Category Archives: Life

Banking

In Romania I was a manager and hubby had his own company, so we had the “pleasure” of handling both personal and business bank accounts in different banks.

I always had to have a big handbag when I was going to the bank, because I had to carry with me the stamps, a letter of empowerment and other stuff. The empowerment was necessary even if I was the one that signed it… being the only one in the company that could legally sign this type of documents.

Hubby had to go thru this, even if he was the director and the only owner of the company… he still needed an empowerment. Sounds strange, isn’t it?

Should I mention I had my account manager on speed dial and that we use to pay a lot of fees to the bank. There is a monthly fee, a cash withdraw fee, an internet banking fee, a fee for all the payments made online or offline. The card attached to the bank account had a lot of fees too, including a fee to see the balance at an ATM!

But here, in UK, banking is wonderful. Making changes just by notifying them with no papers, no documents, no ID, only the signature. And I’m talking about the business account! Amazing!!!

Also, our account manager is great, we had a meeting last week and he was so helpful with things that weren’t even related to the bank. We’ve spent more than 1 hour talking, solving few things and having a nice chat at the same time. He showed genuine interest in our activity and asked questions.

Hubby and I were very pleased with the whole experience.

Should I mention there is no stamp, no letter of empowerment and… virtually no fees. Because almost all of the transactions are made online we don’t have to pay monthly fees for our business account, for withdraws or payments. Even the first 5 cheques/month are free!

Moving together

Sunday we had the fair I wanted to talk about it, but 8 years ago we moved together. Here is our 7 year anniversary and the story, so I wouldn’t have to tell it again.

Yesterday morning was cloudy, so we thought we’ll have to postpone going to Liverpool. But after 12, the sun came so we decided to go, as planned, to the Wheel of Liverpool. We both loved the wheel. It was very windy and we could feel the capsule moving on top, but the view was amazing. mt_01

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On top of Echo Arena. After we passed by it, we could feel the wind moving the capsule. The 1st time it wasn’t a very nice feeling, but on the 2nd revolution that feeling was gone.
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The 2 cathedrals were very visible.
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In the back the coast is vizible up to New Brighton, at Fort Perch Rock.
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It was amazing! I loved this experience, maybe because I knew major points around me, the Wirral coast, the attractions in Liverpool.
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The celebration continued at home with homemade chocolate cake, sparkling wine and a nice dinner.

Vegetarian for 5 years

5 years ago, today, I became a vegetarian and my only regret is that I waited too long to make this change.

My life changed for the better even if this had nothing to do with the reasons of becoming a vegetarian, but it was a side effect.

First of all, my blood analysis was good for the 1st time after 25 years! I had problems with calcium and now I don’t even if in a vegetarian diet there is a smaller intake of vitamin D. Who knows how much vitamin D I was eating before; I don’t know, probably less.

My diet is much more diversified. Now I eat so many things that before I ate just once in a while. This is funny, because some people asked me what I eat if I don’t eat meat. So…this is what I eat every month:

veggies: tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, chickpeas, beans, beetroot, green beans, carrots, parsnip, broccoli, onions, red onions, garlic, cauliflower, cabbage, leeks, olives, courgette, aubergines

fruits: plums, bananas, pineapple, apples, oranges, all berries, peaches, lemons, pears, grapes, kiwi, persimmon

oils: olive oil, rapeseed oil and raw almonds, brazilian nuts, hazelnuts and walnuts

dairy (full fat): yogurt, brie, camembert, stilton, danish blue, cheddar (any kind, I love it!), halloumi, feta, soft cheese

and 2-3 eggs daily, wholemeal flour, cornmeal, semolina, unrefined sugar, cocoa, grated coconut.

The diversity of the dishes is given by different veggies and spices, not by 2-3 types of meat (pork, chicken or beef).

“What about proteins?”

This is one of usual questions I hear when I have to say I’m a vegetarian. 5 years ago the protein intake wasn’t one of my concerns, now I have more than enough. I reach 1g/kg proteins daily only from food and more than 50% is animal protein (dairy, eggs). So, I have all the amino acids I need.

Sometimes I discover this is a strange question because, during the discussions, some people don’t know anything about macro-nutrients and their percentage in a healthy diet.

Now I can easily say I have a very balanced diet. Last year I even gained a few kilos of muscles, having 1-1/2g/kg proteins from diet and a protein shake (just whey), after exercising, to reach 1.5g/kg.

Shoes! “What about shoes? Aren’t they from real leather?”

This is one of my favourite questions about my moral standards. No, I don’t buy leather shoes.

So far I had problems finding hiking boots, but I doubt they are thinking of this type of boots. Nevertheless, I can find some at ~£100, but it’s too much for 1-2 walks per year.

It’s so funny, because I’m sure they know shoes are made from different materials and many are from artificial leather. I can’t say I have enough shoes, but most women will agree with me.

Some of my shoes: shoes

Vegan. I don’t see myself as a vegan for a number of reasons.

Same people told me I didn’t stop the killing of innocent animals. That wasn’t my plan, I’m just a person and I can make decisions about me and I live with the consequences of my decisions. Everybody else must make their own decisions and they have to live with the consequences of their decisions.

I’m not trying to change the world or even a small part of it. I just reached a point in my life that I’m happy with my choices.

New year resolution

First of all, Happy new year!!!!

I, like everybody else, use to make new year resolutions. A few of them I knew I would keep and some of them were completely unachievable. I use to make lists of things that I want to do, but again, some of them were hard to achieve.

I already let go of the idea with to do lists and resolutions. A friend shared a good idea on facebook, to have a jar with notes of good things that happen this year. So, this year I’ve made that jar, hubby and I will collect notes of good things that happen to us and on 31st December we will read them. I hope the jar will be full of notes.

This is the jar:gtj_01

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Yes!!! I already put a note inside, I bought 5 books today! Yeee!!!

Christmas gifts

Today we took advantage of the warm day and we went for a walk in Port Sunlight. I decided to wear some of my Christmas gifts: my new M&S shoes and skirt and the South jacket.

The jacket has fleece inside, but it fit’s and looks very light. I’m very happy with it. The skirt is Marks & Spencer. Comfy to wear and cute, the perfect combination. cg_01

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I just love the shoes! They are very comfy and versatile. I like the stitch detail and the small bow in the front. The height is perfect, I can walk in them for miles.
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We also visited Lady Lever Art Gallery. It’s smaller that Walker, but warm. Next year I’ll go again to take a guided tour, the story of the family seams interesting.
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Port Sunlight Village Museum. We didn’t visit it. In January the museum is closed for renovation, so we’ll see it after that.
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Xmas tree. The making of…

Hubby and I had long discussions regarding which xmas tree is best for us. These were generated by the lack of the perfect solution for both of us: a real one with a root big enough to keep the tree alive and plant it in the small back yard.

Last year I killed a real tree, very small but cute. This haunted me until I saw a label on a tree in ASDA which stated that the roots are too small and the tree is unlikely to last after Christmas or if it would be replanted. At least, it wasn’t my fault… it was doomed from the start.

Hubby decided to take the matters into his own hands, so he bought a lovely artificial tree, with white thingies at the end of the branches and pine cones. It looks great. We put purple baubles, no tinsel and just some white lights. We love it like this.

Setting up the tree was harder than I thought at the beginning. The trees we had were simpler, the branches were glued together and easy to assemble. This one has a lot of sections and the branches must be put in their designated slots, grouped by colours and letters.

The 2nd time will be a piece of cake, but it was strange to see all the branches scattered on the floor.xttm_01

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Festus was so excited… A bunch of branches with small balls on them!!! What’s not to like!! He had big trees before. At his 1st Christmas, he managed to put down the tree a few times in 2-3 days. I think he has really nice memories from that Christmas.

For the 2nd Christmas he had a job: guarding the tree from the nasty cat that was trying to play with the “balls”. So everything was great for me. The tree was up and dog&cat free due to Festus’s guarding.

Last year the tree was to small to be taken into consideration and this year he hoped he could finally play with it. But I’m a bad mum and I don’t let him play with the tree.
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