Well, that’s me just closed the curtains on the world outside for the last time in 2017. I’ve had a little moment listening to Taylor Swift’s New Year’s Day, and now I’m ready to curl up on the sofa and watch films, and hope that Adam makes it home for midnight.
While leaving the house is bottom of the to-do list, I’ve seen in the bells for as long as I can remember and I’m not about to stop now. There is much dismissing of this holiday, but I do find it quite special. It’s as much about reflecting on the year just gone as looking ahead – not necessarily a wholly positive feeling, but a moment to feel grateful for the good things, prepare ourselves to leave behind or continue to fight the bad, and wonder what might be yet to come.
I am going to look back on the goals I set this year, but I’ll admit that I had to go back to the post to remember what I had even suggested! Perhaps I’ll set one goal at a time next year instead.
Build the blog. I’m not entirely sure where this year’s lack of motivation came from, but I’m hoping I’ll be back on track next year.
Do something good. I set this thinking that I would start volunteering for Age UK, which hasn’t come to pass. I get too nervous every time I look into signing up. I might look into volunteering at one-off events before committing myself to anything longer-term, as I don’t want to let anyone down.
Read 25 books. I have read about 40, and most have been brilliant. It’s been a good reading year! This is a list of my favourites for the first six months.
Work on my languages. I downloaded Duolingo for helping with Italian, and had a good streak going before Frankfurt, when I started muting the notifications… nevertheless, a long weekend in Italy next year means I have some motivation to get back to it! And I’m currently reading 1984 in French, so that’s something.
Try eight new recipes. Ten! Most of these will sound simple, but I existed on chicken dippers and waffles until 18 months ago:
- Cider-roasted chicken wrapped in bacon with potatoes: I remember this, because I forgot to buy cider. It became orange-roasted chicken instead, and was still very nice.
- Chicken and chorizo jambalaya: not unlike the chicken and chorizo paella recipe, just with different spices. (Equally good.)
- Chilli: new favourite. I’ve had it four times in the past two weeks. Also veggie chilli, featuring chickpeas and more kidney beans instead of mince.
- Curry: well, curries, using various vegetables/pulses/spices.
- Sloppy Joe pasta bake: I kind of just threw pasta, cheese, peppers, onions, mince and gravy together. It was great.
- Cottage pie
- Sausage and broccoli pasta
- Lentil bolognese
- Chocolate and raspberry breakfast muffins
- Vegan brownies
Do more on days off. I have had something brilliant days out and done a few new touristy things – Kew Garden and Tower Bridge spring to mind – but it would also be good to spend more time on my hobbies, like blogging, in the New Year.
Visit eight new restaurants/cafes/bars. The Printing Press and Copper Blossom (Edinburgh); Belgo, Maxwell’s and Boulevard Brasserie (London); Casa Bella in Little Italy, Don Giovanni Ristorante and 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar (New York) off the top of my head!
Visit a new city/country. I think the only one that applies is Canterbury!
Visit two places I haven’t yet been in the UK. Canterbury, Godalming, Limekilns
See three new shows. I saw five: Come From Away, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, Aladdin, An American in Paris, Ordinary Days
Make a scrapbook. How many years has this been on my list?! I got a photo album for Christmas, so I can start with this and then look at scrapbooking all my other mementos. Maybe 2018 will be the year!
I’m going to say six out of eleven achieved, with half-marks for languages and doing more on days off: 7/11!
I recently saw a girl on Twitter commenting that she hadn’t achieved anything in 2017, only for her mum to reply to her with a lovely list. On quiet years, see things from the perspective of a friend! I hope 2017 brought you many lovely things, or at the very least brought you a few steps closer to where you want to be. And here’s to a brilliant 2018!