Bicycles, Doorbells, and Washing Machines

So, after my week or two of running around after the kids feeling hot, tired and sweaty, things actually did get significantly worse.

  • On Sunday the washing machine died again, for the billionth time.
  • On Monday we woke up and discovered that we had been robbed.
  • On Tuesday the insurance company told me they wouldn’t pay out so I bawled and swore and cried at them in a very unsightly way.
  • On Wednesday I was so tired I thought I might die, but things cheered up and my bestie Betty came to visit which helped a lot.
  • On Thursday the washing machine company finally caved and conceeded I needed a full refund and a new machine.
  • On Friday my elderly neighbour rang my doorbell at 6am over and over again, waking us all up, as she couldn’t find her handbag and clearly had no idea what time it was.

In other words we are having a bit of a time of it!

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Hot, tired, busy, sweaty, exhausted….

Well it’s been an intense few days!

The heat has left us all knackered and hot and sweaty and grumpy, struggling to sleep and overall pretty tired. I caught A’s cold so that’s not helping either.

We have been setting up letterbox contact for S, which is a managed process via social services where we can write a letter and send up to 4 photos, once a year, to her birth parents and siblings. We have no idea if they will write back or not yet… S was really keen to do this and excited to be able to make contact with her siblings again, but doing it also stirred up a lot of really big emotions for her, and it was quite an upsetting process. We ended up doing her letters on Sunday night, it was so hot that A wouldn’t go to sleep and S was really upset and missing her birth family and so it was a fairly tough night all round. No-one got much sleep and it was quite a tense night in the house!

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Refugee Ration Challenge Week

Well it has arrived! For those of you who don’t know, I’m taking the Concern Worldwide Ration Challenge this year to raise money and support refugees all over the world living in terrible conditions. For one week I will eat only what refugees have to eat in order to experience it and better understand how it is for refugees all over the world, as well as to raise money and awareness.

Here is my meal plan and all my rations including my rewards. I have weighed out my rice into 7 portions to help make sure I don’t run out. Similarly I have divided up my flour and lentils based on the meals I have planned.

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The Cost of Living

Well as most of you are aware by now it’s getting harder and harder to just live as costs are rising all over the place. As someone who is in a privileged position I am lucky that I can still afford my mortgage and bills (just about) and that I am not on the breadline.

However, like many people I am doing my best to cut costs as best I can and try to reduce expenditure where I can, so I thought I would share a few tips and tricks with you all.

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St Andrews

We decided to go to Scotland for half term for a proper little holiday, as I haven’t really been away anywhere for almost 3 years and it seemed like a good idea at the time!

We’ve got several friends living in the Edinburgh/St Andrews area so managed to get round and see lots of old friends which was really nice, and I personally haven’t been back to St Andrews since I was at Uni there (I think I went back once in about 2006 but haven’t been since then).

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10th Anniversary

Looking back it would appear that this is the 10-year anniversary of my blog!

Many of the original posts were group emails I used to send to all my friends and family, updates of what I was up to while living abroad, often embellished somewhat to amuse my target audience. Then slowly it morphed into a blog – mainly for travel and then later covering the blow-by-blow minutiae of my daily life, work, adoption process and various crafty projects. I’m still not convinced anyone really reads it apart from a few kind friends or family members but I enjoy writing it. It’s very cathartic – like writing a diary or keeping a journal but out in public.

It’s a really good way to sort through my feelings or difficult issues as they come up and to share funny anecdotes, and capture my life as it rumbles along.

Looking back I have decided to list a few of my favourite posts, for those of you who feel like perusing the last 18 or so years of my life at your leisure.

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2022 Book Challenge

Even though I barely read much of anything last year I still enjoy setting myself a target for reading, so my dad and I are once again embarking on the Popsugar Reading Challenge.

At the moment I am starting with my lovely haul of Christmas books and finding categories to slot them into, but once I’ve read those, will need to have a proper look at the list and try to select some interesting books!

I am determined to read more this year than I managed last year, though I expect I will as I’ll be on adoption leave at some point so will hopefully have a few moments of “me” time to read here and there…

I have started out strong in January, but suspect this will tail off at some point….

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Refugee Ration Challenge

This year I have decided to undertake the Ration Challenge to try and raise money to support refugees.

I have felt frustrated and saddened by the plight of refugees – not just from Ukraine, but from so many countries around the world fleeing conflict and persecution. I wanted to take action and try to do something positive to help.

The Ration Challenge is a fantastic initiative by Concern Worldwide in which you ask people to sponsor you to eat the same rations as a refugee for a week. The more money I raise to support refugees the more “extras” I can earn to supplement my rations like teabags or milk or vegetables. You can find out more about the challenge and sponsor me here.

This week my ration box arrived so it seemed like a good time to go through it and share what I am doing in a bit more detail.

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