Well it is February now and time for a check on how the resolutions are going. This year I decided no more resolving to drink less, eat less, exercise more - what's the point? If I haven't done it so far, I am not going to do it as a result of yet another resolution. So I tried to resolve some do-able things (and an impossible one).
And how am I doing?
1. I will stop buying new magazines and start rereading the ones I have got.
Quite well with this one. I don't know why I am such a sucker for magazines. The glossily consumerist view of life they sell is utter anathema to me. The adverts full of beautiful youth with perfect unlined skin and tanned glowing thighs are never going to make a grown woman feel good about herself. The same articles come round and round again, promising to help you declutter and lose weight in ten days and revitalilse your marriage - all total crap and yet still for years I have read them. I think it started at a time in my life when I was a single parent and so short of money I had to save up for my children's shoes in a jar like something from a wartime story. A friend lent me a pile of her old magazines and they seemed to represent perfect escapism, a shiny, glowing fantasy life. They stood for having money to fritter away and as I began to earn enough of my own money to be able to afford them I started to buy them as a self indulgence. Well, no more. I will stick to my gardening magazines which I have on subscription from when I was ill, a friend coming through the letter box, but no more glossies. Remarkably, this one is easy.
2.A gardening one:I will really try to do the successional sowing of vegetables that I am always reading about, thinking about and intending to do but somehow never quite managing.
It is too early to judge with this one. I have just made a stupendous, humungous seed order for which I would need all the time which goes on my job and the assistance of a full time gardener if I were really to grow everything everywhere. This doesn't bode well really. It is a sign of the lush and ordered gardening that goes on in my head, all patty pan squash and pink fir apple potatoes. Having said that all the fruit is planted and mulched with manure, the rotation for the vegetables is carefully drawn up in my notebook and last year's snowdrops are flowering along the bottom of the stone wall. Pots and pots of tulips are lined up under the yew tree. So things do get done when you love to do them. Watch this space.
3. And a cooking one. I have a huge selection of cookery books. Instead of just reading them or taking them out of the shelves and putting them back I will cook one new dish every week.
I am not sure I am methodical enough to be doing a new dish every week but I am cooking new things. This was helped by going to the cookery school with my daughters for some female bonding and being shouted at by the scary woman. We cooked so much so quickly and made all the faintly intimidating things: roulades and souffles and bread and steamed puddings. We boned chickens and made sauces and ate so much I came home and lived on scrambled eggs for a couple of days. It was not actually my style of food, being rather restauranty although delicious, dinner party food, much of it, and we don't live like that. It did however make me think about what my style of food is and come home and burrow through the cookery books and be a bit more experimental. Yep, a tick for this one.
4 And a Welsh one: more listening, more speaking, more practice.
I am not doing at all well with this one. Our lovely Welsh teacher has been away with his wife visiting family in Australia and his replacement is pleasant but uninspiring. That, combined with having a lot of work to do and being a lazy sod, has left me doing just enough to get by, winging it and failing. I have however agreed to an exam at the end of April which should give me a big kick up the pants. Still love it, still going to crack it, still committed, but must do better.
5. And I finished with an impossible one: I might try to combine my passionate attachment to gardening and food and living in fleece with becoming incredibly glamourous, not every day, perhaps on Thursdays.
Hmmm. Well it might surprise you to know I am not utterly failing with this one, although Thursdays don't feature much. I have however had one bath with scented candles and a glass of wine, worn stockings and high heels and a silk skirt one night, and had one expensive facial. I have bought one tube of handcream to carry around with me to try to do something about my gardener's hands and I did shave my legs the other day. So while you may not call me high maintenance woman, and incredibly glamourous might be a touch overstated, I am not subsiding entirely into combats, fleece, rigger boots and crumpets. Most of the time maybe, but not every single hour of every day.
So not bad really, a testament to resolving to do things you might want to do as opposed to those you don't. Welsh class tonight...