Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Train journey – back home

On the breakfast menu at the hotel was my very favourite - eggs benedict; which is a real treat.

On the way back to the station a number of vintage buses and coaches from a bygone era pasted us.  It was a ‘running’ of the Cornwall Bus Preservation Society; a real shame we were not staying longer I would have loved a trip to St. Just on one of these buses.

On route we came across a golden post box – remember these from the Olympics; this one is for Helen Glover who won gold for rowing.

The train back to Paddington was very loooong 6 hours due an engineering works diversion.  We sat on the other side of the train to get a different view – the sea wall at Dawlish

Any way we made it back home to my lovely comfy bed.


MummyHen X

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


We didn’t sleep that well – the bed was lumpy and very hard. 
The upside was the weather was just perfect – the sea was calm the wind low and the sun shone.
We went for a walk firstly into the Morrab subtropical gardens –

 it was lovely to see flowers out and leaves on trees, as most things in my garden are way behind this year.  Pretty bright colours and really green glossy leaves. 

I spotted this delightly deli - I resisted temptation but its very MummyHen.

We then walked down to the promenade and walked to Newlyn – fish shops, boats, marsts and a faint view of St Michaels Mount.

On the way back we stopped for a cup of tea and slice of cake  - a caravan had been converted to sell tea coffee cakes light snacks – sitting outside watching the world go by was just lovely. 

But time was short as we were having lunch at the rugby club - the main purpose of our trip was to watch Cornish Pirates and Jersey.  Jersey lost but DaddyHen seemed to enjoy himself – apparently the beer was excellent!!

MummyHen X

Monday, 22 April 2013

Train journey

We had a lovely time – I didn’t take my laptop so wasn’t able to blog.
Haven’t been to Paddington station for a long time – it looked different to what I remember – or maybe I look at things differently now that I’m older??!! Statues of Paddington Bear

Isambard Kingdom Brunel
a striking three faced clock(!),
a really lovely balcony window - this just looked so out of place,

tonnes of iron work

Five hours on the train is a long time to keep occupied, I took your advice and did a variety of things to make the journey go by in a wizz; people watching – there are some very odd people in this world – the drivel people come out with?!?!; looking at the scenery; there is some really lovely countryside;
crochet – decided to start a blue gingham blanket for a colleague that’s just had a new baby. 


MummyHen X

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Going on a train journey

I do like a long train journey, the last one we did was a couple of years ago from London to Newcastle. On Friday we will take the train from London to Penzance – yeah.  I’m really excited – not been on the train to Cornwall before, as a family we used to drive but as it’s only the two of us and we are only going for a couple of days (Friday-Sunday) it worked out more efficient (not just the fuel price, it’s a 5½hr /330mile drive, we would have to have at least one stop, we’d share the driving, driving long distance can be stressful and tiring) so let the train take the strain – this is the a-a-ge of the train. 

This trip to Penzance is about relaxing, not thinking about work and watching rugby – DaddyHen is mad about it and especially likes to watch Jersey.  Hope to fit a seaside walk to two. 

Five hours on the train – what shall I do in that time; crochet (would have to be a one colour, not too big a project), knit (again would need to be portable – umm could knit some socks), read – book or ipad, listen to music, listen to a talking book, sleep, just watch the scenery out of the window or perhaps some of everything.

In previous years we would have taken a week holiday in February or March and then another at Easter or just after and our main holiday in September but this year we are having a short break and then holiday in September (details yet to be finalised). Really hoping that we will get a proper summer this year the last couple have been a real washout – and will do days out over the summer.
What are your plans for a holiday or short break? And what would you do on a 5 hour train journey?

MummyHen X

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Who laid an egg like this?

My Girls all lay a pale brown egg except Doreen whose egg is a slightly speckled brown egg but last week a white egg appeared!?!? 

I don’t think I’ve introduced you to my hens – only hens no cockerels.  They are all Orpingtons of different colours: two buff, two lemon cuckoo and one gold lace; they lay about 200 eggs each year, are a large heavy bird with very frilly knickers.

Minnie - the boss, the top hen, the cleverest

Peg (Minnies sister) – partially sighted and has a gammy leg, is protective of her food gives anyone who get too near a good peck.  She gets special attention to ensure that she eats enough; all the food bowls are placed in the same place each time so she knows where to find food.

Betty - she likes to think she’s the boss but Minnie reminds her of her place.

Linda – (Bettys sister) – timid, shadows her sister, if she can’t see Betty she gets worried.

Doreen – bottom of the pecking order, very timid



MummyHen X

Monday, 15 April 2013

Otford and North Downs walk

Last week I managed three 2 mile walks – I had to go into the office twice so didn’t manage to fit in a walk on those days. Continuing with our aim to get up out of our chairs and do more exercise we went for another long walk on Saturday. The details can be found here on the Kent CC website .
The website says its 5.3miles but the GPS on my walking app showed 5.9miles (and we cut off the top right corner) actually felt about 50miles. 

The ground underfoot was muddy it was VERY hilly, at around the 1.5 mile mark there are around 145 steps to climb – these were a killer as they come after walking up an incline and then you are faced with these awful steps – cardio work out – I was gasping, but the views were lovely once we got to the top, the Kent countryside is wonderful. We passed a few glades with blue bells but not in flower – sadly.


Views over to the cross commentorating the casualties of WWI.  

The trees are still very brown and leafless but the moss and fungi seem to like the damp shady conditions.

Have you been for a walk?

MummyHen X

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Money Saving and Credit Cards

My sealed tin has not seen much action over the past few weeks as I’ve not been spending cash – no cash = no money to put into the tin. I'm not tracking what goes in but I did weigh the tin and it was 7.1kgs - I'll weigh it again in a couple of weeks.  OK the notes won't register but as its mainly coinage - I'm hoping for £1,500 when its opened. In the tin today 1 £5, 3 £2, 3 £1, 3 50p, 3 20p, 1 2p, 3 1p - this lot weighed 120g.
So I have made a decision to draw out £50 cash each, any change and fivers will go into the tin and any £10 or £20 notes will go towards building up the emergency fund. So it’s a win win all round.
I did get three £2 coins and a fiver this week.

DaddyHen did the sums and transferred the balance from CC#3 to CC#2 and paid off the small amount remaining on CC#2.  Yippee he’s gone from having three cards to one – this card has the lowest interest; yes the balance has gone back over the £10k mark but with 0% on the balance transfer and the £1,000 (after snowballing) minimum being paid each month CC#2 will be paid off by beginning of February – sooner if there’s any spare cash.

We plan to clear out the loft during May – any items that can be sold will be and the money put towards clearing these cards.

How are your plans to save money and be debt free going?


MummyHen X

Saturday, 13 April 2013

No – I am not a miser

Frugal Queen asked recently  Are you a miser?

In short – No.  But (there’s always a but and this is a BIG BUT) I don’t want to chuck my hard earned cash away so I am careful how I spend and with whom I spend with.

My preference for grocery shopping is to spend with the local butcher, baker and greengrocer; but in practical terms that’s not always possible so Mr T or Mr S will get a visit, on occasion Mr A but he’s the furthest away.  My corner shop Mr CoOp has some great yellow stickers; I always look for yellow stickers, whoopsie, items marked down; most things can be frozen but only buy if you will use it.  I recently got some yellow sticker chicken reduced from £4 to £2.05 and pork shops from £4.00 to £1.99 – they also had some Clover spread and Pizzas reduced but as they aren’t things we eat there’s no point in buying but because the lure of a nice brightly coloured yellow sticker.

We reviewed our energy supplier at the end of February.  We aren’t the best at turning lights off or unplugging equipment – do people really crawl behind the TV each night to turn it off at the mains? The dishwasher is used once a day on average, the washing machine is used on average twice a day, tumble dryer same during the winter – although we have made a conscious effort to reduce this. TVs in four rooms and satellites boxes; DVD player, two laptops, two monitors, a printer, a shredder, phone chargers, clock radios, kettle, fridges, freezers, oven, microwave, boiler, outside light, pond pump, charging drills and other equipment SonnyHen needs for work; it all mounts up. 

For a week every evening we turned off at the mains or unplugged as many devices as we could (obviously it would be foolish to turn off the freezer), took electric reading as we went to bed and then again first thing in the morning – we had used 4 units whilst we slept. The next week we just left everything as normal and we used 20 units – so YES it does make a difference

Do you unplug and switch off at the wall each night?


MummyHen X

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Walk this way

Both DaddyHen & I got on the scales on 1st April to find we had both gained nearly all the weight we lost last year – really disappointed; but we only have ourselves to blame.
Out go the wine, beer, cheese, carbs and the picking.  The channel 4 programme secret eaters made us think about our eating habits.  I found nearly every time I went into the kitchen to make tea or put the washing on I found I was opening the fridge. That has to stop.  We both have a weakness for cheese – that’s off the shopping list.  One half wholemeal loaf of bread a week instead of the artisan loaf, and the bloomer and the granary – most of which was getting thrown away; money saving as well as waistline saving.

Not only has the eating changed but so has the exercise; we have been going for 20min walks each day with a longer walk planned at the weekend.  I sit behind a desk for 10 – 12 hours a day, some weeks I don’t leave the house from Saturday to Saturday.  So I have scheduled a meeting in my diary for 30mins every day to go for a walk; start with a 10min walk each way increasing to 15mins in week 3 etc.  The walk is not a dordle or ramble but a brisk walk with the aim to get a little breathless but still be able to hold a conversation. 
With the help of this brilliant app – not in the habit of promoting but it’s free, yes gratis not a penny MapMyWalk – its brill; it uses the built in GPS in your mobile phone to track duration, distance, calories burnt, etc. Give it a go – I’ve only used it for a week but am really impressed.

Yesterday we went for a walk – what I thought was 4 mile round trip but turned out to be 7.28miles – yes I feel tired and a little achy, it took 1:50mins (that included buying some light groceries [I forgot to pause the app] I burnt 1710 calories.  I do like my apps, gagets and gizmos so having this to 'play' with will be good in help in keeping a record of what exercice we have done.
Not to mention that yesterday here in Kent was a lovely day just right for walking.



MummyHen X

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Back now – been VERY busy


Did you miss my ramblings?

The past month has flown by; work work and more work and very little play. We had a massive increase in staff since January with 24 arriving in the last four weeks. 
I did find a few hours play each week where mainly spent away from the computer – I felt that I had already spent more than 12hours at my desk each day to then spend time bogging or researching was just too much.  I have started a quilt style granny square crochet blanket – can’t say too much until the reveal as it’s for my Mum and she reads this blog – waves to mummy.  I also have plans for a tiny granny square blanket - the squares are made but need to decide on the colour placements.


Little Cat – is back to normal.  He had is final operation a couple of weeks ago to remove the wire in his jaw.  Final cost £2,830. We have now setup a DD to a Cat Account so we are putting away £30 each month to help if there are any future accidents.  As both cats are over 10 years old the insurance was VERY expensive. 

The only downside to Little Cats accident was that I couldn’t pay the extra £1,000 to my CC that I had planned, I am hoping to make it up over the next four months by paying an extra £250 over plan; still on track to pay off by August. They tried tempting me by increasing my credit limit – but NO I stood firm.  DaddyHen has paid off half his BarclayCard and they offered him 0% interest on balance transfers so he is looking at transferring a smaller balance on another card to the B’Card, snowballing, getting rid of the card.  This would mean he has only one card, albeit with a £10k+ balance but this would paid off by February 2014. The other card has a higher monthly interest than the B’card so would be prudent to transfer the balance. He needs to do the sums to make sure that we’d benefit.

Haven’t been spending much cash so the Tin hasn’t been getting fed with many £2 or £5 just the odd bit of change at the end of each week.

MummyHen X