I seem to have picked up a larger than normal amount of page views over the past few weeks, so wanted to say hello to the new readers (And to the longer-standing ones too - don't want anyone feeling left out!)
Blog posts seem to be a bit thin on the ground so far this year so I thought I'd update about our upcoming plans for the year. The start of the year is generally fairly quiet - in the past we've been up to London for the Chinese New year celebrations but have decided to give that a miss this year.
There will be a trip North to a beer festival coming up instead though - bargain priced Travelodge room already booked, bargain priced train tickets also already booked, and we hope to be close enough to the city centre & venue that at least some of our travel can be done via good old Shanks' Pony so that should keep the costs down a bit too. February has been decreed as "Frugal February" in this household, so watch for an upcoming Frugal Friday post telling you all about that. MrEH hasn't quite decided to what level he wants to participate with his personal spending, but it will be covering my personal spending and the household expenditure, at least.
Also planned for the year is a trip to Orkney - very excited about this! We're going to be adventuring off to see the lovely Fay at The Wind & The Wellies so really looking forward to that. And almost as exciting is the fact that the first bit of the journey will be done by the Caledonian Sleeper - for which we have managed to get tickets for the grand sum of £39 each! This will take us all the way to Aberdeen, and will mean that we get a head start on our travel without having to pay an additional amount for overnight accommodation as we would if we flew up. From there the decision still needs to be made - Ferry from Aberdeen to Kirkwall - a 6 hour crossing - or train to Thurso, then ferry from Scrabster. As MrEH is NOT a good sailor he is firmly in favour of the train!
More Island adventuring later on too as we'll be heading back to the Hebrides of course....
...slight change of plan on the past few years as although we will be going up via the same route - Mallaig to Armadale, drive up through Skye, then ferry from Uig to Lochmaddy, we will be coming back by driving down to Lochboisdale on South Uist and then taking the longer crossing from there to Oban. This has the advantage of meaning that we don't have to get up at what a friend refers to as "The crack of death" in order to be at Lochmaddy ferry terminal for 6.45am, although MrEH is distinctly uncertain about the 5 hour crossing time...I may have to do him a deal where I agree to the train/short ferry route for Orkney in exchange for the longer crossing back from the Hebrides, I think!
There are several other things planned too - budget weekends in Norfolk with the tent, more use of cheap Travelodge rooms elsewhere, and hopefully several meetings with cheery pals from across the country too. I'm sure some if not all of those will make an appearance here as the year goes on. There will also be Frugal Fridays - now being joined by lots of people for these so that's great fun, and the usual odd ramblings as things take my fancy I'm sure!
What do you have planned for the year?