Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Plants2017

Finally the scaffolding has come down.
The roof is mended, the entire house is painted and we have repaired and painted windows (outside) and new floor boards on the balcony.
After almost two months, we can walk onto the balcony again.

We are the lucky ones. The other half of our apartment house just got their balconies covered and wrapped in building scaffolding.

The Seeds of 2017 that germinated and survived are now outside. The old and free seeds did as expected not give much.

I have ten cabbage plants (but there is one or two that looks very unhappy and may not make the transition). I also have nine tomato plants growing strong and I hope that they will give some of the promised cherry tomatoes.

There are also four fennel plants and five broccoli plants. It is a little late in the season for them to go into larger pots if I was hoping for any harvest this year. But that is the current situation and that is what I will have to work with.

The large crate with wild strawberries flowered inside and started ripening berries as soon at it got into the warm outside. There will be any enormous harvest this year, but the pleasure to hunt for dessert after a dinner on the balcony makes it worth the work.

The man grew hot peppers and they are coming up fine. A bird visited yesterday and decided it was fun to pull up the little plants. Most were rescued and replanted but when the trash gods provided half of an old bird cage today, it come home with me and now protects the peppers.

The man also grew artichokes - even if we really not have space for the full sized plants. Only two survived into pots and I have high doubts that they will survive the week out.

A small pot of parsley is struggling to grow strong but hopefully something will develop into fresh herbs. I also have one strong parsley plant that grows in my oak tree pot. Together they strengthen each other and it is great to always have access to fresh parsley.

My oak tree was given to me by a bird who last year dropped an acorn in our crate of plants. By the time I found it, it had germinated and got potted somewhat sloppily. Apparently it was done right though and my little oak tree has survived both the winter (covered outside) and springtime (inside). Oakie's pot is not very big and I try to stint its growth in order to keep it "balcony sized".

We also have a plum tree that we are SO happy to have back out on the balcony after six weeks spreading her leafs, flowers and budding plums all over our living room. It truly has been a wild spring but finally Prunie is spreading her long arms over the edges of the balcony.

The temperamental bougainvillea the man has had more than ten years, is equally happy to be back outside. She hates us and anything that changes. A proper pre-teen. Any movement results in a tantrum where she looses all her leafs in protest. This year however, Bougie went from a warm kitchen to a hot summer day and so far - fingers crossed, although not very hopefully - she seems satisfied.

Yes, all our larger plants have names. They are mostly female but not always. It depends on how they behave. I talk to them too, mostly soothing as if to toddlers, especially when addressing Bougie. They are family members until we get adopted by cats or dogs again.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Cycling in Amsterdam

The hoards of tourists are descending upon us in Amsterdam for the summer season.
Seven years ago, I was a tourist too, and I still have the scars. This year however, there seems to be more tourists than ever and, possibly, stupider than ever.
The stupidest tourists are the ones who walk. The second stupidest are the ones on bikes.

If you know how to cycle, or at least can keep your balance while you actually move yourself forward faster than walking speed, by all means - rent a bicycle in Amsterdam. It is the best way to see the town that really isn't that big. Cycling in Amsterdam is an experience. It is also beautiful.

If you do not know how to cycle, or you have not cycled since you were five - DO NOT cycle in Amsterdam. The traffic is not for for the faint hearted, and by traffic I mean cycling traffic. If you are attempting to drive in Amsterdam, remember you have no rights, no right of way, no right to pass, no right to the road, there are no demands that you can make. Cars in Amsterdam have only obligations! The primary obligation is that you must always let bicyclists pass regardless where they come from. (Cars other than taxis that is. We are all scared of the taxis.)

If you know how to cycle, and you also know general traffic rules, you will be fine.
By all means rent a bicycle, and get a really low bike so that we know from far away that you are an amateur bicyclist.  If you are German, do wear your bicycle helmet. If you are not, and not in full bicycle racing gear, don't. (Several people die in bicycle traffic in Amsterdam every year, so this social restriction is a bit unfortunate but there it is.)
But most importantly: follow the traffic rules. It is easy.

Cycle on the bicycle path.

That means cycle on the effing bicycle path and it includes that you only cycle on the bicycle path. You do not ever stop on the bicycle path. Don't walk on it. Not even with your bike. Don't ever stop with your bike on the bicycle path. (Also don't stop with your bike on a bridge, a corner, a crossing, a tram stop, or any other place where other bicyclists are trying to get past.) Don't even cross a bicycle path walking slowly.

Keep the speed when cycling on the bicycle path. If you want to cycle slowly, get of the bicycle path and ride on the foot path. (Yes, I know, but if you are that slow, people will manoeuvre around you.)

Look where the hell you are going! Don't look at your friend. Don't look at the view. Don't use the camera. Most importantly, don't look at your phone. Not while riding a bike. Not unless you know what you are doing. And you don't. You're a tourist.

Remember that the bicycle path in Amsterdam is actually a motorway. We cycle everywhere, in any weather, every day and we know where we are going. We are not enjoying ourselves. We are going somewhere and you are in the way. Yes, you are. Always. By definition.
You do not stop in the middle of the motorway to wait for your friend, do you? (If you do, don't be surprised if you get physically hit by other bicyclists). And if you do, you must stop to the right on the path, never on the left.
And for crying out loud, cycle on the right hand side of the bicycle path, also when narrow, so we can get past you without pushing you in the canal. Don't hang left, don't cycle in pairs, don't wobble, and never ever ride in the middle.
If you don't know where you are going, get off the bicycle path. Quickly.
And watch out for the buses, trams, tram tracks, and the never ending road works.
Simple rules really.

If you leave your bike somewhere, lock it. Lock and chain it. Through the front wheel, frame and something fixed. Use two chains if you need to. Don't ever park you bike in places where nobody else has parked their bike. If there is space for your bikes, is usually because THE BIKE IS IN THE WAY AND YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE STUPID ENOUGH NOT TO REALISE. Park in the bicycle parking stands. They are everywhere.
Oh, you think the bicycle parking stand is full? No it isn't.
An Amsterdam bicycle parking stand is only ever full for amateurs (or the ones with nice, expensive bikes). Our bikes are huge, steel framed work horses that survive anything. We usually just shove it in there. A bicycle stand always has room for one more bike - mine.
Don't chain your bike to the public urinals. (Or if you do - and I still know who you are - don't be insulted when somebody tries to tell you and then really do not be insulted when a drunk shoves past you to go piss on your bike from inside the urinal. While you still are sitting down working on the chain lock. Yes, you did!)

Sure, Amsterdammers also makes mistakes in traffic, but it is not these mistakes. There are many very tiny, sometimes invisible, small signs used between cyclists that enable fast cycling through town without hitting each others bike - not very often at least.

If you are so stupid that you walk on the bicycle path, or step out into the path, or cross it without giving way to the passing bicyclists, we will (and that is not only I and it is most certainly not that we may do it), WE WILL ride into you to teach you a lesson.
Or we will hit you with the handlebars as we pass you to teach you a lesson. Or with the bicycle cases or the huge crates we have attached on our bikes only for this purpose.
We most certainly will violently ring our bike bells at you. If that not clearly enough expresses how stupid we think you are for walking on or into the bicycle path, we might also shout verbal insults at you. They will wish you ill-health and be mostly in Dutch. However, most of us are multi-lingual and we may even stop and in your own language insult your lack of intelligence, just so you understand how stupid we think you are for walking on the bike path. Or shake a fist at you. (Less common, but not impossible if you are really stupid, you might be spit on.) Sometimes, we will ring the bike bells even if you have not even done anything, because we want to get your attention and stop you from walking out in front of us. Because you will. You all do. You are all stupid. And we don't have the energy to tell you. Not all of you. Not every day.

That is why the police who will fine you for causing bicycle traffic accidents. They also can take your bicycle away from you, also if rented, and ban you from cycling in Amsterdam. Or they should. Some of you are really not safe to let out into traffic on you own. And in groups you are even worse. 

Do come to Amsterdam, enjoy the rudeness and please don't leave until you have had at least one angry bicyclist ring the bell at you. At least that is what I think you all aim for.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Ornaments

Most people have ornaments in their home.

Here is my best advice regarding ornaments if you are not moving.
Pack them all up.

If you really miss something specific in a few weeks, put it back. This is not torture, it is a chance to change.

Feng Shui say that nothing has an impact after six months. The message of ornaments will disapear and have no impact in your life. If you like me live with a blind person (not literally), ornaments for them blend into the background within a few months or weeks (days!) and does not matter.
If you are like me, you are impacted and activated with change and ornaments is one of the easiest ways to change your home life.

Take a look at everything on window sills, shelves, fireplaces, tables and walls.
Does it DO anything?
Is it a candlestick with a candle you actually light? Is it a lighter? Is it a lamp? A bottle opener? Is it alive? If it doesn't breath or have a function - pack it up. Just that. Just packing it up. You are not to get rid of it.

Now enjoy your space for a few days. Perhaps even weeks.
Do you miss a particular item? Unpack it.
Do you want something special? Do you have something already that will work? Unpack it.
Do you want something you do not have. Put it on your wish list.
Do you need something that does something special?
A storage shelf instead of an ornamental table?
A living plant instead of  porcelain kitten?
Is aunt Gertrude's old vase now finally out of the way and you can display your own pottery? (Leave her vase packed up. You are more important.)
Fill the space you pay for and call home with yourself and who you are now.
If you are happier in the past, keep the things that ground you. Otherwise, display reminders of a future that excites you.

The first time I cleared out ornaments and packed them up was 1997. I mentioned it at a couples dinner some days later (those were those days and that lifestyle). The woman ran -RAN- around the apartment looking for ornaments to prove me useless. She found a gigantic pine cone on a window sill that I had brought back from Rome and came back to the dinner table to finish her food dressed in the satisfaction that I was a useless liar and ornaments were good. She was never invited again.

I am not sure what this story tells about ornaments. Or about me for that matter.

Sometimes it is difficult to change, but it is almost always impossible to change others in any other way than by quiet example.

If you are moving, get rid of everything that is purely decorative. (I say this although nobody will do it but it might make you think.)
Your new home will need new decorations.
Your new life should be decorated with new ornaments.
Be your current, or your future.
The past you will always have within you.


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Handle

For weeks I have been walking around with a screw driver in my hand bag.

I am a zero spender and we live in a rental apartment where we are responsible for everything inside.
The kitchen is fine (not good) but fine. The kitchen cabinet handles are dreadful however. And of course, once I had seen the handles, noticed the handles, decided the handles were dreadful - I could think of nothing else. We needed new handles.
I talked to the man, he wouldn't mind new handles. But the old had to be saved so that if we move out, we can put them back in. (Yes, national rental regulations are very different.)
Of course we do not want to spend money on something we do not own but I had a plan.
I measured the existing handles and especially the distance of the holes in the cabinet doors.
And then I put a screw driver in my pocket.

I had seen that old kitchen and bathroom cabinets were common on the street of large waste collection, sometimes even other days. The cabinets usually still had the handles left on them.
If I had a screwdriver with me, I could rescue - evacuate - liberate - steal - reuse - adopt to a new home - the handles so callously put out on the street by the previous owners.

The daily walks around town now had one eye looking for old cabinets.

They were plenty, with and without handles. Some handles were horrible. Some where non-standard. Some where wonderful but then I did not have the screwdriver with me. Usually when I was far away from home and could not go back for them later.

But then the other day - the handles appeared. The gaudiest, elaborate, standard in size, non-standard in appearance, handles appeared. (I still had to go home for the screwdriver because by now it lived in my hand bag and this day of course I went on the walk with out it).

This is a picture of the old next to the new handles.
There were only three of them but we only needed three for one side of the kitchen.

Personally, I think they are a great improvement although I am not sure that I like them that much.
The man loves them and finds them amusing, hilarious and because they are not at all like anything in our kitchen, the best thing ever.
He now wants six other different sorts of handles the the six remaining kitchen cabinet doors.

I keep the screwdriver in my pocket and keep looking for handles to add to what will, if all goes according to the man's plan, be a very eclectic mix of handles in an otherwise quite standardised kitchen.

The best thing? They can be removed in thirty seconds and changed into something else.


Friday, 19 May 2017

2009 to now

2009 I dreamed.

I dreamed of not being alone.
I dreamed of being financially independent.
I dreamed of having a less demanding job.
I dreamed of being intellectual.

Hopeless, hopeless dreams. It would never happen.
It didn't just happen. Nothing never just happens. Everything takes work and many, many little steps.

I went on-line and went on bad dates. One I almost didn't go on. It almost didn't become anything. The connection almost sank several times. But somehow we managed to keep the relations ship sailing and I am not alone.

I started super-saving, found ERE and worked on the steps. Within five years, I had change my financial lifestyles and had 20 annual budgets in assets. Since then it has only increased.

I was kicked out of my job, I found another, I hated it and I found yet another further down the career path. Less demanding, slightly boring. I changed my life to be more focused on the non-job part of living. I worked hard to get a job that stays within 8 hours of the day. Then I cut it to four days a week.

I started an on-line course at a university in a subject that only interested me and had no value in my work related life. I never mentioned it to friends. I read the literature at night when I was awake with insomnia worrying about my job. I wrote the papers on trains, planes and taxis. I attended on-line seminars from any location and at any time I could wrangle away. The professor was enthusiastic. The following semester I took another of his on-line courses. I later took the full first year course load part time, on-line. Then switched universities to do the second year course (as the first university did not do second year on-line). The third year course was started at a third university that was no good. I dropped it and restarted the third year one year later at a fourth university and I graduated with a bachelor of arts in my chosen subject. The fourth year I struggled with the third university as they were the only ones doing it on-line and worked hard to make them do their job of actually educating. The firth year the same and it is not quite over yet.
Preparations for my masters thesis have been difficult, not to say very difficult, with the third university. 
Today I was confirmed to do my masters thesis as a separate course, on-line, part time at the first university. Although the course does not exist, they will make it happen.

My supervisor and mentor is my first professor.

In his favourite subject. In the subject of the first course I took on the subject of history.

(Different approach, same fascination.)
My entire education is after all his fault, his responsibility, his doing - only fair that he takes this project to the end.

He is also the kindest, most supportive, motivating, patient and most genuine person I think I have ever met. (And no, that is not how you get ahead in academia. But it is how research is kept active.)

Amazing what dreaming and many small steps can create. 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Bought clothes 2017

So far in 2017 I have bought the following pieces of clothing.

2 micro-fibre long sleeved t-shirts
bra
4 standard cotton t-shirts
1 vintage football jersey
2 wool hiking socks
1 blue t-shirt with buttons (trash find)
1 cotton striped long sleeved t-shirt
1 pair of full price original black Levis' 501 jeans

Total amount of money spent: €60
No, that does not add up. Not with a pair of Levis' being €90.

I take surveys on-line and get paid in gift cards which I use in one of my favourite department stores which supplies me with clothes, underwear and hygiene articles.
I also pick up clothes from trash piles, donation boxes and friends. I use the same criteria for those pick-ups as I do when buying in a store. There are more people out there (and with more normal sizes) who will take what will not fit or suit me.

The clothes are black, grey, white, blue, red and beige. (Not entirely according to plan but not far off.)
One is striped horizontally which I have not worn in many years but like. (That is according to plan.)

The bra is complementing, border-lining replacing the bras bought after thorough research in 2015. One is behaving strangely and is worn out. This is the one that has been used the most and treated the worst (hand washing in hotel rooms does not go easy on clothes). The second is still in the running but needed a companion.

My need for t-shirts is by now completely filled up and t-shirts join tank-tops on the list of NO BUY.
But I now have a range of different t-shirts in varied colours and materials for a multitude of uses (pyjama, sport, casual, work, and going out). Long- and short-sleeved, round- and V-necked, extra long as well as normal length. (The extra long t-shirts are worn with a shorter top or sweater, perhaps a top or a sweater that otherwise is too short to wear.)

The jeans replace the pair of black jeans (bought 2009) that I managed to get paint on two months ago when I did project pipes. I used a magic marker for clothing on the stain to be able to use them until I was ready for a new pair. (This pair will be left in the nest to be used as emergency/laundry trousers.) The new pair of jeans will also replace the previous pair of Levis' 501's bought 2010 that I love but any day expect to have my buttocks fall out of (although many and serious mending there really is very few threads left in the bum area). I will have do to a serious inventory of stock of my trousers, (Edit: I DID) but I think I will be fine for the rest of the year. I did after all manage to suit up in office gear some time ago so even if there isn't amount, there sure is versatility available.

I still plan to buy socks (black) this year (but not yet) unless my life-style changes which would probably require some sort of office clothes, but it isn't looking threatening at the moment. I would be fine for the first week though, I have handled party situations with existing clothing and otherwise I don't think I need anything else.

T-shirts go on the no-buy list while socks go on the wish-list, but I will wear out a few more before I buy ten identical new pairs.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Buying clothes in 2017

Having gone through my clothes and discarding quite a bit, I know that I might need to buy (find) clothes during 2017.
Very little clothes have been bought the last five years. I am starting to wear out clothes and reducing the amounts. I went trough everything last year and did an ambitious project trying to wear out the worst which also has reduced the amounts. I now have very little that I do not use.

Reducing my weight a bit, at least temporarily, also has allowed me to dive into the bag with 'thin' clothes (the bag with 'fat' clothes have been used very much lately - sigh.)

I know that there will be a few needs coming up in the clothes section during 2017. Socks is one thing. Pyjama trousers is another. Or maybe I actually don't need anything?
I want to get the right things if I do get something, even if it is from the trash gods, so I have been amusing myself with planning what to buy. So that when or if I buy anything again it will fit with what I have and support my current lifestyle.
I need to consider colours. My wardrobe is quite monochrome and I want colours, that fit me and that fit the rest of the clothes. 

First decision is to stay away from pink, corals and even red. They make me happy to wear but really does not suit me. My pale skin goes ruddy red really quickly. A pink sweater with my blond hair and a ruddy cheeks makes me look like a piece of pork. The reds are also too strong from my lifestyle which is more low energy and low key. They also do not go with work, making me look to much as a fire extinguisher and really clashes with the high-viability vests.

I will also stay away from the blues. Most blues that is. I never wear blue jeans and up until about ten years ago, I never wore blue. Then I found periwinkle, lavender and royal blues. These nuances suit me really well and I can wear it every where. It is really limited to a few very specific blues though. And I have enough, there really isn't anything I need right now.

I love the greens, especially apple, lime and grass green green. They suit me and make me very happy. Not business like though and again the shade of green has to be exactly right or it goes very wrong. Most of my camping and outdoor gear is high-tech hunting gear that comes in florescent orange or forest green. I consequently already have a lot of forest green and really should not add more without joining the forestry service. Or join the army.
Orange is the monarchist colour of the Netherlands and although useful for football, it can only be worn specific days. And I am not an orangist monarchist. Nor do I support their national football team (although they sourly need support the poor sods.)

Yellow in general is not a colour that suits me and I have not worn it much since I left my teens.

So what does that leave me?
Black.
White.
Browns,  greys and the beiges.
Check. Got all that.
(And all you artists out there can cringe as much as you want, when it comes to clothing, black and white are indeed colours.)

And patterns. I am left with patterns. 
I think I will attempt to aim for patterns. Something graphic, organic, non descriptive, certainly not text, brand or glitter. No stripes and no checkers unless it is gingham, glenchecks or pepita.
Very difficult but I think that the 1960s, Mary Quant and Mondrian could be inspirations.
I think that the right pattern could sort out the problem with colours.

I also want to look at fabrics. Texture in a garment brings just as much to clothes as the colour and their nuance does. Of course the garment also must be well-fitting, good quality but the fabric and its texture does make a difference. I want to stay away from 100% cotton, but rather aim for wool, silk, viscose or new high technical function materials that dry quickly and never smells. But they can not make me look like a hunter, camper, hiker or hobo. Still the garment must be something that enables me to go to a fancy restaurant if I want to without changing.

Combining these requirement, and within my budget (as low as possible and possible for nothing) should fulfil my goal for clothes.
It would give me clothes that I can wear for a very long time with minimum annoyance. 

It could possibly lead to a situation where I get NOTHING new at all.
That could be fine too.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Coffee

We have counted and calculated our use of coffee.
Four packages of coffee, 500 gr, lasts us about three months, when we work.
This means that we use 12 packages of coffee a year, say 15 just to even it out.
15 packages of coffee cost us about €75.
Add to that about four pots of instant coffee through the year, say five to give margins.
That costs us about €20.
The rest of the coffee we drink is paid for by our respective offices or client.

We probably only go out for coffee once a month at home. Add generously speaking €10 per café visit a month (always with cake!), that makes another total €120 in a year. Just for café visits.
We never buy take-out-coffee unless we travel, and even then we sit and drink our coffee like civilized people.

Actually when travelling, take out coffee can be a relatively large part of our travel budget (buying coffee 24 times in 28 days). When hiking and camping though, we have the camping cooker with us, and always make morning coffee in the tent or drink it standing at the espresso bar to keep the price low.

Adding up, this would make an annual budget of €215 just for coffee. Minimum.
Out of which 55% minimum could be coffee in a café. With cake.
Those are horrific numbers!
If we also would have paid for take-out-coffee, the amount of money (AND calories) for just coffee would have sky-rocketed. We much rather save that money and spend it doing something we will remember.

These are the numbers we use when making the decision whether to have coffee immediately or to go home first and drink it there. Or go without.
(We drink tea, and a lot of other things too, but that is not coffee.)

How much do you spend a month on take-out-coffee?

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Pricket

I own a pair of much loved, much cherished and very imposing brass pricket candlesticks.

Pricket candle sticks means that they can only be used with church candles (the ones with a hole in the bottom).

I bought them in 2002 from the police when they sold stolen items where the owner could not be identified. So I do not know where they come from but I know they have been stolen. They are now mine until somebody with a better claim comes along.

The candlesticks are very HEAVY, 8 kg each and made from brass. They are almost half a metre high and with a base plate of 0,4 metre and a top plate (to catch the dripping candle wax) about 0,3 metre wide. They dominate any room and I love them.

They look like they could be made in the 16th or early 17th century and they look Flemish or German (Nuremberg) but then not quite. They could sit on a kings table or a catholic church altar but not quite. Not everything is right.

Since they became mine, I have spent a lot of researching and reading books on historic candlestick designs and metal works. I can identify any kind of European metal candlestick at a glance - except my own. They are unidentifiable and this has possessed my mind for close to ten years.

Yesterday they were identified by an expert. The most adorable little man with white hair and a bushy moustache and with extreme knowledge, he knew immediately what they were
- and what they were not.

My candle sticks are not 15th century and they are not 16th century.
They are also not 17th century.
However, they have something from each period, different styles are combined, making them resembling various 16th century candlesticks style without being copies or anything.
They are definitely made in the early 19th century.
Further than that, it is not possible to identify them.
But he loved them too.

He also made clear that they are most probably not made for any kind of religious community (although there are very similar candlesticks in my favourite synagogue - where I go for the music, and they let me in, pagan as I am, because they are good people and because good people do not care about a persons religion but their actions - but I digress....)

Anyway, they are valued to 600-800 € the pair, not more.
It is sad they are not from my favourite historical period but it also means that I now can use them, admire them, display them and be proud of them.

They are mine and nobody can or will take them away from me. 
I also do not need to add to my home insurance or donate them to a museum or even write a monograph about their history so that they are not forgotten in art history.

I can just love them and finally show them off.
(Banana for scale.)

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Alcohol

One of my short term ambitions from March 2017 was to have a month without alcohol.
It was one of the easiest promises ever.
Except that I didn't quite make it.
During the month I had wine with a very special dinner with good friends. So I cheated.
It was worth it.

I didn't drink anything else that month. I still consider that ambition reached.
At the very last day of the month, I also went to that fancy party with free bar.
Just my kind of thing.
I still only managed two glasses of wine because of the bad coughing.
Good wine though.

At the end of the 30 days, we decided that the ambitions were done with and we bought wine for a weekend dinner.
Unfortunately the wine wasn't great. I didn't drink much of the bottle.
Some went into a sauce a few days after.

Since then, the weather is also cold, and although there is now both wine and beer in the house, we have not drunk it. I am now going past six weeks of the initiation of the ambitions and so far nothing more has been drunk. Warmer weather is coming though and normal routines will be resumed.

The best is that with this short term ambitions, we have managed removed or at least reduced the casual, conventional, routinely, repetitive drinking of wine with dinner or weekend.
It might come back, but it has been good to change the pattern.

I think the man misses his drink, he has a small whiskey occasionally.
Me, I am Viking. There is a different attitude to drink in my culture. 
I drink at parties and to get drunk.
If there is no party or I can't be drunk: I don't see the point in alcoholic drink. It really has to be good or I will not drink it.

So by now, with age and different lifestyle, I of course get drunk very quickly.
It is not pretty.
I want to listen to Lordi (try this Youtube if you dare) or ABBA, Kim Larsen or even A-ha. (But by then it is really time to go home).

Monday, 1 May 2017

FI34,68

There is at the moment very little I want to change in my life (except trying to loose those pesky +3 kilogrammes. It is not going too great at the moment but hey-ho, at least I have not gained.) Even the weather is decent. I suppose it could be warmer, the balcony renovation finished and some of my seeds and plants growing better. But it will do.

It is quite good right now. Family is alive, friends are doing well, the man is happy. Even school feels good, papers are progressing according to plan and the plan for the final thesis is developing. The job is a little boring but there is a glimmer of advancement or change at the end of the year. If not, I can just turn the computer off and look for other things to do. Such as finishing that final thesis (I expect to be in full academic panic by then.) I could look around for other involvements, perhaps permanently settling in the man's country. Perhaps get an allotment. All this is thought about the future and I am happy with right now. I do not need much. One of those things I do not need any more is a job. I want one though, I like what I do. But the shape and forms of it could be unconventional.  That is what financial independence does to you.

The financial independence number for the month of May is 34,68, meaning with my current low annual budget proving the current low fuss lifestyle, I could keep this up for 34,68 years. I am now not doing much to increase the numbers. I save the same amount every month that I have always done but with more money saved and invested, the interests and dividends are self-generating more assets.

I am very grateful to my forefathers who instilled a careful attitude to money in the family which I inherited as a child. We have always saved. I have always saved. Sometimes for a special cause. Most of the time just to have the ability to do things. I paid my own independent trip abroad at fifteen from my own money (it would not have happened otherwise). I left home at sixteen. I worked every summer and through school. I have never had a service job, always technical, dirty and well-paid. I held onto the money until I needed it. I have never been broke. I kept a buy ban for two years before I bought my house. I happily emptied it and sold it 2013 after ten happy years and did not buy a new one. I got rid of most of my belongings. I moved into the base and moved abroad again, and again. I lowered my expectations and got rid of the things I could not live without. I became free, reduced the expenses and invested the liberated funds.
That process took five years. The latest two years have only been growing the financial independence because life is good as it is and currently I ask for nothing more.
So I keep saving.