I've been having a wander round various blogs reading about what people have achieved over the last year and what their plans are for this year. Quite inspirational really. So I thought instead of being Mrs Yah Boo I've Got To Go Back To The UK Mardy Pants I would have a look back over what we've done this year that we never did before and maybe make some New Year resolutions that I can kick myself later for not achieving (oops Mardy Pants keeps raising her head bear with me while I give her a quick slap)
1) I have achieved my long held dream of sleeping till I wake up for nine whole months. This means not getting up at 6am in the dark and dragging the poor dog off for a walk in pissy cold wet rain before joining in the wacky races on the M62 to get to a job that sucks my soul away and saps my will to live (Ok it might not of been that bad but you know what I mean).
2) You might not of noticed. I know I hardly ever mention them but we have chickens. How did we ever manage without them? No more wondering if the eggs I'm buying are really free range and what sort of conditions the chickens were kept in. Plus they are a joy to watch. Unless you are watching them digging up someone else's garden that is and they talk to you and hum and make happy chicken noises. The eggs are almost a bonus. Lovely fresh eggs to make as much custard as you can eat with some to spare to give to friends and neighbours (eggs that is not custard).
3) Kind of leads me on to I made custard! Real custard not from a packet and jam and chutney and soup. Whole meals even from stuff I had to hand. From scratch.
4) And of course we grew food like potatoes and beans and peas and sweetcorn and salad and carrots and onions and cucumbers. I got past wondering if everything might have a maggot in it and not really be up to the standard of something grown by professionals and discovered that vegetables taste really really good when they are really really fresh and you've nurtured them and anticipated eating them for weeks and weeks. So much so that cooking them is fun and satisfying and rewarding. I've felt the soil in the garden warm up as Spring moved into Summer and I've actually been affected by what the weather is doing rather than just inconvenienced.
5) We've built internal walls in the house ( that very nearly reach the ceiling and will do if we ever finish them), plumbed pipes, fitted sinks and a toilet and a shower. We've discovered that a perfect looking house is not nearly as important when you're not compensating for not having control over other areas of your life. Although a scruffy shack can still be quite embarrassing especially when it looks the same as it did when someone called in months ago.
6) We've lived in a foreign country
Six of the best is enough to give you the flavour I think. So looking forward I will:-
1) Stop sulking because I am luckier than lots of folks
2) Learn more French
3) Grow more food
4) Cook and eat it with the respect it deserves.
5) Repay some of the hospitality and favours of the wonderful people we have gotten to know this year
6) Oh I don't know. I'm sure the list will be up to 60 by the end of the week