Saturday, 13 December 2014

Still here

Hi all, just popping in to say I'm still around, and thank you to essexgran for asking about me. 

MIL's funeral was really beautiful and all our kids made it down to Bridgend, but it's taken a while for us to get our brains back into normal life mode...and now it's nearly Christmas so I have to get my holiday-time head on.

Since the funeral stuff was over I've been trying to catch up on all the Christmas preparations I'd put on hold. Up until last weekend I hadn't bought a single pressie, but thanks to the internet and a couple of trips into town I've now got everything sorted. There are a couple of things that might not be delivered in time, but everybody has more than one pressie to come so at least each person will have something to unwrap on the day. I've even managed to wrap about half of them this afternoon using paper I bought cheaply in the sales after last Xmas. I do need a few more gift tags but I have a card making cd rom with tags to print out so I'll do that tomorrow and get a few more pressies out of the way.

As we're going to DD3's for our main Christmas meal I haven't had so much food to buy this year so my £50 in Morrisons' savings stamps has more or less covered that side of things. But,yes, with all this internet buying, my credit card statement is horrendous at the moment (I've been tracking all my purchases online) but my sealed savings tins contained £338 in various denominations of coins and I will make up the remaining couple of hundred £s from other savings so I will pay it off in full and I won't start the new year in debt. January 1st will herald a new start to my budgeting as I try to replace some of the savings that got spent on funeral costs and other expenses whilst we were in Wales.

I would have had enough saved specifically for Xmas but I have spent more than intended buying flowers to be delivered for all of DH's relatives who helped so much when MIL was in hospital and while DH couldn't get there to be with her, and also for the wonderful staff in the care home where she spent the last few years of her life. I bought them through Flying Flowers who I've used for years and have found to be reliable, but I did use a voucher code to get a 20% discount and also purchased via Quidco so I will also get cashback at some future date.

I've had a busy day today. Apart from the pressie wrapping and cooking dinner etc. we had a visit to Deal, a walk along the seafront there and a coffee and mince pie in St. George's church in the High Street where they were holding their annual Christmas open house. Boy did we need that hot drink; it was freezing along the prom. We didn't stay to watch the kids sing carols as we only had 2 hours free parking, but it was lovely to see the children all excited and the church all decorated up. We put a £5 donation in their collection box for good causes...well, it would have cost us at least that for a coffee and cake in one of the cafes.

Well, it's 11pm and I need my beauty sleep. How are your preparations going? Nearly finished...or starting to panic? I'm already making a new year's resolution to start crafting things for Xmas 2015 in January. I wonder how long that resolve will last! 

Good night everybody. Sleep tight!


  1. Welcome back Helen, I hope that you will soon be back on track, it takes a while to get over a family funeral, doubly so when so much travel is involved. I have most of my presents here, none wrapped alas, but am waiting for 1 parcel from Germany and another from Toys R a nuisance! Kaitlin and Faith both like the same things and it is a juggling act to get very similar but not identical. I am going to be in bad books with James and Cerys as I have got a toy for Junior that will have him hurtling round the house. I usually buy them clothes but they have so many that it was not necessary this year. I got Francesca some clothes from House of "how bl**dy much" and they were all on a 50% sale, whew. She has to be smart for work and these are pretty enough for weekend evenings out as well. All in all I have got off lightly this year, well within budget as I have made most of my gifts from the stash. Strangely though it does not seem to shrink in proportion to what I make.

  2. Struck down with flu so this weekend has been a total waste. Cards half written and that's it.