Two years ago I started an experiment to see if I could afford to retire on my Civil Service pension at 60. With the State Pension age at 66 I had to be sure I could learn to live on less money. I discovered that by growing a little more in the garden, changing the way I shopped and by tweaking others things I could indeed live on my pension without altering my lifestyle or feeling deprived. So in October 2016 I retired. Its officially the best job I've ever had.
Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Phew! its been a scorcher
A few weeks ago Hubby bought himself a 2.5 person Kayak, the half gives space for a young child or 2 children 1 adult. He has wanted one for a long time and initially went down the second hand route looking on eBay, Shpock and Gumtree every single day but nothing this side of the country was coming up. So hubby treated himself to a new one but within twenty four hours of delivery we had some of the heaviest rainfall I had seen in a long time. At one point I though he'd had a premonition and we needed our own personal ark!
Well the kayak completed its maiden voyage on Saturday and the family had a blast. We couldn't have asked for better weather or sea conditions. The tides at Holland on Sea were perfect and since the 36million pound upgrade so were the beaches. Gone are the old wooden groynes that break up the beach, instead they have built half circle defences out of rocks. The upper beach area has been raised so there is always beach available to occupy even at high tide. The local council uses a tractor to comb the sand keeping it lovely and clean. I'm only sorry I didn't take more photos but I couldn't see the screen as it was so sunny.
No groynes just wide stretches of beach, semi circle rock defences
A great time was had by all and we returned Sunday which was even warmer to do it all over again. Our eldest daughter bought us Fathers day breakfast at the beach café, I took another pack-up and flask to keep the cost of the day out down. The evenings were spent watering the garden and greenhouse, as well as picking anything that was ready. I collected two ice-cream size tubs of strawberries and two lots of dwarf green beans. I sorted the best strawberries and we took them to the beach with us, everyone was asking where I'd bought them because of the taste. The supermarket ones are so forced they taste of nothing. The rest of the strawberries were split into two piles, one lot were used for breakfast in yoghurt and the rest made into jam as the heat was making them turn quickly. I made enough for 3.5 jars, the 2 smaller jars will go into 'C' hampers. If I manage to get my hands on some cheap market strawberries I'll make some more for the hampers.
Hubby collected enough raspberries to put at the bottom of the trifles I make each week. The sugar free jelly will set with raspberries but not strawberries. I reuse yoghurt pots as its just the right portion size once the low fat custard is added to the top and a swirl of cream.
Yesterday I caught up with jobs around the house. Last night we strained the elderflower champagne and bottled it. The lids will be released every evening for a week to free some of the initial gas that builds. Back soon, trying to do jobs indoors while its so hot outside. Today I really need to tackle my craft box its in a real state. Friends and family keep giving me cards which I'm grateful for but I've been opening the lid and throwing them in!