12 November 2014

14 Things in The Year of the Horse : An Update

Does doing something two years in a row make for a tradition? Yes? In that case - I have a new year tradition of writing a list of things I want to get done in the next twelve months or so, and posting them on the blog. The idea is to start the year off on an optimistic note and focus my mind on the things I really want to achieve.

During the year I like to revisit this list and grade my efforts. Mainly for comedic value. Things generally don't quite pan out the way I think they will, so I often review the list thinking 'how naive! how sweet! how innocent!'. 2014 has been no exception. 

I prepared a little infographic to explain...*

So yeah, my year hasn't quite gone as planned so far. I really underestimated the all consuming nature of the tail end of the renovation. (On the flip side I also really underestimated the awesomeness of completely unexpected things like Voices of 2014 coming my way too.)

I know it's a little late for an update (where has this year gone?!) but my list for 2014 was based on the lunar New Year because I'm a bit slow off the mark with these things. Technically I've still got three whole months before my deadline is up, so a November update it is.

The grades are going to be low this year, very very low. But, plough on we must...(also, channel Yoda we must)...

1. Read more. Specifically, read at least twelve books in twelve months. C+. I'm reading more, but I'm also reading very, very slowly. BUT - focus on the positives - I am making a concerted effort to read at least a few pages every, single day. And my brain is thanking me for it.

I've read six books since January, my favourite by far being Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas. And there were two quick, gulp it down reads I quite liked too -  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healy.

Currently I'm ploughing through A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. I'm also building a kind of scaffold structure around my 'to read' pile to stop it from falling over. It's pretty out of control.

2. Blog more. Specifically, blog at least six times per month. F. *falls about laughing* *wipes tears of hilarity from eyes* *gasps for breath between guffaws* Up to the end of October I've averaged 3.1 posts per month for 2014. Yep, definitely a fail. For so many good, valid reasons that I won't bore you with right now. But, that's all about to change! (It has been changing a little already - have you noticed?) I'm aiming for a strong finish on this one, yes I am.

3. Make Typography Tuesday a monthly thing. F. See above.

4. Do something with my 500px account. D-. In an effort to not get another F I just uploaded some shots. Yesterday. See - this goal writing thing totally works.

5. Assist on at least two photography shoots. F. I got half way there. I put some wheels in motion, but then the wheels fell off. But that's okay because a) life happens, and b) directions change.

6. Enter more photography competitions. F. I haven't entered any.

(Okay, this is starting to get a little embarrassing. Whose idea was this update thing anyway? Oh, mine? Right. Carry on then.)

7. Make a little book or zine. And sell it. F. No comment.

8. Develop some Instagram projects. B. Finally! A result! My addiction to love for Instagram has grown even more over the past few months. I find it immensely inspiring and strangely rewarding. I'm beyond happy that over 1,000 people are following me (and only a small percentage of them are Russian ladies in skimpy outfits urging me to chat with them).

My favourite project has involved the dogs, of course. I've currently got 42 photos tagged #morningwalkswithferdiandelfi. It's not just an overly long hashtag, it's also something that asks me to slow down; to appreciate and capture those early morning strolls.

9. Send more snail mail. D-. The only reason it's not another F is that we sent a heap of postcards when we were on our great European adventure. Outside of that I haven't really been doing my bit to keep the postie employed.

However, now I finally have my home office vaguely resembling something that looks like a home office I'm aiming for a strong finish on this one too. Stay tuned. (ps. Want me to send you a note in the mail? Let me know! I promise I will!)

10. Send cards to family and friends for every, single birthday. C+. I've only missed one or two. Maybe three. Or four. Let's be honest, I'm probably being a bit generous with the grades here.

11. Corral my clutter. B+. (I think the husband would probably grade me a D-, but he doesn't have a blog so B+ it is). I've reduced my shoe collection by two whole thirds, I've donated bags and bags of clothes, I've culled my ceramics and thrown out pretty much all of my magazines. We've sorted through all our DVDs and CDs and only kept the absolute best of the best. And when I buy something new I have to get rid of something old. I'm by no means a minimalist but my clutter doesn't rule me anymore, and corralling it feels like a habit now.

12. See more movies at the cinema. Specifically, see at least eight movies on the big screen. D-. We've seen quite a few flicks with the step-sons - the Lego Movie, Monty Python's recent live show, the new X-Men one. But that's about it. I keep saying I'm going to sneak off to the cinema when the husband and step-sons are away, but I always end up finding something else to do instead.

13. Proofread more. B+. I'm sure I still make mistakes, when I post and tweet, but I feel like I make less mistakes. I'm definitely more aware of proofing before I post. I think it's become a habit too.

14. Eat better. And yes, there will be blog posts! B (for eating better), F (for blogging about it). This year I've dabbled in grain free and low grain. And although in the end I've decided that grains are my friends, the experiment did help me break out of my pasta rut. I've now got a whole repertoire of quick, easy, low grain, high protein, high veg meals to turn to when I can't be bothered cooking. And I'm feeling better for it too. 

*You may recall that improving my Photoshop skills was on 2013's list? Well, I made this inforgraphic on Photoshop! Pie charts and all! And I've enrolled in a two day basic skills course for December. So I'm giving myself an A for that assignment, even though I've handed it in a just little late.

How has your year been tracking? Are you getting higher grades than me (I bet you are!)? Can you believe it's already November? Are you as freaked out by the speedy passing of time as I am? 


  1. you're the cutest.
    so glad i found you in real life and in blog world.

    1. Nawww! What a gorgeous thing to say! Thank you lovely Ruth (who always tempts me with delicious things to eat!) x

  2. You are fabulous! There's absolutely NO WAY, I'd be sharing my list and I think the A+++ goes to you for not only persisting with things that you committed to (but haven't had the time to focus on) and for looking at your progress through a realistic (and lighthearted lens). Here's to a fabulous unravelling of the following twelve months and an IG photo of your book scaffolding!
    Happy day! xx

    1. Thanks so much Felicity! I'm feeling the love! x

      ps. I bet if you did share your list you would totally kick its butt ;)


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