2013 Round Up and 2014 Plans

I end 2013 and enter 2014 very much looking forward and not looking back, not that there was anything particularly wrong with 2013 mind you, it’s just that in 2014 there very much needs to be change. I see 2014 being either the change itself or as preparation, a footing, for change that has to happen in 2015. I feel that if 2013 could be marked by anything, for me it’s been the year of giving things up, things I’m not particularly happy about giving up either; my allotment, my gym membership and (hopefully temporarily, I will be back in January) my choir. Unfortunately the year of giving things up did not include giving up on chocolate or coca cola (a big vice) but at least at the moment I’m back to drinking coke zero (most of the time), the vile stuff, it’s like I know it’s vile (although nowhere near as vile as diet coke, bleurgh) yet I still drink it, I can infuriate myself sometimes. I am actually thinking of weening myself off my fizzy caffeine addiction by starting to drink more coffee, yes I know coffee has more caffeine in it but whereas I can drink cans and cans of coke in a day (if I’m feeling particularly weak willed), I drink my coffee (which I only do rarely), black and sugar free and don’t usually finish the cup, so half a cup does me fine. Anyway, sorry, getting off track with my caffeine habits.

The end of 2013 has very much about me exploring my options and I discovered that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and that if I wanted to ‘hop over’ to an actually greener patch in the future, that I needed to wait a while, the conditions probably aren’t right about now and that I needed to work on some skills. I also discovered that the ‘greener patch’ I was admiring from afar probably isn’t what I’m after anyway, as I’ve been hankering for years to go in a completely different (and far less ‘reliable’) direction and if I do go over to that nice, safe green bit, I am always going to be looking over at that alternative, riskier green bit and wondering ‘what if?’. So 2014 will be very much about learning new skills and venturing in new pastures, trying them out for size, so watch this space!

On a more domestic front, I’ve done lots of baking this year, I had been recording my bakes over on Flickr but I ended up baking so much I lost track and gave up on that particular photoset, although looking at photos I did take, my baking, although pretty much uniformly delicious (there were very few duds), was also pretty much uniformly brown (I blame it on a certain 10 year old I know who doesn’t like icing).

Embroidery wise, I did manage to keep up with my photoset, here’s what I finished this year.

Embroidery 2013

(click to get taken to Flickr for a slightly larger pic)

Thankfully my embroidery was a bit more colourful than my baking! I think I’ve been a bit experimental this year but I need to be more experimental next year.

I’ve also kept track of my sewing on Flickr.

Sewn 2013

I had a great start this year making clothes which unfortunately tailed off. This had a lot to do with living in a different (temporary) flat in January and there was much more space to cut fabric. Since then, as long as the weather is ok (i.e. summer) I’ve adapted to cutting fabric outside in my garden, as there is a lot more space. This obviously doesn’t help in the winter. I’ve tried to be more experimental towards the end of the year; different fabrics, moving back to softie making, I need to continue this next year.

One really good point of this year is that I’ve read loads! In 2012 I read a total of 38 books (which was finally an increase after a few dismal years of the number of books I was reading dropping), this year I read 42! When I saw how well I was doing around October time, I did think about possibly making it to 50 but I always knew that was a bit of a pipe dream for me and anyway, of those 42 books, there are some extremely thick books, including all the Game of Thrones books! So in 2013 I read 29 adult fiction (+7 from last year), 10 children’s fiction (-2 from last year) and 3 non fiction (-1 from last year). I had been on a real roll with non fiction at the beginning of the year and had hoped to continue it, obviously not. Other than that I’ve read some great books; the Game of Thrones series was great fun, I also loved The Rosie Project, NOS 4R2, The Universe versus Alex Woods, Fortunately the Milk, Broken Homes, The Redemption of Alexander Seaton and An Officer and A Spy but my favourite (possibly because it was my last completed read but damn it, it is still so with me) is Patrick Ness’ More Than This.

Here’s to more reading, cooking, needlework of all kinds and learning new skills in 2014!

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