My updated plan of action!

In my last post I mentioned that I had pretty much wasted a whole year of working towards my long term goals, except for the losing weight one.  I am going to have to get serious about these plans or I will be back here next year making more lame excuses about why I still haven’t made any progress.  I will tell you, briefly, what my plans are for the coming year and in later posts I will flesh these out and update you on the progress.

Environment;
There are a few projects here that I want to work on

  • I want to get an old car and convert it to electric, it will be used for all local journeys as I think it will have a maximum range of about 35-40 miles
  • I want to install solar heating panels
  • I want to install solar pv panels
  • I want to improve on the reclycling of our waste, both in terms of rubbish and water

Health
Again I have a few things I want to concentrate on

  • I want to lose more weight, somewhere in the region of another 3.5 to 4 stone, taking me down to about 15 stone.
  • I want to exercise more, both cardiovascular and weight bearing.
  • I would love to be able to reduce some of the medication I have to take every day

Residual Income

  • The plan here is to develop several income streams that I will be able to use to supplement my normal income and then develop it to the point where it will replace my normal income
  • To be able to replace my normal income with my residual income and also to reduce the risk, I will first have to eliminate all of the debt I have and then also start to drive down the outstanding Mortgage.
  • With the reduction of payments to debts and bills, reduction in fuel bills due to the solar and pv panels and also the electric car I think we will be able to live on £15,000 per year or less, when I work this out more precisly I will report back on it

Zero Cost Living

  • I have already mentioned the solar and pv panels, and also the electric car
  • I will be aiming to generate £15,000+ per year on auto-pilot
  • I will also be looking to produce some of our own food, I’ll be starting this year in our little veg patch
  • I will also be investigating a project I have for starting a willow coppice allotment to produce firewood for burning in a wood burning stove.

That should all keep me busy for a while :-)

 

 

 

 

 

Nearly a year later

I started this blog all excited about it, I had intended to put lots and lots of stuff on it.  As it turns out I didn’t bother doing anything with it at all and so I haven’t made a single post in nearly a year.  That’s not to say that I haven’t been doing anything at all, I just haven’t been doing very much.
Growing food – nope
Zero cost living – a little bit
Increasing income – not nearly enough
Losing weight – I’ve done well with this

So basically been a lazy dog :-(

I am going to make a commitment to improving everything and following through on it.  In my next post I will detail my plans.

Health Issues

One of the main things I want to talk about here is my health, or more specifically my health problems and what I am going to do about them.  There are a few things that give me problems;

1. Diabetes
2. High blood pressure
3. High cholesteral 
4. Back pain
5. Unfit
6. Overweight

I am on medication, lots of tablets, to manage the diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesteral.  The back pain I just get on with and put up with, the fact that I’m really unfit doesn’t help at all. 

These problems are really just symptoms of my biggest problem which is being overweight.  I will talk more about this in later posts, but I expect that as I deal with my weight problem then the other problems will start to subside.

Delorean car

One of the problems with being poor is not being able to buy shiny things when you come across them :-) l was just picking up an auction catalogue at Wilson’s auction and while I was there I popped in to the auction to see what was happening.

The auction that was running was for classic cars from the estate of someone who had died, I didn’t get the guys name.

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Delorean car - front view

There were all sorts of cars from Rolls Royce’s to Old Bedford vans, a tiny little Messerchmitt car, an MGB (I think), but my favourite was a Delorean car, with it’s brushed aluminium bodywork and gullwing doors, mind you it was a left hand drive.

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Delorean car - side view

I was going to have a bid, just for a laugh, but the bidding started at £10,000 and very quickly went up, with a mix of bids from the floor, telephone, and online, to a winning bid of £18,000.  A bit  out of my range :-)

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Delorean car - rear view

Building a raised bed

I decided that I would install a raised bed for growing the veggies.  I think it will look better and will mean that I won’t have to bend over quite so far.  I also think that it gives better growing conditions for the plants, mind you that might be wrong, I don’t know for sure.

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Raised bed

Construction was pretty easy, I just used some old fencing panels that I had left over from a previous job.  I got some small stakes, screwed it all together and then set it around the bed area and knocked it into the ground.

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The wood will probably rot over the course of a year or two, but will be easily replaceable.  I had considered other materials and construction methods, but this was both the cheapest and easiest and it used materials that were just lying around.

Digging in the garden

I decided last year that I would start to grow my own vegetables, however I never did get around to it.  So this year I have decided to grab the bull by the horns and get stuck in. 

First thing I did was read lots of books and magazines, it has helped a little but I still don’t really know what I’m doing.  I think that basically I just need to do it and learn from experience.

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Pre-digging

The second thing I did was start to put together a raised bed in the garden, I have included a few photos to show progress.

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First dig

At this point all I have done is dig the ground over and left it to sit, I believe that if the weather gets to it that it will get rid of some weeds and prepare the ground for planting.  I still need to put sides on and get more compost, then I’ll be good to go.

Zero Cost Living

So at the moment I live in your typical 3 bed semi-detached house in a housing estate, it’s about 7 miles from the center of Belfast, Northern Ireland.  I don’t really like it here, to be honest I have never really liked it, don’t get me wrong I don’t hate it, I’m not ‘unhappy’, but there are a few things that I really don’t like.  I’ll not go into all of that now, that is a post for a different day, but to get to the point of this post, I have a dream!

While I live in this house I don’t think I will ever be able to realise my dream, but I think about it a lot and I am working towards getting it.

My dream isn’t just about the house I want to live in, although thats a good place to start, it is about the lifestyle that I want to live, and you know I bet at the heart of it that most people would want the same thing, obviously with different details, but the same basic core.

Not a cave!

My dream is to live what I like to call ‘Zero Cost Living’, this is basically where I don’t need to have any further increase in my income to survive, and that my whole income is from a residual source.  Further, I want to live in such a way that I have a minimal impact on the environment, and if possible actually improve it rather than destroying it.  Now I’m not saying that I want to go live in a cave and eat berries and nuts, naw I do like my comforts and I don’t think that is a necessity to do what I plan, although having an earth sheltered home might be classified as a cave, and growing some of  your own food could be described as eating berries and nuts.

So the basic targets are as follows;

  • Buy/build a house in the country, with a good sized piece of land
  • Increase residual income
  • Reduce unecessary expenditure
  • Grow a large percentage of my own food
  • Generate all of my own energy for electricity, heat, and travel
  • Reduce waste, both landfill and sewage

There are really two things about this plan which are difficult, saving enough money to buy/build a house in the country, and the second is to build a residual income that is big enough to pay for it without having to do too much work to maintain it.

If you check back again I will talk about a few of these aspects in more detail.

It’s all about me

So this is my first post on this blog, and too be honest this is a bit of a weird experience for me.  It’s not often that I would be writting a blog post about me or about something I have done or am going to do, or about something I am interested in.

Normally when I put a blog post online it is in one of my business websites, and so would be focused primarilly on selling something to someone or trying to make money in one of several other ways.  Now thats not to say that I will not try to make any money on this blog, I probably will but it will not be the main aim of the site.

So what is the blog going to be about then???  Basically me and what I am doing and what I am interested in, I am not writting this blog for you – the reader, I am writting it for me – the author.  There will be all sorts of subjects, I have put a rough list below;

  • Health, in general and also more specifically mine in particular
  • Weight Loss
  • Gardening
  • Construction Projects
  • The environment
  • Electric and low energy vehicles
  • Solar Energy
  • Zero Cost Lifestyle
  • Financial Independance

There will of course be other, random stuff that dosn’t fit into any of these categories.  I’m not going to explain any of this stuff just now, I’ll get to it later.

Before I go I just want to mention comments, for now I will allow comments on the blogs but they will be strictly moderated, so please if your comment isn’t relevant please don’t waste your time and mine as it will get marked as spam.

Bye for now