LIFE IS GOOD WHEN THE SUN SHINESCash-paying work has been a bit thin on the ground recently, so I've been able to get out and about whenever the sun shines, researching for articles and writing what I want rather than what I'm paid to write. Renovations can wait - we're almost water tight, we have logs and coal, and there's plenty of food in the half-completed kitchen.
Working from home and frugal living while having no rent to pay and no car to run has many major advantages. I'm not denying there can be disadvantages but, when the sun shines, folks like us can just take off and do as we please. I can clock up more miles on my trusty two-wheeled steed - the secondhand bike. Mine is a mountain bike and H's is a hybrid meant for road use, but it's been behaving very well over the farm tracks, forest tracks, fields and cattle grids. As you can see in the photo, my bike now goes nowhere without the black cool-bag, (a freebie from several years ago) which normally holds lunch and emergency supplies or else basic groceries from the local store. (You can pack quite a lot in there when you have to do so.)
The weather, although bitingly cold, has been fair, meaning it's warmer out than in when living in a house with no proper central heating. Sitting at the computer and reading the screen through your own breath cloud isn't a good look, so getting warm means light the fire, light the stove or exercise. You'd think I'd lose weight doing this, but I never do!
This post is a run through of what March has brough, so far: it came in like a lamb, let's hope it doesn't go out like a lion!
01 March 2013 - We decided to head out to the highest point in our area. The Machars is an area of lowland in southwest Scotland, within the Dumfries and Galloway region. We're on a peninsula that has no large hills or mountains, only a few fells, Mochrum Fell being the highest, at 197m / 646ft. We left the bikes at the foot of the hill and walked up a route that took us past two shepherds' cairns and then to the summit trig point, where there's a cist, trig point and remains of a much larger cairn. Cost for this outing - FREE.
02 March 2013 - Grandaughter was visiting and, although it wasn't all that sunny, it was dry and bright enough to get out for a picnic. (She'd brought her bike with her.) We cycled out to the old church ruins at Barhobble, where we left the bikes and climbed Changue Fell, which is right next to Mochrum Fell. We ate our picnic while sitting at the church ruins and then cycled home, stopping off for a walk along the edge of Elrig Loch to see all the Greylag geese that are visiting for winter. Cost for this outing - FREE.
The little red stone building is the burial chapel of the Maxwell family, who still own the nearby estate. As far as I'm aware, Sir Michael, who considers himself frugal, is the only Maxwell who now resides there. He seems to be a bit of a character, as I'm sure anyone who saw him on the TV series 'Country House Rescue' will agree.
Cost of this excursion - FREE.
So there you have it - a peak into the life of a Frugaldom dweller. None of the above are all-day affairs, so it leaves plenty of time for the more mundane things in life, like housekeeping, cooking and earning a small income. Perhaps it isn't the perfect life for a gregarious socialite with a penchant for foreign holidays, glamour and glitz. All of tese things can be put together on a miniscule budget, so it isn't like we couldn't afford to set ourselves another challenge. I think I prefer simple living.