Monday, 23 September 2013

Faith in humanity

I have said it before, I cry, a lot.

Sometimes it is not a problem.  Sometimes it's because you have faith in humanity.  After some atrocious news this weekend in Kenya another news story brought a tear to my eyes.

People are good. People do nice things. 
People make astonishing efforts sometimes.

Well done Heathrow.  

Friday, 20 September 2013

money makes the world go round

I have been continually surprised by the level of importance different people put on different things.
The recent quote or misquote, I really don't know, from Jamie Oliver I thought captured it perfectly.

In essence I think that he is right.  I have had jobs which have involved me going in to peoples houses and I saw this.  I saw the families without enough money to buy dinner, but the flash TV's and stereo, three or four games consoles with all the games to go with.

No that we are house hunting I also see it.  We go in to people homes and see the most appalling levels of cleanliness and takeaway boxes piled up, the pictures on the wall of the fat kids and the biggest TV's.

I know that it is easy to judge.  
I know that I am in a different situation to most.
But somewhere it is going wrong.

I recently sat with two senior members of staff who were earning upwards of £80,000 each.
They told me that I didn't know how lucky I was because I could afford to shop at Ocado.

I couldn't explain myself well enough to be able to tell them that I think they have very different priorities to me, but also that I find it insulting that when their combined salaries with their partners is roughly 7.5 times the average household income in the UK (wiki, £24000 gross) they claim to not be able to afford to shop anywhere other than Asda.

I make a choice with my income.  I work hard for it.  I decide what I want to spend my money on.  I sometimes make mistakes.

I priorities quality food and longer term purchases.

I save for the larger purchases and don't believe in buying what I can't afford.

I grew up in a household where we paid for things in advance.  Where we saved.  Where the day to day was the priority and not the credit.

I worry that as a generation who have had credit thrown at us we have lost the ability to plan for purchases.  I worry that by the time we have saved for the purchase the purchase has gone due to the fast fashion nature of the commercial world we live in.

I worry that can no longer plan.

Rant over.  Time to create a savings plan.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Road trip resting points

Our recent road trip was so much fun.

We normally have a sunny beach holiday around September time, just before the clocks change and it starts to get dark in the evenings.  This year however we didn't.  Our main holiday was at the very beginning of the summer back in June.  This was planned for a  while so we got organised early in the year and decided to go to France.

We wanted to do something a little different and a lot fun and we hit that.

We also wanted to treat ourselves (we do this far too often) but it has been a pretty emotional year and with the house hunting we have been living in limbo for a couple of months, it was great to have this to look forward to.

We stayed in two places.  The second place that we stayed in was everything you would want from a beautiful hotel.  Decadent but comfortable with exemplary service.

 This was the most amazing wardrobe.  Like a "trunk", the inside was lined and sumptuous.
By the time we left we had some serious bathroom envy.  What I forgot to take pictures of was the waterfall shower.  

Everything about the room was designed with comfort in mind.  The huge bed to the dressing room to the bathroom that offered the discreet facilities you want when on a weekend away (however long you have been together!)

We stayed at MGallery hotel Emeraude in Dinard for two days and thoroughly enjoyed them both.

I felt pampered and relaxed.

Where to next?

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Road trip

We really wanted to do something that we hadn't for a cheeky we break away at the last bank holiday weekend.

So out came the road map and the planning started. (Actually we had to buy a new road map as the one we had was so old!)

We booked the Chunnel, which was a first for me.  I was really excited about it all.  Having grown up on a island I am still really excited by the thought of being able get on a train to France so being able to drive, I could hardly contain myself.

We packed up early on the Friday, breakfast picnic and a flask of coffee and off we went.

First stop was the Euro Tunnel.  That must have been the easiest journey.  Not only fast and efficient cheap too!

Once we arrived in France we hit the roads and got to enjoy what the French do very well open road.

Driving in France really is a joy.  The motorways are fast, the drivers, drive well and we sped through France laughing and joking enjoying ourselves.

Until, we reached Le Man, our first destination and realised that we hadn't looked up where the hotel was and didn't have a street map.  Out came the phones and roughly 30 mins of trying to figure out where we were.  
Booked in to the hotel we enjoyed an evening of exceptionally fine food.

Some amuse bouche with mains that we didn't know what they were.  We ordered in French, we conversed in French and we hadn't a clue what we ordered!  It was great.

A bottle of wine later and we hit the bed for the night.  

Ready to be refreshed for our second day of driving.

Do you do road trips?