Thursday, 14 July 2016

Oh Frugality How I do Love Thee

The house hunting continues apace. We have now viewed 23 properties, with another booked for next Tuesday. We have, of course a 'happy home' checklist, and we are slowly reaching the conclusion that something has got to give. Having a detached property has always been one of the top requirements because I'm a little noise phobic, after living on a main road for a number of years. The Tuesday property is semi-detached and I wondered dear bloggers what your opinions might be on the merits of detached and semi ? I think I need a balanced viewpoint on the subject.

This morning the Mr and I popped into Chesterfield, picked up some breakfast and scooted round the flea market. We had a fabulous time. The sun was out, prices were cheap and all the folk were in merry mood. I made a few purchases, all to do with the new business venture I'm working on at the moment. But it struck me as always, that you can buy almost anything secondhand and still buy quality.

I'm being mindful of keeping spending at a minimum just now, which I always try to do anyway, because of the impending house purchase. It just takes a bit of extra thought that's all.

Mother in law gave me a bag of gooseberries, which I mixed with a half price punnet of blueberries, some sugar and a little honey to make a very fancy compote.

I mix it with granola and natural yogurt and also top ice cream with it. I always buy nice quality ice cream with no nasties in it, but only when it is half price. There always seems to be a deal in at least one supermarket. I'm pleased to say that my 'new' local Co op has fantastic reductions on items at certain times of the day and I'm taking full advantage of their generosity.

My bargain of the day though was this very sweet oil painting. About 15 inches square. I've propped it up on the thin mantlepiece above the log burner in the sitting room.

As we're renting we haven't been able to put any of our own paintings up, so this looks super cheery. And the best part? It cost me 50p!


  1. Wow, that compote looks amazing! I am much more compote than jam, far too much sugar.

    Speaking as a new semi-detached homeowner, who moved form a detached rental house, I can confirm it isn't that bad! There are semi's and semi's - ours is not jam packed like some new builds, and also the neighbour has had an extension, so their patio is effectively staggered much further down the garden than ours - it feels a lot more private.

    But if you were sitting side by side in the garden, separated only by a bit of flimsy shiplap, it might be a different story.

    Also, our walls are quite thick. I am sure an older house would be much quieter than a new build.

    Hope you find the right one!

  2. I love your 50p painting!

    How exciting to be looking for a new home. It's been about 15 years since I moved and can imagine the stress of packing everything up and rearranging it in new dwellings.

    I love gooseberries. My father made rhubarb and gooseberry crumble for our Sunday family gathering, and needless to say, it didn't last long!

    Lovely to see you blogging again, Jean.

    Have a perfect evening x

  3. The 50p painting was a good buy.
    As for houses, after 23 years in a very rural position it has to be detached. We visit friends in a modern semi and you can hear everything. But years ago we were in an old semi and it was OK. Traffic noise is much worse than people noise - I think, although barking dogs would be even worse!

  4. I have buckets of gooseberries that are in the freezer and I have no clue what to do with them. I will now try this compote. Thanks for that idea.

    in one of our old houses, a 1960's semi, you know the ones with the brown cladding on the 2nd floor. We could hear everything through the wall.

    1939 bow fronted semi, not a peep could be heard.

    1980's mock tudor, semi heard people on stairs, kids shouting, phone ringing

    Victorian end of terrace, never heard anything but the front door slam. No other noise.

    Victorian terrace, didnt need the sound on our own TV if we watched the same channel as next door. Turned out, they have speakers mounted on the walls at ceiling height and had removed all the plaster and had only the bricks.

    1990's end of terrace. Never heard anything from the students next door.

    We now only go for a detached home. I also will make sure that if we move again that we dont share drains with anyone else. our last house we didnt have shared drains and in was the only time we havent had to rod the drains. Even this house we have to check the drains every other month. This house is 1960's. I dont think I will have a house newer than 1950's, they dont seem to be built as well and they all have bad drains as the size of the sewage pipes went from a larger pipe to a smaller.

    We make a wish list and then make the things that we can not do without or compromise on. We wont live in anything but detached and we wont compromise on own parking and a garage. The location and those 2 things are top. You can change a house completely. But you cant change where it is, or how big the garden is.

    Will shut up now. have wittered on for a long time.

    Good luck with your adventure.

  5. If you are going to try the compote, I just topped and tailed the gooseberries and mixed with a little sugar, honey and blueberries, added 3 tbsps of water, covered the tin with foil and baked for half an hour at 180. Thanks for your feedback about semi's very useful indeed.


  6. I've only lived in detached or terraced houses; I don't think I'd feel as if the house was all mine if it was semi-detached.

  7. So glad to see you blogging again Jean. I think your picture is adorable and a perfect bargain. I live in a dinky 1930's terrace and while I miss the multiple bathrooms if our old house -a 1990's semi I do not miss being able to hear all the neighbours conversations! I think you will 'know' when you find the right house but maybe after looking at so many house write down your wish list as Sol mentioned. Perhaps all the desirable qualities of the previous houses and all the not so nice. Good luck!

  8. We're in a semi, but it is the only house for a while around so it's quiet. Love your painting find and the compote sounds delicious. Nice to see you back my friend x

  9. I've lived in semis on and off for years and can honestly say that I have heard the neighbours going about their business in each and every one of them. In fact the semis seemed to let more noise through the walls than the terraced houses I've lived in.

    Detached for me all the way, although we are in the process of purchasing a lower ground floor flat, lets hope the neighbours above don't wear wooden clogs ;-)

  10. I think it entirely depends on what neighbours you have and what the garden is like. I'd personally stake out the house to see what it's like at night. My only attached neighbours are a very quiet elderly couple and the garden is sideways, so no overlooking, but after decades of rented properties, i would generally opt for a detached if it were in my price range. Good luck with it!