Monday, 20 August 2012

Frugal Living - A Means to an End


Eco-renovation - it's a titanic task

Almost a month has passed since my last post, what with one thing and another happening within the family (RIP 'Wee Jean' 08/08/1918 - 29/07/2012) and various other circumstances beyond my control.

It's now time to get back on the frugal path to put this place in order, even if that path does appear very long and winding at times. I freely admit to occasionally stopping and wondering if it will all be worthwhile, but I also freely admit to saying a positive 'YES', it will be worth it!

My cousin volunteered to pose for this photo during one of our recent adventures and I thought it very apt for this post. :)

Work has restarted, once again. Once completed, the outbuilding will provide the much-needed space to allow work indoors to resume. I may even have a kitchen by the end of this year!

The (soon to be) studio.

The 'studio' is beginning to look good now that all the old wood and blocks have been replaced. We salvaged the old back door that was removed from the house plus half a dozen of the windows that were lying about the garden when we arrived here. There are still two more windows to be completed but the frames are in and all that's needed is for the glass to be fitted - this we have had to buy. (We got a really good deal from a local double glazing company who had spares lying in their yard.) One day soon, we'll have a studio workshop right on our back doorstep and working from home will become even more enjoyable. 

As the year progresses, we're having our fair share of sunshine, even managing to don the shorts and visit the beach a few times to enjoy a splash about with the grand children. This, however, reminds me of how unfit and over weight I havew become, so it is time to address this problem in a much more serious way. Afterall, we have the best gym in the world right outside our doors and anyone is free to use it at any time!

The great outdoors can offer anything you want from a short walk to the post box to some high-powered aerobics, assuming you have the enthusiasm to just do it! Frugal living should never leave you needing, even if you have to create your own imaginery outdoor gym.

An eco-renovation doesn't come cheap if we're looking at eco-friendly building products but a frugal eco-renovation is about making things affordable. Whether it means cutting back on unneccessary expense so you can afford the right materials or recycling what is already available to you, it is still good! Ensuring you are fit enough to enjoy and appreciate all the years of scrimping, saving and hard work that goes into a renovation project has to feature strongly in your plans if you expect to reap the long term benefits. So I am making a new start RIGHT NOW!

GET FITTER, NOT FATTER (Pedometer cost 99p inc P&P via eBay.) I often hear or read of people trying their best to get fit and lose weight by spending ridiculous amounts of money on low fat and/or high protein foods, joining local gyms and/or 'investing' in fitness equipment. I have to admit to having thought about these things myself in the past, especially as my son is a fitness fanatic and into all sorts of weight training.

I have now cast aside those thoughts and am lookingg at the whole picture - the old joints have taken some serious punishment over the years, what with various falls, bumps, sprains, strains and fractures (mainly horse-related) and it has been quarter of a century since I weighed what I would like to weigh. That's 25 years of careless living that has slowly increased my weight and decreased my fitness. I certainly don't plan on taking another 25 years to redress this balance, but I do understand that it will be a long and arduous task, one that cannot be supplemented by unneccessary spending, dieting fads and paying to be told how to do it. The process needs to fit in time-wise and weather-wise with frugal living, earning an income and renovating a home!

I hope nobody minds if I post about my exploits during this frugal 'Get Fitter, Not Fatter' challenge, but I set it up online so long ago that even I am beginning to think of it as a bit of a joke.

The following items are what some people see as essentials to their fitness regimes:
  • rowing machine
  • treadmill
  • exercise bike
  • local swimming pool
  • weights

  • The following are what I have right here, right now:

    This is my Rowing Machine. OK, so my rowing machine comes in the form of a small rowing boat moored at the edge of the nearby loch, but look at the spectacular views it offers and look at the space for sharing with friends, taking a healthy lunch and, if we so desired, trying our hands at fly-fishing. I haven't done the fishing bit, as that entails purchasing a permit that allows us to fish - not frugal - but rowing around Elrig loch is a brilliant way to get some easy exercise whilst communing with nature.

    This is my Treadmill. The frugal treadmill will keep going for miles and miles, as the roads, lanes and tracks criss-cross the countryside. The whole point of spending years scrimping and saving is to afford to live debtfree somewhere we want to be, a place of our own that we can call home. If you can't see the possibilities of doing something like this on your own, then consider finding someone with shared ambitions. You'd be amazed at how many people jump at the chance to quit the rat race and follow their dreams as crafters, writers, artists or even for the simple choice of working their own hours in order to make the most of everything else life has to offer. Chaos is acceptable, no matter what others may think, if it is en route to realising your dreams.

    The Exercise Bike (cycling) Almost everyone knows someone with a bicycle tucked away in a shed, forgotten, unused or surplus to requirement. Well, I borrowed one from a friend this summer. What with one thing and another, I haven't even managed out on it once, but there are no real excuses. They say that you never forget how to ride a bike... I'll put that theory to the test just as soon as my knees have agreed to bend and straighten in one smooth rotational action while synchronising with upper body balance and an ability to steer.

    The Poolside - Living in a rural location means there's not really much call for such things as gyms or leisure centres with indoor heated swimming pools. Living within walking distance of the coast, however, offers all sorts of possibilities. Wild swimming can be done pretty much anywhere you find that's safe and clean enough for you to take the plunge. A friend has invested in a wet suit so she isn't completely restricted to only the hottest days of the year, swimming in several of the lochs that can be found within the region - her particular favourites are all within the Galloway Forest Park. I prefer the sea, as the thought of pike swimming below me puts me off even dipping a toe into any of our nearby lochs. As yet, I have not swum in the sea, only paddled.

    Weights - Who needs dumbells when there are millions of rocks lying around the place? One local here power walks while carrying a rock in each hand, raising them and lowering them in step with his pace of walking. I'm sure this must provide an extra element of aerobic exercise and will be setting him well on his way to achieving his optimum heart rate.

    My first challenge is to gather enough rocks to equate to the amount of excess weight I am already carrying. Granted, it won't come close to Stonehenge, but I'm sure it will amount to a tiny cairn, at least.

    That's the tale of Frugaldom thus far - the indoor renovation works ground to a halt months ago, the weeds always seem to be winning the war in the garden, the greenhouse is still standing and producing some lovely tomatoes, I'm cooking courgettes in almost everything - bread and cakes alike - the derelict outbuilding should have a new lease of life as a studio within the next couple of weeks and I'm about to embark on a much healthier lifestyle, even if it takes me forever.

    How could anyone not want to live this life? It's certainly never boring!

    This post is also dedicated to all friends, family and other residents of Garlieston in the wake of recent events, the facts of which have been twisted out of recognition by certain newspapers that chose to feed the general public with outright lies! I would appeal to anyone who has read such garbage to cast it aside and never sink to the depths of allowing it to cloud their judgement on our wonderful area!

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    1. How nice to see you back.

      So true that the best gym is right outside our doors. The numbers of bends, lifts and steps taken, simply living a 'simple life' far outweighs any hour at the gym getting hot and sweaty to no purpose.

      At least when we step back after a 'work out' we are confronted with another job done and another thing to be ticked of our 'to do' list.

      Sue xx

    2. Thanks, Sue. Hopefully I can get back to the blog and also try to catch up with others; there just never seems to be enough hours in the day and there always seems to be something needing eaten up to save it going to waste after it's been baked or defrosted. LOL

    3. Sorry to hear your sad news.

      Great progress with the studio.

      Good luck with the frugal fitness. I know you can do it.

      Sft x


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