It won’t have escaped anyone’s notice that to the right is a small list of “to do in January” that didn’t really get crossed off. To be frank: i struggled in January. January is always a rough month for me: post christmas blues, the drive of having a deadline to meet in the run up to christmas means that when its over, i feel somewhat bereft and depressed. This year, i was hoping that this list and a new deadline would help avoid that but between my back (which is, thankfully, much better now) and the weather (which has been pretty dismal) i’ve sunk into the doldrums again. However, i’m starting to feel a bit better now, pickin up me britches, and giving myself a kick up the backside, and since its the beginning of the month (ish) and a leap year to boot.. time for a review.

of the things i said i wanted to get done in January:

~ Family history: Grandpa’s Paternal father’s side
This hasn’t been done at all and i need to get to work on it…

~ Crafts: Make Jess a new bed, sanitary towels & hankies, find string to knit own dishcloths. make thankyou cards.
I’ve done the thankyou cards, although they still need writing out and putting in the post, and it needs doing as a matter of urgency – they’re thankyous for christmas!

~ Garden: start planning planting, sort out details of rotavator ready to move when we get a break with weather, rotavate side garden, plant garlic (when weather breaks)
I’ve done some of this, as you can see. some of it is unavoidable: its so wet at the moment that any attempt to really do anything will just cause damage. I could do more though – including clearing up the wreckage and sorting things out.

~ Green: ask for recycling bins etc. from MCC
Again, not done any of this and i really need to.

~ Food: make own yoghurt
I’ve made some of my own yoghurt. But the flask is difficult to clean and the last batch was really yucky, it ended up being thrown away. I think i need to invest in a better container for it, although the first few batches i made, Michiel said were really nice.

~ Household: defrost and clear out freezer, take down xmas stuff
i’ve taken down the xmas decorations (yesterday), but they still need sorting out and putting away properly for next year. In fact, the whole closet of doom needs sorting out really. Still have to defrost the freezer though.

~ Exercise: keep walking jess at least once a day (or otherwise getting out of the house)
I’m pleased i did this everyday except once, when my back was at its absolute worst. The average walk takes about 20 minutes. February’s aim is to up that to 30 minutes per walk. I also need to try to walk faster. Part of the problem of walking with the dog is that she wants to stop to pee/poop/snuffle around/investigate stuff/chase stuff and that doesn’t always go very well with “walking faster” but i have to try!

~ Diet: cut out the junk stuff. eat more yoghurt, make smoothies etc. more veggie food too!

this has been so so. We’re succeeding in our aim to eat more vegetarian food: i’ve more or less eliminated meat from most evening meals during the week, I’m eating free range eggs now as much as i can, and apart from eating up the chicken in the freezer, i’ve not eaten battery chicken since HFW’s programme. I did buy Michiel a mini meat buhkit which included chicken, but he was very disappointed with the result and asked me not to get it again, said he enjoyed the vegetarian meals that i’ve been doing, with a nice meat meal at the weekend, said he would rather have cheap veggie meals during the week and a really nice bit of meat at weekends. Result!! Having said that, a lot of vegetarian meals includes cheese in various shapes or forms and its tricky trying to up the amount of actual vegetables eaten, and not fall into the trap of just eating carbs and protein in the form of cheese. We’re eating a lot more pulses and that’s a good thing too. All i can say is that our local fruit and veg shop loves me! I’m particularly looking forward to getting salad veg from the garden, so that we can eat more salads with something.

~ Computer/blog: work through 4 chapters of Linux Book
not done this at all. I just can’t summon up the energy for it.

So, February’s aims?

well, i want to get lots of garden stuff done. I want to work on the family history as well, particularly when the weather is bad. i think i said before that part of my grandfather’s family came from Manchester, so i can use local sources to research that part of the family without it costing anything. So that’s something to do on a bad weather day (plus it gets me out of the house, no bad thing). I want to take up a hobby i can do in the evening. knitting, crochet, something like that. I’ve got some new sheets, so i can make something out of the old (and getting holey!) sheets, so i must get the sewing machine out too (which necessitates re-organising the closet of doom!). there’s lots to be getting on with!!

So, here’s to February: which sees shrove tuesday (pancakes!) tomorrow, ash wednesday, valentine’s day, our 5th anniversary of the day we met in person (as we met online originally), and its a leap year, which means we get a 29th February! May the weather be promising – cold, but sunny, not too wet – and may all your gardens get ready to spring into life!