Thursday, January 19, 2012

Converted Culinary Challenged Cook?

Do you remember my notebook that I bought at the beginning of 2011 to celebrate my disorganised self?

Ironically, I am using it to organise myself in 2012. Yes, you guessed it, I never even looked at it in 2011!

Essentially, that post remains true for 2012! However, anyone who knows me will know that me and the kitchen do not enjoy a natural friendship. We get together out of obligation and duty rather than a desire to spend time together.

This year, I have decided, (not for me but more for My Man), to try and deepen this kitchen relationship in order to provide him with more creative suppers, rather than the lack lustre plates of food that often are put in front of him.  I am not saying I can't cook. I can. In fact, I am pretty darn spectacular if I want to be.

So, last Sunday, I found my "unorganised" little notebook and copied down the ingredients of some recipes that looked do-able. I carry it with me and now, instead of wondering what to make, I have a quick squiz in the book and know exactly what I need.

I have to say people, that I have used it twice this week and we are only on Thursday!!!   I am feeling rather self-righteous. I need to be careful about that since there was a time I felt like that about going to gym and I have only been once in the last 18 months! Although... having said that, I did go to a Spinning Class last night for the first time in those 18 months and today I am cursing that saddle!

So, *cheers!* here's to me and seeing how long I can keep this organised thing going. I'm betting about a month, maybe less knowing me.

A Disappointing End

I feel I should issue some warning before publishing this... but I don't know what that warning should be. I just need to say this "out loud" so it's no longer in my head. It's never good letting stuff stay up there too long! :-)

Some years ago we bought a small flat for 2 reasons:
(a) As an investment so that when My Man  retires we would have a little something by way of rent to help us out, and
(b) As part of an inheritance for Our Girl

We painted it, ripped up the carpets and sanded floors, retiled and knocked down walls - it is a cool little place! The first few years of it being rented went well, but eventually that tenant moved out and we needed new ones.

The agent found them but they couldn't pay the rental we wanted so we dropped it to something they felt that they could manage.  The first while everything went well, but then, on occasion they couldn't pay the rent and we allowed them to pay what they could to give them time to recover. When it came to rental renewal time and the yearly increase, they couldn't afford it, so we agreed that we would keep their rent the same.

Soon, they just stopped paying. The agent couldn't get hold of them on the phone and would leave messages. No one would answer the door when visited and this went on for ages.  Eventually the agent recommended that we get lawyers involved. We felt sick to our stomachs but realised we had no alternatives having tried everything ourselves via the agents to find our what was going on.

The upshot is that it went to court who ruled in our favour and they had to be out within 5 days.  Today I heard that they didn't leave, and now the Sheriff has to go along with a locksmith and physically evict them. You would think we would feel better. We don't. We wish it had never had to come to this.  Why!? Why didn't they just talk to us!!??

I also feel terrible about them having to leave, because I don't know if they have anywhere else to go. I am sure that they are really nice people and I don't want to see them in trouble!  But we couldn't afford to just leave it since to date we have lost tens of thousands in rental which we had to cover, and we've had to pay thousands to a lawyer - this is money we have to find...not money we have.

Sadly, we are so scarred by this experience, that we are going to sell the flat which means that Our Girl loses out on part of her inheritance and we miss out having that extra investment for ourselves when My Man retires. A disappointing end to a venture that should have been so different.

I. just. feel. sick.

PS: Please don't comment about them in any derogatary way as I am sure that if they could have paid they would have, and I wish that they had just said they needed time, or a reduction or something, because we could have come to some understanding, instead of just avoiding us and all contact.

Sunday, January 15, 2012



Do you know what this says?  Let me give you a clue...

OK. Now do you know?
"Stop: To halt the motion or progress of..."  (Online dictionary)

It doesn't say "Pause" nor does it say "Yield".

We have a 4-Way Stop Street up the road from us and everyday, almost without fail, I am witness to people who clearly can't read this word.

Yesterday My Man had had enough. He had stopped at the Stop Street while another car had stopped to his right as well. My Man waited his turn and let the car go - however the car behind the car moving on decided he wasn't going to stop and wait, but would go through straight after the car ahead of him. My Man in the meantime had begun moving when he realised that the other car was going to take the gap. He stopped in the middle of the road and politely motioned to the guy to please go back and Stop to let him go and wait for his turn. The guy had no option but to do as he had been asked, at which point My Man continued his journey.

What made My Man so angry was that the guy had a car full of pre-teens and the example he was setting was not only shocking, but he was endangering their lives.

I feel like a real old lady even blogging about this - but I do find it very disturbing that the most basic of road safety rules are just completely ignored and then all choas breaks loose when someone is hurt, or worse, killed.

We have had the most horrific road accidents over this Christmas period and when I hear how they happened, it appears that 90% of them could have been avoided if people had kept the most basic of laws.

We only have one life and anyone taken too soon is a member of a family who loves them.

Drive safely people.
Life is precious.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Big Dream #1

Do you remember this post?  My Big Dream!

In a few weeks time we will be jetting off to Norway for 2 weeks. We are taking My Girl and my folks are travelling with us. I am beyond excited. I am also, to be honest, a leetle bit nervous.

Not nervous in a negative way, but rather in that I have had very little in terms of planning to do with this holiday. Usually I do all the research, the online bookings and payments. I arrange the holiday completely and know that if anything goes pear - I am to blame!  This time, due to the extreme climate,  I have gone ahead and booked a tour through a Travel Agent. I feel slightly out of control - but I am sure that it will all be fine in the end!

Much research has gone into what we should wear and the shoes we need. Man, for a girl who is happy in the sun with jeans and sandals, this is TOUGH!  (another thing I am slightly nervous about, I am a summer girl!)  We have decided that if we need anything that we hadn't bought here, we will just have to buy it there!

We will be doing all we dreamt of doing! The dog sledding, the viking feast, visiting the snow hotel and more. Hopefully during the few days at sea the #1 thing on my bucket list will appear - the elusive Northern Lights. Honestly, this is thee most important reason for my wanting to go there and if we don't see them, I will be heartbroken. I know, sounds very girly and soppy, not like me at all - but it's not like I can pop back the following week in case they show up!

Today I delivered our Visa applications and all things being equal, hopefully we will have them by the end of the month.

In the meantime... will let the excitment build up! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Kick Start 2012

"Persistence isn't using the same tactics over and over.
That's just annoying.
Persistence is having the same goal over and over."

~ Seth Godin ~

My goals for 2012 are the same as my goals for 2011 were. Does that make me boring? Unimaginative?
Here are my 2011 goals:

* Read the entire post for 2011 here if you are interested in the rest!

Wishing you a 2012 that sees dreams being dreamt, adventures being had and love, peace, mercy and grace in all of it!

And yes.... I do have dreams and adventures planned for 2012. That will be the next post!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

WWYD - What Will You Do?

So, did you all behave like Partyrockers in the house on NYE?

So, lets assume that the Mayans have this in the bag, and this is the year to end all years - what would I do / not do?

I would wake up earlier.
Wait. Let me rephrase that: I would GET UP earlier. (There is a huge difference!)

Wow. I can't think of anything else. I wonder if that means something? Perhaps I have a really deep seated desire to get up early?
No, that can't be it.

If this were true - what would you love to do this year?