Currently in Canberra, staying with some friends and going to a wedding tomorrow. They have this gorgeous cat, which I am unfortunately allergic to! I think she can sense that I’m not completely pleased with her - she seems very suspicious of both of us, and follows us around the apartment with an arched back. I’m trying really hard to keep the fur out of my (mainly black!) clothes, otherwise it’s going to be a very uncomfortable and sneezy trip to Edinburgh on Monday…
I’ve started warning clients and looking up airfares, so I guess it’s official - The Boy and I are going to Europe from November to the end of February! Yeah, a bit less than the original year abroad that I was planning, but the timing of this works out much better. I’m calling this Plan 5.0*.
Except that I’m a bit allergic to the cold - hell, I live in a place where I managed to get away with wearing dresses and skirts with light cardigans for most of winter. This is going to be interesting.
* 1.0 = live in London for a year, travel a bit; 2.0 = same but in Spain; 3.0 = 3 months travel, 3 months working in London, 3 months travel; 4.0 = just ‘wing it’ for 9 months. All rejected for various reasons.
My own resolute idleness has mostly been a luxury rather than a virtue, but I did make a conscious decision, a long time ago, to choose time over money, since I’ve always understood that the best investment of my limited time on earth was to spend it with people I love. I suppose it’s possible I’ll lie on my deathbed regretting that I didn’t work harder and say everything I had to say, but I think what I’ll really wish is that I could have one more beer with Chris, another long talk with Megan, one last good hard laugh with Boyd. Life is too short to be busy.
—‘The Busy Trap' by Tim Kreider, for The Opinionator. Definitely worth a read.
Dear Lingering Cough,
You’ve been hanging around coyly for a few weeks now, and I’m getting a little tired of your company. Kindly get it over with and have at it properly for a few days, then bugger off.
I like to start out strong, then tend to burn out towards the end. But this is a long long weekend, so hopefully I’ll get a second wind on Monday!
- big apartment clean
- visit parents and pick up bicycle (dad fixed my bike - yay to riding again!)
- finish mending clothes
- dry cleaning winter coats
- dye some stained/boring clothes and sheets
- massive photo editing backlog
- blogging backlog
- finish sewing Pastille dress
- start knitting beanie with a new pattern a friend gave me
- paint nails
- make strawberry frozen yoghurt
- make chocolates
- do some work and prepare for next week’s work
- run from some zombies
There will also be a couple of family parties in there somewhere, so it’s going to be a busy (if not terribly eventful) weekend for me. Are you up to anything fun?
- $1 - Cherry Ripe
- $12 - Vogue magazine
- $20 - empanadas at Mondo Markets
- $3 - pastry at Mondo Markets
- $8 - coffees
- $3 - secondhand clutch at Beaufort St Festival
- $25 - eyeliner
- $12 - fake eyelashes
- $10 - eyebrow pencil
Total = $94
Struggling with this $50 per week thing. I was, in fact, doing pretty well until yesterday when I realised I didn’t really have the necessary makeup and eyelashes to dress up for the burlesque themed hens night, which threw me right over.
Plan: spend only $6 next week. Yes.
- chicken steamed bun, $1.50
- large latte, $4.50
- iphone case + shipping, $36
- regular flat white, $3
- kids burger meal, $8
Slightly over my weekly budget of $50, but not too bad for my first week! Technically I think I can class the phone cover as a business expense, as I am with my phone, so it only doesn’t really count. Snacks and coffees are definitely extra expenses that I can do without - we’ll see how I go this week.
The benefit of having a low budget for the week is that it forces me to really consider my potential purchases instead of just buying things on a whim. For example, I’ve been coveting glittery heels and would have bought some, but have since decided they’re not rewearable enough to be a good use of my spare cash. For other things, it gives me time to hunt around for the best quality and best value.
- a loose, casual white or cream shirt
- a black leather belt with a nice buckle
- the Colette Sewing Handbook and a few extra Colette patterns
- summery dresses
After a massive splurge on a lovely Karen Millen dress yesterday (which, btw, is not the kind of purchase I usually make), I’ve decided I need to get a little more serious about budgeting. My plan is to put most of my pay left over after rent, groceries etc. into a savings account, and by the end of next year have enough saved up to do Europe on a shoestring for 6 months+. The Boy will be doing the same, although since he earns almost double what I do it should really be easier for him. I’m leaving myself $50 of ‘pocket money’ per week for shopping, books, non-homecooked food, going out, drinks etc. It sounds like a lot of money to play with, but when you’re not thinking about it it goes so quickly!
I think this won’t be a huge cut for me - mostly it will make me consider what I have already before buying new things, since I’ll need to save up a few week’s pocket money to buy a new dress or afford a big night out. I’m thinking it’ll lead to more carefully considered purchases, less alcohol consumption and more homemade lunches, which are definitely good things!