Back in January I declared 2013 would be a year of buttling. At the start of the year I reduced my working hours down to four days a week, and will never go back to full time. There are just so many other things to do!
I started January in my traditional fashion – making plans and looking at finances. I reduced the house insurance by £600 a year, and well, then got fed up of thinking about such tedious things and ignored everything else. I did save my £2 coins all year though – I donated half to various charities, and have £200 waiting for me to decide on an appropriate treat.
In February I did a 10k race with my sister, my first run in the four months since the marathon. In May I did another 10k, and another in October – very speedily for me. This rekindled my running enthusiasm, and I’ve been training regularly ever since. I’ve been lucky enough to acquire a running mentor (more on this soon), so I’ve entered the Chester marathon again and there’s no stopping me now!
April was a musical month. I’d just bought a saxophone, I passed my grade 8 flute exam, and I spent a day with the Not(e) Perfect Orchestra, formed for a day by the London Symphony Orchestra’s community outreach programme. The weather improved, we took our folding bikes to Filey for the weekend, and I spent my birthday basking in the sunshine in a succession of cafes. I spent more time in the garden, building raised beds and making woodchip paths.
My blog was quiet in May. I spent a day wandering along the five weirs walk with a friend, and visited my fourth of Sheffield’s eleven Wildlife Trust reserves. Apparently I was feeling rather domesticated.
In July, food finally began to grow in the garden, and I remembered why every year I plant seeds although they rarely grow. I finally bought a new camera, and spent quite a bit of time taking photographs of broad beans. Yet again, I succumbed to chicken envy. One day I’ll have my very own flock, I will!
At the end of July we went to Orkney again, and just looking at those photographs makes me want to go and live there (as always), although I do realise the weather isn’t always that good! I documented each day of August, and I’ve enjoyed very much reading back the detail of everyday life. I might do that again for January.
September brought the end of my car maintenance course, and I started the long and tedious process of turning my blogs into a series of printed books. I made a basket from home grown willow, visited the community-owned cutlery works I have shares in, and pledged never to tip a cold cup of tea down the sink again. The garden thrived in the last of the September sunshine.
October was all about running. I went to watch a friend finish the York marathon, and declared I wanted to spend more time running (I’ve certainly done that!) Being overly-ambitious, as always, I also declared I wanted to spend more time gardening… In a fit of optimism, I planted flower seeds. Surprisingly, they’re still alive (although very small).
In November I came indoors, got cosy, and made a blanket and some tiny knitted bees. There was still plenty of (muddy) running though, and I started swimming again with plans for a triathlon next summer…
As I’ve looked back, I’ve struggled to decide if I think I’ve done a lot this year or not. Many of the things I’ve written about are humdrum, everyday things – gardening, sewing, running, drinking tea in cafes and wandering round local parks. Apart from the flute exam, there hasn’t been any real ‘achievement’ this year (whatever that means).
Is that a problem? I don’t think so. My blog has always been about the cheerfulness of everyday things, and I imagine that’s how it will continue.
2014 will be good. Already I have plans for running and gardening, and I’m sure a whole host of other things will sneak in there too. I’ll be back in a day or two for some proper plotting and scheming…
How has your year been? Do you have plans for 2014? Happy new year!