the skinflint philosopher

Attempting to thrift our way to a better life, with a toddler in tow!


We’ve reached a point in our lives where the thought of the day job doesn’t really get us fired up in the morning. We find house prices in our area beyond our means. We find ourselves bickering with each other because we are tired. We pay someone else to look after Tiddler. We are, to summarise, slightly worried we are slowly but surely metamorphosing into a cross somewhere between Eeyore and Marvin. We need to stop the rot.

Digger and Thrifter have concocted a cunning plan. If we tighten the belt a little now, and save our pennies for the next year, then we are heading off to Bulgaria. No sabbatical for us, we might just attempt to jump ship. Digger hails from those Slavic parts, so language won’t be a problem for him, and we intend to immerse Tiddler for a year or so to forge bonds with her extended family and learn most importantly how to speak with them. Thrifter does not hold her breath with her own confidence with the Cyrillic alphabet, but when you are not out all hours earning your daily crust then who knows what you have the will and the energy to turn your mind to. Digger plans to buy a property, and work the hours he feels and the way he wants. As the black sheep or poor relation in Europe, Bulgarian houses are half-started, part-boarded, completely possible idylls that have simply been abandoned by their owners who see more lucrative gains in searching for something more tangible to them across the borders and into the west. The peaches on the trees grow ripe and fall uneaten to the ground.

So many ifs though. Does Digger really want to go back to a country he himself jettisoned away from so many years before? Can Digger sell his business, and give us a small financial pot to tide us over? Can we save enough before we go? How long can we stay for? What will we do with all our possessions here, which to take with us would involve crossing two seas and a whole continent. Can Thrifter give up her career and position that she committed so much to establishing? Will Tiddler thank us for it? What we do know, is we won’t know until we try.

We know for sure we have to cut back, and go a little off grid. We are not swanning off to the Black sea for some expat jolly. The cost of living will be less, but with no income coming in for that time period,  we cannot fritter away Tiddler’s future. And so we plan, and think, and consider, and thrift. We don’t want to reach retirement age, with Tiddler off making a life of her own, and regret not doing this now. Bring on the stonemason tools I say, and carve our destiny by making all our intentions good.


3 thoughts on “Home

  1. I had a blog back in 2010 called ‘the tortoise and the tin opener’ and I think I may need to get back on that. Now I am retired, I feel like I am having to re-discover myself and have a Plan and Find out what I’m going to do with all this FREEDOM.
    1. The Bridport Shakespeare Company is up and running and has between 73 and 12 members, take your pick on that one. We had 12 turn up for our 2nd rehearsal! Yayy it was groovy and fab beyond measure.
    2. Volunteering. Will get on that on Monday. I reckon.
    3. Learn new fings. Like crochet. Tai Chi. Italian. Car maintenance! Growing veg.
    4. Get fit. Finally. So *more* swimming ( I already do three mornings a week) and walking and that.
    5. TRAVEL in my new campyvan called Muffy.
    wish me luck in my new journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Loving the positivity to move forwards with all these ideas!


    • Oh my. love”The Tortoise and The Tin Opener” title. Now things you’d like to learn included crochet so I thought I’d throw in my two cents. These are some youtube people that helped me beyond measure. I did have a head start since my grandmother had taught me how to do granny squares when I was a kid, I would suggest The Crochet Crowd, Yolanda Soto Lopez, Wooly Wonders, Bob Wilson and Bag O Day Crochet. Best to start with The Crochet crowd first as he’ll teach you the basics first and then the others have all sorts of patterns to follow that you can do right along with them. I was convalescing from hip replacement and bored out of my gourd so took it up again after 40 years. Since that time I have made blankets, hats, mittens, baby dresses,

      Liked by 1 person

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