Saturday, 10 March 2018

Work from home, part-time option!

The potential for overtime at work has come up again - this time potentially doing it from home on weekends, rather than heading to the office. Nothing has happened around it (yet) and I would need a foot pedal, a headset and a dictation software license (easily downloadable, but costs about £120 for the one we use at work). If work covers the cost of the license, I can borrow the extra foot pedal and headset that we have and I'm all set.

However, I've spent about an hour today poking around online and have discovered the world of home transcription work! I won't say it's lucrative, but it would certainly be a simple way for me to earn some extra money. I can download a type of dictation software and license for less than £20 (until 15 March, £50 after that) and could still borrow the foot pedal and headphones from work if it came down to it. It's not that I'm exceptionally excited to do more of what I do for work on my weekends, but I CAN do it, I'm an excellent typist and several of the companies I'm looking at offer as/when type of options - do what you want, when you want - which is perfect! There can be a huge variety of different reports, so that's the part that I'm uncertain about as I only have experience doing survey reports (and I may have to blag my typing speed a bit, too, as apparently, you need 70+wpm and I do about 60-65).

I'm assuming that purchasing a license for the type of software we use at the office would set me back the same as it would for the office to buy me one but as the price isn't on the website, I really don't know.

I've got a potential move to save for, debt to pay down and have just received an invite to my brother's wedding in South Africa in October (ouch!). I can't do it all at once, but having a steady, second income stream would be ideal. 

My first choice would be to spend time doing this for work because I know the system already and it's time and a half, but if I get myself set up with a decent little system of my own, it opens up a lot more options.

Some thought and chasing up the opportunity at work will be the first order of the day!


Thursday, 1 March 2018


It's finally happened. We have snow in the south of the UK, an area that generally doesn't see more than a frosting. I'm at home today because I simply didn't feel safe on the roads - and Hampshire Police have issued travel advisories: don't travel unless it's absolutely necessary. Hampshire Police trump my urge/guilt to be at work, even for a short time.

This is what we woke up to this morning. I took this about 7:45 or so.

The back yard this morning.

The back yard about two hours ago. The snow started falling steadily just before noon.

The chicken run. You can see the chickens near the end of the wall on the right - they've been there for two hours! I have a feeling I'm going to have to physically remove them back to their house (at the back of the run) at some point, as the snow is a fair bit deeper now and they are reluctant to be in it at all.

Of course, it's causing havoc on the roads all over the country, but we're not the only ones. Italy, the south of France, parts of Spain - places that normally don't see such a thing as snow, are getting it. The North is under a 'red alert', meaning the cold and the conditions can be deadly. Flights are cancelled, roads are a mess, train service is delayed/cancelled/disrupted, and tomorrow is supposed to be much the same.

Where we are we're actually luckier than most, the Isle of Wight protects us to a degree from the worst of it, but it's still quite a mess out there. I'm not sure whether I get paid for today or not (the director went in and my colleague went in this morning as well, although it was ridiculous to do so, coming all the way from Southampton!) but I'm not particularly bothered either way. I've enjoyed my day off and have managed to get a few bits and pieces done that need doing on a weekday.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

February update

Here we are again, at the end of another month - more or less. Honestly, where does the time go? I feel sometimes like I'm imagining how fast it goes, but I don't think I am.

So what's been happening?
  • I had a proper job review at the beginning of the month and got a big ol' gold star, which I'm pleased about and a very, very modest raise (but my first since starting in 2015). I'm pleased, but using it as a benchmark for next year's review. We have TWO new surveyors starting in the next few weeks and my workload will increase, so I'm going to be paying attention to what/how much I'm doing and try to negotiate a bit next year.
  • My writing group is having a 'book' launch for our (very small) anthology, which we published just before Christmas. Although not until April, it's going to be held at the gallery where it all started, on a Sunday afternoon. They were very keen to promote this, as it's exactly the sort of thing they're working to encourage - arts in the community - so we're having an afternoon launch - reception? tea? soiree? - with a couple of short readings and some of the gallery patrons in attendance. It'll only be about an hour, but it's quite exciting nonetheless!
  • My very stressed and sick Roomie E is back home in Italy for a two-week holiday, hopefully getting force-fed by her Italian mama and coming back healthy, rested and relaxed. The landlady (T) is here from Spain during this time and pretty much the first thing she told me was that she's put the house on the market! :O There's no panic, as house selling in the UK isn't quick. She needs a minimum price for it and if she can't get it, then she'll take it off the market again. I told her not to tell Roomie E until she gets back because otherwise, it's the only thing she'll think about (I wouldn't put it past her to come back early) and the last thing she needs, while she's on holiday, is another stressor! 
  • To that end, T is going to be here when Roomie E gets back - they're good friends anyway, and Roomie E was quite disappointed that she might miss T - and take her to lunch and have a proper chat to both catch up and explain things properly to her. I have to admit I was a bit shocked by this - I love this set up and am very comfortable here - and had just decided that morning that I need to be patient, give myself a year to be able to save up deposits, etc. and just focus on getting debt paid down, savings up and figure out where I'd like to go from here. Ah well. Sometimes decisions are made for you, right? I've decided that Plan A (B?) will be to chat with Roomie E and see if she'd like to continue sharing with me somewhere. I like this 'end' of the county, it's close to work for both of us, and it will help keep her calm. It's not entirely altruistic, though, as I can't afford to live on my own (yet). If I do the legwork of searching, making appointments, etc. within a price range/area, I think that will help too. She'll trust me to pick something nice. But, as I say, it's all a big 'maybe' at this point because nothing has happened yet, and T wouldn't make a decision without taking us into consideration or talking to us anyway.
  • Payday is Wednesday and I'm carefully adding all my spends onto my budget spreadsheet. It's adding up in all the wrong places at the moment! I've been uber-spendy this month and payday can't come soon enough, sadly. I have another bill to start paying as of March 1 too, so have added that to my expenses. It's only until July but still hurts.
  • I've read one money book this month. It was written by a woman in Bristol who gave herself the challenge of living on £1 a day for a year (2006). The reason behind the challenge was to save up for a wedding present for her brother, a Lifetime Membership to the National Trust. It was an easy, quick read and quite enjoyable for the most part. Obviously, prices have changed quite considerably since then, so I don't think £1 a day would be doable today (end of day prices for loaves of bread at 10p??), but does give you things to think about. It changed the way she looked at things: food, waste, the environment, getting around (she walked, biked or hitch-hiked), etc. I'm considering something similar in March but focusing only on food and trying to keep the cost at £30 per week, which is about £25 less than I've been spending on my no-sugar programme. That's my sister's budget and she eats very well, so obviously it can be done, but it will take a bit of creativity, some batch cooking, and a little sacrifice.
  • I've started a second book behind which the idea is to manifest $1,000 in 21 days. Each day gives you a process, affirmation, or writing exercise to release 'stuff' that's holding you back from attracting abundance (more or less the law of attraction). I've been on Day 2 for over a week now! It's all about forgiveness and releasing the negative associations/feelings that you've been hanging onto FOREVER. They don't even have to be money related because everything is connected to worth/value (of self). I have a long list and am trying to figure out why I can't just do the process ... definitely something I need to do this weekend and keep moving on in the process.
  • Ooooh! Snow forecast for this part of the UK next week, which is unusual, although not entirely uncommon. How much, though, is the question. Unlikely to be what the north gets, but if there's a warning from the Met Office then it could be enough to affect, well, everything.
  • I have a hospital appointment at 10:00 on Monday morning. This is the follow-up with the consultant post-procedure of two weeks ago, so I hope all is well. I also have to drop my car at the garage near work that morning for 8:00 for new front tires. So I bought a bus ticket, which works out well to get me to Southampton in plenty of time for my appointment. And it's only slightly more than taking the train. Plus, I didn't really want to change my car appointment. The tires need doing (and I have funds for it!).
  • I went to the pretty town of Swanage to visit my sister for a weekend while she was housesitting. The bungalow was very pretty (the owner is an artist, and Canadian, so the perception of space is different) and comfortable. It was a miserable day on Saturday when I arrived, but we did a quick visit to town - buying what was absolutely fabulous Guinness cake at a cake shop - and went for a walk on Sunday when the weather was better for it, although it wasn't particularly warm. I bought a Himalayan salt bowl, something I've wanted for some time. This isn't mine, but like the one I bought:

I think that's about it. I had a great clearout last weekend and plan to do much the same this weekend. At the moment, we're all prepping for a house viewing this morning, so I'm going to take myself for a walk then pick up some things in the village. There's painting going on, vacuuming, cleaning, tidying, dogs out, cat's out, flower baskets up...phew. Not all by me, mostly by the landlady and her boyfriend, but my room is tidy and vacuumed and looks very nice, if I do say so myself.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, 9 February 2018

Present from a sweet friend!



Isn't it beautiful?! I received this today from Jennifer at Absolutely Sweet Chaos. All the way from Texas. It's a tea/snack holder and I'm currently using it as I sit at the computer to type this. 

I love it - tea and books, two of the things I probably enjoy most in my little world - and I'm really touched that she took the time out of her busy, buy world to make it for me. The colour is bright and happy (I'm leaning towards pink for some reason these days) and just what I need to brighten the desktop.


Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Comment issues?

Is anyone else having issues with comments? I know I've left several comments on other blogs that don't seem to have appeared, so I'm just wondering if it's just me...?