Noedig's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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.

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?

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:30 pm

She sent herself! Signed up with the Girl Scouts Of Alaska. Is sending us pictures of the sun while canoeing after midnight. Seems to be loving it. We will have her back for two weeks before she goes off to university in Scotland in September.

TBH I am enormously relieved she did it, rather than continuing to spend all summer playing Overwatch (the team-deathmatch video game of choice) and playing D&D and Earning No Money. She is even as I speak, being responsible for herself and a group of campers. She is teaching inter-personal and intra-personal skills through demonstration (One of the 7 named skills is "Grit"!). And likely singing Kumbaya. I am proud. Of course then she ends the summer with a week in New York so she might turn up with a tattoo. I just hope it's not on the face.

Thanks for the good wishes and underlying concern, Jason. Similarly, Halfmoon. We will wait and see what the next card is from the deck.

Jason
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Jason » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:33 am

Baits you with Hunger Games and switches you with Girl with The Dragon Tattoo.

Kids are smarter than you think.

Allagash
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Allagash » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:56 pm

calixarene wrote:
Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:46 pm
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.
Anyone with a British accent here in the U.S. is a chick magnet. They love that stuff here. Heck extend that to an pretty much any Euro accent. And Aussies, NZ. But especially British. I know your married but just sayin' for those not.

Jason
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Jason » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:53 pm

Mick Jagger is older than the Magna Carta and women are still killing themselves over him.

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:53 pm

Daughter #1 has returned from the States. She got paid in cash for three months and headed straight to Vegas from Alaska.

Yes, paid in cash, and by the Girl Scouts. Obviously that organisation is merely a cash rich money laundering front. I just *knew* that all that "Alaskan Gold Chaga" fungus they encouraged them to collect, had other purposes than making tea. Tea, my aunt Sally! I am not so easily fooled. Probably they wanted her to recycle the money to their mobster overlords down South.

If so it didn't work. Vegas was a base, she didn't spend a dime there on gambling, not even a dollar on the slots. Saw the Grand Canyon etc, then off to Yosemite, then San Fransisco, now home for a week before I take her off to college.

It's been a good month also for the investments - they keep going up. Mind you, the major reason for that is that Sterling is dropping ever lower in response to our genius govenment's Brexit negotiations with the EU. I have run out of metaphors for how much of a major error Brexit is for the UK and am just hunkering down into stoic mode about it, just occasionally muttering, fuming, grinding my teeth and predicting doom and woe.

On the bright side, my daughter is off to Edinburgh and my money is on the next independence referendum (and there will be one, oh yes!) may go a different way from the last one. Which means she will get to stay in the EU after all. I give that a solid 50% in the next 6 years.

Wife had a couple of weeks in hospital for cardiac and post-operative probs for her cancer. Seems to be on the mend. Fingers crossed.

Things I Have Fixed This Year:

Shoes: using glue on heels and sewing a flap.
Bicycles: fixed one, am rebuilding another. First was secondhand, the other was free
Trousers: popped a button. Because yes, I am a lardy no good greedy chubster. Good with a needle though.
Lawnmower: Make that "Attempted to fix and failed"
Computers: fixed old laptop, and changed the HD on an imac
Hallway lights: installed a whole bunch of these, chosen by my wife to add ambiance that I think looks like something my grandma would have liked, but my wife thinks looks classy. She's probably right.
iPhone cracked screen. Never doing that again:- all those petite asian ladies with good motor skills, have me beat. Took me 4 hours.
...plus the never ending homeowner's litany of small thinks like cracks, paint touch ups, door handles, dishwashers and the like.

I like fixing things. Always have. Sometimes it doesn't work, that's OK. Sometimes it's simply not cost effective - that's OK too, if not so smart.

That's me done with the update. Look out for yourselves, people.

wolf
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by wolf » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:36 am

Noedig wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:53 pm
It's been a good month also for the investments - they keep going up. Mind you, the major reason for that is that Sterling is dropping ever lower in response to our genius govenment's Brexit negotiations with the EU. I have run out of metaphors for how much of a major error Brexit is for the UK and am just hunkering down into stoic mode about it, just occasionally muttering, fuming, grinding my teeth and predicting doom and woe.
Hi Noedig, it is great to hear that your investments are still rising besides the stress of the BREXIT. I am on the same page with you regarding the BREXIT. I think it is not good either for Britain or the EU. But take this as no offence against the decision. I would have voted against, because I think we are better off and more fit in the long-term future together (EU within/plus Britain). Still, I hope that it is not going to be as drastic/bad as one could imagine. Beside that, I think you and I are on a good ERE path which is more or less independent from EU/Britain politics. In the end, I would like to live independently from EU politics and rules, e.g. retirement age, ... Having money buys you independence with or without the BREXIT. Take care.

suomalainen
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by suomalainen » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:59 pm

Just caught up on your journal. Was cheered by your break from work (as well that you were able to re-enter at your desire) and saddened by the cancer curveball. As you have noted many times, I agree that working towards the FI goal is fine, but the present (especially the people) must be kept front and center. Best wishes on the treatment, recovery and hopeful remission!

Noedig
Posts: 180
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:59 am

Life update

Last week, took my eldest off to university in Scotland, installed her, and left her to get on with it. I see many cheese toasties in her future. Hopefully also some timely completed quality coursework. She is a redhead with the complexion of the Irish so I suspect she will fit in. May Providence bless her on this further lurch towards independence and self-determination.

After that, I then took the sleeper back to London to go to work the next morning. I hadn't booked far enough in advance to get a berth so I had a "sleeper seat": a cheapo no frills version... they just give you eyepads to keep it dark and leave you in what seems like a premium economy airline seat for 8 hours. I slept like a baby. I was next to a nice retired lady who had been visiting a friend in Inverness, and told me her life story before lights out: "I worked hard, I saved hard". Seeing as she was about 70, I withheld from sharing ERE. Recommended dirt cheap way to travel.

This week, last night, I took my youngest to a public lecture at the London School of Economics as she is considering politics & economics for college. It was by a really old guy, so old his white beard was turning yellow, a geographer, who has been teaching Marx for 30 years and drew parallels between the water cycle and the recycling & transformations of Capital. Really fluent and a clear thinker, albeit proceeding from some assumptions I found questionable. Daughter loved it and the guy was treated like a star afterwards ... queue out the door to buy his book & get it signed. All LSE public lectures available on web, I see, though not that one yet.

Wife still not well, on triple antibiotics to help get her well enough, to have another operation. Cancer sucks.

I finished a contract on Friday. Am thinking I will just take some time off to spend with the wife, and deal with the immense backlog of Things Left Undone that I have let build up during the last, er, twenty years or so. I did a list to get started, while on the train to Scotland. After it reached two double-column pages in tiny scrawl I stopped adding, ... it doesn't look like I will run out of things to do, there is something for every mood.

I tried spin class this morning. Knackering but oddly fun to be yelled at by a young lady wearing lycra while standing up on a stationary bike watching a huge video screen of mountain-ascending bikers in Denmark, to early 90's Throbbing House Music, and trying not to gasp

Also went canoeing in Cambridge yesterday, past the colleges on the Cam, and down three weirs.

Also went to gym day before that.
Lest it seem like this is a preening excess of claims towards fitness, I will share that I am quite a chubby bastard and I am confident of my potential to shortly lapse into curry-fuelled binge-watching of Netflix, midnight gaming, and wakening past noon.

I sniff the air, smells like... freedom!
Last edited by Noedig on Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

jacob
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by jacob » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:07 am

Noedig wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:59 am
... drew parallels between the water cycle and the recycling of Capital.
Like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MONIAC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVOhYROKeu4

Noedig
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Re: Noedig's Journal

Post by Noedig » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:44 pm

Yes! That said <whoop whoop pedantry alert!> Bill Philips' hydraulic model concerned mainly the money supply, David Harvey's was more about the transformations of capital, beginning with money used in a certain way being turned into Capital, then transformed into Commodities. Also, the lecture was so storming it would have seemed ungenerous to allude to the core analytical idea not being entirely novel.

FYI The relevant diagrams are on page 2 and 6 of the intro to his book "Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason", can be previewed here:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marx-Capital-M ... 8&qid=&sr=

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