Welcome, 2015

So what has been to date the worst year of my life is over. I am beyond happy it’s 2015. So why did I wake up in an unholy snit this morning?! Absolutely brim full of sputum and temper I was. For no apparent reason. Poor Him Underfoot!  Given that we don’t really celebrate NYE and were tucked up in bed completely sober by 9.30pm I didn’t even have a hangover as an excuse. Yet that’s what it felt like I had…

Hmmm…I suspect this is the tag end of the alcoholic food coma that we spent last week in! We haven’t had a drink since Sunday. Dry January is now upon us, and the wine bottles sing their siren song from the kitchen wine rack. Well, no one said it was easy! I suspect boredom plays a large part in our falling into the bottle; we’ve been for a short walk to try to alleviate the crick in my conky neck today but the weather was turning pretty nasty on the coast and we’ve retreated behind closed curtains again.

Perhaps there is something unbalancing the humours in the waters in these parts – I rang my lovely Aunty, normally the chirpiest person I know, and she confessed SHE’D also woken in a snit! We’ve laughed it out together, she’s had a gin and tonic (pah!), I had an Earl Grey tea and now both feel much better.

Happy new year, then. May 2015 be a much more peaceful, stable, happy and healthy time for everyone. I’m a little scared about keeping myself motivated and achieving my goals, but I have the greatest team of cheerleaders in the world shouting me on in my lovely family. Here’s waving at you all:

New Year's Day Me!

New Year’s Day Me! x

Bat Fit 2015

Bat Fit 2015

Bat Fit 2015

So lovely Professor Z has once again kickstarted her Bat Fit challenge for 2015, with the theme of nourishment. I confess to barely remembering my BF goals for 2014 – everything was washed away in a tide of emotion and grief and I am hoping that 2015 won’t follow a similar pattern.

So my goals are modest, and tend towards positive achievements rather than any ‘losses’ as such. I have a few personal goals I’d like to achieve next year, some of which are time specific which for me is a good thing, because I am a dreadful starter-finisher! Let us begin…

Write More

I like to write. Crumbs, it’s even the goal of my sabbatical to write a second novel – and preferably one which is better than the first! I spent the past few months researching the topic and the time frame, and I now have a good basis on which to start writing. I have my characters, setting, and the bones of the story line. I have a pristine new journal within which to blot my fountain pen. The time frame for the long hand version is the six months between January and June, with a transfer to type to be completed by the beginning of September. I have taken the plunge and booked up for the wonderful Moniack Mhor writing residential again at this stage, and have the perfect tutors to run through my particular issues (particularly dialogue). All good!

I also wish to keep improving my short story writing and submissions. One published, one prize winner in 2014 – I’d like to build upon this and have 2 clear goals to submit to between January & March. I really benefit from structured one off writing sessions with good tutors, so I’m looking out for some to attend asap. Nourishment for the mind!

My study is looking a little degenerate at the moment, so my plan for Monday (when Him Underfoot returns to work!) is to strip it all out, clean head & toe and re-establish my desk as a proper writing tool rather than book dumping ground! Once this is done I am pledging to write daily on weekdays, something I’ve been a little slack about doing recently…

 

Swim & Walk More

Two things I love to do, yet don’t do enough of. Since Miss Sally has become a biddy dog I’ve not been able to walk her very far, and my own mileage has dropped accordingly. Swimming is brilliant for getting that back up, there’s a 2.4 mile walk home along the seafront & with a cafe pitstop en route. It’s perfect!  There are also several local museums and art galleries I want to visit in the new year, and if I go into the city it is a wonderful place to walk around, admiring the beautiful old buildings of my home town. These may sound like small goals, but they are both achievable and enjoyable.

 

Complete Dry January

Dry January is run by UK charity Alcohol Concern, who encourage people to make a pledge to abstain from alcohol for one month after the excesses of Christmas. Well, I still have New Year to go and I can’t wait to start the pledge on the 1st. I completed this pledge just fine in 2014 before falling down the neck of many wine bottles when my dad died in February and onward. In 2015 I want to be more controlled with my alcohol consumption and this is a great way to start.

 

DIY

There are several outstanding DIY projects at my house. Firstly my bathroom is a disaster zone. It was scheduled for a full make over the weekend HU and myself became ill, so never happened. However we have all the materials in ready for action, and I can kick start it all on my own – I’ll leave ceilings for the six footer in my life though!

My gardens (front & back) are very small. They are home to nesting birds every year, and have some lovely plants. However, they have also had a roof dropped on them in the past 18 months. I am still finding bits of scaffolding in the clematis! They’ve been completely neglected, and I want to take some time to look after what is already there (my roses in particular are lovely but need some TLC), and to add to it all sympathetically and in such a way that the wildlife remain happy. I never use pesticide or weedkiller – the local blue tit families get too much joy from coming down en masse and feasting on aphids on my roses. All the wooden furniture and gates need some maintenance for spring. Think this one will keep me busy!

The hall & vestibule suffer dreadfully from having a large hairy dog slurking round corners and shaking everywhere. She likes to lie contorted around the skirting boards, and frankly everywhere is very grubby. Time for a make over. And of course, all this painting should get me a bit fitter!

 

Finally…

This year I have depended upon the people I love the most to hold me up and carry me through some of the worst times. I want to be able to give back to them as much as possible during 2015. This includes looking after Him Underfoot a little better. If that sounds very 1950’s housewife, it isn’t! He’s been ill, works like a donkey in a full time post and has just set up his own business. I don’t work at the moment – but what I can do is make sure he doesn’t have to worry about the house, the bills, cooking & cleaning etc. I am signing up for free small business courses in how to do book keeping and accounts, taxes etc, so that he can concentrate on working for his actual business clients and try not worry about all of these concerns.  It’s a good learning experience for me and I have the time to do it. I want to make sure that when he gets home after a 10 hour working day that he’s eating right – which helps me in turn by cooking healthier meals. Win-win all round!

So this is my starting point for 2015. I’m sure some of these will drift, mutate, be neglected etc, but if I can stick to this roughly as a plan then I’m hoping to be in a better, more productive place by this stage next year. And frankly, if I squander this opportunity to complete novel no 2 then I need a great big kick up the backside! Hmmm….!