Just returned from "Frugal Central"

Thrifty tips, ideas, news & experiences on anything around the home to shopping to re-cycling etc.
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Mo
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

Post by Mo »

I'm back to frozen packets now for most things except fruit. I've made my garden too wildlife friendly - the peas just show shoots them vanish so I've given up.
Self-sufficiency takes young energy.
Dance caller. http://mo-dance-caller.blogspot.co.uk/p/what-i-do.html
Sunny Clucker enjoyed Folk music and song in mid-Cheshire
Dorrens daughter
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

Post by Dorrens daughter »

I met an ex work colleague for lunch today and we talked about todays "values" she reckons that it goes back to the Thatcher years when she (Maggie) said something along the lines of "there's no such thing as community" or something like that. Then we had the "greed is good" and "loads of money" and "I'm all right Jack". It seems to me that now a days people know the cost of stuff but the value of nothing, which to me is very sad.
As for me I've lived all my life without credit cards and the only debt I ever got into was a mortgage which I overpaid on a monthly basis, I save for what I want (including our Bulgarian house) and if I haven't got it then I do without. Which works for me.
Dorrens daughter
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

Post by Dorrens daughter »

Well I've just booked a "solo" return to our Bulgarian house for early March 2019, which means weather wise that I could be there in deep snow (in a house with no heating) or t-shirts and shorts weather (at least during the day). Getting to our village in the off season requires a lot of planning so I'll be on a coach in the early hours from Manchester to Luton airport to travel direct to Burgas where I've arrange for someone to take me to our village house around 8pm so I'm glad that I've at least got tea and coffee in the house before I hit the sack. The travel costs are very reasonable at well under £100 and I'll be dressed in as much warm clothing as I can manage and take loads of butties as at these prices its very compact hand luggage only. While I'm there I'll hopefully get some of the required work underway and sort out the garden with a bit of veg planting so we will hopefully have more than home grown fruit available to us during the year. Also I'll travel by local bus to the coast to pay the council tax for the year which works out around £25 to get my bins emptied each week and the street lighting just by our gate.
At this time the storks should have returned from Africa and spring should have kicked in.
I'll be there on my own until TB joins me for Easter then we'll travel back to the UK ready for his next hospital appointment. All in all its going to be an adventure for a pensioner like me
Dorrens daughter
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

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Not long to go now and as I'm traveling hand luggage only and it will have to be a very small bag according to Wizz air, I'll be dressed up like "Nanook of the North" so in the bag will be a copy of the deeds to the house needed to pay the tax, my tablet, spare underwear and (courtesy of TB) a ratchet with a universal socket, don't ask me why I have no idea. For the coach journey down to Luton in the early hours of the morning I'll take butties and a book. I have no idea what else to pack in the tiny bag I'm allowed. ^b:
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lancashire lass
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

Post by lancashire lass »

Dorrens daughter wrote:I'm traveling hand luggage only and it will have to be a very small bag according to Wizz air,


... I couldn't cope with that, especially for such a long journey - when I went on a week long camping trip to a site with minimal facilities (with a dog), I think I packed for every eventuality minus the kitchen sink {rofwl}
Dorrens daughter
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

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Well early tomorrow morning I'll be setting off on my own back to Bulgaria, with a list of works as long as my arm to get started before TB and second son join me at Easter when we'll travel back to the UK together.
Turn on the electric and water, clean, clean clean.
While I'm there I intend to get builders in to make the basement fully habitable, with additional plug sockets and lights and depending on cost an internal staircase.
Get wi fi.
Move the furniture around.
Clear out the rubbish and the floor of the summer house (and see if it actually has a floor not a mud one).
Clear, weed, dig the garden and as one of my first jobs will to plant seeds in what evers available inside with any luck I'll be able to plant them outside after a month. So we'll have something to harvest when we return in summer.
Decorate well ok paint the basement after the works are done.
Use the what looks like old school desks to fashion some sort of kitchen units in the basement, to be sanded and oiled.
Get some sort of heating.
The list goes on but I'm ready for the next part of the adventure.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

Post by lancashire lass »

Hope you have a safe journey and best of luck with the job list )t' It'll certainly keep you busy!
Dorrens daughter
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

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Well I've been back in the UK for about a week and am still having to get over how noisy it is over here. I didn't get half the jobs done that I wanted to as the first month I was waiting for the British builders to turn up so never again Bulgarian builders from now on.
However I did pay the council tax for the year 53lev just under £24 which coming back to my council tax bill here £93 per month goes to show that we can live on my pension over there very well.
I managed to fill the wheelie bin up every week and put black bags full of plaster and old furniture around the bin, the furniture went before the bin men arrived and although it was repaired several times over I assume that it now takes pride of place in someone else's house.
My neighbour gave me an old mattock with a broken handle and a rake when she saw me trying to dig the garden and showed me how to use it, then along came George, who became our self appointed gardener. For 20lev and a packet of cigarette's he spent two days working on the vines, fruit tree's and roses bushes in the garden, however not before he took up the onion sets I'd planted, took control of the mattock and rake and showed me just how to plant them the Bulgarian way. On the first day he took my mattock with him however later on that evening I went outside for a cigarette to find it had been put over the gate with a new handle and sharpened. The two days of cutting and trimming where spent with me following this elderly man following him around the garden, holding the ladder, passing him his tools and generally wishing that he wouldn't climb the fruit trees in plastic clogs, once up there he'd shout "acrobat" with me saying "nay acrobat George". Later during my stay he came back to view and criticise my efforts, tie the new growth of the vines to the frame, clear the strawberry bed, plant some lettuce seedlings show me which herbs where good to eat "vitamins" he'd say handing some leaves for me to try, scythed the lawn area and generally keep me on my toes for which he was paid. So when we left we had onions, garlic, peppers, courgettes, peas, tomatoes, radish and lettuce planted the fruit trees, strawberries and currents are all developing.
Despite the builders the basement is a bit more habitable but any more work such as decent light fittings, a hot water boiler, a washing machine and wood burning stove and heaters will be done by locals when I go around the end of May.
Most if not all of the rubbish has been moved from the summer rooms but no furniture moving from room to room happened this time.
The weather was hot and sunny during the day and very cold at night and the heater I bought in one of the village shops gave off as much heat as a mint imperial, the neighbours and villagers where generous and friendly which made coming back to the UK very hard.
Th
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lancashire lass
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

Post by lancashire lass »

)t' that's a very handy gardener to have around ... maybe he'd like a busman's holiday to the UK? Sounds like you have been very busy - it takes time to do all the jobs but it will be lovely when it's done
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

Post by Freeranger »

There used to be an advert (many moons ago) where someone had a bank manager living in their wardrobe.
I think it would be great to have your lovely neighbour permanently in the potting shed! If he's not available then Lancashire Lass, the wonderful Jim McColl, or Monty, Nellie & Nigel. Someone who would just exude competence and common sense!
Dorrens daughter
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

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I've come to the conclusion that I'm just too old to be moving heavy Bulgarian furniture around so have decided that I'll bribe my sons and one of their mates to come over and provide some muscle. My youngest son told me that it would take less than a week to move the kitchen from the upstairs corridor down to the basement, take up the old lino from upstairs, prep and either sand or paint the floor boards, move the furniture around and so on. So I've decided to offer them free flights, car hire, accommodation, food and drink for a week in return for three days hard labour. do you think that I'll get any takers?
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Mo
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

Post by Mo »

Must be worth a try.
Dance caller. http://mo-dance-caller.blogspot.co.uk/p/what-i-do.html
Sunny Clucker enjoyed Folk music and song in mid-Cheshire
Dorrens daughter
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

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Well not much luck in getting my boys plus a friend to do hard labour for me, number one son is using all this years holidays to go to Australia with his girlfriend, son number twos mate has all his holidays committed so it will just be number two son and I but that's better than nothing. So I'll sort something this week with any luck, number 2 son and I at first, then open for visitors then a week for just me and toy boy to relax. Slowly slowly catchee monkey.
Dorrens daughter
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

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Well return flight booked and starting to pack, Toy Boy husband will join me four days later with number 2 son following behind.
I'm taking a case this time mainly filled with more bedding and a pair of velvet curtains to hang as draught excluders as until we can afford to get double glazing the place gets very cold of a night in spring.
I'm looking forward to warm weather, trips to the coast but mainly finishing the works in the basement and moving the kitchen downstairs, no ore washing pots in the bathroom.
Then the upstairs can solely be for sleeping and relaxing.
The old table can be moved out under the grape vines as eating and relaxing outside during the summer is just relaxing.
Dorrens daughter
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Re: Just returned from "Frugal Central"

Post by Dorrens daughter »

So after several return visits to our little Bulgarian house what have I learnt this year?

1. Its not worth trying to plant any veg crops until we're able to live there full time because by the time you get back the weeds will have over taken everything.

2. Early in the year its possible to get sun burnt during the day and freeze at night.

3. Wood burning stoves are very affordable in Bulgaria.

4. Having installed the stoves I needed to buy some wood ready for when we return in the new year. My neighbour took me to the village Mayors office to order some. It seems that each resident of the village is entitled to an allowance of wood at a reduced rate if ordering it via the Mayor.

5. Five cubes of oak is a heck of a lot of wood especially when its dumped in the lane outside the house and blocking the neighbours drive.

6. Getting someone to chain saw the wood is easy (if you ask the neighbour for help) and cheap 25lev was paid to a young Roma couple .

7. Moving 5 cubes cut logs from the lane into the garden by myself is very hard heavy work and the logs take up a lot of space. But judging by the reaction of the villages who passed by I may have gained some brownie points or then again they may just think that I'm a mad old foreign lady.

8. when husband turns up with the use of a car the chopping into bits small enough could commence because we were able to buy a couple of axes and a lump hammer. But chopping wood will take up any spare time we have through out the year.

9. Winter see's mice moving in (the basement kitchen was in use around September ) in truth they may have lived inside during the winter since the beginning of time. But I don't want to share my home with them so traps where bought and used.

10. I want to be in a position to live there more or less full time because I want to grow my own food and live a quiet life.
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