It’s been over two months since I’ve written anything on the blog. In hindsight, it would probably have been a bit more professional if I’d announced that I’d be taking a break, but the truth is, I never planned to stop writing. Life just got in the way and before I knew it, we were in the middle of the period that will henceforth be known as ‘Annibirthmas’, i.e. the couple of months where we celebrate our wedding anniversary, numerous family and friends’ birthdays, Little B’s birthday and, oh, Christmas.
I knew it was going to be tough, and so in my last post before going AWOL, I set myself a few goals. And how did I do? Well you can probably guess, but you’re here now, so why not read on anyway?
1. Complete my Christmas shopping well before Christmas
I tried my best with this one, I really did. I bought all my Christmas cards well in advance and almost all my presents were bought and wrapped by mid November, save for a couple of gifts that had to be ordered online.
Unfortunately, however, I fell at the final hurdle. Having spent mid-November onwards gleefully announcing to anyone who’d listen that I’d never been so organised and that I’d be able to enjoy the run up to Christmas for once, I blindly sauntered into the first couple of days of December, then into the first couple of weeks of December, and then into the LAST ORDER DATES FOR CHRISTMAS. It appears that my best intentions were scuppered by my own smugness.
I got there in the end, but not without spending a full week before Christmas wondering whether to confine myself to the house with Little B and wait for the remaining gifts to arrive, or to venture outside and suffer palpitations every time I saw a Parcelforce van, in case it was carrying our delivery.
Of course we couldn’t stay at home all week so I opted for the palpitations. Luckily, it was only once that I found myself chasing a courier van all the way back through our estate, just in case.
2. Hygge our home
Yeah, this. Well, this stopped being a priority fairly early on, but I had a slight success in that the Christmas tree lights gave me a bit of a hygge feel – as long as I avoided looking directly at the tree to see the results of Little B’s daily reorganisation of the baubles. The homeless pine cones which have been scattered about our dining room/kitchen/landing and EVERY SINGLE OTHER ROOM IN THE HOUSE for a good couple of months also helped create a slight ‘bringing the outside in’ feel, while a power cut over the holidays ensured that there were candles aplenty in the living room.
In all honesty, hygge-ing our home was probably not my greatest success of late 2016…..
3. Work on improving my diet
…And neither was this. Unfortunately I had no joy in this area before Christmas, during Christmas, or after Christmas. As is tradition, I eventually planned to start a healthy eating regime on 1st January, but that was a Sunday, and everyone knows that it’s always best to start these things on a Monday. But then the first Monday of the year was a bank holiday, which is surely just an extension of the Sunday, isn’t it? So I decided to start my new regime on Tuesday 3rd, but by about 3pm, I’d succumbed to the half finished tub of Roses which I’d previous ‘hidden’ from myself.
I’ll be honest, my willpower is somewhat lacking, but on the plus side, I have made it onto the treadmill for my first run in a very long time. However, while I felt a huge sense of achievement, to coin a local phrase, I managed to ‘knack myself’. Turns out it’s not advisable to go from couch to 5k in 50 minutes. It may be a while before my next run.
4. Practice making a birthday cake and know my limits
Making Little B’s first birthday cake last year was an absolute nightmare, but despite all advice and my better judgement, I remained adamant that I would make her a cake again this year. And that it would be a scene from In the Night Garden.
‘Oh, what a fool!’, I hear you shout. But guess what? I actually managed it! And without any crying, any flying utensils or any threats of divorce! Granted, I recognised my limits and decided against modeling all three Tombliboos, Makka Pakka, Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy out of whatever type of icing you are supposed to use for such things and instead, cheated by buying a pack of plastic figures from Tesco. So essentially, what I made was a green cake with some stones for Makka Pakka’s cave, a lump of unused green icing for the Tombliboo bush, and a few cut out daisies. But it looked fairly ok, Little B loved it, and I still have my sanity (which I didn’t think would be accompanying me through to 2017 if I’m totally honest).
And here it is:
So, while I may not have achieved all my goals, I did manage to survive and make a cake, which, in my book constitutes an unmitigated success! And as for the other stuff? Well…. I can always try again this year!
Happy New Year!