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Bye Bye, Mortgage

A shade over 11 years ago we took out a 35-year mortgage on our house. We've just paid it off in full, every penny coming from us: no loans, no gifts, no inheritance. Clare's only 36 years old and owns her house outright! I don't think it's too bad either for me at 41. And so we treated ourselves to celebrate.

The day the final payment went through was a workday but that didn't mean we couldn't do something special. Clare came downstairs expecting Bran Flakes for breakfast:


I always include Heidi and Pebbles on special occasions, so they got a tin of tuna for breakfast:


I'd bought us a yule log to have with coffee in the afternoon, and as a dessert in the evening:


Since lunch was a treat too (I made Clare a pizza), we weren't at all hungry, which wasn't a bad thing because we worked late and so didn't get around to starting our evening meal until nine o'clock, commencing with champagne and a few nibbles:


The girls were well aware that we were running late with their food too. I'd made a point of feeding them some treats at various points during the day so that they wouldn't be too hungry, but we were approaching three hours behind their normal mealtime at this point. That meant that they had plenty of space for their prawns! I normally feed them equal portions but Pebbles is a beast when it comes to her favourite food, so she got slightly more: 


True to form, Pebbles had wolfed hers down and then gone for a lie-down to sleep it off before Heidi even got to the halfway mark:


(She didn't manage to eat much more than that, and Pebbles re-emerged an hour later to wipe out the rest of the supply.)

Clare had requested lasagne so I removed it from the oven, and set about serving it:


Here's where you see why it's possible to have a Favourite Cat. Where Pebbles eats and then goes about her own business indifferent to us, Heidi comes back to sit with us. Where one is a lodger, the other is a family member. Greeting us every time she sees us, waiting outside the bedroom door when I get up, and crying outside the door if she's not had a cuddle before I go to bed are all everyday features of living with her, as is her keeping us company whether we're working in the office or eating at the table:


That lovely bottle of red wine went down beautifully with the various cheeses and bread rolls we ate afterwards, as did the remaining champagne with the leftover chocolate cake from the afternoon. We managed a small coffee and managed to stay up for another hour to aid digestion before midnight struck and it was time for bed.

As closely as we've been tracking our mortgage, the fact that we've paid it off only one third into the term still hasn't sunk in for either of us, so I deliberately took those photos yesterday and wrote this blog so that we'd be able to look back on the day all our hard work and planning had paid off. We should have still been paying it for another 23 years and 9 months, finally seeing the back of it when I'm 65!

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Two years ago today!

It's been an unprecedented feeling not to have to worry at all about fiscal discipline, especially given what other people are experiencing currently with inflation at around 10% and gargantuan increases in fuel costs. We're protected from those to a degree: we don't have central heating, and we haven't yet put the storage heaters on, even though the house is cold by most people's standards. (The bedroom has been showing at 11.x degrees. Hot-water bottles take care of all that.)

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