More gardens, this time, mine.

 It’s been a long evening. Home from work and cooking supper. Nothing worth blogging about..quorn sausages, mash and veggies with gravy. I made four meals and two will be ‘dinged’ tomorrow night as I have to travel for work and I’m not sure when I’ll get home. I must say, all the carrying of water up and down the stairs is keeping me fit. I’m now investigating setting up a water butt in my utility room and hooking the washing machine pipe straight into it so I can save the water for the garden. I only use eco soap so it won’t harm the garden. As soon as I sort something out, you’ll be the first to know. In the meantime, I’m holding out with the laundry for as long as possible so I can recycle the water when I next get round to getting it washed.

 My plants are thriving on grey water. It’s been so dry that I’ve had to water them every day. Not having anywhere to ‘dig’ means I grow in pots, or flashy bags in wicker wrappers. From my experiments last year, everything grew well in a big cheap plastic pot and not so well in bags. Cheap plastic pots it is then. Tonight, I transplanted the butternut squash, cucumbers and courgettes, out of the wee pots where they have grown from seed into their large permanent pots in the poly tunnel. Last year I failed miserably as I tried using grow bags. Now the plants have deep, compost with added manure and can form deep roots, the poly tunnel with protect them from the cold and I just might get more than courgettes. I’ve also put beetroot seeds in and the potatoes have been ‘earthed up’. It’s so easy to do when you use potato bags, just chuck it in on top, give the bags a gently shake and the green leave pop their tips through. Repeat the process until the garden compost is at the top of the bag and keep well watered.

As usual, we went out for our evening walk but later than usual. We spent quite a while just sitting and chatting in the garden. We’re both worried about Dearly Beloved either losing his job or facing a massive pay cut alongside me possibly losing a chunk of my income due to having to make a greater contribution to my own pension, just to keep the level I have. Life is full of challenges and it’s more important than ever to enjoy the simplest moments such as planting out, watering the garden or chatting with loved ones. We know we can’t afford to stay in this house forever and we’ll have to find somewhere small as soon as we’re out of our mortgage agreement, however, whilst we’re here; I’m going to enjoy my garden.

(p.s for Mary – I stand to lose approx £100 a month from the pension alteration, that will be devastating for us, especially if DB either loses his job or, at best, has a pay cut. Everything gets more and more expensive and salaries stay the same or in our case, decrease.)

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11 thoughts on “More gardens, this time, mine.

  1. awesome, im going to try potatoes in bags, even though winter is knocking on my door we think we will be able to grow them. our new deck is about to get a clear plastic roof over it which will add some warmth and protection, we rarely get cold enough for a frost. im not saving for a pension. i believe inflation may make efforts shrink and im way better to concentrate on mortgage and maintenance…and books. my flat will bring in a “wage”. i have one of those mortgages that put all my earnings against the debt continuously so as to reduce the interest im paying, i still have my money available to draw out but it is working for me while its in the bank. the system promotes using your credit card to gain 60 days of free usage while your money offsets the mortgage, small snag is it didnt work for me, i couldnt pay the credit card off at the end of the month, luckily its not a huge limit.

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  2. So sorry you are worried. I know you will be calculating and recalculating to the penny but when you are working out what impact increased pension contributions would mean don't forget that they come out of gross income for tax purposes but out of net income for NIC purposes. So an increase of 1% wouldn't be a straight 1% off your net pay

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  3. I had the waiting to find out about redundancy/paycut last year so much empathy. Am unable to afford to pay my pension just yet adn also still need to sell the house. Enjoying the garden while I can. Shame I will have to move as outside space is lovely for a wee one but we also need to eat and have a life. xxx

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  4. It's awful to be worried about redundancy and pay cuts. You will get through it because you have become expert at managing! I hope it turns out better than you fear.

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  5. Can empathise with the worry FQ – it is so mentally exhausting. Dh has not had a pay-rise in 3 years; redundancies have been on-going at his work over the past year. Add to this, my having to leave work 2 years ago to become full-time carer to ds – yip, finances are not our favourite topic of conversation. We will have pitiful private pensions and will have to build up our savings to try to help out. At the moment, every penny is going into the mortgage and with a little bit of good fortune this will be paid-off in 2 years time. So many people, all in the same boat just trying to keep a roof over their heads and have enough to live on.

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  6. I too am a teacher and have been on notice of redundancy for 2 years now, I suppose I should be grateful I keep getting my redundancy deferred via various short term fixes – Now onto my third job in those two years. I am grateful that I am still working and the present job is until Jan 2012, but there is the constant uncertainty. Couple with that is that my hubbies job is even more uncertain – he has been on a 4 day week now for months with three notices of possible redundancy where each time someone else has been the unlucky one – there are now only 2 people left in his department. It is worrying, but I am now trying to see each month that we both have work as a bonus and an opportunity to save and prepare for what now seems inevitable. xxx

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  7. You are such an inspiration! I really need to make more of the resources God has blessed me with. I have to say with the “austerity” measures being implemented in Britain, they sure are sparing no expense for the royal wedding. Bet that bill is being footed by the taxpayers. Disgusting really, when so many are hurting so badly.

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  8. FG, you share courage and grace as
    you face your challenges. You are
    right to say we must be happy with the simple things. They are the best.

    Thanks for sharing your garden and the pictures of your walk. I could not comment the other night since
    we were on a tornado watch and the
    power was out for several hours.

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  9. FQ, your garden is looking lovely and it looks like you will have a bountiful harvest. I'm sorry to hear about DB's job/wage and also about your pension. As someone else who works in the public sector, I know that our pensions will be hit/changing very soon. It is the not knowing that I think is the struggle x

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  10. Sorry to hear about the threat hanging over DB's job. I'm safe and my husband will face a substantial pay cut at worst but several other members of my family (also in schools) have the threat of redundancy hanging over them. It isn't pretty.

    Is there anything DB can do to increase income (in the same manner as you are marking and coaching…)?

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