Noedig's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Dave
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Dave » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:02 pm

I've been there. I went from 195lb -> 255lb -> 185lb (I'm 6'3").

I am a believer that there are a great many ways to lose weight/be healthier. And the majority of them will accomplish the goal (with more or less success), but the single most important factor is consistency.

You nailed it with the "None of the above will matter if I don't stick to the strategy". A poorly programmed fitness and diet program consistently executed will outperform a perfectly designed and inconsistently executed program. So the key becomes finding a way to integrate it into your life in a way that you are happy with and able to stick with. I'm not saying anything new there, but it was how I lost weight. Perhaps what I am saying was that for me the strategy was more important than the tactics. That might just be my use of the words though. I personally don't like setting hyper specific goals, but instead try to stick to the overall goal, most of the time. Progress comes a day at a time.

Hope you've had continued success.

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:15 pm

Doing OK on the diet, down 8kg ... only like another 30kg to go.

Investments have followed the market down. Had been heavy in cash and also just added my yearly contribution, and so bought stocks recently, hoping to catch the falling knife of the Greece-induced depression in UK/EU markets. But, the rout has continued. Market timing is not my strategy - I'm the very model of a buy-and-hold-forever investor. But, it still rankles when it gets me in the ass like that.

I'm in the endgame to retirement - 85% of the way to my target. Can't wait - am knackered.

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:05 pm

Reluctant to post with poor news. But honesty is part of the project, so here goes.

The money pot is down due to market movements and I am going to end the year further away from Quitting Time.

On the one hand I take this philosophically. Markets, meh:'It goes up, it goes down"

On the other hand, my work is in an industry that when you leave, you're gone, which means the red ejector button can be hit but once. So it burn, burns that I felt compelled to renew my contract rather than take a break, to compensate, a couple of weeks back.

On the positive side, it's only another six months and will end just before the Easter holidays start, i.e. glorious spring. I'll still be down, but not much.

Otherwise, my weight is back up (rats!) but I feel OK, probably because I have kept cycling. My kids are doing alright, with my youngest on a weekend hike while my eldest elaborately procrastinates on her school assignments. My wife has been run down for a bit, but seems to be perking up - she works part time and is not a major spender, so I have a fellow traveller there for the FI project.

To treat myself for re-enlisting for work in Gringotts, I bought myself some toys: a second hand laptop and couple of radios. Disproportionate joy!

I wish all of you good health, and the moral strength to battle through to the goal: claim back your life!

Noedig
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Done it. Hallelujah! Now for Mont Ventoux.

Post by Noedig » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:12 am

The last two weeks:

I arrived at work for the last week of my contract and a rather embarrassed colleague said, 'not sure how to tell you this.. but the HR system is set up to revoke all your access to the building and systems today, not Friday. So today is your last day'. He was a little bemused at my answering grin, and how it spread all over my face. Like, 'Bonus!' I said my goodbyes, got a quick round of applause from my workmates (nice!), plus a few hugs, and left.

Just as well. Before I had even gone, my sister called me to ask if I could collect my mother from hospital as other plans had fallen through (ma had an operation on her spine). I picked her up and brought her home for the next ten days. My ma is now fine - I am so relieved to have had the opportunity to care for her. The timing turned out perfectly.

So that's work completed. Done. I will spend next six months out with my family and meeting some personal goals, then I will take it from there. May do more work, may not, I have not decided - and do not need to decide.

What else have I done? Been to gym a bit, started a diet, bought some tools and IT gear on ebay, tried to help my kids revise (kids: 'do that by staying out of the way, dad') and loafed a whole lot. Oh yes, and I bought a new loafing chair, a knockoff of an Herman Miller Aeron (fancy adjustable reclining chair with headrest that I can just sleep in sooo comfortably). Had to face down wife with over-eager to do list, was the only bummer, but she gets the idea now that I am not wanting to be a tickboxing task rabbit right now.

The money side doesn't quite stack up yet, I am 10% short. But am going to think that over from the vantage point of a free range human, rather from being a workerzoid at the ant farm.

Can't believe it's done.

Next thing: planning my solo cycle trip down through France to Mont Ventoux, which will take about ten days.

thrifty++
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by thrifty++ » Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:09 am

Congratulations! I have just read your journal for the first time. Its hilarious!
Here is to enjoying your well deserved early life transition. And being able to do it in the middle of London too. So jealous.

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:26 pm

Thanks thrifty. It is just sinking in, that I have time now. And not just time, but also enough means to do what I choose. And not just the means, but still the *desire* to get things done.

A song lyric sums up for me the kind of numb fate I was heading for: is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJRR3Ltm_sw

'Now it's over, I'm dead, and I haven't done anything that I want. Or, I'm still alive and there's nothing I want to do.'

Not in zombie commuter ant farm corporate slave land any more. I am letting all that go from my identity.

leeholsen
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by leeholsen » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:07 pm

Noedig wrote:Thanks thrifty. It is just sinking in, that I have time now. And not just time, but also enough means to do what I choose. And not just the means, but still the *desire* to get things done.

A song lyric sums up for me the kind of numb fate I was heading for: is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJRR3Ltm_sw

'Now it's over, I'm dead, and I haven't done anything that I want. Or, I'm still alive and there's nothing I want to do.'

Not in zombie commuter ant farm corporate slave land any more. I am letting all that go from my identity.


a they might be giants reference, thats a first from anyone besides me. if you are having a time trying to figure out what you want to do next, you might check the birdhouse in your soul.

cjm
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by cjm » Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:51 am

Congrats Noedig! I've enjoyed reading your journal. Enjoy your cycle tour, please let us know your experiences.

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:22 pm

Hi All.

Checking in, five months into my break from work.

Re: My Cycle trip to Mont Ventoux- the thing I had promised myself I would do:

I took the bike express (http://www.bike-express.co.uk/) from the UK, a full size tour coach with a trailer just for bicycles.

It went from the edge of London (Gravesend) to Orange in the South of France. The coach was full, with people from the North of England and Barnsley in particular: think "Bradley Wiggins" times twenty and you will understand.

Once there, I cycled up the Gorge De La Nesque first around to the other side of Ventoux. The Gorge is a kind of mini Grand Canyon, which was spectacular and awesome but gruelling and TAKE LOTS OF WATER ANYONE DOING THIS THEMSELVES. I had a lucky moment after my gear train fell apart, as I was able to find all the bits strewn back hundreds of feet, and put them back on before continuing to my resting place, a campsite. I then got rained out that night and for the rest of the trip stayed in Gites and Hostels and Hotels (which is what I should have planned to do anyway). I ate well, with heavy lunches, the Prix Fixe or "Formule", which were great value and truly something to tempt any gourmande, and something light for dinner.

Mont Ventoux was epic. As I was the only cyclist with panniers and a commuter bike (rather than a racer) to go up the mountain that day, it was gratifying to get a round of applause at the top from those already there. They seemed to be almost without exception Dutch, go figure.

I then cycled around Provence for two weeks before taking the Eurostar home from Lyons. Job done.

It was an awesome break, and only the start of five months of sheer joy. I'll tell you something : - I have *loved* being off work. In so many ways (family, seeing friends, cooking, loafing, etc etc) I have enjoyed my time out. I recommend to anyone feeling brainburn from life in the corporate hive. As a bonus, I supported my eldest through her exams and she has done well enough to go where she wants to go. So that is also great.

However, the Brexit uncertainty means I am contemplating a return to Brain Rental for a while: I've an interview this week for something I don't want, and some other feelers out, so its just a matter of time before I am back at work I think.

Now I must say to myself <pirate accent mode ON> "Get back to wark ye miserable lubbardly dog!". I have a job interview on Thursday - mixed feelings about the whole idea but will paste on a professional attitude and regard it as practice.

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vexed87
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by vexed87 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:54 am

Great journal Noedig, rather jealous of your solo cycling trip, I've always wanted to try something like that. What a way to make the most of your career break.

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:39 am

Update: end of my seven month break.

Been interviewing on an off for a couple of months, got an offer so will be heading back to work. It's been awesome though.

As I work for banks there is a lengthy onboarding and compliance checking process (essentially to see if I spend my holidays in Syria or suchlike). I will try to make the most of the remaining free time.

Brexit was the propelling decider: made me poorer in world terms and introduced uncertainty and likely diminished prospects for UK. I was going to call time after about six months anyway. As it happens, took me a bit longer to get a role than I thought.

Yet, the sterling crash has made me richer for the portion of my assets held abroad. Funny that.

Just been on 41 mile walk around the Cornish coast from St Ives to Penzance: wonderful experience, recommend for the views, for the pubs & pies, for the health.

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:06 am

Checking in.

Went back to work. As expected, it was project crunch time from the get go, and long hours. But it's a good team, and the work is well paid.

So back into earning mode I went, or as I put it to myself "bog snorkelling" (a peculiar UK sport involving swimming underwater through muddy ditches for as far as possible - and thus a metaphor for bursts of overwork)

On happy side, savings went through 1m. Yay. Sounds a lot. It is. But.... that forgets my mortgage debt. Also ignores that the only reason savings went up, is that the pound fell about 15 percent i.e. my wealth did not increase, only the number of credit units. Also ignores the multiple future uncertainties from Brexit, Trump, and the fact of having two teenage kids whose employment prospects are as yet uncertain. Still such complaints must sound worthy of the worlds smallest violin.

Currently planning on working 3 years more, then retire at 55. So not particularly ERE. I feel knackered already. As needs must, I will hold it together.

George the original one
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by George the original one » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:57 pm

Noedig wrote:a peculiar UK sport
LOL, I do appreciate the reference, but, really, are there any UK sports that are not peculiar?

calixarene
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by calixarene » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:46 pm

Hi Noedig,

Hang in there! If the pound recovers before your 3 years are up, does that mean you can retire?

Also, just read through your whole journal and you have a delightful writing style. I have an image of you in my head as an jolly but dignified Briton who says phrases like "old chap" and remains wryly stoic against all obstacles. (80% of that may just be my idea of what British people are like, which mainly derives from murder mysteries and Waugh novels.)

And as a daughter myself, your clear fondness for your daughters is heartwarming.

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:58 pm

George - "are there any UK sports that are not peculiar?" you ask. Well a sense of the absurd is one of the better national characteristics and a tendency to make a silly game out of anything, is part of that. Football evolved from bands of rival villagers milling around and kicking a pig's bladder, case in point. It's rather hard to find a sport that at root isn't daft and pointless: indeed thereby is the beauty of it all. If I were to think about it at all deeply I would class sport as displays of evolutionary fitness for mating and status, therefore not pointless at all. Hmm. I get to pronounce on sports from the UK because essentially we invented them all, also evolution, so a double win for me in this game I just made: so there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category: ... in_England

Also, a strengthening pound will actually decrease my savings measured in pounds (where my liabilities are) and increase them in say Euro (where my holidays are). Perhaps a sign from God in that unlikely outcome, to take more continental holidays.

Calixarene - I am indeed fond of the pesky churblings and live in combined fear and hope of their independent and self-sufficient departure. I am also indeed quite jolly as it happens, and see stoicism as one of my defining character traits. So it appears you have me spot on, bang to rights, stone me guv'nor it's a fair cop. I must thank you for being too polite to mention my evident need to lose weight, never far alas from my thoughts though further usually than the nearest bun. Regarding prose style, it reflects my thought processes and is not unrepresentative of the way I speak in somewhat prosy full sentences. But without seeming like a character from Dickens - perhaps it helps that I throw in the occasional salty curse: usually a minced oath of my own devising: favourite of the month is "Bag rats!".

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:25 pm

On the negative side, my wife has just been diagnosed with cancer and that will clearly dominate the next six months or so, if we are lucky. Seeming proof, were it needed, that Providence randomly raineth down the sucky stuff.

On the positive side, I am shovelling away the coin, just as well as my two kids are lining up for uni over the next year and a half, and my wife has been off sick since last autumn. As it happens, I am working just behind the Tate Modern in London, 25 mins cycle from home, which is often the best part of my day and very much needed for my health as I am a somewhat portly gentleman.

What with the multiple uncertainties of Brexit, dissolution of the Union with Scotland, and the bony finger of mortality stretching out in our general direction, I can't see myself quitting work soon. But I will be taking plenty of family holidays: a bit of carpe diem appears to be in order.

George the original one
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by George the original one » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:48 pm

Noedig wrote:
Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:25 pm
a bit of carpe diem appears to be in order.
Indeed! I hope the prognosis turns out well.

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:29 am

Well it's a bit more of a sh*t sandwich than we first thought, but with luck there will be no additional secondary cancer sites.

It puts the ERE thing into perspective. I don't mean "Burn money, p*ss it all up against the wall, for tomorrow we die!", so much as "Life is short, enjoy it, not endure it".

Had nice evening yesterday playing Risk with friends and their Venezuelan pal, eating Steak, and watching "The Girl On The Train". Today I am feeling a bit gradual. I think I remember something about red wine last night, lots of it.....!

Best wishes to all you ERE planners .... slow and steady does it, don't forget to make fun along the way.

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:38 pm

Wife has three separate cancer sites. Is waiting for op, stoically.
Our plans for the summer are in abeyance pending treatment and followups.
On positive side, elder daughter is now in US as camp counsellor, learning responsibility and independence.
I am shovelling away the coin by working hard. Might need to fall back on it.

Good luck to all you ERE planners - and a renewed call to you, to gather ye rosebuds while ye may.

The_Bowme
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by The_Bowme » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:11 am

Noedig wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:38 pm
Wife has three separate cancer sites. Is waiting for op, stoically.
Our plans for the summer are in abeyance pending treatment and followups.
On positive side, elder daughter is now in US as camp counsellor, learning responsibility and independence.
I am shovelling away the coin by working hard. Might need to fall back on it.

Good luck to all you ERE planners - and a renewed call to you, to gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
Sorry to hear about your wife. Best wishes, and a good reminder about what's important.

Does your daughter feel like everyone is a bit intimidated by her accent? I have an association of cultural savoir-faire with many English accents that remains mostly reflexive even after Brexit, and seems like my countrymen share it. If so, hopefully it fills her with feelings of confidence going into university.

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vexed87
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by vexed87 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:09 am

Best of luck to your other half for the op. Hope you are doing ok too. Sorry not great with the emotional support stuff. But I understand your drive to work hard and save while the going is good, don't feel too much pressure to work too hard, find that elusive balance. Money isn't everything, after all it's time with loved ones, not money that you can't earn back.

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:00 pm

Hi all.

We took a long weekend away to Zaragoza in northern Spain ( for culture&food ) and the Pyrenees (for walking). Superb places to visit - Zaragoza is an ancient Roman town wrapped in a medieval town wrapped in a modern town . The tapas is to die for, as is the food in general. Currently (being June) is hot and getting hotter - 38C is more than it ever gets in the UK summer. Walking in the mountains is sublime, as well as bloody hard work: if you do it, just hire a car and head for somewhere like Ainsa to use as a base. We stayed in a travellers hostel or Refugio when in the mountains: cheap, good food, and built-in opportunity to socialise. We are definitely going back for longer visits in the future.

There are lots of Brits in Spain. I've always thought of them as embarrassing and uncouth, coming in the main from an echelon of UK society that views people abroad as 'foreigners' and makes little effort to adjust. I am coming around to realizing that image is true only of idiots on camera and not of the body of emigres. Living in Spain is a rational choice for people who have a choice between working for 5 more years, or cashing in their house and going somewhere where the cost of living is low (housing, petrol, food etc) and the quality of life high (space, climate, food, friendly people, natural splendor, good health service etc). Or alternatively, people whose retirement investments are not delivering the expected income. It would not be my choice I think, I love London too much, but I now see it makes a lot of sense.

[Aside: My feeling for the term 'expat' is that it nicely describes a temporary resident using a country as a disposable convenience, usually for earning money such as in Dubai, rather than the term 'emigre' which better describes someone who is prepared to make the adjustment to put down roots and play a part].

Of course the plans of such emigres (and the expats) have been thrown into uncertainty-bordering-on-doom by sodding Brexit. Speaking of uncertainty, and the fact that markets hate it, the pound has fallen again to a record low vs the Euro. So there goes one available escape route for the ERE-planning Brit. Or it gets harder at the least.

One more word on sodding Brexit: it has worked out astonishingly well for me so far - the GBP value of my *investments* has risen as the currency has fallen, it has been a record year. The value of my *earnings* however has decreased in world-currency terms by 16% or so. At the end of my working life I gain from this tradeoff - my earning years are by and large behind me, and my various liabilities are in GBP. The opposite however will be true for my children - their UK life earnings will be in a depreciated currency, at the same time that their EU work prospects will be restricted. More reasons why it is nuts to leave - which prospect is clearly unnerving the British voter, who has delivered a "I don't know but I don't like this hard Brexit thing" judgement in the general election this week.

Our personal circumstances are looking good -savings hit the symbolic-for-a-numbers-geek level of 1.111m this week. I have plans to make it to the last school fee payment for daugher#2 next April, then reassess whether the whole work thing can be put on indefinite hold, so to speak.

While away we learned that my wife's cancer op is in 10 days: this is good news, all things considered.

Vexed-thanks for the good wishes, they are appreciated.
Bowme - eldest daughter seems to be doing OK with the camp counsellor gig. Sounds like hard work for her, but all good grist to the life mill. Nobody seems to bother about her accent: which is within a stone's throw of the Queens English, owing to the school. That may be the particular variety of English accent you had in mind. There are plenty of local UK accents: Brummie, Scouse (think The Beatles), Mancs, West Country, Yorkshire, Welsh, Scots, to name but a few. They are flavourful, but the market leader is UK upper class English, the stereotypical voice of self-assured high society, or indeed of Hollywood Villain - which role seems to have need of a cultivated English thespian's rolling articulated tones.

Keep well all of you, and keep going. My best wishes to you.

halfmoon
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by halfmoon » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:10 am

I wish your wife and you the best outcome. With multiple cancer sites (depending on the type of cancer), it's possible that radiation and/or chemo will also be recommended. Be sure to understand the long-term implications of each treatment option. Doctors tend to focus only on saving lives -- which is what you want them for, but sometimes a little restraint in treatment can go a long way in later quality of life. Read everything you can find and advocate for your wife.

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:45 pm

Yup it's chemo. Op was a success but cancer got off the reservation first.

That changes the game, into harvesting the good moments and focusing on keeping at bay the 'douchebag of death', as another poster has termed it.

Jason
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Jason » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:36 am

I am truly sorry to hear about your wife. I'm not sure I'm understanding the situation exactly, but I will pray for your family. You should take comfort that you have been an exceptional family man, being responsible through the years, and that both dignity and normalcy have been maintained as best as they could.

Yet, I need to ask one thing. What on God's green earth did your daughter do to piss you off so much that you sent her to America to be a fuckin' camp counselor?

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