I turned 28 and then it was 2011

Happy New Year!

I’m well aware that blog-wise, December was a washout for me. As you may or may not have read in my last blog post, I spent the majority of December either being too stressed or too ill to do anything interesting or Smallest Smallholding-related. It felt as if my laptop had become a permanent fixture, an extension of my eyes, arms and hands… in a way, being horribly ill with ‘flu probably gave me a much-needed prolonged break and saved me from becoming pixelated or something.

I’m *still* not back to full health. I think it’ll take at least another couple of weeks. It really knocked me for six and left me with a lethargic legacy. Friday – New Year’s Eve – was my 28th birthday and I started the day with a bath, followed by a trip to my doctor. I’d been getting waves of nausea, had no appetite, was coughing a LOT and at that time was still prone to flagging after only being up and about for a couple of hours. He assured me I’d had ‘flu, that it could be a couple of days or a couple of weeks before I’d be fighting fit and just said to ride it out, rest up and look after myself. Needless to say, the rest of my birthday was quiet. I went over to see my Mum, Dad was working, sister was ill, my aunt dropped by and I think everyone else was either busy or preoccupied with NYE. Such is life.

I did get some lovely gifts. Hunter wellies, no less. They make me feel VERY posh, and I’m really happy to have wellies that will last me a very very long time. I also have some seeds to sow, a new pair of secateurs, lots of new pairs of gardening gloves, bubble baths, thermal socks, a new bag, earrings, a new hairdryer (my ancient one was sparking and frying my head) and just lots of lovely little bits and pieces that I’d never allow myself the guilty pleasure of buying otherwise.

Rich and I didn’t even realise that new year had arrived. We were curled up on the sofa watching a DVD, and only realised that the clock in our lounge is slow by at least 5 minutes as the fireworks started going off well before what we thought was midnight. I’m not bothered. It’s almost like a sigh of relief when the year is over, especially when we’ve managed to avoid major disasters or tragedies. I think the couple of years leading up to Nannie’s death really scarred me in that way. I hope one day I’ll have that slightly sad feeling that a great year is over, rather than that relieved feeling. Still, I remain hopeful. I like New Year. Although I still harbour that feeling as if I’m bracing myself for impending disasters, it’s not as strong as it used to be, and I do feel that the coming year will be a year of change, and of good things.

I was looking back at last year’s ‘new year’ post. I do like making resolutions because I like to challenge myself to improve, to progress and to achieve. Here’s what I wrote last year, and my succinct assessment of each resolution:

2010 Resolutions – Smallest Smallholding

1. Grow loads more onions. Er. I grew more but didn’t get to eat as many as I wanted thanks to rot. I’ll go with a partial success.

2. Get better at composting, feeding and sustaining my crops this year. I WAS RUBBISH AT THIS. Fail. Try again this year.

3. Plant more sunflowers. Success, although they still bent in the windy weather.

4. Plant a nectar bank. Fail. Definitely want to concentrate on getting this done this year.

5. Add to my woodland gardens. Success. Partially. Could do better, although there were improvements.

6. Use my greenhouse to its full potential. FAIL, FAIL, FAIL. 2011 is the year of my greenhouse. Staging, repairs, cleaning… it’s all going on this spring.

7. Have an outside eating area. FAIL. We did make some inroads with this but nowhere near enough. Another project for the summer. I’m going to be one busy bunny.

8. Dig an asparagus bed. Roaring success. Rich did this. His asparagus are growing wonderfully well, but I do point out to him in slightly envious tones that although he does very well, he only looks after his asparagus. I do everything else with varying degrees of success.

9. Grow veg in hanging baskets. Fail. Again, time/organisation issue.

10. Grow a variety of food that I will actually eat. Partial failure, I’d say. Blackfly, lack of organisation and stupidity didn’t see me make the most of what I had. We’ll try again. I will nail it. Eventually.

2010 Resolutions – Non-Smallest Smallholding

1. Learn to relax. Partial success. Getting there. Learning to deal with life stuff is a long process.

2. Explore Britain. Partial success. Last year I went to Wales twice (Cardiff, and the Llyn Peninsula), Edinburgh (again), Cork in Ireland (non-UK, but still exploration). Would like to explore the western side of the UK more – Welsh borders, south west and maybe south coast.

3. More autonomy. Hell, yes! During 2009 and the beginning of 2010 I was pretty miserable. But I decided to change things, and I think I’m getting the balance right. I still need to work harder, improve my skills and focus more this year. But I think we’re getting there.

4. LOSE WEIGHT. SUCCESS! This summer I really started to get trim. Although, I did start piling it on again in the winter. But this ‘flu saw me lose almost 3/4 stone, and I’m going to be very careful to not put it back on. I don’t need to.

5. More self sufficiency! Hmmm. Fail, sadly. 2011 is going to be expensive all round – rising prices, VAT, etc etc. Self sufficiency is one way to bypass the extra expense in the long run.

6. Write more and Blog more. Ummm. No, fail I think. I have several projects lined up for 2011 though, so I imagine I’ll be scribbling and tip-tapping away this year.

7. Eat more greens. Fail. I need to eat more green stuff.

8. Bake more. Fail. I need to set aside time. I do enjoy it.

9. Walk more. Success! Not only did I walk more, but I ran. Spring/summer was great. I was running 5ks. I was proud of myself. I’m going to do it again, and even better in 2011.

10. Books! Partial success. Recommendations are always welcome.

So there you have it. A mixed bag if ever there was one, but I did make some important changes last year, most notably running, my job and my general attitude.

I don’t think I’ll have so many resolutions this year. For sanity’s sake I’ll try and keep this one a bit shorter:

2011 RESOLUTIONS

1. Take up running again and try to enter a charity 5k.

2. Be careful and considerate about what I grow, and try to use everything that I manage to harvest.

3. Get my greenhouse up and running, and use it to its full potential.

4. Plant lots of wildlife-friendly flowers.

5. Don’t stress when it all grows out of control. Do what you can, when you can.

6. Write some more magazine articles. Get them published.

7. Take time out with Rich to visit new places and have new experiences.

8. Get my finances under control. Wipe out as much debt as possible and get out of my overdraft.

9. Get some of the house renovations finished.

10. Spend at least one or two days a week away from the computer – give yourself more time to get those Smallest Smallholding projects finished (e.g. eating area, herb beds, finish fencing, nectar bank).

There you are. Pretty simple. Bring it on 2011. But please – be kind to me!

Comments

  1. I’m liking in particular Resolution No. 5 🙂

  2. I’m with you on Item 10! I’m like a prehistoric cavewoman half the time, and with a hairdo to match! The first thing I do in the morning is put the PC on, and that’s before the kettle … that just isn’t right – things have got to change! 😀

    That’s why I like visitors – I can be normal for a while, and get away from the pc.

  3. Hey I love what you’re doing – keep it up! And watch it grow lol

  4. All I can do is wish you well with your 2011 resolutions! If someone will stick to resolutions as far as possible it’s you Lucy! So go for it! And I sincerely hope that 2011 will be kind to you.

  5. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll have a busy and successfull 2011!

  6. Hey Lucy,

    I like resolution number five to do…it’s far too easy to get stressed when things start going wild! And number six ought to be something I strive for too!

    Hope to continue to get better and beat that horrible flu,

    Geoff x

  7. Happy New Year!I

  8. I like resolution number 4- that is what i am going to do
    We dug out a row of old conifers last Autumn & i had quite a few garden vouchers for my birthday & some money for christmas, so as soon as the weather picks up we are trotting off to the garden centre to get some wildlife friendly shrubs

  9. Hey Lucy

    Good to see you gardening. Looks like you’re gonna be busy. What’s the score on getting some new chooks this year?

    I posted you way, way back in Feb ’09 after seeing your blog. Now I’ve got chickens of my own, even let one hen have some chicks and watched ’em grow. That’s something I can tell you. So now I’ve got eggs all over the place and It’s all your fault!!!!

    Check out my first attempt at blogging. I’ll try and post some pics of the chook gang and thier chicken villas soon so you can see what you’re responsible for, hehe.

    Chris x

  10. 2010 – Write more and Blog more – I failed at this too.
    Wishing you sucess in 2011 ;0)

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