Tiny Sparks of Joy

A lazy weekend. No plans, nowhere to be and a lot of putting up of feet.

The coffee we brought back from France last summer. Every cup reminds me of a lovely holiday.

Making resolutions I know I can stick to.

Looking forward to a week off work in March.

A return to a normal schedule, even if I’m not completely thrilled about my return to the office tomorrow.

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Tiny Sparks of Joy

Sweet Caroline

The very first book I read in the Little House On The Prairie series was Little Town On The Prairie. I had seen the 1970s TV series but knew nothing about Laura Ingalls Wilder or her family. I remember the feeling when I realised the girl who was the main character in the book actually wrote the book. Groundbreaking for nine year old me!

It is probably safe to say that Laura doesn’t always make the best choices and is an impulsive teenager, as portrayed in the book anyway, like so many of us were. She does and says and thinks things she regrets. No surprises there for a 14 year old. It is supposed to be a time of life for making some mistakes and tripping up and hopefully learning from the big and small facepalm moments.

In an attempt to impart some wisdom into her hot headed daughter, her mother Caroline wrote a verse in her autograph album, and it is some advice many of us could do with, even if we’re not a rebellious 14 year old schoolgirl. I could certainly heed it more regularly, as could many working in a Government far, far away.

If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek, five things observe with care,

To whom you speak,

Of whom you speak,

And how, and when, and where.

I’ve been thinking about these wise words in recent days. I and many others should probably heed them, whether we’re living in 1881 or 2018.

Sweet Caroline

Consumption, 2018 Edition.

I must have been feeling the same way I do today this time last year, as on 2 January I wrote about consumption, something I’m pondering again today.

Last year, I did reduce consumption. I used up the shampoos I had, even if I didn’t really like them, and then bought a single shampoo bar which lasted months. I used up skincare products and when they were gone I started on The Ordinary range, which I love. I bought no new clothes for our summer holiday, having discovered many bikinis I had forgotten about and being content with well worn summer outfits from years gone by. I bought few new clothes overall, and made a determined effort to make do before I realised I had to buy something.

We reduced our food waste and I reduced my spending on food at work. I got more organised about bringing lunches (and breakfasts, dinners and snacks when required) with me to the office, toting them in a free bag I got when I made a complaint to a company. We ate out less, but did spend a lot on two spectacular meals at Heron and Grey without any regret. We’ve joined the waiting list for this year. I made great use of a travel mug for coffees at my desk and the occasional takeaway treat.

I’m still a work in progress. December wasn’t a restrained month in any way, and I do feel some of the money, time and effort was wasted. However, I’m quite pleased with the direction in which I’m going and where we’re headed as a couple for the year. I’m not the only one who’s thinking about their shopping habits, as this New York Times piece shows.

Next on the list for a review is my consumption of daily events significant and minor. There is TOO MUCH.

Consumption, 2018 Edition.

Tiny Sparks of (New Year) Joy

Having the house back to non-Christmas normality. I was a little sad to say goodbye to our tree but it went off to recycling this afternoon.

Making resolutions which are realistic and which I’m confident I can stick to.

Organising and cleaning the fridge in preparation for a frugal January. We have a lot of food, we just need to change our mindset a little.

Black Mirror on Netflix. We’re a little backwards-having just finished season 4 we’ll now tackle season one. Piggate here we come.

Shredding documents whose relevance expired on 31 December. Always satisfying.

Tiny Sparks of (New Year) Joy

Musings for 2018.

I’m pretty happy about the opinion polls on repealing the eighth amendment. I wish the media would stop calling it the abortion referendum, however-it affects every single pregnancy.

I have continued to obsessively track the Mueller investigation via my subscription to the New York Times (the best money I spend each month), social media and political commentary. Rereading All The President’s Men again might be in order.

I’ve signed up for the Frugalwoods’ frugal challenge for January. It’s a little extreme for me but I would like to work on my finances a bit and January is a birthday, plan free zone for us most years.

I am glad to see the back of 2017, but then I was glad to see the back of 2016 for myriad reasons. I really hope something comes of the Mueller investigation, that we repeal the eighth and that my finances spark a lot of joy this day next year.

Musings for 2018.