Tuesday, 30 December 2008

New Year's Resolutions

So, it's the time of year in which everyone makes resolutions and looks back on what they've achieved. Who am I to go against this noble tradition?

Things I did:

- moved house and got a cat
- went to Paris
- decided that I hated driving and it wasn't worth the misery carrying on (best decision EVER, seriously)
- passed my first year in teaching
- asked for help when I needed it
- kept my temper when dealing with a particularly difficult colleague
- started baking
-read 38 books

Things I want to achieve by this time next year:

- grow at least one edible tomato and one presentable flower
- bake some English muffins
- knit a full sized cardigan
- have actually started to write for publication again
- look after myself more
- spend less
- think before I speak
- bake an actual cake
- try and be positive through whatever life throws at me :)

Happy New Year! xx

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Post-Christmas Ponderings

Merry (belated) Christmas! I would have written sooner, but I had a bit of the flu in the run up to Christmas...

The day itself was lovely and I am a very, very lucky girl. I got my Knit Picks and they are perfect, I am knitting up a storm. I also got baking related gifts, a seedling set and lots of historical biographies (as well as Gone With The Wind, both on DVD and the novel!) so I am set up for whatever the recession can throw at me :) I'm just going to hibernate and work on the garden! I must admit though, I have succumbed to the post-Christmas blues, but those are easily beaten by a quick flick through Knitty's archives and ordering odd varieties of tomato seeds. One of my New Year's resolutions is to grow at least one tomato I can eat this year, what with last year's solitary fruit turning brown and hard :s I'm also going to be growing sweet peas, salads and sunflowers, which I can't wait. I'm also looking out for the bulbs Emily and I planted back in October. For the first time in ages, I feel hopeful and it's nice. It's more than nice, I feel like I'm a human again!

I was going to do my year 11 media marking today, but it's such a nice day that I think I will go and clear the garden and watch Bronte harrass the pair of wood pigeons that live in our tree. Then I plan on baking some Snickerdoodles and a honey loaf. Life is good.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Life is on the up..

Well, I'm feeling tons better and a doctor finally took me seriously, so all is good :D I have energy and enthusiasm (probably too much enthusiasm if you'd have asked Benn yesterday after I'd insisted he put the fairy lights on the tree... is it like the law that men have to look grumpy whilst doing that particular job??) and it's nearly Christmas!

So, two weeks ago, I finished Grandma's shawl AND the Unshaped Shrug. I have to take photos to show, I just haven't got round to doing it yet! I'm now knitting Branching Out with the beautiful green sock yarn I bought from Wibbo at the Knitting Safari and it's a gorgeous pattern for a gorgeous yarn. I did have a bit of a disaster this morning- I snapped one of my Knit Picks Harmonies, which nearly made me cry. I then duly went to Get Knitted to order more, when Benn almost tore my hand from the keyboard. It turns out I'll be getting the interchangable needles set for Christmas as a 'surprise'... I was really touched, he'd gone to a lot of trouble to find them and even though they're not a surprise any more, I'm still excited! So, Branching Out is now on the Addi Lace Turbos, which I don't like as much. I've always been more for bamboo/wood anyway.

Today I had a go at peanut brittle from Nigella Christmas- I'm planning on making work colleagues sweets as presents (have no idea how I will be presenting them- any suggestions welcome!) What a disaster that was! She says to 'seriously boil the sugar mixture for ten minutes- it will smoke, be warned!' What Nigella doesn't tell you is that you will burn the mixture and possibly swallow carcinogenic chemicals when you don't believe your nose/eyes and try the aforementioned burnt mixture and then spend twenty minutes cleaning your boyfriend's best pan, whilst shooing smoke out of any available window or door...

Anyway, I then tried again. And ended up with caramel with peanuts in it which was not even useful. *Sigh* I will be making peppermint creams instead next week. Oh, and baking biscuits for some of my classes. I'll be buying the rest.

Oh, and we have a tree. I decided to put it up yesterday (we got a fake one in the end.. grr) and it looks fab :) Bronte is not too bothered by it, she was more put out by the fact that we locked her out of the room last night. I also bought a couple of lovely decs in some open houses I visited in Hove, so it's really cool.

This week is going to be an interesting one, particularly Wednesday- we're being OFSTED'd for one day and I'm teaching one lesson. It will be interesting to see what we're expected to do in the next few days. I'm trying not to be too worried about it (I think my medication is taking the edge off it anyway...!) and looking forward to the fact that Wednesday is also the evening of my Stitch and Bitch Christmas meal. I have a very interesting Secret Santa present to give- I hope the recipient likes it!!

Right, Bailey's is calling me...