Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Project Office 2019

In 2018 we renovated the bedroom in Project Bedroom.
Earlier the same year we also did the smaller Project Closet and Project Basement so I could fit in my new bicycle. In 2016 we painted the kitchen in Project Kitchen.
In between I have had several Project Pipe struggling to paint the unsightly and expansive amount of external heating pipes that this apartment contains. (The house is old and re-purposed and the central heating is added in the 1980's.)

Now, Project Office has been initiated.
The flooring we used in the bedroom last year, came up for sale.
Yesterday we cycled out to the shop, bought 15 m3 flooring, borrowed their carriage and walked home though town. Off-loaded, carried upstairs and then walked the empty carriage back to the shop. Cycled home and crashed. This is the methodology for inner city living without a car.
Money well saved and the flooring is now in the house. First step accomplished.

Actually and honestly, it is not really the first step though.
The project sort of already started before October 2018 when I left my job. The office has seven enormous book cases, two chest of drawers and a large desk. It holds books, binders, bookkeeping computers, camping and sewing equipment as well as some of the man's clothes.
Slowly over the months, we have worked our way through the shelves and drawers. Dusted, sorted, culled, packed, and discussed. Slowly the shelves have been emptied, never and rarely read books donated, rarely read books to keep packed up, everything dusted and dusted again, inventoried and assessed. The office cupboard I brought home when I cleared out my old office has been filled with the most precious books.

This has taken weeks and months and we are not done yet. But soon, everything remaining will be moved out of the office and piece by piece, fit in somewhere else while still leaving space for normal living (and the continued writing of my thesis). 

Then we will be doing the following:
- Scrape and paint pipes and radiators (but this can be done with the furniture still in there)
- Wash and mend walls.
- Paint walls and ceiling using paint remaining from 15 years ago and from project bedroom.
- Take out old carpet. (Re-wash the walls or take out carpeting first.)
- Put in new flooring.  
- Move in all bookcases, adding two more that have been in a corner for years waiting for this project.
- Find space for the content of the chests of drawers - or the chests.
- Put up a work desk, either the existing, a smaller that stands dismantled behind a bookcase or an entirely new one. (And get rid of all the redundant furniture.)

And then comes the fun part - ha-ha - to put back all equipment, books, binders and other loose stuff into the bookcases - but only the stuff we really want to keep.

While I think of that, I will enjoy only having to do the scraping and painting of pipes that is on this weeks agenda.

Thursday, 21 February 2019


Between trying to recover from a second cold this year and a relentless cough (still coughing),
trying to keep the nerves about Europa League (football, the international version),
and completing intelligence and suitability tests and preparing to be interviewed for different technical sectors of which I may know or not know very much -
I bake again.

I wanted an apron but could not find anything in the style I wanted for any kind of money I would like to pay (read: no money at all) so I grabbed an old towel and a cotton ribbon. Sewing the ribbon on the towel took probably five minutes and although the style is exactly the one I didn't want - the price is wonderfully low. The ribbon comes from the waist of an old pair of shorts and the towel is woven by my grandmother in the 1930's. Although by now worn through in a spot and really too worn to hold a position as a towel, it is perfect for an apron.

Then I baked a bread with sun-dried tomatoes as well as a ginger-pimento sponge cake while also baking dinner.

If only football was going better, all would be good but as it is not even the best tasting cake I have ever made, seems to help in the second half.

Still unable to comment on other blogs; it could be a virus - it could be the one also causing the cough.

Friday, 1 February 2019


Today, on the first day of a new month, my financial independence stretches 37 years.
If all my available assets (except the value of my studio apartment as I will always need to live somewhere) are divided with my annual budget that I live under, the financial independence number is 37,02.

The financial markets have today recovered. Literally today for the first day in month there is a jump up. Nothing certain, not securities on the financial markets, but it is warming my heart anyway.

I am still unemployed but went to a very promising interview today for which I prepared over two weeks. We'll see, it is out of my hands now. I can go back to studying and living frugally.

I have bought shoes for €50, partly for the interview and partly because they are exactly what I want. I may only use them for dressing up, but I am happy I have them.
They were not on my feet when I joined an old friend for a free soul concert in my mother's country the other day. Free soul with free food and old friends - worth every penny.

I count my financial assets the same way every month to be sure the numbers are comparable. I do not include my apartment, my pension funds that I cannot reach, or any other assets that are not available to me today. As I now own very little (no car, jewellery, boat, art or antiques) my financial assets are all that there is.

But it is mine and I can do whatever I want with it.
For now, I chose not to do anything with it but also not worry about money or income or spending.

It is nice.