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!
In March I got all enthusiastic about the garden, although it was still a little early to be outside for long. This was also the month I had some small success with growing mushrooms.
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 June, our friends had a woodland wedding on a beautiful summer day. I wandered through the Peak District with a friend, and gave the entire garden a bit of a makeover.
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.
In August I also made some more experimental soap, spent lazy days idling in the park, cycled to a friend’s wedding, and looked after our neighbour’s dog.
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…
December has been a lovely mix of cosiness and socialising, and we squeezed in a lovely trip to the Scarborough seaside too.
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!
Buttling is such a beautiful word! Thank you for sharing. I’m going to try and build a bit of buttling into my 2014, along with some more writing and crocheting.
All the best for a brilliant buttling 2014!
Glad you like it Lynda, all the best for a buttling 2014 for you too!
What really strikes me is that you see not only the cheeriness of everyday life, but the beauty as well. They’re probably completely connected, it just stands out, reading through your year. I love the idea of a sort of review post like this. Lets carry on buttling – and I’ll join you in the creating bit, as well.
Thank you 🙂 Looking forward to seeing what you create!
What a lovely year you’ve had!!
I have indeed, and I hope you have too!