We have reached equilibrium! Of a sort. After lots of sifting, the available shelf space now equals the amount of new stuff to go in it. Well, sort of. But you can’t have everything.

The charity shops have done quite well out of us but I hope soon to be introduced to the wonder of ebay for remaining items. The household already has an account.

In other news, been in discussion with banks and noting that if you ask them a simple question, if they take more than three sentences to answer then the first and the third will contradict themselves.

I have a Godson who is now free-range even if not answering back yet. I’d like to set up a savings account for him, because, what with one thng and another, he doesn’t have one yet. He was also born after most of his relatives died so there’s no provision for him in anyone’s will (his sibling already existed, so got a mention). The account would be locked until he is 18. But government rules say that if I want to do this, I must have his birth certificate (got!) AND a parent present. Christening certificate or signed consent of the parent isn’t good enough.

We all work bouncing shifts. Banks aren’t open at 3am. HOW are we meant to do that one!?

I think I know why no one does savings any more!

You’ll note that at no point do I need the child present.


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Digital catch-up

It had to happen. Our beloved Windows XP computer got a new anti-virus software on it yesterday. Now it’s unusable as the software says that every site we try to connect to, including their own, doesn’t have a proper certificate. Except for BBC news. Dunno why.

So I’m writing this on a Windows 10 laptop.

Still clearing through boxes. At some point the amount of space free will equal the amount of new stuff to go in it. Any time, any time now… Some of the boxes were gleaned from a department of osteology so they’re extremely sturdy but a fixed size and shape that doesn’t quite coincide with domestic shelving. But they stack and are designed to last 25 years so a stand of them in the corner isn’t so bad.


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Mystery meat

In the spirit of going through things I’m in the midst of defrosting mystery meat for a roast. ‘Mystery’ as although it all came from a reputable source and I knew what it was when it went into the freezer, but it’s anyone’s guess as to what it is now.

Also in the midst of reading newly unearthed books that have been sat there a while. Latest is a collected works of Edgar Allan Poe, so I have now read ‘Murders in the Rue Morgue’, the ‘first’ ‘modern’ detective story. And I worked out how it was done before the end so I’m feeling happier about that – really modern ones it’s anyone’s guess. I don’t agree with all his reasoning and some ideas have moved on (apparently the more contraversial and unpalatable ideas didn’t make it into this edition so I don’t have to read them).

During breaks at work I’m still reading ‘The King’s Revenge’, the story of the biggest manhunt in history, where ‘fun-loving Charles II’ hunted down the regicides, broke the amnesty he’d given them and then tortured them to death. Funnily enough, the history written by his own historians forgets to mention the vindictive side of him – even his father declared that he’d forgiven them. Unsurprisingly, it’s slow reading.

Last week I had to explain to the household who Samuel Pepys was. It’s always good to have these reminders to ground me back into reality, even if that includes a flat full of boxes. (Still full ish – charity shops are only open when I’m asleep).



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Comparing houses

New that may startle our continental cousins:


Yes, a normal 3-bed house that, actually, is quite small and doesn’t have a garden large enough for a family gathering, really is on the market for half a million quid. And that’s not the ‘Harry Potter’ price rise. A school friend of mine used to own the house years ago and didn’t know it had been used in the film when she bought it. There had been no mention and in comparison no rise in price through it, although there appears to be now. The first she knew of it was when she found tourists standing on her lawn peeking in at the windows.

The others around it are also going for about £400k – half a million. It’s because it’s on the trainline to London and the huge estate it’s on is surrounded by woodland as it’s in the GreenBelt (the strip around London that no one’s allowed to build on, in the hope that London doesn’t expand and isn’t gassed any further).

In comparison, look at the sterling / euro exchange rate. Apparently foreign investment in UK properties has gone up. I bet it has.

The household is looking at moving house, but when we talk about the prohibitative prices, we mean it. Still, we can be hopeful – they’ve already started to reduce – they’ve now reaced the point that three incomes are needed for a one-bed flat and that’s not sustainable.

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Brexit economics

There was a headline this morning on the BBC that apparently the Brexit vote has made no difference economically.


Every year I make a payment in Euros. It may go up a dribble but it’s about the same.

Last year it was £488. Yesterday it was £570.

No difference, huh?

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Muddling through

Tried writing this a week ago but wordpress wouldn’t save or publish.

Sat here digesting a late breakfast before having a bath. I wouldn’t say the water here is ‘hard’ but we now own an ice scraper to get some of the trickier bits of scale off. Trouble is it doesn’t like curves.

In the meantime, I’m as popular as someone is likely to be who has brought 27 more boxes of books into a confined location. There are empty boxes already as the duplicates and bad packing are got rid of. There’s been a comment though of, “I can see lots of things moving around but nothing actually going.” This’ll be the putting everything together first to spot the duplicates before discarding the tattier version.

Except the Pratchetts. The duplicates are going, but I suddenly found a bunch of signed ones and I’m not getting rid of those!

To fit in the extra books, I’m using it as a good reason to go back through everything else then to arrange it sensibly according to weight vs height. As a friend who visited noted, “It’s a lovely place, but there is absolutely no storage” except what we put in ourselves in the 3m tall heights which have plasterboard walls (so can’t hang anything on them) and have radiators and other features at the bottom so there’s no room for anything freestanding. In addition we now have other new things to fit in, but this should be easier as they’re either things we needed or upgrades of the things that needed to go anyway.

Visited someone yesterday who has the perfect house. Suspect that this is because 1. they moved in with a flat’sworth so there’s room in a house 2. we told them we were coming. Something that gets pointed out here is that as the boiler started in the bedroom and had to be moved to the boiler cupboard, and the same people did the rest of the design and build, when we say it’s an interesting work in progress we mean it and the boxes are a character feature.

With the extra books I also brought more fold-flat furniture. Now that’s something that it’s never possible to have too much of!

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Internet use

Here’s someting I never thought I’d type and you probably never thought you’d read: I am now using internet banking.

Well, more accurately, I’ve set up and accessed internet banking. Today I’m going into the bank and saying, “Very funny. Now, how do I do X?”

The household has moved banks to follow the interest rates as it’s easlier on the feet than doing extra overtime. We’ve picked a bank that has a good reputation and who if it all goes wrong would be so keen to hang on to their reputation that they’d sort out the problem before we even became aware of it. Part of the reason we’ve moved is so we can move things about and pass things to each other’s accounts, which isn’t easy if you’re only ever free at 3am as banks just aren’t open at that time. Sorting this out is what being “jointly and severally liable” means.

But the downside is that I now have another four PINs to remember. Four. To remember. That’s just for me, not as a household. Plus lots of security questions and other gubbins. Now, for various reasons I’m quite good with numbers, but four? I’m struggling to remember the ones I’ve already got. Again, I can see why people don’t move or update personal details – it’s impossible to keep track of what you already have!

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