Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s #66.

What’s top of my mind:
Working to pay for other people’s stuff isn’t as much fun.

Haha! I’m writing this as I work at my old school for the day.

Last term I worked full-time, but it was to pay for my holiday in September/October to England and Ireland. The weeks flew by and I ended up with more than enough money in the pot. Looks like my holiday next year to tick off my last continent has already got money towards it.

That makes me happy.

Now, this term I’m working to help pay for a holiday, but it’s for Evan26 to go to France. I’ve written about Clown College before. Even though this term I have days off here and there, it’s still a harder slog. Maybe this means I’m a selfish mother?

I’ve switched it up by adding another school, slightly closer to me, that I’ve been working at as well as my regular school. It serves the purpose of varying the days, but yeah…

… (it’s a lovely day today. We’d be at the beach, like these photos from Monday show.)

Don’t get me wrong. I’m enormously lucky to have access to work that is so well-paid and so easy. I like the idea of cash-flowing these expensive holidays and the expensive things my children need help with.

It’s just interesting to see how much easier turning up to work was when I was earning something fun just for myself.

Where I’ve been: Booking appointments and driving to them.

The next thing I’ll be working to earn money for is medical appointments for Ryan28. Two of his brothers have been diagnosed with Inattentive ADHD and we’re pretty sure he has it too.

He also has to talk to someone about his anxiety etc. Fun times.

These mental health professionals don’t come cheap. CRT for the cashflow win!

Where I’m going: A throat specialist.

Those who’ve met me in Real Life will know that I have a chronic cough that I’ve had for at least 8 or 9 years. Just before I went to North Korea in 2018, I went to a throat specialist who told me that I have an excited nerve in my throat that has set up a pleasure circuit between it and my brain. Any tiny thing- a speck of dust, saliva, etc that everyone else can ignore, turns into a coughing fit for me.

The specialist sent me to a speech pathologist (or something), but the exercises he gave me were impractical and so nothing has changed. I’ve finally decided to go back and see if something can be done. Coughing hundreds of times each day isn’t conducive to wild happiness.

I’ve been using chewing gum, lozenges, peppermint oil and lots of sips of water to keep the coughing to a minimum. I’ve noticed that alcohol is very effective in stopping it. Unfortunately, drinking wine during the day is frowned upon, particularly when teaching. I discovered when I was on the cruise to Antarctica last year that antihistamine pills are also great at lessening the severity of the coughing fits.

Still, it’s time to see if there’s a puffer or pills that can make my life a little less cough-y. It’s clearly not going to resolve itself if I leave it alone.

My appointment? July the 4th. Hopefully that’s a good omen.

What I’m reading: The City We Became – Jemisin

This is the second series of N.K Jemisin’s that I’ve read. The first one – The Fifth Season series – was one of the most original things I have ever read.

This one is equally gripping. It’s the first in a trilogy, of which only the first two have so far been published. It’s set in New York City, and the city itself is an integral part of the plot. There’s a map provided, but it ALMOST makes me want to visit New York to become familiar with all 5 boroughs. (All of those guns, though…)

What I’m watching: Masterchef.

I used to watch Masterchef when I was a thermomix consultant, as sometimes a contestant would use one and it was good to be able to talk about it with my team and customers. What I find really interesting is how all of these people’s passion and intensity are poured out into things like whether their Portuguese tarts are blackened enough on the top, or whether their ice cream’s flavours are balanced or way out of whack.

It’s the keen attention to detail that I find intriguing.

What I’m listening to: The Model Wife – Stringer

I’m in the audiobook part of my commute listening cycle… first podcasts, then when they run out I borrow an audiobook, then when that finishes I swing back to the accumulated podcasts again.

This one is a family saga-type thing. I enjoyed another one of her audiobooks so I thought I’d give this one a go. It’s ok.

What I’m eating: Leftovers for lunch.

I hosted Mothers Day on Sunday and I’ve brought the last remaining bits of salad for lunch today. Waste not, want not!

What I’m planning: Nothing much.

I still have to compile a list of everything Scott and I did in London when we were there back in 2015 and send it to Corinna from Antarctica. She wants to know what I’ve already seen so she can suggest some new things for me to do.

Apart from that, I’m just living my best life, enjoying my days off and enjoying my work days – (though not quite so much!) I have my veggie garden to put to sleep for winter, as well as the painting inside the house that I’m committed to doing. Putting paint swatches on the walls is a good way to make sure that the painting will get done, especially when they’re in the public areas.

Who needs a good slap: My father.

My father enjoys an argument. I really don’t; though as my friend Blogless Sandy says, “You’re like me. I won’t start an argument, but if you drag me into one, I’ll start swinging!”

This year, Mothers Day was marred by an argument between my father and me. Blatant misogynism? When it’s said under my roof? I don’t think so.

I guess you can say that he fooled around and found out.

I think this will be the last “Who needs a good slap” section. I usually find it really hard to write something here. I think I’ll change it to “Who deserves a thumbs up?” That’ll be far easier to fill. My world is a happy place.

What has made me smile: My old year 8 English class.

I was rapt to see that in period 6 I have one of the English classes that I taught last term. I’ve already bumped into a few of them today and they’re so excited! Their teacher has purposely given them work that they can knock over really quickly, because he knows we’ll want to play some drama games.

Looking forward to the last period of the day!

Dad joke of the day:


  1. Bethh

    Could you think of something frivolous yet truly something you want/would use, and use 5% of your work money towards it? It might make the work less tedious. Then again you’re now at, what, your second term of work post-retirement and looking at a third? Maybe it’s just getting old, magical money or no.

    I’ll try that NK Jemisin book. I already live in the land of the stupid gun laws so I can visit without trepidation. 😉

    • FrogdancerJones

      That last paragraph of yours made me laugh!

  2. Onevikinggirl

    You are inspiring! Not the work part though, but the part of making plans and carrying them out with tenacity. Good going!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Thanks. I appreciate that, especially coming from a viking!

  3. Catrin

    Frogdancer your blog and doings have inspired me so much over the years, and kept me going, so I’m now in a much better place too. Thank you and the other Fire bloggers.

    Seeing you’re coming to London thought I must repay the good work in a tiny way. This is a brilliant thread on UK Mumsnet of magical places in London.

    I’d strongly recommend the Foundling Museum – historical, beautiful and also such a fellow feeling with single mums of yesteryear. The London Review of Books Bookshop near the British Museum. Borough Market. And if you haven’t read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (about Thomas Cromwell) I’m currently listening to it on audiobook via the libby app (which our library offers free). A challenging book that I might not have the headspace for reading when not on holiday but brilliant via audiobook.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Love the Wolf Hall series.
      That list of London places is pretty comprehensive – it runs to 10 pages! I’ve kept the tab open to go through it in more detail later. Thanks so much!
      Recently I read a book that featured the Foundling hospital in it. The lottery the poor Mums had to go through was pretty awful.

  4. Josie

    I visited London for the first time a few months ago. The tour of Parliament was fascinating with lots of historical details. There was not a lot of availability for foreigners when in session, so you need to book in advance. The Churchill War Rooms were also fascinating. Easy to imagine the claustrophobia but also the purpose of those working there.

    • FrogdancerJones

      I didn’t do this when I was there last time… hmmm…

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