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2017 04 Happy April!

Think it, Plan it, Do it
Tortoise1000
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2017 04 Happy April!

#42975

Postby Tortoise1000 » April 1st, 2017, 9:12 pm

Spring time, and Easter tide! Let's crack on!

T

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#42979

Postby Tortoise1000 » April 1st, 2017, 10:10 pm

It occurred to me, when I had written them, to wonder what these goals are. They arent everything I am going to do in April. I realised that a lot of things, like those in the diary, will happen anyway. These are the things I shall make an effort to do in addition. It is a slightly grim little list; that is what set me wondering. Never mind, I shall be glad when these are done:

April goals

1. Health

Continue to prioritise general fitness. Walk to the places I have to go, recording on Strava. Attend SW meetings.

Chase up the optician about the new contact lenses

2. Finances

Finalise end 2016-17 accounts and start a new spreadsheet for 2017-18
Decide where to put 2017-18 ISA
Claim works pension
Fill in tax return.

3. House project

Clear up the store room/garage, so it can be inspected
Ask Building Control to sign off the works
Start tidying and levelling the garden. The carpenter started building a final section of replacement fence today, the part between me and Wallaby Man. There is work for me to do before the carpenter comes back in a fortnight to finish it.

4. Declutter

Write a new list of jobs and start ticking them off. This is dealing with a clutter of tasks, but some of them will be of the tidying type.

5. Support TJ

Provide any support requested during the course that started today.

Help him with the appeal: review draft, pay for consultant report etc as required

Help him keep his finances on track as far as possible , as usual.

Encourage any attempts to study for final exams.

T

P.S. TJ has just phoned with a report on Day 1.
- 40 on the course, 2 RTU’d today; down to 38 .
- Initial fitness assessment, 1.5 mile run to be done in under 9:40. TJ was 5th.
- practised 2 mile run with 35lb of weight plus rifle. TJ came 1st. Yay!
-practised the scary aerial assault course. Commando training paid off, TJ smashed it and says it dispelled all his fears. He is relieved about that. It is a test of nerve and some just can’t do it. I can’t even watch the videos!

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#43095

Postby futuresaver101 » April 2nd, 2017, 3:09 pm

Hi everyone,

It's April, new tax year and all that. And our first April over on the Lemon, so that's cause for celebration too!

Firstly, T - I so glad to hear that you are feeling perkier. I was a bit worried about you, you sounded less than full strength.

I feel bad admitting this but I am bad at "life admin". My previous employer had a well-funded rebate scheme for glasses and dental (for myself and my husband) but I never got around to claiming. Well, that job wasn't much fun (no free time) and they made me redundant and I didn't feel like doing much of anything, so that's sort of an excuse. But not for this current job, and I still haven't claimed. There's 100s of pounds waiting just there.

Equally, my husband and I are just as bad for house related activities. We even let the building insurance lapse on our house. Only for < 24 hours, but even so. I went "v unhappy" when I found out. I love my husband dearly but he is pretty useless at this sort of stuff and I am sometimes just too busy to engage (and want him to carry his share, but he hates nagging and I hate reminding). Yes, I know there is a comment here on gender roles :)

So, for Happy April here are the following FS101 goals

Life Admin
1) Claim on my dental expenses on the old provider, and understand about the new one
2) Have a full eye test, and some new glasses. The current ones are 5 years old, my prescription has changed and so on
3) Understand about the carry forward rules and make pension contributions accordingly, I had higher pay 2012-2013 through to 2014-2015 tax years, there is "unused" 40% allowance. I understand that I can pay up to my annual salary - let's say it's 80k (it's noooowhhere near that, but looks like a nice number written down :)). Does that mean that, assuming there is enough to carry forward, I can pay in 80k and get 40% back on 80k. I had thought it was only the percentage of my total salary that was 40% taxed in that year which is the limit I can contribute. I think I am wrong though?

Work Admin
1) Get my Fellowship application in (I am now just waiting for a signature :))
2) Deliver well on New Project Acronym D, keep on top of Existing Project Acronym S and start training up (i.e. understanding) New Project Acronym S, due to start in a few months
3) Make the rest of 2017 about geeking up on the technical details of my job so I am ready for secondments, I'm getting distracted between developing in too many different directions. This includes re-contacting my old tech mentors (within employer and outside)

"Ready for Whatever Work Life Throws At Me" Admin
1) Extend my LinkedIn network by at least 50 people in my local area who could potentially give me a job if my current employers. And "seniorise" my profile
2) Get an updated 2 page CV ready to go, discuss with my friendly recruiter.
3) Write a plan of action, what would I do, who would I contact if made redundant/asked to reapply for job/role reorganised. Make it so that if I get the news, which will be short notice, I can just reach into the mental folder and execute. Avoids dithering, and panic if/when it happens.

FS101

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#43130

Postby Tortoise1000 » April 2nd, 2017, 6:02 pm

My understanding is that is is the allowance that is carried forward from a previous year, not the tax relief. Below I quote a few lines from IC which explains carrying forward the allowance. It shows how you can carry forward allowances to entitle you to tax relief on as much as £170,000 of pension contributions. The allowances are brought forward from previous years. But the contributions are made out of this year's income. So you'd have to have an income of at least £170k this year, and you'd only be able to claim back the income tax you paid on that this year.

In the case of your £80k salary, you could contribute £40k before 5 April plus another £40k from 2013-14 (assuming you contributed £10k of less that year). But you will only get this years tax back. Which would not all be at 40%.

I think what you are suggesting is being able to backdate pension contributions and get tax relief from a previous years income. I have an idea we did used to be able to do that, but we cant any more. But I am not expert! The tax board would be the place to ask really.



[i]Carry forward allows you to use any annual pension allowance you haven't used during the previous three tax years. The 2013-14 tax year was the last one with an annual pensions allowance of £50,000, before it fell to £40,000, so you only have until 5 April to take this more generous opportunity.

To be able to make use of your carry forward allowances you must make the maximum available contribution in the current tax year. For most investors the annual pension allowance for the 2016-17 tax year is £40,000.

If you have not used up any of your pension allowances from the past three tax years, you could in theory put a sum of up to £170,000 into your pension this tax year. But as you can't receive tax relief on contributions in excess of your earnings in a tax year, your earnings may restrict how much you can put into your pension using carry forward.

However you don't need to use all three years of the carry forward allowance in one go. So, for example, this year you could make a contribution of £90,000 - your 2016-17 allowance plus your 2013-14 allowance of £50,000.

Allowances from the oldest year are used up first and at the end of every tax year - the 'oldest year' falls away. Any allowances not used from the oldest year - now 2013-14 - will be lost for good if they are not carried forward.

Your 2014-15 allowance and 2015-16 allowance could be used in future years if you expect to use up the annual allowance for those years.
[/i]


T

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#43221

Postby futuresaver101 » April 3rd, 2017, 9:16 am

T,

Thank you so much, that ties in with what I thought was right.

Now, to make that 80k salary a reality :) (Ain't nowhere near close, but I can dream !)

FS101

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#43231

Postby splosh » April 3rd, 2017, 9:54 am

Happy April everyone!

This month is going to be a good one for my 2017 goal of seeing more of my family than I did in 2016. The challenge is going to be fitting in everything else around this!

Work
1. 2 coaching gigs
2. Turn of financial year paperwork
3. Tweaks to website

Looking quite light work-wise this month, which is fine as there's plenty else happening.

Play
1. Go to 2 world premieres (one concert, one musical, both by friends)
2. Night away in Winchester
3. Visit friends in Hertfordshire
4. Go to food festival for MrSplosh's birthday

Home/Health/Family
1. 5 family visits! (MrSplosh's mum, his brother, my brother twice, my aunt and uncle's golden wedding party)
2. Get bikes out
3. Set up new ISAs
4. Push forward on stalled nearly-finished DIY project
5. Regular Alexander Technique (I have been suffering from a stiff neck, and need to give it some tlc)

Other
1. Make progress on the website for the organisation I volunteer with (last month's frog, finally getting moving)
2. Write to MP

That looks like a fun and sociable month. Hope everyone else has a good one too!

splosh

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#43254

Postby Wondergirly » April 3rd, 2017, 11:39 am

April already :)

As I type, the builders are here for their first day and are demolishing the conservatory. It looks like this building project will be the focus for at least the next three months. Still, life must go on around it so I will attempt to keep on top of 'other things' as well.

Health
Continue with my 1000 mile challenge

Daily exercises as prescribed by physio

See consultant towards the end of the month

Work
Complete the company accounts as much as possible (still waiting on a couple of items)

Continue monitoring for fraudulent activity

Deregister for VAT

Money
Monitor building project spends closely

Get alternative quotes for doors and windows

Keep on top of general spends and continue to make savings where possible

Home

Continue to get as much stuff into storage as is practical

Empty upstairs bathroom and wardrobes ready for dormer demolition

Continue in the front garden; regular weeding and order turf when available

Play
Lunch date in the diary

Continue attending 'knit and natter'

Plenty of walking when the weather is amenable

Continue with my 'temperature blanket' and finish another project (probably the socks, nice and quick) as I currently have five projects on the go!



I think that will do. Million and one other things to think about but they all come under the general heading of 'survive building project' :shock:

W

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#43268

Postby Brava21 » April 3rd, 2017, 12:26 pm

Hi all

Oh heavens; I didn’t even post in March. I haven’t been feeling very well (see long winded and somewhat self pitying explanation at the end of this post).

The last time I posted was in late February and this is what I wanted to do:

“It would be nice to be able to do some prep for the exterior jobs before we go on holiday in mid March. The fences could do with scrubbing here and there before they are painted, as could a low wall at the front near the garage, which will then need to be given a coat of white paint. I found some masonry paint I forgot I had a couple of weeks ago, which should be more than enough to do the job. Mind you, this is all weather permitting “

We did not go on holiday in mid March. Medical advice was not to do so :( . However, I am pleased to say that I scrubbed the fence where it needed it, scrubbed two wooden benches which I am also going to paint, bought my fence paint ready and scrubbed and painted the wall (which looks lovely). Not bad, considering, I suppose.

My next medical appointment is on 24 April, and it would be good to finish painting the fence before then. At least, that’s how it feels now, though if I get bad news I can imagine that I won’t give a stuff about the stupid fence :D .

OK, here is my on going health saga. Last September, I fainted – unfortunately for me, outside, downhill and onto tarmac. I shattered my cheekbone and eye socket and broke my jaw, all on the right side of my face. Anyway, after I had been put back together with some metal plates I went back to work in late November. Apart from not knowing if any of my teeth would die around the affected part of my jaw (dentist says it is too soon to know, as teeth will die off slowly over a couple of years, probably, but I have a horror of dental surgery ) I thought I was fine. Until mid January, when I suddenly started having a blinding headache, which was there 24/7, and was getting progressively worse. A CT scan showed that I have a bleed on the brain (a chronic subdural haematoma, which for some reason starts weeks or even months after a head injury). The neurologist is currently adopting a ‘watch and wait’ approach which sees me having frequent scans. The hope is that the bleed starts to reabsorb of its own accord; if it does not then the surgical alternative (I have googled; I so wish that I did not, but I did) leaves me longing for the days when I thought I only had the prospect of a couple of root canal surgeries further down the line. Sorry if this sounds a bit self pitying; there are people far worse off than me, I know. It’s just a bit unpleasant feeling that life is on hold.

Anyway – thank you if you have managed to read this far and good luck to all with their goals. I hope everyone has a lovely April.

Brava x

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#43287

Postby futuresaver101 » April 3rd, 2017, 1:52 pm

Brava, so sorry to hear about your health woes. Big hugs xxx

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#43362

Postby Tortoise1000 » April 3rd, 2017, 6:29 pm

My dear Brava, I am so sorry to read this. I noticed you hadn't posted but I thought you were just off on your hols.

Are you still getting the headaches, then? How long is the 'watch and wait' likely to go on?

T

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#43551

Postby Brava21 » April 4th, 2017, 2:19 pm

Oh thank you, FS and T, for the kind wishes. I do appreciate it.

T, I have seen the consultant neurologist just the once about this so far and he would not be drawn on either the effectiveness of the watch and wait approach or its duration until he had further scans to look at, which is fair enough, I suppose, but the waiting is awful (next appointment nearly 3 weeks away). In the meantime my head is very much better than it was, thank you for asking. It hit peak pressure and pain around late Jan - early Feb but then began to get very slowly better. It is now quite bearable. I should like to think that this is because things are moving in the right direction re. reabsorption...I will report back later in the month.

I hope everyone else finds themselves in much better health

Brava

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#43672

Postby futuresaver101 » April 4th, 2017, 10:17 pm

Hi all,

I am happy to report that one April goal has been completed

1) Get my Fellowship application in - DONE !

I cannot think of anything else I could have done to improve my application so it will come down just to whether I have managed to acquire enough experience.

Thanks to all of you for your patience :)

Kind regards,

FS101

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#43958

Postby Tortoise1000 » April 6th, 2017, 6:27 am

That is brilliant, FS101, well done!

Doing fairly well here. Not on the scale of a Fellowship, but the list of froggy jobs is written and prioritised. I sorted then into leaving the house tasks, practical jobs and admin. Interesting how anything I have to go out to do seems like a bother but actually gets ticked off quite quickly. Whereas paperwork, for which I hardly have to move, languishes indefinitely.

I have been tackling some trying techno-tasks to do with phones, taking hours of precious sunny days, but getting brilliant help from Fools on the computer board. Including Urban Dreamer who used to post here on YTST, good to see him again.

That all started with TJ telling me to get Messenger so he can phone me from Catterick which came the under ‘Support TJ’ task. He is doing well up there, coming first in things and really in pretty good shape. The Army is so kind compared with the Marines! He admires the commanding officer and says the course training team are great. The notorious P Company Tests come at the end. So far they have done various qualifying tests, run-throughs and field exercises. Down to 30 men; 10 have been returned to units. He remarked on the fact that a few men arrived for this very tough course without having trained hard enough beforehand. Like him with Maths exams, then, I thought :-) I wish his systematic approach to military work would transfer to his revision! Perhaps it's the same as my frogs though, the outdoor ones are easier to slay than the desk-dwellers.

I am sorry you are in suspense, Brava. Look after yourself, wont you? Sit down and have cups of tea. Here is a virtual one... As for the googling, stick to the NHS Choices page, that is quite encouraging. Hopefully you are low risk; chronic rather than acute and fit enough for surgery if required. Not like some very frail old person who has fallen. As for if they have to drill a little hole and hoover it out, you know that is practically a DIY job don’t you? African witch doctors used to do it to cure headaches. I remember years ago there was a bit of a fashion for it here, people drilling little holes in their heads, so some supposed benefit. So there you are, home surgery, if you get a top consultant doing it it will be a breeze ! Tell yourself these cheerful things, Brava, and avoid the DM :-) xxx

T

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#43971

Postby Tortoise1000 » April 6th, 2017, 8:27 am

Correction, the Tests started yesterday. TJ just phoned me up, on Messenger. Yesterday he passed the

10 miler Loaded March (Wednesday Morning)
A 10 mile (16 km) Loaded March conducted as a squad over undulating terrain. Each candidate carries a 35 lb (16 kg) bergen not including water and a rifle. The loaded march is to be completed in under 1 hour 50 minutes and 2 hours for Army Reserves.


and the

Trainasium (Wednesday Afternoon)
A unique assault course set 55 feet (17 m) above the ground, designed to test a candidate's ability to overcome fear and follow simple orders at considerable height. This is one of the four critical output test and is a straight pass or fail. All the other events are scored.




In a few minutes' time he will be doing the

Log Race (Thursday Morning)
The Log Race represents the rapid provision of a mission critical resupply as part of a team, in which a maximum of nine candidates carry a log (a telegraph pole) weighing 60 kg over 1.9 miles (3.1 km) of undulating terrain. Candidates wear a helmet and webbing. This is supposed to be one of the hardest events..


and then

Steeplechase (Thursday Afternoon)
A timed 2.2 mile (3.5 km) cross-country run and assault course wearing helmet and boots. The aim of the Steeplechase is to test candidates’ fitness to escape an enemy pursuit over unknown terrain at speed and to overcome natural and manmade obstacles.


Slightly more energetic than I shall be today. Awoke in the middle of the night so I crossed off a task by setting up next year's spreadsheets. I feel like going back to bed now! Wouldn't it be nice to have someone to answer the door while one had a nap?

T

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#44013

Postby Brava21 » April 6th, 2017, 11:53 am

Thank you for the kind words, T. A few Youtube videos and I'll fetch the drill then, get it out of the way :D

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#44025

Postby Tortoise1000 » April 6th, 2017, 12:43 pm

That's the spirit, Brava! (Note that I am well qualified to give this advice, btw, I have an NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care . Plus a certificate in the Safe Handling of Medication.) I am sure this will be a happy April for you :-)


And a happy update from TJ! The log race could not have gone better. This is the log race, btw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMu-shydvWU

A team of 8 run carrying a telegraph pole 2 miles in 20 minutes over hilly ground.

Very tough; it is fast and relentless and people who can't keep up start to fall off, they let go and fall over. TJs team set off fast and was in front. Men started to fall and pretty soon there were only 4 of them carrying it. At the second mile there were only three. For the last half mile there were only two - TJ and his mate! Still in front! They had planned for what they would do if this happened. They hoisted the telegraph pole on their shoulders , one at each end, and ran , with the officer commanding yelling encouragement and shouting that if they won this there was a place for them in the Paras! How brilliant was that?

They didn't quite win, but they were only narrowly beaten by a team that still had 6 in.

I am SO proud of him! I saw him on the Messenger call this time, looking fresh and on top of the world. Looking forward to the steeplechase this afternoon.

The letter rejecting him for a commission on medical grounds arrived the other day. How fit do they want him to be, one wonders? :-) This is why it is important that he does well on this course, not only for the fun of it but also for a possible future Army career. If he carries on like this, not only winning the maroon beret but noticed as outstanding, we are hoping it will add weight to his appeal.

T

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#44201

Postby Tortoise1000 » April 6th, 2017, 8:36 pm

TJ came first in the steeplechase! Yay!

Tomorrow is:

2 Mile Loaded March (Friday Morning)
The 2 miler tests the candidate’s ability to carry out rapid tactical advance behind Forward Line of Enemy Troops. It is an individual effort over 2 miles (3.2 km) of undulating terrain, carrying a 35 lb (16 kg) bergen not including water, rifle, combat jacket, and helmet. Candidates have 18 minutes to complete it.

Milling (Friday Afternoon)
This event is a hand to hand fight, each candidate is paired with another of 'similar weight and build', and is given 60 seconds to prove their raw fighting spirit whilst demonstrating “controlled aggression and a will to fight”. Candidates are scored on their determination and aggression, while blocking and dodging result in the issue of warnings and points deducted.

I am slightly anxious about the milling. Its a horrible thing the Paras do. It is boxing, but only attacking and no defence. So they just keep hitting each other in the face and get rather bashed up. I do hope he doesn't get his nose broken. I am writing this down here to avoid saying it to TJ.

T

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#44413

Postby futuresaver101 » April 7th, 2017, 4:17 pm

Thinking of you T, hope the milling didn't result in a nose biffing

FS101

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#44487

Postby Tortoise1000 » April 7th, 2017, 9:18 pm

Apparently not, FS. He asures me he looks no worse than he did before :-) He won his bout. He said the milling was thrilling actually. About 50 men packed into a pretty small room, all the officers watching, some top visiting General (milling is a big thing with the Paras). A doctor and two medics and four men to wipe up the blood off the floor. He said the testosterone was amazing.

He won the 2 miler as well, beating not only his course mates but also one of the Regulars who has been put in with them who shot off in a blur but TJ caught up and beat him.

Stretcher Race tomorrow:

The Stretcher Race represents a rapid casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) from the point of wounding to the Regimental Aid Post (RAP), whilst adhering to the principle of the ‘Golden Hour’. Candidates are divided into teams of 12 to 23 and have to carry a 175 lb (79 kg) stretcher over a distance of 5 miles (8.0 km). Each individual candidate wears a helmet, webbing and a slung rifle. No more than four candidates carry the stretcher at any given time, swapping round at regular intervals, under the control of a P Coy Squad Instructor, so that all candidates carry the stretcher as part of a team.

Then the ceremony awarding the maroon berets to those who have passed.

This is where he is, btw, and where I am getting this info from:

http://www.army.mod.uk/training_education/24542.aspx

He had to buy the maroon beret before the course and take it with him in his kit. Rather hard on those who don't pass! But TJ is looking good. He is even in the running for top candidate. He has come first in the individual events and put up a great show on the log race. His rival for top place came second in things and did outstandingly in the milling, which they count as very important because it shows fighting spirit. TJ would not mind if the other chap got it, he says it would be well deserved. He is just delighted that the whole course has gone so amazingly well. When he set off last Friday, he was worrying whether he would pass. Something will have to go badly wrong tomorrow for him not to . Fingers crossed.

T

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Re: 2017 04 Happy April!

#44578

Postby amh4 » April 8th, 2017, 10:51 am

Good morning everyone,

Brava, I hope things will improve from now on, and that the bleed will dissipate of its own volition. Otherwise, off to see T for her magic remedy! T, you must feel so very proud of TJ right now. I remember some of your posts from years ago, when you were at your wits' end, and yet (in many ways because of your care and determination) here he is, in line to win top gun. Well done you.

My month is a mixed affair. I am embroiled in my eldest daughter's troubles yet again, and have even played my part by not evicting her when she was unable to pay full rent on a house I own. Oh well, let's hope they decide on compassion and not prosecution. Not an easy time for either of us - I feel very grubby, for some reason, and yet I cannot believe that what I did was wrong. If I had insisted on the full rent, and then given her some money, she would have been ok, which seems much more devious - it just seems unfair.

Apart from that, we are selling the house that she was living in, as her children are grown up, with children of their own, and she will never be able to pay a reasonable rent on this one, and I am not enjoying the experience. It looks as if the present purchaser is about to pull out, because he had not budgeted for higher rate stamp duty, and I do not want to reduce the price to cover the whole of it. So, when my eldest moves out on the 28th, I shall have the house redecorated to ensure everything is in good working order, and then put it back on the market, and hopefully, it will sell over the summer. Otherwise, it is back to letting it out, and I am not sure that I want to do that.

However, my list has:-

1. Financial - ensure that I have enough money on easy access to cover my shortfall over the time the house is unsold, if this one falls through. I am counting my lucky stars, that I will be able to do this, without upsetting the balance of things too much, although of course, I would prefer not to have to do it.

2. Family - try to keep in good contact with everyone; this is tough with my eldest, as she is very volatile right now, and inclined to feel that most of everything is my fault! I can understand, but it is hard at times, since I have only not evicted her, never realising that that alone could invalidate her claim for benefit. By the way, the house is merely a small Victorian terraced house, nothing ott with two children to bring up.

3. Work - thank heavens for work! It ticks along, demanding I concentrate, and also bringing me in extra money when I really concentrate on the possibilities. I run a small record label, and although it is now downsized dramatically, I am finding that with new technology, there is demand for very obscure releases from the 80s and 90s for compilations, which was when the label was at its busiest and most successful. It is fascinating work, and takes me right away from personal problems. On the other hand, I am just finalising and sending out the royalty statements, and that is just slog, but again the concentration enables me to forget anything else.

4. Leisure - we are off to our apartment in the sun on Easter Saturday. From pure vanity, this is so I look healthy and nicely tanned for my daughter's wedding in May! It will also be fabuluous to be on the island in the spring. My yoga sessions are going well, and I feel so much better for the practice. What with that and the gardening that is growing apace everywhere right now, I am sleeping well too, which is great.

I think that will be enough for now. Apologies if I sound whingey, I do not mean to, and yet I am finding the benefit problem difficult, and it kind of spills over into everything else.

Anne-Marie x


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