June turned out to be one of those months full of appointments and commitments; dentists, doctors and a few others. Between us we had so many that I had to rearrange my yearly appointment at the hospital in Leeds to July just so that we had a bit of a breather and could squeeze in a trip to Scotland.
And of course I have been attending the extra Yoga classes throughout June on a Friday afternoon. These have now finished as my teacher has to go into hospital this week so combined the last two classes into one. I enjoyed the smaller Friday classes (six of us) and individual attention and have learned how to breathe well and open up all those areas that we often don’t breathe into enough. Deep breathing using all the lung is extremely beneficial as I found out after only one session.
The weather here has not been very spectacular, mostly wet and dull and often quite cold (yes we had the heating on too) – some of our best days happened to be in Scotland. But the garden has started to bloom in the last week or two as the sun made a welcome appearance and the warmer weather has been so lovely. Nothing can beat cutting a few fresh flowers and herbs from the garden and bringing them indoors.
It has felt quite a disorganised month as months go – not very productive but plans have been made, plans that will help us as we move forward out of this ‘transition’ period and further into our new life of being at home and not in the workplace, of being reliant on pensions and savings and no regular salary.
So on with this month’s review – a summary of the intentions I did succeed in doing and those that got left behind.
The pantry……. mmmm…this did not happen – not even close – we have not ordered the units yet so it remains the dumping ground downstairs – though on the good side my elder daughter has taken a huge box of DVD’s and CD’S away that we were storing for her in here.
But if there has been one thing we have done a lot of this month …..well two actually, it is gardening and meandering. But why not while we have the time – both are very satisfying.
As well as planting up the pots of annuals I bought two wooden planters to grow vegetables in on the patio and managed to sow the salad seeds and amazingly they are growing well despite the wet weather.
I have been collecting and drying the seed heads of some of the flowers in my garden.
I hand printed these tiny seed packets for my daughter’s wedding when we gave away some wild flower seeds as favours and they will be perfect to put the seeds in when collected.
Lean – one of my intentions this month was to look at my wardrobe and pull out and wear some of my least favourite clothes that often just linger in there. I think we all have a few, if not many, that are unworn for a variety of reasons. I particularly want to avoid buying anything new this year as this will give me a chance to wear what I have as well as simplify my wardrobe.
The aim is to only have enough clothes for my needs, have them mostly hanging (save underwear and socks etc) as they are easier to see and select this way, and to have all the seasons in one space. So that is quite a reduced collection but every item will be one I love to wear.
I have already made a start on this – it is a work in progress though and I must say that some of the items are feeling rather tight which is a good indication that I need to eat less or watch what I am eating and lose a few extra pounds. My only two purchases this month have been a pack of trainer socks from Primark for £1.50 and some Skechers trainers bought in the sale to wear in the house as slippers but give my feet the additional support they need.
As it happens I have had little time to go shopping and having a bad knee has also limited the amount I can walk up and down shopping malls so this has been a bonus really for saving money.
Clean – not a lot of cleaning got done in the house this month – I blame my bad knee but as you might expect it didn’t stop me from doing the gardening, so a lack of motivation was probably the real reason. And I must hold my hands up and admit that my house at the moment is not a very pleasant sight and I feel like Mr Messy has sneaked in and been….well messy….and left me a few piles of stuff everywhere.
We spent a whole weekend gathering information ready for our appointment with the financial advisor – a free appointment for which they normally allow up to 2 hours but ours lasted for almost three in total and he thoroughly reviewed our current financial situation and advised on a plan of action.
I was extremely impressed as our advisor delivered good honest advice tailored to our circumstances and we agreed that the action we need to take could be done without his help thus saving any fees for his time. At no time during the meeting did he try to sell us products or suggest moving pensions. Our finances are not particularly complicated but until I can draw my state pension next year money is tight unless we delve into our savings. He did say that stocks and shares are more worthwhile when you have a longer investment period than we have and therefore would only advise using our savings to buy shares if we had spare capital to play with and didn’t need to rely on having any of the income from dividends.
When we have a better idea of our day to day living expenses and any immediate capital expenses (like our new kitchen and pantry) then we can start to look at longer term investments for our future bearing in mind that one day we may need to pay for a care home or carers.
We also discussed ideas we have been thinking about for our little cottage and have spent a great deal of time this month focusing on this to get our plans moving again. I cannot go into details yet but at least there has been movement.
Mealtimes had become a real chore with my old unpredictable oven so bringing the one down home from the cottage was a good idea. I can now cook confidently once again and look forward to making new things too. I have a collection of recipes I want to try as time allows to build up my ‘repertoire’. I will be able to practice on the Aussie cousin coming soon!
Of course the highlight of any month for me is always our meandering…we have done lots, much more than I have had time to tell you about but I will do a post soon on some of the places we visited; exploring interesting alley ways and passages, up and down enticing flights of steps, through secret doorways, round open gardens and discovering tiny places along the Ayrshire coast.
Looking back June has been a great month, maybe not such great weather but it does not appear to have stopped us doing very much and maybe it has been more productive than I first thought – that is the best thing about a review it gives you a better perspective.
Here’s to a wonderful July and warm summer days. x