New Year Voucher Giveaway – What Will You Buy?

Happy New Year, and I hope that your New Year has gotten off to a bang!

Here is a brilliant giveaway for you for a £50 Amazon Gift Voucher! Yes, you could win a free Amazon Gift Voucher, you know, to buy that present that ‘someone’ has forgotten to get you.

There are plenty of ways to enter, simply scroll down to the Rafflecopter widget below to see the options. You will also see the terms and conditions below as well as all of the blogs taking part – please do take a moment to visit them to show your support to them.

Bloggers Taking Part

Here is a list of all of the bloggers taking part in this giveaway – please show your support by visiting them.

Mortgages After 60 | Madam Blunt | All Sorts of Jazz | Positively Eco | Lifestyle Saving Techniques | Online Calendar | Touch of Wellness | Diet Exercise Lose Weight | Blog Bay Bee | Not Got a Clue | Sit and Take in the View | Mrs Money Pot | Have a Fab Day | Wake Up it’s Monday | Our Life Interrupted | The Coffee Chef | The Cocktail Bird | My Healthy Temple | Toothbrush Packed | Save and Earn | The Finance Fettler | Doing the Impcosible | Bright Fish Media | Bake More Cake | Bossy Girl | Swift Earning | Sahara Vibes | Manifest with Loa | Successful Mess | Life Changing Side Hustle | Buddin a Community Garden | Valid Articles | Houston Marcha | Frugal and Fun | 4 Kids Blog | Blog Masters | Miss Foxy Blog | Sand and Sunshine | Birds and Lilies | The Way Up Fitness | Brig Knows Best | Making Money Mummy | The Smokin Cuban | Vegan Book | Mums the Wurd | The Thrifty Princess | Steely Soft | The Work Place Designer | Amaze Ball Gamer | File Taker | Doggie Attitude | Skinny Spending | Gin and Gemini | Discount Days Out | Cheat Planet | The Happy Piggy Bank | Sweet Oven Lovin | Money Matters | Your Property Your Life | Fully Money | Make a Little Money | Five Ways To | Shes Changing Lanes | Chasing my Sunshine | Karen Apple Yard | Fox and Flora | The How to Heroes | Home Town Furniture | Tingle Bytes | Gepun | The Good Life in Somerset | The Green Shilling | Know Health | Kiddoco | Several Ways to | Pounds and Pennies | Christmas Ahoy | Dot Ranker | SEO Gold | Attested Document Online | Mums Guide to Life | Positively Lifestyle | It’s Side Hustle Time | Surviving Coffee | Swallowtail Games | FRMT | The Shop for Her | Out of Trouble | Live the Green Lifestyle | Live Life Love | The Money Raven | Life With More Sparkle | Balance the Budget | Full of Wishes | When Twitter is Down | Body Potency | Hello Sixty | Mudpies and Rainbows | Side Hustle Gna | The Parenting Insider | Project Poppet | Frugal Home Project | Lisa Cooking | Bells and Bouquets | Once Upon a Baby | Infant Blog | Good Homepage

The Prize

This prize is a £50 Amazon Gift Voucher

Terms and conditions

1. There is one top prize of a £50 Amazon Gift Voucher.
2. There are no runner-up prizes.
3. Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding all bloggers involved with running the giveaway
4. Closing date for entries is midnight on 23.01.2022
5. The same Rafflecopter widget appears on all the blogs involved, but you only need to enter on one blog
6. Entrants must log in to the Rafflecopter widget, and complete one or more of the tasks – each completed task earns one entry in the prize draw
7. Tweeting about the giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget will earn five bonus entries into the prize draw.
8. 1 winner will be chosen at random.
9. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date and will need to respond within 28 days with their delivery address, or a replacement winner will be chosen.
10. The winners’ names will be published in the Rafflecopter widget (unless the winner objects to this).
11. The prizes will be dispatched within 14 days of the winner confirming their details.
12. The promoter is Drew Media LTD t/a www.MakeMoneyWithoutAJob.com
13. By participating in this prize draw, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions

Enter now

Simply complete any or all of the Rafflecopter entry widget options below to be entered. You can also tweet about the giveaway daily to earn bonus entries.

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Creative Ways To Make Money With Your House.

Image Credit: Edvaldocostacordeiro from Pixabay.

If you’re anything like me, then you could use a little bit of extra money every once in a while. I say that as if it’s easy to do. It could be complicated, especially if you can’t work extra hours.

You could make money with your house. You could be as surprised as I was to find out that there are multiple ways of doing so. You might’ve thought that the only methods of making money from your home are by renting or selling it.

There are more ways to do it. I’ve found that there are a few that could be much easier than others. You’ll have to put in some effort, but that shouldn’t be off-putting.

If you’re on the verge of buying a house, then you could end up paying off your home repayments with this, depending on what mortgage quotes you get. That could make them more than appealing.

Make Money With Your House Quickly & Easily

Grow A Garden

Most people grow a garden because of how nice it looks. I know I certainly do. You could make money with this too, too. If you grow food, for example, you could sell any extra produce.

Then there are the seeds, among other things. The possibilities are almost endless here. Alongside the financial aspect, I like this because of how nice it can make your garden. While you’ll have to get your hands dirty, I don’t see a reason not to consider this.

Host Events

If you’re lucky enough to own a large property, then you can make money with your house in many more ways. One of the largest is by hosting events. While this will be more of an option if you have gardens and other outdoor spaces, it’s still worth looking at if you don’t.

I like this approach because it involves relatively little effort on your end. Instead, you should only need to advertise what events you’ll host and then interact with anyone that’s interested. 

Share Your Parking Space

I’ve seen quite a few people deciding to rent out their parking spaces over the past few years. In many business hubs, and some nearby areas that are densely populated, it could be quite profitable.

If you have a parking space, then you could put it to work. You can even do this if you already use it. There might be certain parts of the day or week where your space isn’t being used.

Renting it out during these times could be more profitable than you’d think. I know I was surprised. You can use multiple apps and platforms to do this, which takes away almost all of the hassle.

Wrapping Up

I’ve found that trying to make money with your house shouldn’t be too difficult. You can take advantage of quite a few methods and strategies. If you already work from home, the above could be ways to boost your revenue stream.

It could even help you make your dream home a reality. If you’re like me, then that should be more than welcome. Who’d argue with extra money with relatively little effort?

Online Games – Not Just For Your Grandchildren!

If like me, you are really fed up with the gloom and doom of evening TV news, and need a little distraction, then why not dip your toes into the world of online gaming.

By this, I do NOT of course mean, the ones that (sadly) today’s younger generation seem glued to.  Which let’s be honest, seem to be extremely violent, both in noise, and image.  I expect like me, it can seem a bit worrying when you overhear them on their various gadgets, and see the concentration involved.

But online gaming can encompass many things; word games, mahjong, card games and so on.

One I’ve found that might appeal to you is  called hidden objects. 

 

It’s really easy to follow, and the object of the game is to find the hidden objects in various settings, such as a garden, a castle, a kitchen, and so on.  This one is accompanied by plinkety plonk music, not gunfire and screams!

The setting comes up on the screen, with the hidden objects shown beneath, and then you have to click on the corresponding things, as you find them in the settings.  There is a timer, and you are playing against yourself, but trying to beat your own times, and levels.

At first, you whizz through, and there’s a nice little ping, as you kind of tick them off, but, as always, it gets harder as you go along and the objects become increasingly more difficult to find.

This does require a degree of concentration, but at the same time, its really absorbing, and challenging.

The settings are interesting, and well put together, I particularly liked the garden one, as it was full of weird and wonderful objects, but the colours are nice and bright and it’s uplifting.

The kitchen setting was quite involved, so many spoons, and utensils, and obviously the pre-requisite toasters, kettles and food mixers, that you might find in any kitchen in your home.

Most of us now have either a phone, iPad, or laptop to access these games, and when you get fed up with the newspapers, word search, or Sudoku, and need something to occupy yourself, I think these are a really good idea.

There’s lots to choose from.  Nostalgic card games, like Gin Rummy, Black Jack, Crazy Eights,  and if Word Search is your thing, then there is something there for you too.

These little online games can be helpful to calm your mind, or maybe even help you sleep if your brain decides to get busy in the middle of the night.

Good also for long journeys, by train or plane, ( probably best avoided if you are actually driving!).  And for those tedious times in waiting rooms, you can just get down with the youngsters and whip out your phone, and do some online gaming.

One things for sure, at least it won’t be noisy, or aggressive, unless of course you can’t find one of the hidden objects, then you might just use some colourful language yourself, out of frustration.

Try it out, I guarantee you’ll be hooked!

If like me, you are really fed up with the gloom and doom of evening TV news, and need a easy little distraction, then why not dip your toes into the world of online gaming.

 

Turning Your Holiday Home Dream Into A Reality.

www.hellosixty.com

 

Some times, there is never a right time to do the things YOU want to do, there always seems to be a reason to put things off.

It might just be a family birthday, an upcoming wedding, or even emergency child care, that stops you from say having a weekend away, or meeting up with long lost friends who happen to be in the area….only just at the wrong time.

All that is kind of understandable, it’s part of life’s rich pattern, on a day to day basis. But what happens if you really have a dream, that will be reasonably easy to fulfil, once all these family commitments ease, and you have more time for yourself, to really do the things you want to do.

Eventually, you come to a point in life when the children are off hand, retirement is within your grasp, and you start thinking to yourself, what’s next for me, I’d quite like a little adventure before it’s too late.

Perhaps you’ve had some happy family holidays abroad, and have thought how nice it would be to own a holiday home in your favorite place in the sun.   Well once your ‘babies’ have flown the nest, either to University, or to homes of their own, surely you too can begin to explore some options of your own, and turn that dream holiday home, into a reality.

There are so many very accessible holiday home destinations, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, to name but a few. In the aftermath of Brexit, of course there are a few more hurdles to jump over than before. But nothing insurmountable.  And once you’ve made the decision, and got that holiday home bug, it’s likely that not much will stop you, or get in your way.

So once your destination is decided, what comes next?

One of the main considerations of course will be finances.  Will you want to downsize from your family home to raise some capital to put towards a second home. Or will you simply remortgage your present home, which may have increased in value significantly over the years.

There are now some handy online tools to help you work out deposits and repayments, to work out  how much this could all cost you.   Everything is to hand, at the click of a button, and once you have some figures in mind,  you’ll instantly know if what you plan is viable, and more to the point, affordable.  No tedious pen and paper budgeting, and it may even mean you won’t actually have to set foot into your building society.  It can all be done online, at home.

Turning your holiday home dream into a reality doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Everything you need to know, is virtually at your fingertips.  So start making a plan, no matter how long term it might seem to be, and one day, the time WILL be right, things will fall into place, and you can begin your own new adventure.

 

 

I Forgot To Remember To Tell You Something

 

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Maybe it’s happening already, lol. I think we need to talk about the big one that we all avoid. Let’s talk about dementia. Wow. The “D word”. But the fact remains dementia is a strong possibility for all of us as we get older. It’s more of a blanket term for age-related issues like forgetting things, diminished mental capacity, and language problems. But I think you will agree that dementia is an essential subject to discuss.

It’s a terrifying subject, and if you want to avoid talking about it, I understand entirely. But it’s not wise to avoid the real issues. But as French philosopher Charles de Montesquieu once stated, “Happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them.” Corny, I know, but together we can help each other face real issues like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

It Might Happen to You

Currently, there are approximately 50 million people globally with dementia-related illnesses. I think you will agree with me that this is a shockingly high figure. Even more shocking, though, is projected to increase by 204% to 152 million by 2050. This means that if you are in your 40s or 50s now, you could potentially be a part of this statistic. This is because dementia is more common at the age of 65 and above.

The effects of dementia-related illnesses are pretty severe. You’re probably aware of the memory problems caused by Alzheimer’s and the uncontrollable shaking of Parkinson’s. But there are lots more serious symptoms that might require someone to seek out respite care. For example, the blood vessels to the brain can become restricted, causing vascular dementia. This causes stroke and impaired cognitive function to the point of constant care requirement.

Can We Avoid It?

I can give you some good news, though. New studies have shown that the effects and illnesses related to dementia can be reduced. Basically, we need to look after ourselves. That’s it. This means regular exercise, a healthy diet, and NO SMOKING. Yeah, the big one. Smoke. I shouldn’t have to tell you how bad smoking is for your health in this day and age. Oh, yeah, and the health of others; In the United States alone, second-hand smoke accounts for 41,000 deaths and over 7,000 cases of lung cancer each year.

Seriously though, the Alzheimer’s Society has some great information. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent dementia, doctors can see a correlation between a poor lifestyle and related illnesses. So I want you to be as healthy as possible, ditch the cigarettes and alcohol, eat less harmful sugar, eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and stay active. Literally, get your skates on. 

Going Mental

In addition to a healthy and active lifestyle, the onset of many of the cognitive issues associated with dementia can be delayed by regular mental exercise. I know you’re probably thinking, “what does that mean?“. Mental exercise is simply anything that stimulates the brain. This can be completing puzzles, writing crosswords, solving arithmetic riddles like Sudoku, or learning a new language.

I know some of those might be a little on the nose, so reading a book or playing a game like Scrabble are also viable options. Recent studies have also found that playing video games can help with dementia-related illnesses. Of course, I’m not suggesting that you go and steal your grandkids’ PlayStation. Still, smaller smartphone apps provide games designed specifically for memory and logic puzzles.

 

This Is How To Save Money In 2021

I don’t know about you, but saving money is pretty high on my list of priorities right now. Especially right after Christmas. Not to mention the fact that when all this Covid-19 stuff is over, I want to make the best of travelling and seeing everyone I can – which also costs money. The good news is I have found plenty of tactics for preserving the pennies and saving them, and other things such as coupons, up for fun things to do, once lockdown has lifted. Keep reading to find out what they are. 

Shop with coupons 

Coupons can help you save a fortune on your weekly shop, and believe me, this can really add up over the year! It used to be that the best coupons are only found in the free flyers that came with magazines. However, this is no longer the case. Instead, now you can shop online and print multiples of the same great coupons allowing you to create a stockpile of food and households good for a fraction of the usual price. 
Find the best deals 

Of course, there are some things that you will need that coupons won’t cover. In that situation, it’s best to shop around and find the best deals that retailers are offering, both IRL and online. For example, folks looking to switch to vaping will find plenty of cheap vape deals online. Something that can help them save a huge amount on what they would pay for these devices and liquids in store. 

Choose preloved items 

Another way that I have found to save a pretty penny is to opt for preloved instead of brand new items. The great thing about this option is that you can get almost anything preloved from clothes, to electrical devices. 

 

Of course, with things as they are with Covid-19 at the moment it is important to stick to the local guidance, wear masks and wash hands when you pick up good and even properly sanitize them before you bring them into your home. After all, no saving is worth the risk of getting sick! 

Sell things you do use anymore 

The great thing about selling old, unwanted items is that you profit twice. First from the money that you make by selling the item itself, and secondly, because you save on storage space and the time and effort it takes to stay organized and keep your possessions clean! 

Of course, I’ve found that the best way to get top dollar for any unwanted items is to use a platform that caters specifically for the niche they fall into. That means if you have some old collectables or record your best off finding a site like eBay that allows people to search by these key terms or by using an independent dealer that specializes in these items. 

However, if you are looking to make money fast that using local selling pages and social media groups is the best approach, Just remember to attach photos, as this can really boost your chances of making a sale and every little helps when it comes to increasing your saving for a good blow out once things get back to normal! 

 

The Sexual Smugness of the Young

Disgusting!  Stomach Churning! Makes Me Feel Sick!

80-year-old Iris

Just a few of the instant reactions I’ve read in response to the startling news that a man and a woman are enjoying an intimate relationship. What’s all the fuss then you may well ask.

Well, the couple who seem to be offending so many people with their sexy fun are just a little unusual in that the lady is 80, and her beau is just 35 years old.

The lovely ‘Iris’ quite understandably, is shouting loud and proud that after a 35-year dry spell, she felt like a virgin all over again, and after her free advert for KY Jelly on prime time telly, she could justifiably request free supplies for life from Boots.

Her toy boy doesn’t have much to say, but he is pictured with his arm proudly round Iris, and I’m sure we will hear more about him in the not too distant future.

Yes all this maybe just a little too much information, but unlike the smug detractors, I’m not in the least bit offended by this story, and unlike some deluded ladies, who travel to far off lands to find some fun, only to be fleeced out of thousands of pounds in the process, Iris seems to have her head screwed on and isn’t going to be handing over her pension any time soon.

How lovely that this lady isn’t sitting at home on her own, with only memories for company.  Not many women her age would even think to get on a plane to Cairo, let alone have a fling with a man 45 years her junior.  Bloody fair play to her, she’s having the time of her life.  Being interviewed by Holly and Phil, making headlines across the world, it’s her time to shine and she is.

Iris and her ‘beau’

The couple met on Social Media and although 80-year-old Iris had virtually given up on finding love again, fate dealt her a winning card, and now at a time when many ladies are spending much of their time home alone, and the highlight of their week is a trip to the Bingo, Iris is swinging from the chandeliers and making headline news without a hint of embarrassment.  Much to the disgust of many!

But they aren’t hurting anyone else, they are conducting their relationship privately, nobody has to see what they are getting up to, so why do so many people feel the need to be negative and make hurtful remarks.

Children of any age find it offensive and distasteful that their parents are still having sex, but fail to acknowledge that if those same two people hadn’t had sex, then those same (offended) children wouldn’t be alive in the first place.

Even on TV and in Films, whenever there is a scene of mature parents getting up close and intimate, there is inevitably a counter shot of their screen children screwing up their nose, or turning away in disgust.

It seems that anyone under the age of 40 thinks sex is the prerogative of the young, and that parents and Grandparents, you know those ‘old’ people of 60, who have the audacity to even kiss and cuddle their partner is an affront to their own sexual behaviour.

As in, FFS they are OLD, and still doing the same things with each other at their age,  that I am doing with my girlfriend.  UGHHHHH, that’s disgusting.

So it’s disgusting behaviour for one age group, but not the other.

And recently, Social Media has been flooded with comments about 80-year-old Iris, and her toyboy. Some young people I even personally know have passed judgement with a smug attitude, ironically forgetting that one day, they too will be offending their children and Grandchildren with their own sexual misconduct!

I think that before we start educating children in school about gender issues, we should teach them that intimate relationships aren’t restricted to a particular age group.  You might start having sex in your teens and still be having sex in your 80’s, there is no right and wrong way.

But one thing for sure, I’d much rather see 80-year-old Iris and her peer group, being loved and cherished by anyone than see them spending long lonely days by themselves, with nothing much to look forward to, and only memories to cling to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When He is a Vegetarian and You Are Not.

 

My occasional other half is a Vegetarian.

He’s not occasionally a vegetarian, he’s always a vegetarian and I am not, and honestly what a faff this causes me in the kitchen. And to be fair, I should have known just by looking at him.  The long hair, the leather bracelets, the truck adorned with buzzard feathers, the age difference!

The alarm bells should have rung and said, ‘You are NOT going to be eating Chateaubriand with this one, stop, look, and listen to your cooking skills.  Yes whilst I’ve occasionally lunched AT the Ritz, the nearest he’s got is lunching ON some Ritz – crackers.

But when cupid knocks for you to come out to play, it would be churlish to refuse, and despite us looking like the odd couple, it kind of works.

I’d like to say ‘he was working as a waiter in a cocktail bar‘ when I met him, but he wouldn’t have got past security, so the truth of the matter is I actually met him at a car boot sale.

There I was selling my designer cast off’s, and there he was selling well, just cast-offs! But a weird connection was made and through a mutual love of music and dogs, with a very large sprinkle of humour over our inability to ‘conform’, and DESPITE a heavy shower of adversity we’ve managed to stick together.  Occasionally!

He comes, he goes, but on a fairly regular basis and the relationship suits us both, neither of us wants to be fenced in, but neither of us wants to be with anyone else.  Weird?  yes completely.

But him being a fully paid-up member of the Vegetarian Club is a right old hassle for me, I’m not going to lie. Call me old fashioned, but I feel a meal is incomplete without meat, real meat, not some tasteless protein substitute masquerading as meat.

I want Chicken with my roast dinner, I want Steak with my chips, I want Lamb in my Mousakka, and Minced Beef at the bottom of my Cottage Pie, and today I want real Sausages in my legendary Sausage Casserole.  But my ‘occasional bloke’ doesn’t, and to coin a well-worn phrase, I just can’t get my head around it. It’s worse than one person being on a diet, and the other person trying to put weight on.   Meal preparations are like his and hers, or more like hers and oh FFS…. HIS!

Today I had 3 meat-filled sausages to use up, and as I knew I had a busy afternoon, I wanted to get all ahead of myself and made a Sausage Casserole.  BUT it didn’t end there, as I also had to make a meat-free version of a Sausage Casserole for himself.

So cue a special trip to buy meat-free Sausages, ( which in my book doesn’t make them sausages at all ) which added to the cost of my ‘using stuff up’ meal,  then two different trays to actually cook the Sausages, then two different saucepans to make the casserole in, plus one chicken stock pot cube, and one vegetable stock pot cube.  Not to mention the stress of remembering which pot is which. And correct me if I’m wrong, but the  Vegetarian Sausages look the same after 30 minutes at 190 degrees, as they did when they were raw!

Before they are cooked.

 

Oh my days, sometimes I wonder if he’d know the difference if I got it all muddled up anyway, but to avoid a guilty conscience I do my best.

Vegetarian Sausage Stew

The Veggie Option.

So, double the washing up later, two pots of Sausage Casserole are ready, hers and his. But in my mind whilst I totally get it’s a moral decision made by meat-free eaters, I do sometimes wonder why.

If it’s a protest against eating living/dead animals, then why do so many of them still eat fish.  It would take a heck of a lot of Vegetarians to rid the world of breeding animals for food.   To me, in the simplest of terms, it’s like one person making a stand, and going to gaol for NOT paying their Council Tax, hoping that their solitary refusal to pay, will somehow mean that Council Tax is abolished for everyone  Never going to happen.

 

Meanwhile across the world, there are people like me, preparing the same meal, in two different ways, or trying to make a thick slice of Turmeric coated, grilled cauliflower, enhance a roast dinner the same way a thick slice of roast beef does.

And let’s be honest, a 3 bean chilli will never, ever taste as good as an unctuous, spicy hot, ground beef one, and…. ‘ Vegetarian Tofu Chow Mein is tastier than a Chicken Chow Mein’ said nobody ever.

And which looks better now they are both cooked.

 

 

Full on Sausage Casserole

Don’t get me wrong, I’m respectful of anyone’s choices, but to all you Vegetarian’s out there, do spare a thought for the cook at mealtimes.

For most of us, it’s hard enough throwing together one vaguely edible meal, but two variations of the same meal can be a saucepan too far!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Uninterested Man in The Flasher Mac

As we all enter a new decade, it’s a great time to clear out not only the clutter from your home, but also to say a permanent ‘See you later’ to those dead end relationships that only make you huff and puff and question your own sanity.

Why, I thought to myself, are you still friends with any man who doesn’t leave you smiling, or who has no positive effect on you whatsoever. So now in 2020 I’m taking steps to end those toxic relationships that drain the life out of you, and this one was the first to go.

After another ‘you couldn’t make it up’ lunch with this gentleman acquaintance, I took the easy decision of blocking him from my phone and ending all points of contact.  Sounds harsh, but here’s why…..

I’ve known, (let’s call him) Jim – surprisingly not his real name, – around 10 years.  Quite an attractive man, tall, carries himself well, and wouldn’t look out of place in an East End car lot.

In a different life, he might have been a would be member of a Kray type mob.  Back in the day that is.

An ex publican, plenty of chat, with a mouth that makes appointments for ‘mature man’ fisticuffs, that his body wouldn’t ever actually be able to keep.

But nevertheless, we shared a passion for red wine, warm climates, and long discussions about deciding what to do in our retirement.

But unfortunately for ‘Jim’, over the years, at times he’s not been a very nice friend, and whilst I’ve given him several second chances, this time, there was no point.

The last time I even spoke to ‘Jim’ was in 2015.  He had promised to collect some furniture for me, and I was relying  on him to deliver it to a new place I was renting.

As you can imagine, the actual moving part of all this was stressful enough, but to have him let me down quite spectacularly at the very last minute, tipped me over the edge.

I didn’t contact him again, or return any of his calls or texts.   Until December 2019.

Out of the blue he text to ask how I was, and that he’d like to buy me lunch to catch up.  And being the nosey bird that I am, I DID want to know what life had thrown at him during the 4 silent years. But nothing more than that. So I accepted the invite.

Lunch was arranged for 1.30.  My heart sank at his choice of venue, a fast food pub, but I didn’t intend to stay there too long. Quick drink, quick lunch, quick catch up, done. Maybe for another 4 years!

‘Jim’ arrived in the car park at the same time as me.  A vision approached me, in a long gold coloured Colombo style (flasher) Mac and hugs were exchanged.  I grabbed a table, he went to the bar to order drinks.  So far, so good.

Inside of a pub

But, it went downhill from there.  Without even exchanging pleasantries, my lunch date ceremoniously plonked 2 G & T’s on the table and launched into a mega speech, which should have come with a warning.

The opening statement was ‘well, I’ve been thinking,… we aren’t getting any younger, and what I think we should do is………’ it was as if I’d only seen him the day before, not 4 YEARS before!

For all he knew, I could have met the love of my life, and got married.  Unlikely, but he didn’t even wait to find out if I’d even had any meaningful relationships in all this time.

The diatribe continued for many minutes, with him telling me how we should pool our resources, and go off to Spain together and run a bar.

Oh and if it had rooms above it,  I could maybe run an Airbnb. ( as I’m already an Airbnb Superhost, this was the most sensible part of his suggestion).  He had it all worked out, and I really couldn’t get a word in edgeways.  He was on a roll.

Within all this, we had ordered some ‘fast’ food. As I’d looked at the menu, I’d mentally made a note of what he would order, and I wasn’t wrong, the cheapest item, as always.

As an ex publican, he knows exactly where the food has been bought from, and his choice is dictated not by what he likes, or fancy’s, but what HE is paying for it, simply because he knows what the pub has paid for it. But he thinks I don’t know this!

I listened patiently, he didn’t pause for breath, whilst he put a price on all the belongings he would sell, and instructed me to start saving, so we could make our escape.   At last he stopped, and threw an uninterested ‘ So how have you been…..’ in my direction.  Ah, I thought, my turn to talk, your turn to listen.

With that, ”Jim’ turned and took his mobile phone out of his Flasher Mac pocket, and proceeded to scroll through it, as only uninterested people do, and became completely engrossed, occasionally glancing my way and giving me a cursory, ‘Yeah, I’m listening’……..actually mate, you definitely are not.  

It was the most bizarre lunch date I’ve endured in a long time, and trust me, I’ve endured quite a few.  A man who was nothing more than an occasional ‘friend’, who I hadn’t seen, or spoken to for 4 years, sat in front of me virtually dictating what WE should do, without pausing for breath.  No niceties, no catch up, no verbal foreplay, just straight in wham bam……..but actually, NO THANK YOU MAN!

How arrogant, how presumptuous, how rude and completely oblivious to what he was doing.

Normally, I’d linger over a coffee, enjoy the chat, and be interested in what someone had been up to in the 4 years since I’d last spoken to them. But once I could see that this was just a load of self centred clap trap, I made my excuses, thanked him for a lovely ( it was not) meal, and left.

To give you some idea of how quickly I made my own escape, I arrived at the pub at 1.30pm, I was back home with a cup of tea at 3.00, and 15 minutes of that was journey time!

Quite some ‘speed date’ then…..!

 

73 Questions About Me

 

73 QUESTIONS ABOUT ME

Well someone at Vogue thought it would be a good idea to ask some celebs these 73 questions, https://video.vogue.com/series/73-questions and whilst I can’t aspire to the dizzy heights of celebdom, I was asked by http://www.suefoster.info to take part.

So grab a coffee and if you have the time and inclination, here are my answers!

1. What is your usual Starbuck’s order?
I don’t ‘do’ Starbucks, but in a café, it would be a one shot flat white. Strange how I hardly ever drink coffee at home, only when I go out!
2. What does your workstation look like right now?
My workstation is my pine kitchen table, sitting on a bright pink painted kitchen chair, with big soft cushion as I spend so much time here. My puppy is asleep in his bed under my ‘workstation’!
3. All-time favourite food?
Roast beef dinner with all the trimmings, but only a home made one.
4. Favourite author?
Caitlin Moran
5. What do you think of open relationships?
I think it has the potential to be very dangerous, it’s not for me.
6. Favourite video game?
I have never played a video game and feel no overwhelming desire to ever do so!
7. Guilty pleasure treat?
Crips and Hummus dip with a glass of Barefoot Merlot
8. Favourite film?
I’m stuck in a time warp, I still love Love Actually
9. Favourite book?
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
10. Twitter or Instagram?
Instagram, but I still don’t ‘get’ how people make fortunes, someone tell me how to do it. (more…)