Wednesday 27 March 2024

SOLD again!!


In a bizarre twist this morning, my buyers pulled out of the house sale.  No reason given.  My estate agent says they've never had anyone pull out of a sale within 24 hours of a legal written offer.  It can happen a few weeks down the line if someone's mortgage isn't approved or their own sale fell through.  But we have no idea why they went to the effort of securing a mortgage and putting in an offer then pulled out so quickly.  Very weird!

BUT, in the rollercoaster that is my life there was a second offer yesterday.  They were told that another higher offer was being considered.  So my estate agent advised me to accept their lower offer this morning (it was £1,000 lower so not much of a difference!) so I did.  And my house was sold again!!  Honestly, you couldn't make this all up!!!!!  My nerves were in shreds!

So I've cast on another sock to calm me down even though I said I wouldn't as I'd get too distracted by it! 🧦 Colours haven't shown up true to life but they're orange and green.  Very bright so a good addition for the leftovers to add colour to my blanket! 

Tuesday 26 March 2024


Subject to the legal niceties, I've sold my house. In less than a week!  And bought a property for my son and DIL!!!! 😱 It's highly unlikely that anything can go wrong but not impossible so it's still a wee bit nerve wracking until the missives are signed.  Scottish law is different to English law and obviously different to elsewhere in the world.  But every thing so far is the 'normal' way here.  No entry date has been agreed yet but I'd guess maybe end of May or into June.

I still need to find a property for myself, I do have one in mind but it needs a bit of TLC.  But the moving process has officially begun! 😊

Sunday 24 March 2024


So far the unexpected questions asked by viewers include:

What brand is the cavity wall insulation? (since I haven't fitted any, no idea)

Does the oven have an outside vent? (electric ovens don't usually need an outside vent)

How will I get the asbestos out? (what asbestos??)

Are you leaving the integrated appliances? (yes that's usual practice)

How much will it cost to put solar panels on the roof? (no idea!!) 

Can you fit 2 cars in the driveway?  (no as you can clearly see how my car is parked)

Several people commented on how they loved the bathroom wallpaper.  And the artwork on the walls.

And they loved my son and DIL's furniture in their lounge.

But it's very tiring keeping the house clean and tidy while showing loads of people round.  On the whole they've all been lovely and very complimentary about my home.  I can check the stats on the website.  There have been over 2400 online views of my house since Thursday lunchtime.

I just need an offer now!!

Friday 22 March 2024

Happy birthday to me!


2 years ago my wee sister sent me this birthday card.  It caused great hilarity as I wasn't actually 58 then.  She'd ordered it without wearing her specs!! πŸ‘“

I am now 58 today!! πŸŽ‚

Thursday 21 March 2024

For sale, at last!


My house is finally for sale!  There have been a few 'issues' with the non appearance of photographers but it all finally fell in place this morning.

I love how a professional photographer can make the rooms look bigger!  It was so dark and dreich outside when they were taken so they've definitely been 'lightened.'

The asking price is below the home report value and way below what the estate agent tells me I'll achieve but I always feel annoyed when they do that.  It's to 'get people through your door!'  No point in getting anyone through the door if they're not going to offer what it's worth!!  But I'm trusting they know what they're doing and will earn their fee!

I've got 3 viewings lined up already after being 'live' for a few hours!  Better get my my spiel ready and have answers prepared.  

What questions would you ask if you were viewing a house?

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Fed up already


The safe and boring house I was interested in buying has had 2 offers on it.  I'm not in a position to offer yet so I fear it's gone.  Leaving me with nothing else available to even view *sighs*  I'm seriously concerned I'll sell my house but there will be nothing to buy for me or my son.

My house is market ready and due to go 'live' online on Thursday.  Home report is done and approved although I had to query a few things.  The surveyor was extremely charming and nice while he was here but then wrote comments such as 'unable to check the floored eaves as it was full of belongings.'  I offered to move the belongings so he could check but he said it was fine, he didn't 'need to see.'  He couldn't inspect the loft area as it was "full of insulation."  Isn't being properly insulated a good thing?  And he wrote that there was "suspected vehicle damage to the wall on the left hand side."  As my driveway is the right hand side and it's just a path on the left, I don't know what that was aboutπŸ™Ž

The report is mostly 1s and a few 2s for some outside work that needs done.  But the way it's worded makes it sound like it's in a state of dilapidation!  It's very disheartening.  I'm so fed up of this process already.  And very soon I'll have viewers looking at everything with a critical eye.

I really hope I never have to do this ever again!

Friday 15 March 2024

1000th post!


I can't believe this is my 1000th post!  When I started this blog in 2012 I had no idea how much my life would change.  I had a crazy plan to save £40k in 4 years so I could stay in the family home.  Since then there have been so many plans, some working out and some falling apart.  Sometimes due to my own mistakes or sometimes spoiled by other people changing their plans.

The biggest thing I've learned about myself in the last 12 years is that I am perfectly capable of being financially independent and I definitely do not need anyone in my life telling me what I can or cannot do!  If I'd had the confidence I have now back then I would have done a few things differently.  But everything always works out in the end.  Just not in the way you think!

So if you've been with me all this time, thank you!  If you've just recently found me, thank you!  The next part of the adventure starts soon and every single decision (or mistake!) will be mine 😊

Wednesday 13 March 2024

A bit of meal prepping


I popped into Tesco yesterday on my travels and got some meat bargains in my top up shop.  The chicken breasts (5 of them) were seasoned with garlic and herbs and baked in the oven.  The beef olives were fried off in a pan and baked with a little chicken stock.  I also chucked in some potatoes to bake to fill up the oven!  I cooked off the lamb mince with some carrots and onions.  Everything was portioned up and chucked in the freezer.  Another few weeks of meal prepped ingredients sorted!

I also did a batch of scones using some buttermilk and butter from the freezer.  I'm getting better at them although they still wouldn't win any prizes on Bake Off!  They do taste fab πŸ˜‹

I also made some Turnberry soup, which is really a cream of vegetable soup.  Recipe and story behind it HERE on one of my old blogs.  I added some extra cream πŸ˜‹

Today has been a day of painting and cleaning.  The for sale sign is now in my front garden with a 'coming soon' sticker on it.  I feel a wee bit sad.

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Things are moving!


I viewed another house this morning in a small town about 9 miles from Stirling.  It was the absolute limit beyond Stirling that I would consider.  It's a 2 bed semi bungalow, bit quirky in a quiet area.  It didn't have any central heating but it did have a woodburner and lovely wooden floors.

And I loved the recently fitted kitchen.  It was huge but very cold.  The owner apparently thought the house was warm enough so never bothered to fit any heat sources.

I rather liked the house but it made me realise I want to stay within Stirling, not least so I can keep my allotment.  So it was worth going to have a look. Which means the small house is still the front runner!  But I am going to view the one with the weird bedroom off the lounge on Thursday after all.

The estate agent selling my house has been to measure up and I've signed the paperwork!  My house will be on the market in the coming weeks.  Things are moving!

Friday 8 March 2024

Safe and boring


It's funny how everything can change in a few short days.  I was really excited about the house for sale with the weird layout.  And I loved all of the suggestions!  I took a drive past it and I'm glad I did!!  It was rather more dilapidated than the photos suggested!!!!  Despite it being in budget, it didn't even look liveable while you worked on it.  The estate agent's photographs were highly 'edited' and that's a polite adjective!  There was a water pumping station next door and that was 'edited' out of the photos!  I know they say you should buy the worst house in the good areas but it was bad.  I won't be going to view it now!

So I viewed 4 other houses for sale and the current frontrunner is a safe and boring small 2 bed semi in a totally different area.  It's in move in condition, dΓ©cor is a bit dated but it's been well cared for by an older person.  I would not need to do anything straight away.  It has a safe enclosed garden for Luna and maybe some chickens again πŸ” I've been for a second viewing and my solicitor has put in a note of interest.  This means they can't accept an offer without notifying me, giving me a chance to make an offer myself.

Of the other 3 houses I viewed, one was frankly disgusting and in very poor repair (again photos didn't show it.)  One had a septic tank and a separate garden away from the house, neither mentioned on the estate agent particulars.  And one was in immaculate condition but had no parking and was way too close to other houses.  Plus it was just out of my realistic budget.

I'm only just starting to do this seriously and I'm already losing faith in estate agents.  I'm still waiting for the valuer to come to my house and to get a home report done.  Hopefully that will be done by next week 🀞

Thursday 7 March 2024

NHS dentist


Last October I broke a tooth and saw my NHS dentist in November.  He gave me a temporary filling and hoped that he'd be able to save the tooth by doing root canal treatment.  In January it became obvious that the tooth couldn't be saved 😞  After nursing it along for several weeks (while I got a plate made) the tooth was removed yesterday.  Not nice but not as bad as I thought 🦷

After he removed it,  he told me it had a huge abscess at the root that hadn't shown up on my x-ray.  No wonder I'd had toothache!!  I'm a bit sore today but absolutely fine.

Total cost of all the treatments and a new plate (which actually looks good!) was £160.28.  I dread to think what I'd have paid if I had a private dentist.  I know I'm lucky to have that option here in Stirling but a lot of people don't.  This is why we have to fight to keep our NHS dental services πŸ’ͺ

Things are moving quickly on the house front 😱  I've viewed a few properties already and have instructed my lawyer that I'll be needing their services very soon.  Viewing properties has been 'interesting' and definitely merits a whole post πŸ˜²πŸ˜‚  Watch this space...

Tuesday 5 March 2024

Weird layout!


I rather like quirky and weird houses.  And the bungalow I'm really really interested in has a very weird layout.  One bedroom is off the lounge and the other is off the dining room.  It has the original 1970s pink bathroom (!) and someone has built on a porch/new entry with a full shower room.  Neither bathroom is anywhere near a bedroom.

I've got a viewing appointment next week (there are no viewings until then) so the timing is good for me to get this house ready.  I've read the home report very carefully and it needs a lot of work.  New windows, new kitchen, new bathroom, loft insulation, new boundary fence etc etc  It's been owned by the same person since 1972.  That's why it's in my price range.  It would be a huge project.  But I won't know if it's worth it until I see it.

Just for fun, how would you reconfigure the layout on a budget? My first thoughts are knock through the kitchen into the dining room creating a larger dining kitchen and build a new wall to create a new entry into the second bedroom.  Then knock through into the pink bathroom to create a master bedroom with en suite.

Or knock through the kitchen into bedroom 1 to make it the dining kitchen.  And turn the dining room into a bedroom.  Ooo, the possibilities!! 

Huge thanks for all the positive vibes!  I really appreciate it. Keep them coming 😊

Monday 4 March 2024

Final push!


I finally got the craft room finished today.  Mainly by putting all my crafting materials into 3 large packing boxes and dumping them in the garage!!

Before and after reminder!

It's looking very tidy and a bit sparse!  I put away all my colourful boxes and kept out the black and grey ones to match the fridge freezer.  I did buy a white roller blind to put at this window but I've decided to not put it up.  I'll be able to use in either my next house or my son's flat.

I kept the colourful floor rug for a wee splash of colour.  But it all looks lovely.  Shame I'll never get to actually craft in there.

I also split my peace lily (retirement gift from school) and re potted it.  I got 3 free plants to put around the house.

I'm trying to do the final push this week as I want to get the house on the market ASAP!  A 2 bedroom bungalow went on the market today in exactly the area I want.  It's under budget and needs a bit of modernising but not too much.  So I'm asking everyone to send me positive vibes to get this house sold quickly and let me buy this bungalow! 🀞

Sunday 3 March 2024

Thank you!


Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts and messages on yesterday's post.  They are much appreciated πŸ’– It's very strange not having Emma around.  Luna is getting used to a new routine as much of our daily routine revolved around giving Emma her medications and making sure meal times were in line with that.

I've taken today to just chill and play with Luna.  Tomorrow I'll be back to the decluttering and decorating again!

Saturday 2 March 2024

RIP Emma


Sadly Emma's health took a major turn overnight and I had to make that hard decision.  Owning dogs is a privilege and she gave me so much joy.  During lockdown she was my only companion and my only source of comfort during some really tough times.  I'm sad but I'll be fine πŸ’–

Friday 1 March 2024

Roast chicken and labels


My Tesco shop yesterday included a large fresh chicken (it was a Clubcard offer!)  The label describes a large chicken as being between 1.5kg and 1.9kg (as per photo above) so I looked for the biggest one I could get.  Yep, I even pulled a few out to get to the ones at the back!! πŸ‘€

This was the biggest one!  I looked at every single one on the shelf to get my money's worth of chicken!!  I know another 206g (7oz) of chicken doesn't necessarily produce an equivalent amount of edible meat but hey, it could be enough for another frugal meal.  So I'm always going to check from now on!  

The label also says it serves 5 but we all know we can get more than 5 servings from a large chicken!  Plus I have the bones/carcass simmering in the Crockpot for stock.  I'll make soup tomorrow once it's cooled and I'll skim off and save the chicken fat for making pastry.  I think I'll make some individual chicken pies for the freezer.

I have also been 'sharing' my roast chicken with both dogs as they BOTH have a nasty bout of diarrhoea.   Luckily I now keep some doggy probiotics in the cupboard, much cheaper than vet prescribed ones.  A day or 2 of chicken, rice and scrambled egg should hopefully help settle their tummies.  

As I've mentioned previously, I've been working on removing ultra processed foods/ingredients (UPFs) from my diet.  I was shocked when I looked at the label on my Hellman's mayonnaise today.  It contains calcium disodium EDTA which is a medication to treat lead poisoning.  It's a classic use of a UPF that has found it's way into the food chain as a cheap preservative.  I don't know if it's always been in there or they now have to declare it.  But I'll not be eating it again.  I can and will be making my own mayo from scratch from now on. 

I also needed salt.  Many of them contained an anti caking ingredient (sodium hexacyanoferrate II or sodium ferrocyanide.)  This was the only one that didn't have any!  And of course it's more expensive.  BUT I have noticed a huge difference in my digestive health since I stopped eating over processed gluten free and dairy free products and eliminating these hidden UPFs.  So it's worth it for me to check every single label and make everything from scratch.  And so far I'm managing to do it within my tight budget! 😊