An update on New Year's Resolutions

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...


  1. That sounds like a wonderful start. I don't make new year's resolutions, but I think you've inspired me to work harder on turning my back yard, which looks like shorn prairie right now, into something resembling a garden!

  2. oh, my, i love this! i love that you took cooking lessons from the scary woman, and that you went way overboard ordering for your garden.

    i love how honest you are about your Welsh language class.

    and i shaved my legs the other day, too! not sure why.....this is definitely trouser weather.

    i look forward to the March update.

  3. Golly well done Elizabeth! You have done really well and it's good to check up on your progress - quite inspirational actually (though I do miss the mags...budgeting, bah!!!) xx

  4. I can't even remember what my resolutions were without looking them up. I don't think cooking was in the list though!

    Crystal xx

  5. Well done on all counts so far - looking good. The glamour one made me laugh - I have started shaving my legs in earnest (winter pelt is starting to repulse me, never mind any other poor soul who gets a flash of hairy ankle beneath my jeans!) and I bought some fantastic fully-fashioned stockings from an American site. Alas, I find have no suspender belt, so they remain in their packet. The thought was there!

  6. That seems like a huge pile of resolutions to be going on with. Let us know in June how you've got on.... Though I guess even I will be shaving my legs by then.

  7. Not more seed'a woman are you mad!
    I bet like me you've still got half of last years.
    And a silk skirt and stockings EM you scallywag, i hope Ian didnt make you get out to open the gate! xx

  8. Certainly not bodran. We have an understanding - if I wearing opening the gate shoes, I get out, if I'm not I just sit there gracefully.

  9. Well done, Elizabeth - you put me to shame - can't even remember what my resolutions were, to my embarrassment! However, have adopted one of yours - cooking something new - if not every week, then more often than before. Did a lovely tandoori whole roast chicken this week and a slightly-less-than-successful aubergine dish the week before, so thanks for your inspiration. Looking forward to seeing how your gardening progresses.

    LBD xx

  10. Hmmm. I suppose I will have to look back at my resolutions to see where I have fallen down. I seem to remember pledging to finish all current projects before starting anything new and I am knitting like a banshee (if they knit) - something with a school deadline.
    And why shave your legs if it's too cold to wear a skirt? Oh,...yeah...
    Anyway, well done dear!

  11. I absolutely love your list. Maybe it's because we have so much of it in common.

    I've let a lot of my (eBay) magazine subscriptions lapse, because I'm over whelmed by them and because, in a strange way they make me feel really inadequate. Your veg garden is my heart's desire this year and I'm on a tear to stop reading cookbooks and actually cook from them.

    And you can add me to the shaved leg club, although I don't have a clue why.

  12. 'Things do get done when you love to do them'. That's so true. How much better to improve on the things we actually enjoy rather than try to battle with things that are of no interest.
    I'm inspired to start planning the vegetable patch now and maybe even have a bath:-)

  13. Hi! I awarded you a big E but I see you already have one! Would you like to give it to some one else?

  14. I think you are doing splendidly! :) I know what you mean about the garden inside your head...mine tends to reside there too, and there is no tomato blight.

  15. Award for you over at my place.

  16. Great. I'm with you on a lot of these. Cooking new recipes is something I always want to do but don't get round to. And dressing up etc, pampering myself, I have had a little go at that (baths, candles etc!). I think you are doing really well, no-one and nothing is perfect that is what I tell myself. I weakened and bought an Easy Living mag yesterday.

  17. Di iawn, Elizabeth, di iawn. You are clearly someone that writes deliverables into your resolutions. And you seem to be delivering. So good luck. I think despite your hesitations you will put us all to shame. I am still making resolutions - resolutions about how I am going to tackle my resolutions anyway. But does shaving your legs really count?
    If it does I'll include it on my list!

  18. Yes, yes, yes!!! Shaving legs, gardener's dry hands........ Elizabeth you made me nod all the time I was reading it. Spot on and brill, as ever.xx

  19. Call me anal but legs absolutley always shaved, even just after giving birth. Once that goes, just push me over a cliff.

  20. I'm impressed!! Perhaps if I undertook this February exercise I'd be more inclined to keep my resolutions! Loved the cooking class and the high-maintenance leg-shaving!!

  21. You've done really well - with resolve like this I think you may still be on track in December.

    Seed catalogues are very beguiling aren't they? Having said that, this year I have resisted temptation and shall buy locally.

  22. I resolved to 'pamper' myself on a friday night and I have done it once all put me to shame.

    Although I have started Yoga and Pilates...


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