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Christmas Day walk in the Brecon Beacons.

Christmas Day walk in the Brecon Beacons.

For the first time in 16 years Wellyman and I had a whole 2 weeks off this Christmas and what a joy it was. Apart from my Christmas Eve blog post I didn’t touch the computer for the whole time. There were lots of frosty mountain walks, we met up with some lovely friends and caught up with family, ate more than enough dried fruit in all of its festive guises and snuggled in front of the fire watching films and reading books. But, as I’m realising, the longer the break that harder it is to return to the real world, and the fact that it is January, my nemesis, makes it all the more difficult. Oh to be like Anna Chancellor’s character Lucia in the fabulous TV adaptation of the Mapp and Lucia novels, wafting around in a kaftan, picking flowers from the garden, painting on the beach and practicing Beethoven. *whispers* Between you and me, I’d be fine at the first two but rubbish with the brush and the piano.

Instead I find myself ensconced once again in front of the computer, in my slightly bobbly cardigan clutching a cup of tea as the light fades. New Year’s resolutions might not be everyone’s cup of tea but for me they’re one way of motivating myself and giving me a sense of focus. I’ll be celebrating a significant birthday this year and I’m only too aware of how quickly time seems to pass. I know how easy it is once the routine of daily life takes over to forget to book those tickets for that play, or to sign up to that course that caught my eye. Probably the best bit about having a long break this Christmas meant I had a chance to clear my head. For the first time in months, maybe even a year, my brain didn’t feel like it was constantly whirring with thoughts about work, the house, moving, shopping lists etc.

For me New Year’s resolutions should be an encouragement to do the new and interesting or to pick up something I haven’t done for a while rather than a stick to beat myself with. They should be goals or aspirations but if they aren’t achieved I don’t feel as if I’ve failed. In fact we’re only 7 days into 2015 and I’ve already foundered with one of them. The great thing though is that there are another 358 days left to give that particular resolution a go.

So in 2015 I hope to:

– juggle more. Wellyman taught me to juggle when we first got married but in recent years I’ve let my practice slip so much so I can’t remember the last time I picked up the juggling balls. I was always in that forlorn group of kids left to the end when team sports were being picked. It was fair enough to be honest, I was pretty rubbish when it came to hand-eye coordination. I was always more concerned about self-preservation partly due to a rounders bat in the face on one occasion and being taken out by a basketball to the head on another. So it was a huge surprise when Wellyman showed me I wasn’t a lost cause when it came to throwing and catching. It’s fantastic exercise too, particularly when you’re learning as you spend most of your time picking up the balls that you keep dropping.

Christmas gardening books

– read more. This is one I haven’t had great success with so far this year. I was lucky enough to receive this fabulous stash of books for Christmas. Before Christmas I had developed the naughty habit of working through my lunch break, sandwich in hand showering the keyboard in crumbs, so my plan for 2015 is to spend 30 minutes at lunchtime reading. So far, after only 3 days back at work, the plan hasn’t worked but I’m hopeful that I’ll achieve it at least some of the time.

– make more. Rather than dwell on the number of years I’ll be celebrating this coming birthday I’ve decided to use it as a spur to try my hand at a few new crafts I’ve always wanted to learn. There’s book binding, willow weaving and how to navigate my way around a sewing machine for a start. Hopefully there will also be the completion of my winter project of a crocheted blanket. I’m at about the halfway stage at the moment and starting to think if I ever see another granny square it’ll be too soon.

Winter project - my granny square blanket

Winter project – my unfinished granny square blanket

So where does growing fit into my plans for 2015. Well, I have a feeling it’s going to be a year where my plans have to be very flexible. I’m keeping the allotment for the foreseeable future at least, and I’ll be trying to treat spring and the early part of summer as normal, after that, well, who knows. If I need to dig up and move a cut flower patch mid-growing season well so be it. My blog posts may be a bit less welly/garden based this year as a result of possibly moving so I hope you’ll bear with me. It’s been quite hard reading about everyone’s plans for the forthcoming gardening year on twitter and blogs when I feel in such a state of limbo myself. In some ways the resolutions I’ve picked are a way of distracting myself from this state of mind and forcing me to stay positive about the year ahead. I do have plans though for a series of blog posts entitled ‘Inspired by Nature’ so I’m looking forward to writing those, hopefully you’ll enjoy reading them.

Wishing you all a fabulous 2015. x