It is that time again Christmas is over and we begin to prepare for the year ahead, making plans & thinking about what has passed. This year has been a rollercoaster in every sense. From miscarriage to pregnancy. Cancer to remission. Leaving Yorkshire to live in Paris has been an adventure but has pulled at my heart strings to be apart from friends and family it is especially hard at times of crisis, for you and them. There have been so many times when I have wanted to be on hand with a bottle of wine and a hug for a friend and felt impotent to really help and support from a distance.
Loss is something that happens and we know it is coming but we can never prepare for it - how can we. This year I lost my granny, she was so influential in who I am and she still is. Loosing her was incredibly hard but I feel like I am really embracing the circle of life right now. Whilst I stood and read a eulogy at my granny's funeral, (the hardest thing I have ever had to write) I was pregnant. Although I did not know this at the time I like to look back on that and feel how symbolic it was. I have lost 7 babies before so the fact that this pregnancy has been successful is like it is my gift from granny, I only wish Sebastian could have met that wonderful woman.
I made a big decision this year that after 3 years of living with breast cancer next year I am going to have a full mastectomy. It is a very big decision for any woman to undertake. I am sure next year going through the operation, the emotional upheaval that goes with it, and having a new baby it will be difficult but I do have a great support network so I am lucky.
After an eventful 2013 and what is shaping up to be an eventful 2014 ahead, raising a baby, meetings with publishers, invasive surgery, I am trying to keep my New Year goals small(ish), or at least nice and happy.
- Find a new house: I will be ending my Paris adventure in a years time and I want to make sure I have a home to come back to. I have moved around a lot in my life. One year I managed to fit in 8 moves in one year, that was a horrid year. I have bought houses before but often with a short term plan in mind, investment homes that I will do up and sell on for profit to move up the ladder. It has worked well but I am 35 I have lots of plates in the air and a new family. I want to stay still for a while. That is why this house search is different and exciting in a new way. There is not a rush factor on getting everything done up and getting it on the market asap. I am looking for a home not a house so I get to make a personal list of wants and needs. It is fun and it will be a great way to start off the new year visiting houses with my family and deciding which one will become our home.
- Print more photos: I say this all the time but this time I really mean it. I have the printer picked out and everything. I am so sick letting memories fester on the hard drive. No more in 2014 I will be print happy! I made a small start with this photo wall diy.
- Learn more about food styling & photography: I like to learn something new every year. I have been creating more and more new recipes and have a whole heap more in development. Despite the fact that I look at the first photos I took of food and can see the improvement between then and now I still have a way to go. I really want to learn more about studio lighting so that I am not restricted to taking photos only on days when the natural light is spot on as it has become increasingly restrictive and bad for time management. I am looking forward to this goal and hope that you can see my progress as the year moves on. Fingers crossed.
- Perfect choux pastry: This is my kitchen nemesis, everyone has one. There are times when I have created light melt in the mouth choux pastry. Then for a reason I cannot fathom the next batch is not even fit for the dog. I want to be able to have consistency in my choux pastry, then and only then will I have defeated my kitchen nemesis.
- Loose pregnancy weight: This is something I am sure in the forefront of most pregnant ladies minds. The funny thing is as I sit and write this it is Christmas Eve, He is supposed to have arrived but is being too lazy to be born right now. Still being pregnant whilst I write this I can afford to be overly optimistic. He is a very large baby and other than my bump and boobs I have not grown anywhere else. The pregnancy has not been a medically easy one but on a positive note I have escaped swelling, water retention and general weight gain. I am hoping a tone up is what will be in order. Time will indeed tell on this one and I am more than will to hold my hands up and eat humble pie if I am wrong. I will do it though I have spent years collecting vintage clothes I want to wear them again!
- Eat a new meal each week: This is an easy one as this almost happens now anyway. Well I do write recipes for a living, well a large portion of my living. They don't have to be lavish or incredibly creative just something I have not made before.
Well that is me set for another year. I have lots of things to be getting on with. I am glad you have all spent another year with me and hope that you stick around for another one. There are lots of Archie & the Rug Projects in the pipeline as well as personal projects and a book! If you have New Year goals I would love to hear them please message me, or link in the comment box.