Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Taking the Pill when you’re Over 35

At the GP today, the bloke (‘doctor’) really made me feel my age. Well not quite. I don’t have it hammered home that I’m 35 and don’t think of myself as ‘old’. Usually I just am what I am without thinking of classifications, especially age or gender (I don’t reiterate myself as a woman either, nor do I have that rammed down my throat either professionally or in my private life).

The other point is that ‘being old’ for me always connotes doing the grown-up things, and having responsibility for others, especially, having children. For instance, my next-door neighbours strike me as old even though they are both younger than me – but they have 3 children! And as such, they take the role of parents and are a stage ‘further up’ in the responsibility/growing up/ OLD stage than what I am (no offence intended to any parents who are/feel young. It’s just my own peculiar value system and way of understanding the world).

But I’m rambling. The point is that for some reason, for women 35 and above it’s more dangerous to take the (combined) Pill, especially, if you’re a smoker. Now, I don’t smoke apart from the very occasional social cigarette (which is easy to switch off as I only do it when I have a drink. I’m not a ‘sober smoker’ – I hate cigarettes!!). Thus, if I did decide to go back on the pill, even if only for a few months, I’m at greater risk of blood clots and such.

It’s probably not worth it at all. The one good thing about it is that contraception here in the UK is free, at least the pill. So it’s not going to cost anything 🙂 – I may try it, then, for 6 months or a year, to see what it’s like. I really don’t want any babies and I do want to avoid falling pregnant at all cost! Having kids is not on my life plan 😛

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Best British Chippie is in Scotland

A serving of fish and chips
Image via Wikipedia

A chip shop in Anstruther, Fife, was crowned best UK chippie last week 😀

This is excellent as I’ve always wanted to eat the best UK fish supper (I’m a sucker for Fish supper but have it very rarely, as it has 1,000,000 of calories!).

It’s actually the second year in a row that Scotland has won this title. Last year, it was a chippie in Biggar – the Townhead Cafe.

I’m planning to go to either of those – or both – some time soon. Naturally, since I live in Edinburgh, I will have to include some other activity on the day too. I don’t want to just drive to Anstruther (in Fife) or Biggar (in South Lanarkshire) just to get a Fish supper 😛 – though if I did go to the Biggar one, I could combine it (sort of) with a visit to my friends A&S.

Winner of best UK Chippie 2007/08: Townhead Cafe, Biggar, South Lanarkshire

Winner of best UK Chippie 2008/09: Anstruther Fish Bar, Anstruther, Fife

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Burns Night Sunday 25th January – eat a Haggis :P

Robert Burns
Image by Project 404 via Flickr

This Sunday 25th January is Burns night, where traditionally, people in Scotland eat a Burns Supper and recite his famous poem, Ode to A Haggis. I’ll be spending it at my BF’s parents’ house and will all dress up (wearing a tartan scarf and jacket hehe). B’s family is quite nationalistic, which I like 🙂

Also this year is the 250th birth of Robert Burns (who is also Scotland’s national poet, i.e. of similar status to Goethe in Germany). Which makes it all the more important to celebrate it and I suppose the Scottish identity, as different to the English or British one (sure, there are common traits and I’m not one to be anti-English, but the Scots’ national identity strikes me as more positive and more distinct, whereas the English still seem to be getting over the fact that they no longer command an Empire. See here for a rather good, albeit somewhat anti-English, take on the matter – what went wrong with the (English) working-class?).

The only problem with this Burns Supper is that Haggis is of course meat, and meatier than meat at that! Whereas I’m a Vegetarian – but my BF has assured me that his mum is going to cook a vegetarian one just for me 🙂

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How to Beat the Credit Crunch – i.

or, how to live frugally! Here’s a first tip:

– Buy stuff from supermarkets that’s reduced for quick sale

I do this mainly with bread, and vegetables. Supermarkets in the UK tend to have one section with items ‘for quick sale’ in a refrigeration – section, but the rest, especially the items I’m interested in (bread, veg), are all over the place.

There’s no hard and fast rule to the ‘reduced for quick sale’ ‘refridgeration’ section – it’s always there, even throughout the day, as these goods are more perishable. So I tend not to worry about getting cheap food there, though I do look whenever I go in.

However, with bread and veg and other non-refrigerated stuff, they seem to put these out for quick sale from an hour or so before the shop closes onwards. Thus, if a supermarket (e.g. Morrisons) closes at 8PM, you go there for 7.15PM-7.30PM. That means they’ll have all their cheap bread out (between 10 and 30p for a loaf, or a bag of rolls, or a french stick etc.).

Sometimes I even get ‘luxury items’ that way – or things that I wouldn’t normally buy as they’re ridiculously priced. See below a cake I got from Sainsbury’s. Doesn’t taste that nice btw – far too sweet. But for £2 it was worth a try 🙂



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Strong Euro –> Potentially rich lenina

Image via Wikipedia

Since the £ has now fallen to under £1.14 against the Euro, I’m seriously considering selling the Italy house next year. The problem of course is that it would mean (potentially) some more investment right now, to get it looking good from the inside (it’s had the roof repaired a couple of months ago where I already lost ££ due to the weak exchange rate).

If I sold it now for, say, €110,000 (which is roughly what I think I could get), and transferred that money to my UK account, I’d have made £96,500!!

Whereas if the rate was still £1 = €1.50, I would only have made £73,300.

I mean it’s still nice to have the house and so on, but I’m very tempted at the moment to at least try and sell it via an agency. Even if it doesn’t fetch the anticipated €110,00 – given the strong Euro, I can’t make a loss either way 🙂 . And it would be nice to have a decent chunk of money in the bank (naturally it wouldn’t be the entire amount – but whatever was left once the mortgage was paid off).

I’ll definitely park that thought and maybe place the keys with an agency in February or so 🙂

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