Walls Come Tumbling Down

I was called by the agency I am with today to be told that the place I was working for have terminated my contract due to my sickness absence.

I am out of a job.

I do still have a weekend job, but that is not enough to pay the bills. It is not enough to clear my debts.

I am angry and bitter and sad and depressed and worried.

I feel like I am being punished for being happy this week.

All future plans are on hold.

 

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In Sickness and In Health

I have been ill since Tuesday, as in called in sick for work ill.

Something I haven’t done for nearly 8 weeks, which I was feeling so proud of.

That’s not to say I haven’t been ill during that time, because I have. I had a cold, a real humdinger of one.

Then there were the three nights in a row of insomnia.

I have been struggling.

So on Monday I started coming down with what I thought was a cold, and I didn’t want to, but now that I am Flo 2.0 jobs, I decided that maybe it would be sensible if just this once I took a day off work to recuperate, as I didn’t want to be ill all week like it had felt like with the last cold.

So that was Tuesday, then I added Wednesday to the mix.

Today I felt that something was ‘wrong’ but I didn’t know if I was being a hypochondriac or a baby. The people in Job 1 (the Monday to Friday job) are tough. Unless your leg has fallen off they think you are being a weakling if you don’t plough on through an illness.

So I decided to go to the Doctor, mainly to be told I was being a baby and I was wasting the NHS’s time and money (something I really don’t want to do).

But the Doctor took one look at my throat and said ‘that’s very red’ and immediately started swabbing it, and asked if I wanted a sick note for another week, which I instantly went ‘aargh’ at and said ‘NO!’ which the Doctor wasn’t best pleased with. So she prescribed me an anti septic throat spray and said to come back when I was well enough for work, either work, to get the sick note.

So then there was an awkward phone call to work where my line manager was like ‘You have had a lot of sick days’ and now I feel about 2cm tall and bad, but in a perverse way I’m…happy?…that I am actually medically, not-in-my-head, not-being-a-baby, sick.

Except being ill feeds my anxiety, my anxiety that tells me I am going to be fired for being ill and that I have no job security and that I am horribly in debt and so on and so on.

Which does not help an unwell Flo become a well Flo.

I haven’t spoken much about my anxiety and my mental health on my blog for a long time because for the most part I have been doing great. I have felt on top of the world. I have been very happy and content and it was almost like I had the super power of good mental health.

But now I am trying to ignore the voice in my head that is screaming at me that I am a failure and rubbish.

Financial Review of Weeks 13, 14, 15, 16 (I’m sorry for the delay)

Here’s the thing about working 7 days a week. Even when the 6th and 7th days of working total just 8 hours you find you lack the time to get everything done.

My Blog has taken the hit.

I will proceed with the financial reviews:

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Pizza, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Cookies, Bread, Milk, Yogurt 8.35
Super Big Tesco Delivery 114.34
White Bread and Cucumber 1.15
Juice, Cheese Slice, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Garlic Bread, Cheesecake, Bag for Life 8.14
Carrot Chips, Corn on the Cobs, Onion Rings, Chicken Strips, Chicken Popsters, Cheese Pizza x 2 11.98
Potatoes, Orange Juice, Carrots, Milk, Popcorn, Raspberries 5.99
Flu Powder, Face Wipes, Moisturiser, Hand Sanitiser 3.85
Toothpaste, Floss, Shower Gel, Handwash 4.86
Toothpaste, Soothers x 2, Vanish, Allergy Tablets, Toothbrush 7.45
Greaseproof Paper, Coconut Water x 4 2.75
Toothbrush Holder 0.29
Rolls and Lettuce 1.75
Spray Oil x 2, Laundry Cleanser x 2, Toilet Roll, Bag For Life, Laundry Bag 11.34
Massive Pizza, Jon Pizza, Cookies 6.5
milk 1.09
tortilla chips, rolls, cookies, gum 2.74
Milk, Carrots, Bag for Life 1.37
bread, doughnuts, garlic bread, lasagne, cucumber, parsnips, bag for life 6.6
Sweetcorn, Cheese Pizza 3.5
Orange Juice, Ice Creams x 2 3.9
Aqueous Cream, Hair Remover Cream, Bath Foam, Body Scrub, Razors, Face Masks x 3 7.87
Sprite Six Pack, Fanta Six Pack, Orangina, Garlic Pizza Bread, Canneloni, Bread, Cookies, Bag for life x 2 11.2
Colour Catchers, Cotton Pads, Toner, Hand Cream 6.56
Chicken Dippers, Marmite, Chicken Breast, Mince x 2, Peppers, Onion, Boy Pies 19.86
Prawn Crackers, Yoghurt 1.85

TOTAL SPENDS = £255.28 (WEEKLY AVERAGE = £63.82)

We are already over budget for this month of April and still have a week to go so it’s not going that well.

DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING

Milk for work 0.8 WORK EXPENSE
Gum 1.5 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Easter Egg for Jon 4 GIFTS
Prawn Sandwich 2.2 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Pie Minister 17 SOCIAL
2 x Sets of PJs 34.05 CLOTHING
Apple and Banana 0.67 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Tupperware From Paperchase 1 HOMEWARE
Ale 4.5 SOCIAL
Burger and Tea 10 SOCIAL
Pizza 6.5 SOCIAL
Shonen Knife T Shirt 15 CLOTHING
Make Up 30 MAKE UP
Subway 4 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Ale 3.65 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
2 Pairs of Trousers, Exercise Tights and Top 24.05 CLOTHING
Let’s Eat Grandma Ticket 10 SOCIAL
Peach Green Tea Lemonade 3.35 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Chiropractice Groupon 23.95 HOBBIES – HEALTH
Food for Homeless person 4.28 GIFTS
Plastic Cutlery 0.75 WORK EXPENSE
Water and Mango Coca Cola 1.8 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Pint of coke 1.99 SOCIAL
Lipbalm 1.2 MAKE UP
Chewing Gum 0.45 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Sweets 3 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Train to Grangetown 3.4 TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY)
Paying Postage on an unstamped card 2 POSTAGE AND PACKAGING
John Lewis Gift Card 15 GIFTS
Chocolate Treats for Hedy 2.5 GIFTS
Money for the Nie-phews 20 GIFTS
Posting the Kids Treats 6.9 POSTAGE AND PACKAGING
Indian Takeaway 16 SOCIAL
2 x Flat Whites 4.8 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Tissues for work 0.39 WORK EXPENSE
Milk for work 0.75 WORK EXPENSE
2 x Beers 7 SOCIAL
Posting parcel to Chris 1.87 POSTAGE AND PACKAGING
Boots Meal Deal 3.39 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Kimono 4.99 CLOTHING
coffee and apple 3.15 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Five Guys Burger, Fries and Drink 12.15 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Donation to Ben 15 GIFTS
Cookies and Donuts for a homeless person 0.78 GIFTS
Milk for work 0.8 WORK EXPENSE
Boots Meal Deal 3.39 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Next Voucher For Tudor 10 GIFTS
2 x Books 9.98 HOBBIES-BOOKS
Manics Vinyl 20.04 HOBBIES-MUSIC
2 x Cocktails 8.45 SOCIAL
Five Guys for 2 25.45 SOCIAL
Ice Cream 2.5 SOCIAL
Gum 0.5 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Fixing Jeans 5 CLOTHING MAINTENANCE
Jeans 5.99 CLOTHING
Milk for work 0.8 WORK EXPENSE

TOTAL SPENDS = A LOT (£421.66/WEEKLY AVERAGE = £105.42)

I promise I will be better at blogging from now on.

Apricot, Almond and Pecan Granola (3 Step Granola)

I am ill with a cold, but luckily haven’t had any time off work ill since the end of February. I’ll take small victories where I can.

I generally have stomach issues, colds I get about once a year, so hopefully this is all I will have to put up with in 2018.

I have had trouble sleeping because The Boy has been away on a stag do and as soppy and as silly as it sounds I can’t get to sleep easily without him there. And being ill with a cold always gives me insomnia, so when I woke up at 4:50am this morning I knew attempting to get back to sleep would be futile, so I got up, watched some of the Commonwealth Games, and made Granola.

 

INGREDIENTS

350g Oats

70g Flaked Almonds

70g Pecans, chopped into small pieces

2 tsp Cinnamon

140g Dried Apricots, chopped into small pieces

250ml Honey

60ml Rapeseed Oil

METHOD

Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and then add the honey and oil.

Mix together and spread out across two baking trays as thinly as you can.

Bake in an oven at Gas Mark 4 for about 30 minutes, mixing half way through (I also like to swap the trays around the shelves)

I think this is my best granola recipe yet.

 

Review of March 2018: Financial and Personal

Hi everybody,

Another month has passed.

In March I ended up getting Job 2. This is part of my plan for paying back my debt by my 30th birthday which is now less than a year away (spoiler, I recently had my birthday).

I ended up spending a lot of money, again. It might be time to go back to that whole no spend year thing I was doing last year.

I mean, I am buying what I need, or what can be justified, but still it makes me a little anxious.

Anywho, onwards.

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

I went 29p over budget. I spent £250.29 on food. It could be worse I guess.

DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING

Time to look at the different categories of my spending.

GIFTS = £48.76

SOCIAL = £169.36

HOME WARE = £2.58

WORK EXPENSE = £5.38

HOBBIES – HEALTH = £23

POSTAGE AND PACKAGING = £11.19

CLOTHING = £75.25

NON ESSENTIAL FOOD = £45.07

HOBBIES – MONEY = £2

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY) = £5.30

HOBBIES – BOOKS = £13.99

BEAUTY = £14.99

CLOTHING MAINTENANCE = £20

TOTAL SPENDS = £436.87

IMG_7529

I read 4 books in March, 3 of them were good. One was written by someone who could have saved me a lot of time if they listed the asshole co writer of one of their other books in the first chapter.

I made 5 new recipes in March, not bad, but I feel sad if I can’t make at least 2 things a week. I desperately need to make some more granola, hopefully I’ll do that later this week.

WEIGHT LOSS

I lost (and kept off) only 1.375 pounds in March….well….it was The Boy and My’s birthday month. We partied hard.

Financial Review of Week 12/52 2018

Hi Everybody,

One thing I had commonly read in all my ‘what to do when you have messed up your life financially’ books is that it is common for people generally to match their expenditure to their income.

Which is why a lot of these famous financial adviser’s say more money is not always the answer. Or why getting a pay rise will often lead you back to square one.

I am very conscious of the fact I may be doing this myself.

With Job 1 I am paid weekly. With Job 2 I will be paid every 4 weeks. This excites me as although it will still equal the same money that will mean there are 13 payments in the next year, which means one month I will have 2 payments, which will feel like a bonus.

I hate being paid weekly, I would much rather be paid once a month, because I have let my standards slip. Being paid weekly means there is a constant flow of money in my account, whereas when I was being paid monthly I would always (deliberately) run my account down to zero, but I knew exactly how much money I had to ‘play with’.

I also get paid according to the hours I work, so if I am sick, I don’t get paid. Which is making it hard to accurately assess how much I will earn in a month.

Anyway, I am spending more then I normally would. And whilst none of it is debt, I must be careful as I am not going to sacrifice a year of weekends to pay off my debts, only to find I have spent it all on myself.

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Gum and Flatbread Sandwich £2.09

Gun, Tortilla Chips, Rolls, Spaghetti £3.77

Fries £0.89

Milk, Orange Juice, Washing Up Liquid, Hand Wash, Greek Yogurt, Soup x 2, Prawn Crackers, Chilli Con Carne Spices x 4, Spag Bol Spices x 2, Long Grain Rice x 2, Cucumber, Baking Potatoes £11.67

Coconut Water x 4, Toothbrush £2.25

Toothbrush Holder, Toothpaste, Clearisel Pads, Clearisel Scrub £9.26

Baguettes, Onion Bharjis, Coconut Milk £5

TOTAL SPENDS = £34.93

Not Bad, but we are beginning to run low on things so I will have to do a big food shop soon. Next month, obviously.

DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING

NON ESSENTIAL FOOD

Jacket Potato and Tea £6.70

Gum £1.80

WORK EXPENSE 

Milk for work £0.80

HOBBIES – BOOKS 

A whole load of books £11

Buying a friend’s Kindle book £0.99

GIFTS

Friend’s birthday present £6.20

Big Issue £3.30

Various donations to the homeless £7.50

Easter gifts for the ‘nie-phews’ (my term for my nieces and nephews) £7.96

Easter cards £1

SOCIAL

Sushi dinner £20

CLOTHING

Jump suit and socks £29.20 (The jump suit is my new favourite thing I have ever owned)

TOTAL DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING = £96.45

TOTAL COMBINED SPENDING = £131.38

See what I mean? That’s a lot of wonga.

 

 

 

Batch Cooking My Work Lunches: Parsnip Gnocchi

I am not going to post a recipe just yet for this as I am still perfecting it. I have not had much success with making gnocchi generally. This was easily my best effort but I still feel it needs a little work.

Essentially it was about 300g of parsnips and 450g of potato which was roasted with one whole onion and garlic for about 40 minutes, then processed in my food processor (I really need a bigger one).

I originally planned to only use about 100g of plain flour, but in the end I used over 200g to get it ‘right’ (which is what I mean about needing to perfect the recipe).

Still, I ended up with 3 portions of a hearty carb-tastic lunch.

This came about as a result of one of those ‘when life hands you lemons…’ situations. You may have noticed that in my financial review of week 11 I bought parsnips twice.

This because the first batch I bought came prepackaged and when I got them home and unleashed them from their plastic bag I found them were all going rank. I knew The Boy would turn his nose up at them and throw them out, so I decided to utilise them and thus prevent waste.

All in all it was not bad.