26 Going On 90

Worst possible start to the week!
Early this morning I got up to get some water and as I sat up in bed and looked to my side I felt a little click in my neck and a painful icing feeling rushed down my side.
That was it for the day, my neck locked itself and all day I have not been able to move my neck a milliliter without getting a shock of pain down my neck and back.

Today that I had planned to be such a nice day and great start to the week turned out a complete fiasco.

The first hour of the morning I walked around the living room in desperation to get my neck to stop hurting. If I stood up, sat down or walked around, it wouldn’t make a difference, I got such painful crams in the neck not matter what I did. Lying down was not an option as it was far to painful, not to mention that even with the help of Greg I could barely get back up.
I have had a stiff neck that could spasm a little a few times in the past, but it has never even come close to what it was today. After having put a hot water bottle around it for over an hour the spasms became less intense and I was left with a neck that I could not move but at least it wasn’t painful unless I accidentally moved it.

I struggled for a while to get my clothes on, and I had to get Greg to make my breakfast. (Isn’t he sweet) A shower was our of the question and so was putting any make up on.

So off to work I went, with a head tilted to the left, slightly gross, unwashed and with a pale undone face. I defiantly did not look ready for a work environment.
After walking three times slower than I normally would to the train station I arrived only to find out my train had been cancelled and therefore the next one was packed.

I was so terrified anyone would bump into me I kept putting my hands in front of me as for protection. I can only imagine how ridiculous I must have looked standing with a crocked back, a awkwardly positioned head and my hands in front of me.
I did feel like I was 90 years old, and I am sure I looked the part too!

Being delayed by the train I was 15 minutes late to work, so everyone was there as I came in and as I walked in the door everyone started asking “What happened too you?” A bit embarrassed I answered “Is it that obvious?” to what I got the reply “Oh my god what happened to your neck??”
When I left my house I thought perhaps no one would notice and my frail appearance was all in my head, but apparently not.

At work we tried everything we could possible do, the nurses brought me painkillers, heating lotions, muscle lotions, and lotions to ease pain. The OT gave me tips to exercises I could do to loosen my neck, but nothing worked! In fact the longer I sat at my desk, the stiffer my neck got and the more the muscles in my back started acting up. By the time I left work I felt so tired just from holding my own head up.

I tried going to bed at 9 today, as I am absolutely exhausted, both from lack of sleep last night and being so tired in my body. All I want right now is to relax my back.
But lying in bed my neck started cramping so much I had to get up. (something that took about 20 minutes to do haha).

So here I am sitting up next to Greg with my head staring forward and with my Pingu penguin water bottle strapped to my neck.
What a fantastic way to start the week! My body is starting my match the age of my old soul.

In all seriousness though I hope and pray it will be gone by tomorrow, so I can write a less complaining post and embarrass myself slightly less. How I miss mobility!

– Camilla

 

 

Mums Visit!

Last week when Greg was in America, my mum came to stay with me for 5 days. I was so happy, because it had been such a long time since last I saw her and Greg was away so it was really nice to have someone stay and not being all alone.

Most of the times when my mum has visited me here in London there has always been something happening that we have been busy with, so she has not really got to feel like she is in London. We have not gone to the center at all on most of her visits and therefore not seen very much.

Fortunately this time, we had the whole weekend, and we got to go to into the central and take pictures with some of the main attractions such as Big Ben, The London Eye and Westminster Abby.
We were so lucky to get some great weather whilst we were there that just made our time perfect.
We had lunch by Trafalgar Square, walked around and watched the buildings and the people and enjoyed the nice atmosphere.
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We also started a project to redo our entire living room as a surprise for Greg when he came home, and he got so happy! I will in a later post show you our new place.

It is something special to have ones mum stay, it feels very homely and cozy.
I was even so lucky to get some of my favorite foods from Norway from her, such as Bearnaise Sauce and Norwegian bread spread.

In the evenings we would watch old crime series and drink tea just like we did when I was younger. I felt like I was 16 again!
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I was so sad when she left, but it wont be long until I see her again. In two weeks we are packing our bags and travelling to Greece for two weeks, so I wont have to miss her long.

Two days after she went home, Greg came back from America. It was so good to have him home, like I could finally relax again. So my time “alone” went quite well, and fortunately passed quickly.

Now life is back to normal. Greg is recovering from his Jet Lag and I am enjoying a relaxing weekend before work starts again tomorrow.

I hope everyone has had a nice end to the week!

– Camilla

Furnishing on a (very) low budget

Last week I said I would write a post about furnishing a flat on a budget and I though I would put that out for you now!

When Greg and I got this flat in July, most of our savings was used on the deposit and we had little left over for furnishing.
We got the place unfurnished and therefore needed basic furniture such as a sofa and a bed in order to move in.DSCF1074

We still have a lot of furniture to buy to make it a cozy home, but by now we have the basics in place that we need to live here.

Here is my tips for you if you are furnishing your flat on a low budget.

Some of the stuff we got we bought new, and some stuff we got used.

The bed:

With our bed we decided that we would prefer a new bed over a used one. This was mostly because we did not want to risk getting bedbugs, especially where we sleep. Also I felt that I would be more comfortable with a bed I know no one has used before, after all it is where we sleep every night and I wanted to know that I would feel comfortable.
Most beds that you can buy at department stores end up getting quite expensive, especially with delivery. We searched for online stores and found our bed at Sofaworld for £120. For that we got a new double bed delivered to our house the same day we ordered it. It is a comfortable bed with two drawers in it, and although it is not a luxury bed at all it is a bed we can sleep well in.
DSCF1059Our bed was only furniture we got (except for the TV) that we spent more that £100 on, but for a bed £100 is really not very much especially considering it is new.

Buying Second Hand:

If you are looking for second hand furniture, there is a lot to find online. We found Gumtree to be a very good page to get second hand stuff and we got both our sofa and our closet from there. In addition to Gumtree, there are plenty of facebook pages where people sell their furniture. There might even be a group for the area you live in, so I would recommend searching for not only your city, but also your area.

We got our sofa from Gumtree for £35 with free delivery, and we bought a canvas wardrobe for £5 also on Gumtree.DSCF1225DSCF1226DSCF1062

Both the sofa and the wardrobe we will probably look to replace when we can, but it was a great solution to get the basics so we could live here and it works perfectly for now.

Two things to keep in mind:

1. Staying safe whilst paying for your purchase
One important thing though to keep in mind when buying through Gumtree or any online page where people can post privately is to make sure you pay when you receive the purchase, as you cannot be sure who you are buying from over the internet. Some of the ads can be a scam, even if they look legit.

2. Can you pick it up?
Another thing to consider when using these pages is if you have a vehicle to pick the furniture up. We saw so many amazing deals that we could not get, simply because we dont have a car. Neither Greg or I have a car and as we live in London were everyone uses public transport we have no one that can help us pick the furniture up. Some things are small enough that it can be brought on the tube or fit in an uber, but for larger furniture this can create a problem.
Our solution to this was to look for ads that said free delivery, or that delivers for a small extra price.

Buying from Department Stores:

I have got two places that I have gone to for cheap new furniture and that is IKEA and Poundstretcher.

Ikea is such a great store with heaps of affordable and good furniture. Not to mention it is a very fun store to go shopping in with its showroom displays and their restaurant that serves delicious foods!

From IKEA I got our little coffee table for £5, which was way cheaper than anything I could find online.DSCF1216
The table is tiny, and after a while we will probably want a better one, but for £5 it is a great deal!

We also got our dining table and chairs from IKEA. We was originally not supposed to get a dining table for a while, because we felt it was not a necessity as we could eat on the sofa and dining tables are quite expensive. However I really dislike having all our meals on the sofa and I got a bit creative so we could have a table to eat at.
At IKEA I found a white desk for £15 and folding chairs for £5 each so I bought that to use as a dining table. And when putting a tablecloth over it, it does not look half bad!DSCF1154DSCF1048
And for the time being it operates as a desk when it is not being used for a dining table.

IKEA is also great for buying what you need for the kitchen, they have super cheap quality dining wear and kitchen utensils!

Poundstretcher is another great store that have great furniture for very little.

As we do not have to much space to put our stuff yet I went out and got some cheap plastic drawers and containers from there!

I got some plastic drawers, a clothes rack and some extra boxes. I got the plastic drawers for £12, the rack for £7 and I got a hanging mirror for £6! Bargain! DSCF1068DSCF1060DSCF1005

Of course over time we want some proper furniture and not having to resort to plastic drawers and canvas wardrobes, but this really is a great way to buy furniture if you find yourself in a need to get a place furnished to live in, but dont have the money to get it all done in one go!

We still have heaps to do here, it still has a bit of an empty feel to it, as you can see in the pictures, but it will come with time. For now we can relax with what we have, and slowly fill in what is missing, knowing we have the essentials in place.

I hope this post gave some inspiration of how to get furniture way under budget, and even if you do not have a whole place to fill from scratch with minimum of spending money, there are little tricks you can do to get your basics without paying too much.

Now I am of to work, before going to meet my mum at the station later!
Wishing you all a very good day!

– Camilla

 

 

 

 

Things to do in London: Hyde Park and Kenisngton Garden

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Today has been such a great day and a perfect end to the week!

Because Greg and James are leaving for America for 10 days tomorrow, we wanted to get the most out of the day today and spend as much time together as possible.

We took advantage of the great weather and had all day in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

These places are so beautiful, like a little oasis in the middle of London.
Kensington Palace is where Diana used to live while she was alive and where the royal family occasionally stay.
There are so many memorial monuments in this park, celebrating royalties from hundreds of years ago, as this was a very historical garden for the royal family.

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We went to see all the memorials, the gardens, the park and the palace.

It was so nice to just look at the pretty scenery, have some laughs and just enjoy each others company.
And we got to take so many nice pictures!

Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park is located near Kensington in West London. The best way of getting there I think would be the route that we took today, witch is to take the underground to South Kensington station and walk from there. But of course it depends a little of where in London you are coming from. I would absolutely recommend to make the trip there though, it is a location that must be seen, you would not regret it!

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In the spirit of having just visited this beautiful garden, when we came home I baked an apple cake and we watched the old classic “The Secret Garden”.

It was the best day I have had for such a long time, the only bad thing with it was that it made me feel super sad and dreading Greg being away for 10 whole days!
I am really dreading going to work in the morning, knowing I will be coming home to an empty house and Greg being somewhere over the Atlantic.

Now I am casually sitting on my computer with a big moan, as Greg is packing.

Although I am so happy for Greg and James that they get to go on a fun boys trip, I am also so sad to be alone without them here at home.

Talk to you tomorrow,

– Camilla

A Cosy Night In

Good morning my lovely readers!

The weekend is over here in The UK and another week of work begins. I hope everyone has had a great weekend and got some free time to relax and have fun.

After I blogged yesterday Greg and James came home from their day out and they had brought both dinner and snacks for the evening. By the time I had postet my post they had already set it all up and it was so nice to be able to just sit down and eat. I am getting spoiled here as we have company!

For dinner we had platters of different foods, like sausage rolls, different meats, bread and crackers. It was so yummy, and to top it off we had Pringles, biscuits and a few glasses of wine for dessert – the perfect night in.

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I love those evenings when there is good company, good food and something entertaining to watch on the TV or the computer.

After browsing through the channels for something to watch, we landed on the movie “Bicentennial Man” with Robin Williams. I love movies with Robin Williams in them, every since I first saw “Mrs. Doubtfire” as a kid and this movie was no exception. It is just something about the characters he plays and the expressions he make that I really like.

All in all it was a very good end to a weekend I would have wished was a little longer.

Now that Monday morning is here I am finishing my coffee before I rush of to work.

I wish you all a good start to the week!

– Camilla

 

 

 

We finally have a London flat!!

Good Afternoon! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday in this great weather we are having in London today!

I know I have been away from the blog for some time now, and in the mean time a lot has happened here, which is part of the reason for my absence as we have been without internet for some time now, but now we are finally back online!

The biggest change that has happened on our end is that we finally after 6 months living together have our own place!

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I am so happy and content, our place is the place I wrote about back in July that I was really hoping we would get, and we were so lucky to get it! I was beyond relieved, I thought we would go through a nightmare process to get a place of our own, since renting in London can be quite a difficult process. More than that I was so happy because I was prepared that we might have to rent a place that we did not really want to live in, in lack of being able to get a place we loved but we were so lucky and on our first try we found a place that we fell in love with!

So we are now official residents of Lewisham in South London. We love the area, it is a lot quieter than where we lived before and although travelling to work takes slightly longer it is so worth. It is great for us because it is still quite close to the city, yet it feels like it is outside the city once we get of the train.

I cannot express how nice it felt getting in this place, after having rented a tiny room in a house for 6 months it felt like a dream to have a whole flat to our selves. The first two weeks I felt almost anxious here, like I could not believe that our flat search had such a happy ending and I just waited for something to come and take it away. Now I have finally settled down and alowed myself to be happy here and feel at home.

We have most of the essentials here more of less in place now. We have getting furniture from Ikea, Gumtree and more, as we moved here on a budget and did not have much savings to spend on furniture. We still have somethings left to buy and hopefully eventually we can replace whatever we are not that happy with now, but for now what we have got is more than enough. Later in the week I will make a post about buying cheap furniture and what we have learned from the experience.

Here is the first pictures from our new place! Welcome!

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Greg’s best friend James is visiting us here at the moment from New Zealand and it is so nice to have an extra bedroom where he can stay.I must say I feel so grateful and uplifted and all I want to do now is to give something back. Like I said before, after those 6 months in limbo I am truly appreciating this!

Now Greg and James just came home from Greenwich park, so I will spend some time with them now for dinner and a movie.

I hope everyone is having a great day! And if anyone has any ideas or tips about having just moved into a flat, please feel free to write to us!

– Camilla

 

 

July – hopes and goals

July is here!

I cant believe we are in the 7th month of the year already!

After having reflected on June last night, I am now thinking forward to July.
On my walk to work this morning I started planning the coming month. I think that thinking back to what went right and what went wrong last month, I got in a space where I want to keep improving month by month.

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This is a big month for myself and Greg too. I have to sort out everything for the next year of uni, I have a lot of training to pass for work and most importantly, Greg and I have to find our apartment this month, sooner rather than later as we must have moved in somewhere by the 5th of August. So pressure is ON!
That of course also means that we both have to save most of our income, as getting a place becomes very expensive with rent in advance, agency fees and deposits.

Here are my 5 goals and hopes for July:

Finding an apartment:
This is the number one priority. Most of what I do this month will be in order to work towards getting a place, we are in a bit of a time crunch, BUT we will do it! And of course keep you updated on our way there!

Saving money and reducing spending.. ..Like a lot!
As I said above, finding a place is expensive and this month we will need to pay rent where we live, pay rent where we will be going and put down a deposit. So a lot of budget dinners, less Costa coffees and I will be trying to use less public transport and walk where I can. On the positive side, you might have fun watching me trying to live of more or less nothing.. Good budget tips coming up this month!

Eating healthy and cutting down on sugar:
I terrible when it comes to watching what I eat and I defiantly eat far too much sugar. This last month when I watched it more and was living on better food I could absolutely tell how much better I felt. Last night after writing about how good I have been on watching the sugar and what food and drinks I have, I broke my diet and had so much chocolate and sweets (and right after I said I have been so good arg) and I started feeling really sick and tired. That in it self should be enough motivation to keep me on the good path this month. If not that, the fact that I am saving and probably cannot afford to buy too much sugar and fast food should do the trick. There is an upside to everything right?

Staying active:
I have a goal in my head that I will run everyday and walk and run both ways to work on days that I am working. I dont know yet if it is doable, especially since each way to work is a two hour walk and we do 12 hour shifts where we are basically on our feet constantly, but I will try and see. If that is not doable, I will want to t least run 4 days a week and walk at least one way to work. And again, it saves money too right?

Avoid complaining and do what I can for others:
Lately I become such a negative Nelly and I complain to Greg about all my worries and always tell him whatever negative has happened to me that day. And on so many days I focus on the negative. I dont want to be like that! I used to be very positive but lately I have not really been. So I will focus on what is good instead. And both at work and in any encounter I have with people in my personal life, I will do my best to be a positive contribution and not bother to go out of my way to help people. We should all do that, but sometimes I get so caught up in my own things that I forget all the stuff I could do for others, even without too much effort sometimes. We are nothing without each other so we really must treat each other as best as we can.

Now my break at work is nearly over and I better get back.

I would love to hear some of your goals for July, I do need the inspiration.

Have a great day!

– Camilla