As I didn’t post all that much last month in the end, I thought I’d do a round up of last year’s finished projects now, before it gets too out of date. Some of these I’ve mentioned before, but I wanted to get some better pictures of one or two anyway. So, in order of finishing:
It has just occurred to me that when I’ve been working on a post for this blog (on and off, but still) for nearly a week, then that post is probably really too long and it’s time for me to stop and think again. I mean, really. So, I’m going to break it up into two or three posts instead, and be much calmer about the whole thing. It’s only a blog! And that’s my little bit of life perspective for the week. You’re welcome.
As I’ve mentioned before, I read a lot. I always thought there wasn’t much point in me doing a reading challenge like the 52 books in a year one, since I habitually read much more than a book a week anyway. However, on the Goodreads site, I came across the Seasonal Reading Challenge group, which posts a long list of tasks to be achieved over a season (defined as a three month period). So I signed up. Because while I read a lot, I only really read within a couple of genres (Sci fi / Fantasy / Urban Fantasy / SFR, and Historical Romance – I like my escapism, see!). I used to read mystery / spy / thriller novels more when I was younger, but I moved away from them when I got more into reading sci-fi. Anyway, as I think I also mentioned in a previous post, doing that challenge didn’t widen my reading as much as I’d hoped / planned. It probably would have done if I didn’t have such a long list of books I already want to read.
So, last year I did the 144-books-in-a-year challenge instead. And… I failed!! I only read around 110 books. Some of them were pretty doorstep-y, but still. I spose that’s what happens when you only have one pair of hands – I can’t read and knit or spin at the same time, unless I’m listening to an audiobook. Which I don’t do very often.
This year, the challenge group (this is also on Goodreads, by the way) has changed its parameters so that you can set your own goals to some extent. I thought I’d be realistic and go for 100 books this time around. That averages out to 8 1/3 books per month, and I’ve already read nine so far this year. So that’s a good start. If I find I’m reading more every month, there are points during the year where you can move your challenge goalposts, so I can increase to 150 if I want. But I’m not going to particularly try for that, I’ll just see how I do.
I never did talk about how Christmas was in the end, did I? So I shall inflict in upon the world now. I actually did get everything finished and ready that I needed to. All my online shopping arrived (whew!) even though the post was all over the place, I finished the present I was making for Mum, and I even made chocolate chip cookies with moderate success!
The scarf for Mum was the Branching Out pattern [Ravlink], and I knitted it in a lovely Merino / Tencel blend that I spun on the wheel – the first time I’ve knit with my own handspun. I just left it as a single, and it worked really well (imo, anyway!) and I like the way the colour repeats came out. Mum says she really likes it too, which is the main thing!
I also joined two Christmas swaps, one through the Limegreenjelly group, and one through Plurk. The post was / is still being less kind where those are concerned. It seems to have eaten the parcel from the latter altogether, but I have now had my LGJ parcel from Cal, and a fabulous one it is too:
Two braids of LGJ fibre (one Merino/Silk, one Merino, yum!), a beautiful skein of Posh Yarn Elinor, an Orange Blossom perfume stick which I think is from Lush, mini Green & Black’s choccy bars (om nom nom!), a set of Knit Pro interchangeable needle tips and a cable for them (which spookily I’ve been wanting for ages), and an adorable Lego keyring. :-D I just hope she likes her gifts from me as much as I do mine.
I very nearly forgot altogether, but yesterday was my “blogoversary”. The tenth anniversary of starting this blog, in fact.
It doesn’t feel like ten years, but then there have been some years where I’ve barely blogged at all, or at least times when I’ve been mostly using Livejournal or similar platforms instead. As I think I’ve said in previous anniversary posts, this blog has gone through a few changes in terms of its back-end platform – Blogger, Movable Type, and now WordPress – over the last decade. I feel pretty settled now, though. And at least I’m managing to post more, if not regularly.
Perhaps with this new blogging year, I should make that a mini-resolution: to pick a day and blog regularly once a week. After all, if I can blog every day for a month, I can do once a week at the least. In fact, since it’s Friday today, why not have Friday as my must-post day. If I can’t think of anything else to say, at least I could do a weekly round up. Preferably it’ll kick start me (again) into posting more frequently than that. Right then, I’m going to go off and stop talking about posting, and actually make a start on posting something with Real Content. Good night.
Unfortunately I haven’t been able to wrangle my brain to write a proper post of my own on this subject, but I urge everyone to go and read through the posts and links at One Month Before Heartbreak.
Just to give you a bit more info, it’s a “blogswarm” event, where many bloggers post on the theme of disabilities and the UK disability-related benefits system between 14th and 16th January ’11. Those dates have been chosen because the current consultation on DLA reform ends on 14th February this year, and frankly, it’s not looking cheerful.
As yet, I haven’t looked in detail into how any reforms might impact on me, and I’m trying not to be too pessimistic about it before I know for certain. It’s not easy though, and I’m definitely nervous. Deep breaths!