Hello and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on FIRE. This week I talk a little about my ongoing problems with my ankle and I go on a virtual tour of my local area. Also, the usual financial updates. First, the Quote of the Week.
Quote of the Week
A bit of a cheat this week as I post a meme of the week. I didn’t feel as though I could add anything to this message, and so I left it in the original form. I’ve spoken about my health problems before and whilst certain aspects of my health improve, others don’t. I no longer visualise my health as a single construct. My health is like a series of scales all relating to different parts of my health, whether it’s my shoulder problems, migraines or my ongoing struggles with depression and anxiety. Recently, I’ve been in a lot of physical pain with my gout. Yes, my gout. I don’t know whether this makes me sound old, or really old. As I type this my lower leg on my left side is in a lot of pain. It feels like I have a series of skewers being forced through my leg whilst they are being twisted around. To say it’s unpleasant would be an understatement. The pain has been so severe as to keep me awake all through Friday evening into Saturday morning.
The thing about chronic pain is that it’s constant and it starts to wear you down mentally. For at least the past decade I have been in pretty much constant pain one way or another, whether it’s the frequent head and neck aches I get, or my shoulders or knees, my gout or stomach pain. I’ve long thought that my variety of health problems must have an underlying cause that links them all together but investigations from a number of specialists have drawn a blank. However, as I stated in a post a few weeks ago, I believe the glue that holds these pieces together could be that I’m autistic. I’m waiting on an official assessment but the fact that my Dad is autistic (following an official assessment) and looking at my mental health, thoughts and behaviours over time, and having researched the subject at length, I would be shocked if I’m not autistic.
The prospect of being autistic does not bother me. There are some ignorant people out there that do not understand autism but I think this is something that will improve over time. It was not that long ago that depression was almost a taboo subject, but it is becoming more widely understood. Over time, as neurodivergence is investigated and understood in more depth, I think society’s ignorance will start to erode.
I’m not sure where the week has gone. It feels like one minute I was watching Line of Duty on Sunday and the next minute it’s the end of the following working week. Life at the moment just seems really, really dull and repetitive. The silver linings are my family, my girlfriend and my friends. I am fortunate enough to have some great people around me, who are supportive and a rock on which I can lean when I’m struggling. My parents in particular are amazing. I’m so lucky to have two parents who have always had my back, even when they separated it was always clear that I had their unconditional love and support, and they should know that they have mine too. It’s difficult for me to understand that some people don’t have that close relationship with their parents, as that is all I’ve ever known.
Since starting this blog I have also forged several friendships with other bloggers and followers of FIRE. The FIRE community is, in my experience, pretty cool and always happy to share opinions and knowledge. In a recent post I shared my frustration at how one FIRE group on Facebook was being moderated. It was interesting that following that post I was contacted privately by people describing similar experiences with the same moderator. This leads me nicely on to my next point…
There are some people who just seem to be a magnet for trouble or controversy. Sometimes it is just bad luck that you happen to get several angry clients in a short space of time, just like it can be bad luck to have several failed relationships or jobs. The thing is, over time the concept of regressing to the mean comes into play. This is the idea that there will always be outliers or unusual events but over time things average out. A basic example would be rolling two six sided dice. On your first roll you might get double six. On your second roll you could get double six again. If you were to stop rolling the dice at this point, your data set is small and your results will be unusual. However, the more times you roll the dice, the more you will see the results match the statistical likelihood of obtaining each combination of rolls. In essence, the more data you have, the more confident you can be in interpreting the data and putting forward a theory. If you lose one job, then that could just be bad luck. If you lose two jobs, it could be extremely poor luck. When you get to three, or four failed jobs you should probably start to question whether the blame is with you and not your employers.
2021 Goals – to be achieved by 31/12/2021
1 – Reduce weight to 92.8kg. (Current weight 120.4kg).
2 – Finish 104 new books. (Current total: 34).
3 – Complete RO3 for my DipFA. (In progress).
4 – Complete RO4 for my DipFA. (Not started).
5 – Complete RO5 for my DipFA. (Not started).
6 – Complete RO6 for my DipFA. (Not started).
Premium Bonds: £950.00 (no change from last update).
Stocks and Shares ISA: £21,418.20 (up £1,298.82 from last update).
Fuck It Fund: £562.31 (no change from last update).
Crypto: £699.22 (up £96.28 from last update).
Pensions: £44,953.39 (no change from last update*).
Residential Property Value: £199,355.00 (no change from last update).
Buy-to-Let Property Value: £128,644.00 (no change from last update).
Total Assets: £396,582.12 (up £1,395.10 from last update).
Credit Card: £402.00 (up £236.88 from last update).
Residential Mortgage: £140,308.18 (no change from last update).
Buy-to-Let Mortgage: £93,145.49 (no change from last update).
Total Debts: £233,855.67 (up £236.88 from last update).
Total Wealth: £162,726.45 (up £1,158.22 from last update).
Investment Income in 2021: £467.64 (target £5,000).
*Unable to check pension value as the online portal was undergoing maintenance.
A great week for my ISA with the losses I incurred through cashing in a fund a few weeks ago regained due to some strong growth in my chosen funds and stocks. It is also surprising because one of the stocks I am heavily invested in went ex-dividend recently which normally sees the price drop slightly. This did not seem to impact on the share price at all. The dividend is due to be paid towards the end of May and I’m expecting approximately £300. All being well, by the end of the month my investment income for the year should exceed £1,000. If I am to hit the £5,000 target by the end of the year, I need another BTL, or maybe even two. Fortunately, things are lining up quite nicely on that front.
I am fortunate enough to live in a part of Sheffield that was voted the best place to live in the whole of the UK in 2018. Kelham Island is a former industrial hub in the heart of the city. It is referred to as an island because the main part of the area is surrounded on all sides by a river. I bought my apartment in KI in 2012 which was just before a huge wave of regeneration. Now, there are apartments springing up all around the area which is putting a strain on things like parking. There is a real lack of places to park and whenever someone puts their space up for rent, it is gone within minutes.
What I love about Kelham Island is the juxtaposition of the old industrial units that have been converted into apartments, bars or restaurants, and the newer developments like Little Kelham; a series of homes designed for green living. The area is also incredibly popular with non-residents due to the fantastic selection of bars, restaurants and traditional pubs like the Fat Cat (which has its own brewery on the island) and the Kelham Island Tavern.
My favourite eatery in the area is, without doubt, Pina, a Mexican bar and restaurant that serves the best tacos I have had anywhere in the UK. They also have a coconut shrimp dish which is incredible. It’s not just the food that makes this a popular place with the people of Sheffield. The bar is dog friendly and the staff are all enthusiastic. One thing I love to see is people who enjoy their work, and the staff at Pina really seem to love what they do. I am delighted to see this independent business survive the pandemic and I can’t wait for my visit on June 7th.
Although it is not technically in Kelham Island, Albie’s is pretty much across the road and so they have honorary Kelham Island status in my eyes. This is primarily due to the fact they serve amazing coffee and great food, including a selection of bagels fit to burst with fresh fillings. Like with Pina, I was so happy to see them come through the pandemic. It’s amazing what friendly, enthusiastic staff can do for the fortunes of independent businesses. I always, without fail, leave Albie’s with a smile on my face and a great cup of coffee.
Another local business that I enjoy visiting is Kelham Deli and Produce. This is a small shop nestled in behind Kelham Books and Music. This deli has a great selection of cheese, salami, fruit and veg, as well as fresh bread. In addition to this, they have shelves stacked floor to ceiling with locally produced chutney, relish, pickles, jams, and ales and beers. It doesn’t stop there, however. The store also has grains and pasta that can be measured out and bought with your own containers. There are brownies and cakes for sale, and fridges with Our Cow Molly milk and ice cream. From time to time we will visit the store and stock up on ingredients to make our own version of a ploughman’s lunch and I’m yet to be disappointed with any of the food on offer.
So, that’s it for my brief tour of Kelham Island.
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