January may not have started off well, flu really is evil. I’ve ended the month on a high though and as D-Ream sang ‘things can only get better’.
Of course, the first event I properly left the house for, after leaving hospital, was afternoon tea. I couldn’t have planned it. Well I did, but you know.
You can always count on The Assembly House to make me feel good, and they didn’t disappoint.
You know I’ve never quite been in the macaron fan club. They have their place and are a light an airy bite, but often lack flavour in my opinion. The banoffee macaron served this time however may have me hooked. It had so much flavour and an oozing caramel centre.
The second event that got me outside was the nieces 4th birthday party. Being around 35 germy children isn’t ideal, and the thought of sharing a buffet of food with them made me squirm. But I got in first with the quiche and sausage rolls and seem to have got off well. Not sniffles yet.
I did however get the job of transporting I don’t know how many million balloons in my car.
Don’t worry, I’m not driving.
With January over, so seems my illness. And that’s how I plan on this year continuing.
Last year seemed to have passed quicker than any other, yet felt like quite the mission. I can’t really pinpoint an exact reason but sometimes it feels like things keep getting in your way.
Saying that, I did get stuff done, have some awesome experiences, made great memories and ate a lot of cake.
Here’s how I got on with my aims during 2019 –
I wanted to get my writings out there, and I did. I love writing to you lot and feel we’ve built up a little relationship over the past few years. Don’t worry I’m not getting all soppy, but I do feel I know my readers and we’ve become a little gang. I have my regulars that I wouldn’t be blogging without. Those of you that read and interact with almost everything I rant about. I appreciate you muchly.
I wanted to get read by different people, see what others thought of my rambles. Meet a few new friends that weren’t part of my community.
I was honoured to write for two other fantastic bloggers, about two of my favourite things.
Early in 2019 I featured on Travel, Breathe, Repeat giving my top 10 tips for travelling to and exploring Disneyland Paris.
Disney is my guilty pleasure and I’ve visited the theme parks in Paris multiple times. I’ll let you in on a little secret… I have another trip planned this summer. So a read through of these tips might come in handy for me too!
You guessed it, my second post was about afternoon tea. I’m becoming known for my love of this English tradition, I don’t know why. If friends or blogging pals see anything tea related it always gets sent my way.
Rachael’s Thoughts is a blog by a lady that loves afternoon tea almost as much as myself, I get cake envy whenever I read about her tea adventures.
When Rachael kindly invited me to guest post I thought what better than to write about my dream afternoon tea.
This years good deed was different. I craft. A lot. It’s the thing I do when I’m not out eating cake or telling you about eating cake.
I craft for no other reason than because I enjoy it. Often I gift these crafts, sometimes they just sit on a shelf or in a cupboard. I wanted to make use of this hobby, and my friends probably wanted to stop receiving crocheted gifts.
I joined a group called Octopus For A Preemie. They crochet and knit Octopals for premature babies in hospitals all over the country.
I will tell you more about this and how you can get involved, in a future post. For now here is a photo of my very first Octopal called Oswald.
There was lent again. For no other reason than to challenge myself, and deprive myself of the things I love, I try to take part in Lent every year. I’ve given up sugar, cheese, bread and chocolate. Not at the same time.
This year, mainly because I couldn’t think of a challenging food (apparently carrots aren’t an option), I decided to do something a bit different. Here’s how I got on with my Social Media – Mission Withdraw.
I still hadn’t eaten by a river. But I have now. I had a picnic and iced tea by the river at Center Parcs on the hottest day of the year. It’s more a big lake. Does that count?
I wanted to visit a local place I hadn’t before. In 2019 I went to a few places I hadn’t been before. One of them right on my doorstep, just a mile away in the same town that I live.
Just down the road from me, for as long as I can remember, has been a garden centre of sorts. A rose garden.
I also discovered some new gig venues, both raising expectations of access. Two completely different acts, of whom I’ve seen before and am always blown away by.
Much closer to home I attended what must be the most accessible outdoor gig ever to exist. To my knowledge. Ed Sheeran serenaded us all, and I even had my own black carpet.
I gave audiobooks a chance. I listened to the odd audiobook as a child, I had a collection of cassette tapes. Do you remember those things? They were forever getting stuck or in a tangle (you had to get a pencil to wind it back in again) and it was near impossible to jump back a few words if you got distracted and missed a bit.
Well my audiobook experience as an adult was much less stressful.
As with ebooks, audiobooks are now only a click away. Another reason for me to never leave the house.
Not only have I listened to one audiobook, but I’ve now downloaded my fourth. I enjoyed them much more than I expected, realising that they provided me with a way to finally be able to multitask.
And tried to work on my Pinterest. I’m now classed as a business. But what am I… Professional, Public Figure, Media? I don’t know. It’s a rubbish list.
I made a Pinterest Ad, it got some views. I get natural views from Pinterest though, and I’m happy with that.
I enjoy making Pinable-pins. But mostly I still look at pretty scenery, pin recipes and crafts I have every intention of making but never do.
Finally I aimed to find my new love (wheelchair). I’ve got it. A wheelchair. I still don’t know if it’s ‘the one’ because wheelchairs are harder to meet than you’d think. We’ve been getting along well though. It took a while, some adjustments had to be made and a few appointments attended. We haven’t been to a festival together yet, and shingle is slightly trickier than it was before. It’s not quite as robust as I’m used to.
Comfort wise I’m as happy as a person can be that’s sitting on their bum 15 hours out of 24. Believe me it’s not as easy as it sounds.
The bonus of an NHS chair is definitely the cost, the upkeep and the repair. So I’m sticking with it. By 2021 we might be the best of pals.
These are my 2020 aims
Buy less books
I realise that doesn’t sound like much of an aim. Buying books is good. But not when you have enough unread books to fill a virtual library. By books I don’t just mean the physical kind. It’s a good job I have a Kindle really because I’d need a new house to fit them all if they were all paper form.
I read 24 books in 2019. Highlights being ‘Where The Crawdads Sing’, ‘Three Things About Elsie’, ‘Us Against You’, and ‘The Great Alone’. I recommend you read them all.
So I aim to get through some of my TBR pile and not give in to new purchases. There’s still the library though, and ebook library to borrow from.
I enjoyed doing something different for Lent last year, rather than just giving up an addictive food. If you’ve seen any cool Lent ideas or have done something yourself, please let me know.
Take part in the 100 day project
‘#The100DayProject is a free art project that takes place online. Every spring, thousands of people all around the world commit to 100 days of exploring their creativity.’
I don’t know what I’m doing yet, but the best place to follow my progress is on Instagram.
Make use of my time
I’m a terrible procrastinator. I can procrastinate about things I’d like to do, let alone things that need to be done.
Find a new regular eatery
I don’t know if it’s something I’ve done, but all my regular restaurants for catching up with friends have closed. Giraffe was one of my go to places, with a great choice and light bites to suit my appetite. I only just discovered the Croque Monsieur when the Norwich branch of Café Rouge decides to close.
I know these are chain restaurants that can be found in almost every city (bar Norwich now), and it’s not very good for local businesses if we all chain, independent is the way forward. I agree. When you have wheels though, often what you know is where you go. It’s not so easy just heading out and seeing where you fancy. The nice little friendly independent restaurants are usually in the older part of the city, in the quirky buildings that were built hundreds of years ago. When people with disabilities apparently didn’t exist. Not in public places anyway. And if they did, well they’d have to make do.
The world is changing, but not all that quickly.
So I want to discover some eating places, chain or not, that can become my new regulars. When you use wheels, and have friends that have babies that have prams, that adds up to a lot of wheels, and a lot of space.
This aim could be easier said than done.
Work with more bloggers
Remember the Twenty Questions series I did a while back? Introducing my people to other people by interviewing fellow bloggers? Well I enjoyed that. It got me making more connections with bloggers and learning more about them, while helping you discover new blogs to read. I’d like to host some guest post this year.
It needs to link in with what I’m about, so it doesn’t seem totally random. If you’re interested or know anyone that could be, please get in touch!
Write somewhere that isn’t a blog
I enjoyed the challenge of writing with a brief for other bloggers. I’d like to see what it’s like out there in the big world though, I’d like my writings to be someplace that people don’t know me. No friend of a friend kinda thing.
Do a good deed
This is just something we should all be doing anyway. It shouldn’t even be an aim.
Part of this will be continuing working with Octopus For A Preemie. Using my time and enjoyment of craft, for an amazing cause, feels good. I hope to write about this soon.
How did your aims go last year? Do you set resolutions or goals? Or just go with the flow?
Let’s hope the rest of 2020 is a good start to best decade yet!