Tag: budget

Loneliness; Am I alone or a loner?

This blog is my personal thoughts on loneliness and not expert opinion or advice. For help on Mental Health issues please visit MIND.

Some days when there is nothing in the diary: no massaging or other work or social events.  I like to keep it that way and challenge myself to be busy, happy, entertained and to spend no money! The latter I list because I know other people who would “go shopping” either online or to the local outlets to fill the gap. Personally this is a short lived pleasure followed by buyer’s remorse; also I don’t have the money to make regular shopping a joy!

Usually I choose to go nowhere and speak to no one. Well I may ring my Dad or have a chat with my daughters but I don’t have a phone book full of friends with whom I regularly chat to. I do like to engage on social media and may What’s App a couple of people……….oh the modern world!

So what do I do?

  • Write blogs
  • Exercise (I workout with a great online gym)
  • Try to reach my audience on social media
  • Read
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Listen to Radio 5
  • Yoga
  • Shower
  • Walk the dog …. I do talk to him (Benefits of walking here)
  • Try to be productive to make progress with my blog and extend my audience
  • I may plan and scheme; there is so much to learn about blogging and the ways to use social media to extend your reach. You can get lost in the rabbit warren that is the world wide web for hours, days…..
Low cost health -walk
10 minutes brisk walking daily – low cost health!

Happy in my own skin

I am not unhappy with this situation or my circumstances, quite the opposite although that’s not to say I don’t have down days.

I think this is because I am happy in my own skin and in my own company. I have accepted this is who I am, I love myself and I love my life. I am happier than when I’ve been in relationships. I’m not lonely; I may be a bit of a loner.

That said I do like to see social events planned ahead in my diary, not chock-a-block but something to look forward to …..a coffee or lunch date, a walk or theatre with family or friends or alone!

This blog was in draft when Julia Buckley published this post On Loneliness take a read, something will probably resonate with you. For me it was this ” For many of us, loving ourselves is about the biggest challenge anyone could suggest. But I think at least becoming aware that this is what we need, rather than looking for solutions outside of ourselves, can be an important turning point.”  I think this is so true and can help with many aspects of our lives and health.

Do you ever feel lonely? What do you do when you’re lonely?

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

You may like to check out my Great Month on a Budget blog 

Twitter @jenafitlife

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A Great Month on a Budget!

SEPTEMBER – What a great month!

I did lots of different things and spent very little! Buoyed up by my fab August Bank Holiday camping trip, which was full of great budget fun.  I was ready for a fun September!

It may have started ominously as on the 1st I headed over to my ex’s (see my link to blogs below *) to liberate my two lovely acers and a stone sink.

One of the acers re-potted – I hope they survive

My car was laden, I managed to re pot the tree’s and settle them in. The sink is very heavy, as luck would have it my Sister and Brother-in-law were visiting my Dad on the 2nd. I popped over for a coffee and managed to re home the sink at my Dad’s with their help.

The Stone Sink – rehomed!

Sunday 3rd My youngest daughter and I went to Birmingham to the first Eat.Move.Thrive. Wellbeing Festival (£22) , read all about that here

Thrive Festival
Eat. Move. Thrive.
Speakers venue

Friday morning ladies tennis coaching (£11) resumed on Friday 8th after the summer kid’s clubs were complete.

Tennis coaching venue

Saturday 9th I was excited to be able to go to the Leicester City v Chelsea football match, a freebie utilising my daughters’ bf season ticket whilst they were away. A great match, brilliant atmosphere but the wrong result Leicester losing 2-1.

Leicester City Football Club

Autumn TV has kicked in, as the night’s draw in it’s nice to find some good drama to view. I like to have something to tune into at around 9pm for an hour or so.  Some of my favourites are Victoria, Strike, Safe House, Liar, Doctor Foster, Rellik and Cold Feet.  Some of these have been infuriating, confusing and brilliant, not always in equal measure. What have you been watching?

Saturday 16th another free sporting event, this time a trip to Leicester Tigers rugby to see them play Gloucester. I was lucky to be asked by a longstanding massage client and friend to accompany him as his carer (his usual carer being away). He has fabulous seats; I could smell the grass and a couple of the Tigers tries were scored right in front of us. This time the result went the right way with Tigers winning 24 – 10.

Leicester Tigers score a try

Monday 18th thanks to Nectar points a “free” trip to the cinema. My friend and I went to see Victoria & Abdul. Ummm I’m probably quite glad I didn’t pay good money to see this, it was well acted but very light, easy watching. Dame Judy is always great to watch tho’.

Saturday 23rd I had another massage client turned good friend coming for dinner. It was lovely to cook for someone else and we had a good catch up and natter. I think I’ll do a blog post on the meal I cooked and the low cost of it! (less than £4 for 3 courses, excluding pantry items)

Thursday 28th was a meal out at a local pub, well actually the Thai restaurant attached to the pub! A good pint and a fantastic green curry (£15) in the great company of some of the ladies I used to worked alongside at the local CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau). It’s lovely to have caught up with them now I’m back in this area, and I’m now included on their regular meet ups.

Saturday 30th finishing the month off in style! A charity abseil 20 meters down my local church tower , this was scary but fun, the views from the Tower were great, the descent slow. Firstly I dislodged my shoe and had to dangle to get it back on before I could start to drop down and then I was a little to slender to glide down with ease! I’ve posted a video over on Instagram if you’d like to see it!  I raised over £100 towards the new roof required after the lead was stolen from the church roof.

Just before my abseil descent

On top of all this my daughters have decided to train for a 10k in November and I’ve elbowed my way in to join them! So training has started, 15 miles covered since 20th September, longest run 3 miles so far.

So a pretty social month – I’ve not included a few social dog walks, tea and coffee dates (£10) , Sunday morning tennis (£60 per annum)  and Wednesday nights choir (free).  This has all been achieved on a very tight budget too, less than £60 spent (excluding transport)!

And to top it off I won some undies courtesy of Suzi at Alternative Ageing and  Icon Undies

Icon undies

Do you have any suggestions for some great budget fun?

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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‘* Life update blogs here:
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/the-hit-has-hit-the-fan/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/up-hit-creek-2017/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/calmer-waters-part-1/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/calmer-water-part-2/

 

Bargain weekend away in North Devon

I’ve just had a bargain weekend away, spending less than £140 for 3 days and 2 nights in North Devon.  Ok, ok we were camping and we did borrow a big tent and we do have a car to transport us about BUT I have included our petrol costs.

Camping

My daughters (in their 20s and paying their own share), my dog (Rufus)  and I had the most fabulous break over Bank Holiday weekend in North Devon. We chose to camp for a couple of reasons;

  1. We needed to book for the Bank Holiday weekend but didn’t want to lose too much money if we chose not to go because…
  2. We wouldn’t go if the weather was going to be bad!

So we booked 2 nights at the Little Roadway Farm campsite near Woolacombe, all in this cost us £56.

The Journey

Our bargain weekend away began very early Saturday morning, to steer clear of the Friday traffic and to avoid putting up an unknown tent at the dead of night:). We traveled from Leicestershire to Woolacombe, with a quick coffee stop at the lovely M5 Gloucester services (a family business, a farmshop and no franchises) . We’d prepared some overnight oats (in jars) for the journey, these were a nutritious travel breakfast.

We arrived at the campsite at about 10.30 as the dew was disappearing and the sun came out.  The campsite, although fully booked, was not crowded we had a choice of location on the site, which was not huge but was green, pleasant and the facilities were good. We managed to put up the tent in not much more than 30 minutes.

Bargain weekend away tent
Our pitch!

Woolacombe

All unpacked, we headed off to walk the 1.5 miles to Woolacombe for a well earned drink and some lunch. Woolacombe beach has the Trip Advisor Award for Best UK Beach 2015 and 2016 , it is a large beach, very well equipped and it was busy as the day was warming up.

Bargain weekend away walk to wool
The walk to Woolacombe

The beach may be good and dog friendly but the town itself was a bit too (tacky) seasidey 🙁 for us! Lots of buckets and spades, arcades, ice creams, crazy golf……..all the good stuff! The walk back across the fields was lovely. We chilled at the tent, basking in the glorious sunshine before changing and heading off to Ilfracombe for the evening.

Bargain weekend away Wool
The view over Woolacombe

Ilfracombe

We parked the car near the small harbour surrounded by cliffs and met Verity! the controversial Damien Hirst statue that stands at the entrance to the harbour overlooking the Bristol Channel over to South Wales. What do you think of Verity?

Bargain weekend away Verity
Verity by Damien Hirst

Before dinner we had a wander around the town and hit upon the Beer Festival, right up my street so a local ale overlooking the sea was enjoyed. We had booked into the Blacksands Bistro for dinner , a family run bistro serving homemade, locally sourced, honest food. We sat outside, so Rufus could stay with us. As it gets chilly in late August evening the chiminea was lit and blankets provided (we didn’t need the latter).

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Our table reservation at Blacksands Bistro

We ordered a cocktail whilst we perused the menu, which had some lovely choices and local produce.

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Blacksands Bistro Cocktails

I chose a trout and cous cous dish, the girls had a cured meat platter and a chicken dish, all very delicious.  Our food was fabulous; the dessert choice was limited (and expensive) so we opted for a locally made ice cream en route back to the car.

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Blacksands Bistro 🙂

Our first night’s sleep went well, I was a little chilly but not uncomfortable. We all had to get up in the night for a wee, not ideal! Rufus was a star and slept soundly. We were woken early by the cockerel and the cows on the nearby farm.

Croyde

Sunday morning – our plan for the day was to drive to Croyde for brunch, have a walk and then find a beach.  We sat outside at The Stores and feasted on avocado on toast with a side of bacon, slugged down with a good coffee.  We watched the world go by at this busy corner of this lovely village.

Bargain weekend away Croyde
Sitting outside The Stores Croyde – Sunday brunch

Later we then walked directly towards Croyde Bay, near a campsite that looked more like a festival site with tents tightly packed in. The sun was up and it was heating up, people were flocking to the beach, not dog friendly.

Bargain weekend away Croyde Bay
Croyde Bay – crowded beach

Our plan was to walk along the coastal path up to Baggy Point (National Trust), from here we could see Woolacombe beach, it was also very busy, although the end near Putsborough Sands appeared quieter. The walk was glorious with great views.

Bargain weekend away wool bay
From Baggy Point across Woolacombe Bay

We headed back down to Croyde and dropped into Blue Groove for a drink, a popular place but plenty of space at this time….everyone was on the beach!

Putsborough Sands

We decided to head for Putsborough Sands, only to find parking was £8.50!!! After a little deliberation we agreed that between us for a full afternoon on the beach it didn’t amount to much. We were right it was worth it, although it was busy and there were lots of dogs, which we didn’t mind!  We walked along the sands and found a relatively quiet spot. We’d changed into our swimming costumes in the public toilets (new and very clean) so we spread out our blanket and settled down to read, people (and dog) watch, play with Rufus and enjoy the sun.

Bargain weekend away Puts
Putsborough Sands

The sea was bracing but we all went for a swim, including Rufus., we soon got in and got used to it. More chilling and an ice cream, left us feeling exhilarated and chuffed with our day.

Back to Croyde

That evening, after a change of plan, we were short of eatery options – Bank Holiday Sunday and we hadn’t booked! We headed back to Croyde and ordered Pizza from the pop-up pizza guys from Stoned, wood fired pizza ovens and great pizzas. We ordered 3 different ones to share, bought some drinks from The Store (see our Brunch) and had a feast.

Bargain weekend away pop up pizza
Stoned pop up pizza at Croyde

Lynton and Lynmouth

After a more comfortable night, we awoke to more brilliant sunshine, great for tent packing! We began to get packed up and whilst the tent dried out we had bacon butties from the campsite store. They were excellent and a bargain. Tent dry and car packed we headed off for a morning and a cream tea “lunch” at Lynton and Lynmouth.  Lovely picturesque villages “where Exmoor meets the sea”.

Bargain weekend away the Lyns
Lynton and Lynmouth

A cream tea had been on our list of things to do on this break and we hadn’t yet achieved it, as we wanted to be heading home before 2pm we decided that it’d be our lunch. The Pavilion came highly recommended we weren’t disappointed.

Home again

We hit the road, beat all the holiday traffic and were home before 6pm. We did miss another unbelievable afternoon’s sunshine and beach opportunity but both the girls were back at work at 8am the next day.

Bargain weekend away homeward
Rufus on the journey home

A great time was had by all, a bargain weekend away and we talked of making it an annual mother and daughter trip. The weather really helped to make it, we ate at some highly recommended (Trip Advisor) places and stayed at a top notch location, all for less than £140 each. North Devon is beautiful well worth a visit and we’ll go back to explore more of it.

Thanks for reading.

Do you have any bargain break suggestions? Let me know in the comments!

 

Jen x

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

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More family and outdoor swimming fun here

Another bargain break from earlier this year 4 days/3 nights in the Peak District for under £200!

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