing and feelings. I did not get the job in the end, but I wouldn’t have accepted. I did get feedback from my interview, that I shall take on board because I know I did not do well in the interview.  The feedback ended on a positive note how they would like me to apply for certain jobs, so I emailed a couple of questions I originally had, which they answered back to, but I doubt I will apply for anymore with them.  I continue to look elsewhere, while having email alerts for any jobs that may come up with the company I currently work for.

Study

I have passed my second assignment and looking at questions for assignment three, I know I won’t have any problems completing. All I need to do is sit down and get stuck in, reminding myself why I am doing this course.

I sold my cat carrier and Casio keyboard

I am not in a situation to have a cat and it will be a long time before I am, but I am also realising that if I was in a situation where I could, I don’t plan to have another cat. I’m not saying never, but it could be a good few years, even when I am in the right situation. I am enjoying the freedom of going out when I can, without the guilt of leaving a cat home alone and no, I have no plans to have two cats. So I sold my cat carrier, as there was no point holding onto it for many many years, with the possibility of never having another.
But this won’t mean by not having a cat myself, I won’t think of cats. I would like to still help Cats Protection where I had Miley from and where I would have future cats from, when I can, by donating things that will be useful to them, like cat food for example.

I also sold my Casio keyboard, for cash to put to other things, when in the end I did not use it much. It was better selling for cash than keeping. I have space too, where I originally had it and feel relaxed by seeing that space.

I’m also selling one of my small bookcases, just to shrink a little bit more in furniture, with knowing how small some flats can be, from ones I have viewed on in the past.
It’s an oak effect bookcase, with extra deep shelves. I bought this originally from Argos some years ago, so for any friends who live near me, if you would like this, or know someone who would like one, I am currently selling it for £5. Buyer to collect.

A special month

This month as been a particular special month for me. I finally got to meet up with a couple who I have not seen for many years since they retired. Although we email occasionally and keep in touch since they retired from the old work place I once worked at, I have not seen them for many years. Finally, we met up and chatted over a cuppa and we hope to do it again. They are a lovely couple, who I will never forget.

Frugal living – Money

As I mentioned in “Frugal living – part 1,” I had to change the way I shop. (See that post for more, which when you are on that post, scroll down to “Changing the way I shop.”) This topic now follows on from that.
When it comes to money, although I have got by, I want to save, without dipping into my savings every month. So although I do budget and I write every month my income and outgoings in a book, it was time to re-evaluate, to see if there is a chance to save something every month.
Although I was strict with my budget when it came to bills and put some savings away where I could, after this, the spending on groceries and going out, I was relaxed on. I have been relaxed with this part the last couple of years or three, because just for once, I wanted to enjoy myself and not think about this part. But things now have to change, because due to my savings and how my hours go up and down, I cannot rely on council tax benefit or housing benefit. Currently, I have no help with council tax and only a small help on housing benefit, so I never count this part, because I cannot rely on it.
Now last month, I was able to save more than I expected and I did not touch any savings. But this was due to back pay with hourly rate going up and also a fair bit of overtime I did.
This months pay is different and I could see I will have had to juggle and I thought I would not be able to put anything in my savings this month, but I have, hence i was able to buy the album I mentioned earlier in this post. Any change by the end of the month from my ‘groceries and going out’ budget, also gets put away and saved.
By juggling, I won’t need to touch my savings and things will be tighter than expected, because I am counting for every single pound and penny again.
I am going to have to be inventive when it comes to going out. This is nothing new, it’s I just have not done this since my early 30’s. So this month and the following months are going to be different.
When I choose to go out this month, it will be parks and packed lunches, otherwise staying at home.
Going out in a cafe this coming month is going to be only once to most twice this month, if it involves eating out and not just a drink.

I’m so glad I get help with prescriptions, dental and spectacles, but especially my prescription and dental. Had I no help here, my health would have declined.

Seeing my income and outcome is a reminder to me that it’s not just if I want to save for the holiday, but to live. But until I find that perfect morning cleaning job, I will get by as I have done so far. Until I get that other job, there will be no holiday for 5 days next year, only possibly the odd day trip. But as long as I am inventive on my local days out, I don’t see this being an issue.

And when I do get that second job, if at any point my hours were 30, or more, they’d be no way I would claim WTC again. (Working Tax Credits.) As much as this is supposed to be a benefit to help people, it can also cripple you, if you have a lot to pay back in overpayments. I thankfully only have an amount of under £50 to pay back after my DLA stopped and my hours never changed, but I know of some that have to pay thousands and with my hours now varying, I could see this easily happening to me. There is no way I would give the tax people a chance to cripple me, because of overpayments on WTC.

Frugal living –  Looking at alternatives for internet

It’s a long while before I can leave my internet contract, but as I know I will put my notice in when time comes up because of their below standard service earlier this year, I have started looking around. From looking around, I see having the internet and home phone (because there are never ones without landline,) will not be an option, because of how expensive it has become. It seems for me, the best contract is who I am now back with, with my pay as you go phone.
But until I make my full decision, this month I have been seeing if what I do when it comes to using the internet and everything else, can be achievable with my pay as you go phone. While doing this, I am seeing if it will work out more, or less than the contract I see so far that is best for me, using Wi-fi when there is one.
I started this challenge on the first of this month and it will end tonight, so some of my posts have been created from my phone, as well as when I have either left comments on my blog posts, or when I read other people’s blogs. So if you have spotted some weird typos, before I spot them, then this is why.
As this post airs, I already know what the results are for me and it turns out contract is way to go.

Open chit-chat

My chit-chat posts go down really well you tell me and I find writing these posts much easier than when I did the virtual coffee one. It feels much easier to write and I have kept to the same style of writing, using bold writing for each new topic in the post, so it is easier to read. I also find by writing this way, that it is easy for me to write as well as read, like you.

Today’s chit-chat, I thought I’d do something a little different. 🙂
This chit-chat post is an open chit-chat. I have created this post where I hope you will start a conversation on something and then I can join in your chit-chat here. As I have said in an earlier post, I like to read about what others have to say and I hope you would like to start your day with a chit-chat here.

So are you up for it? I hope so. 🙂

Tell me your day, or start a topic of conversation of some kind and I will look forward to joining in with your chat.

Chit-chat May

Since buying these plants, that I mentioned about in, “Bringing some greenery into my life,” my home is starting to feel like home again, since when Miley had to be put to sleep.

This month has been some fun and games.
Near the beginning of the month, was lunch and games, that I organised not quite a month beforehand. The games were the unknowing part with my mum and a best friend.
The games they were going to play, were what I researched beforehand, after just asking my mum purely out the blue, if she was to play a table top game at the table, what would it be? And as for my friend, unknowing to him, until now, he answered the question along with some other friends, when I asked what their favourite board games, or table games were, on my Facebook wall. 😀 So I knew what they both liked.
For my mum, it was table tennis and for my friend, it was Monopoly. So I bought them, as I hope after this one we had this month, that maybe we can do it again, where we have lunch and play board games, or something. 🙂

I also bought a board game that I could play on my own, which is harder than it looks, but addictive. It is called, Quadrillion, by Smart Games and this game will exercise the brain.
I bought this from Amazon and I plan to buy another game of theirs later, which is also a one player game called, Anti-Virus.

It’s also been a month of…

Binge watching of dvd’s and some walks in the sunshine.
I also read a book, that I would not normally read. It took me longer to read than normal, of a book of this size, which I started reading a couple of months ago and finished this month, with studying and other things going on. The book was called, “A Movable Feast,” by Ernest Hemingway. This book was The Restored Edition and I have wanted to read this book for some time out of curiosity, from seeing the book appear in my favourite film I never get bored with called, “City of Angels.” It was a different kind of book to read and I liked how the author described things.

Study

I received feedback from my first assignment in my pet sitting course and I got a pass. The course I am doing, for those new following, is “Dog Walking & Pet Home Sitting Professional Level 4.” From further details I have learnt about how the course is marked, you have to achieve a pass, before you can progress on. If you don’t, you have to submit additional information for the assignment to meet the objective.
As my feedback is typed, I can clearly read everything on the paper, compared to a course elsewhere, when it was written very quickly, that I could not read it and was seeking help from my Facebook friends.
The printed sheet I receive back from my tutor, has tutor talk on it, which on his paper reminded me about how to save my own copy of work sent to the tutor and about learning objective and how my work has to be a pass to progress onwards. My paper tells me my grade on my piece of work marked, which shown I passed, as mentioned earlier, along with any comments my tutor leaves me, which he said “a pleasing letter produced, Elizabeth. Excellent work!” I also know the tutor’s name and also the person who is an internal moderator as well.

So on with assignment two. 🙂

Don’t expect me to act my age

So this year, I was 42 on 18th May and it doesn’t seem two years ago when I talked about hitting 40 here, in this blog post: The big 4-0. Can you remember that post?
I wasn’t going to have my birthday off work this year originally, but I changed my mind the month before and put a couple of days in. The day before, I just chilled at home, but on the day, I was out nearly all day; lunch with mum, then late afternoon to evening with some friends.

I don’t feel my age and I don’t intend to act it either. I just want to play silly, have a laugh and spread happiness. At work, I have shown my fun and bonkers side. I have certainly made them laugh, or smile, so I am doing something right and they said I am bonkers, so I am happy with the title.

Treated myself to a new cd

From reading another blog who likes to listen to Ben Howard, who I’ve not heard off, (but I am out of touch with music,) so I thought I’d take a listen. After listening to a few songs via You Tube, I decided I liked to listen to him as well and so I bought his album, “Every Kingdom.” I have enjoyed his album, so I intend to buy his next album when it is released in June, called “Noonday Dream.”

Job interview

I applied for a morning cleaning job and I have an interview, on Tuesday. 🙂

Living room freshened up

My living room was freshened up with a coat of paint on the walls and ceiling, by the same decorator I had to do my dining room. It feels brighter and cheerful, while I remain living where I am, until one day I move.

Changes are coming to my personal Facebook page – Please read if you follow there.

I hope you liked my month of #blurtselfcareathon. I have got to say, I did bloody well with that, on top of a few extra posts. 😀

I am going to be quiet for a month or just over, due to creating a poll on my personal Facebook wall.

I normally would feel mentally exhausted after a stint like that, but I feel good. However, I am taking a blogging break for a month, or could be just slightly over. This is because changes are coming to my personal Facebook page.
I will be creating a poll and sharing it there, for my friends and family to participate in and blogging will be quiet during the time this poll is open, to prevent this poll dropping down on my wall and out of view.
Once the poll is closed, then I will start to blog again.

I don’t advertise my Facebook here, because it is a personal one. But I have let in a few blogging friends over the years. People say I am hard to find on Facebook. Well… this is because I am not on Facebook to find friends originally and I intentionally made it hard for people to find me.
I certainly don’t intend to add anymore on Facebook, as I like to keep it small. I have 22 friends there, where it’s a mixture of close friends and  acquaintances.

The way I use my personal Facebook wall has changed and is going to change again.

Ever since I came back to Facebook some years ago, I have always been wary how often I go on, as many years ago, I was always constantly on it and it did not do me any good, as I hardly went out. But since being back on Facebook, it was better this time, because of  how I balanced things, than the other time.
This year, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I have noticed that I am personally interacting less on my wall. Personally, since noticing this change and how I feel for the better for it, I don’t plan to post anything myself now. Instead, it will just come directly from my blog, as it automatically airs, once published and this is how I will use my Facebook wall from now on. Just to share my blog.
My interaction is now and again on other people’s walls, as well as my own currently, as this goes to air and when changes have been made later, I will appear even less again – about once, or twice a month.
I don’t plan to delete my Facebook account as of yet, but who can say what might happen down the line.

If I close my Facebook account.

I am aware I have friends who follow my blog posts on Facebook and, I know who read them because they interact with them and it is easier for them there. But I could have others that read my blog here, without even knowing, because they are silent. But with me planning on even being on it less; average once a month, (to twice a month maybe sometimes), I may close it, if I feel it is not worth keeping it open. If you like reading my blog posts there, then please, even if it is just a click on the like button, to show you have read it, or better, at times leave a comment, it will be much appreciated.
My heart does not belong to Facebook and it never has since being back. I am only keeping it open because I know there are some friends who read my blog posts there. But this could change and if it happens somewhere down the line I will announce it, before closing.

Alternative easy ways to follow my blog

There are alternative options to follow this blog that are just as easy, like for example, if you sign you sign up by email, they will come straight to your email inbox and you can read all the content there. You would only need to pop over to the blog if something interested you that much you wanted to follow the comments, or leave your own.
The other option, which is what I do with all WordPress blogs, that if you have a WordPress dashboard, (which you will if you blog,) you can follow blogs via your dashboard too.
Or, just save the blog link on your computer and when you feel like reading, just click and pop on over, bearing in mind, you may be skimming though lots of new content, until you find what you want, depending on how long you have been away.

A poll is coming on my Facebook wall.

So to help me with my changes, I will be creating a poll for my friends there on Facebook, which I hope all my 22 friends will answer. This poll will be open for a month, from when it airs, so please do take part when you see it. You will only be able to select one answer from the poll, this way, I know how many have responded to it. Keep a look out for this poll to become visible soon on my Facebook wall and for further details about it there, as it may influence what I choose to do currently.

While I am quiet here…

While I go quiet for the month on my blog, or just over, do take the time to play catch-up on my blog if needed, or just to browse in general and I will see you all when back to normal blogging.

Take care and bye for now.

Social media chit-chat

Social media can be a positive, or negative experience. This can depend on the individual to decide whether this is positive, or negative for them.

Facebook

Many years ago, I left Facebook because it was a negative thing then. It was negative for me, because I was on it too much and not getting out.
Since I have been back and I have used my current Facebook account a few years now, it is better. I was only back on Facebook because a course I was doing at the time required it. If it wasn’t for this, I would have never been back.
It is better this time round, because I make sure there is a balance of not being on it always, like I did all those years ago. The last couple of years though, I have even been on it less and this year I have noticed I have reduced it even further.
As I look at my Facebook wall right now, as I write this post, I see that mainly it is my WordPress posts that are there and not what I write personally. For me, for choosing not to log in on Facebook personally often, this is my choice. This choice is good for me and I am feeling more the better for it. I am tempted to close it down, but I won’t, because the WordPress posts that automatically appear there when published, I know my friends prefer to follow there. But that is not to say in the future I would at some point.

WordPress

Is WordPress classed as social media? Either way, to me it is and if not, I will bring this into my post, because I want to say that WordPress has been a very big positivity experience to me. There is a lovely community here and for those that like to read and comment on my blog posts, thank you.
I have had some lovely readers who have let positive comments over the years. So thank you to you, too. I guess many of my readers have seen a difference in my posts this year, then in the past.

Twitter

Twitter hasn’t been a negative thing for me, but I just decided to close it, as I did not want to waste my time looking at a screen.

Instagram

I have never used it and never will, because again, I don’t want to bring myself being at a computer, or mobile screen more than needed. But from looking up Instagram, I can see that Instagram can be a positive tool and it would be a positive tool for me, if I was happy to lend my time to it.