I don’t like resolutions, because they’re always something loose and useless, puffy and vague. So… I’m going to have a tick list instead. I like tick-lists. I like order rather than chaos. Once, in Japan, a guy had photocopied city maps from his guide book, given the things he wanted to see a star-rating, then highlighted the ‘must-sees’ in green then the ‘quite like to sees’ in orange (traffic light colours, of course!) and then worked out the best routes from one to another so he could cram in maximum exposure time.
Whilst this frightens me a little, since it’s sooo regulated it ends up dictating your day like Mussolini and the trains and verges on travel fascism, I still admired it. I used to colour-code my to-do lists, and as every English teacher will admit, would be very happy with a stationery shop as a back-up career. How I love stationery and order!
Anyway, disturbing admissions aside, a to-do list is much more useful. I might even set micro-targets and mid-point targets and outcomes and long-term objectives like I used to do in teaching. Nothing feels nicer than a completed tick-list (unless I am in Eeyore mood, when it all seems pointless and the nearer I get to completing the list, the more it seems pointless) and so I shall use this as a springboard for productivity in 2011. Hoorah!
I might, since I’m feeling super-organised, section these
Wow, I’m feeling productive and efficient and organised today! Must remember not to drink so much coffee so early!
Home has to be my big one, since it’s been the focus of 2010 to get a new one!
- Finish painting all the ceilings in the downstairs rooms
- Paint the front room cream, hang pictures, get new flooring, make curtains and nets, paint window frames, put new doors on the door frames to the wash room and upstairs, make and paint new shutters, make cushions and a curtain for across the doorway, put up shoe shelves in the entrance and paper and decorate.
- Add work surfaces in kitchen, paint walls peach, make blue polka dot curtains, add shelves and cupboards for my panatry (sic – a word used by Danielle for a pantry, which I like so much more than pantry, so I’ve adopted it)
- Decorate dining room, strip floor, xenophene it, wax and polish it, make curtains, new shutters and paint window frames.
- Decorate my bedroom, white walls, strip and xenophene floors, put lambris up for the ceiling, make curtains and put up voile panels.
- Decorate Jake’s bedroom, paint walls, strip and xenophene floorboards, make curtains, new shutters and paint window frames.
- Secure the annex (that sounds like a Nazi war manoeuvre!) and make new shutters, sort out window frames, secure roof, xenophene floorboards and replace where needed, wallpaper, curtains (God, I’m going into about 2017 now!!)
I hasten to point out that many of these to-dos are for Steve
He’s going to be a VERY busy boy in 2011!
In all seriousness, I hope I do as much myself. I like seeing the fruits of my labour.
Less important, but we’re Englishers in France – it’s vital we live up to expectations and do up the house so that it sticks out like a sore thumb and everyone knows we’re English. If you have a nice-looking house from the outside, you are English, or you bought from an Englisher. It’s the law for Frenchers not to bother with the outside of their house unless they live in a new pavilion or they are renting it out.
- Check roof
- Put new gutters in and water butts
- Paint exterior walls on road side
- Paint the lean to windows
- Finish painting gate. Alright, I started it in August and this might be why I’m known as ‘Arfur’ – ‘Arfur Job’
- Render the rest of the lean-to
- Paint inside walls in both lean-tos
- Put up shelves in lean to
- Sort out new polytunnel fabric.
- Sort out middle grass field
- Dig over vegetable patches
- Plant peas, beans, carrots, potatoes, leeks, cabbages, melons, strawberries, herbs, onions, garlic, chillis, spinach, chard, cauliflowers, lettuces, tomatoes, gherkins, sweetcorn and so on
- Keep a garden journal of weather and temperatures and harvests and plantings
- Get to know a whole load more about birds and nature – I don’t want a bird coming in my garden that can’t be recognised! Bird identification books are already set out by the window!
- Improve my French, bien sûr! Read 10 books in French by the end of the year (now this is sounding like The Great Gatsby and Gatsby’s list always makes me sad!)
- Go on at least three long walks a week with the dogs
- Get a couple of goats or sheep!
- Go to the Alps or to the Aquitaine coast for walks and bicycling in the summer.
- Bring a little order to my chaotic life!
- By next November, have a freezer-full of stuff to get us through the winter
- I feel I have to have 10
- But I can’t think of another 3
- So I’m just going to have 10 numbers.
I hate things not being even. I don’t mind about the other lists not being even, but I really don’t like it when I finish uneven. I’m such a semi-aspergers’ nerd.
I may strike through the things I achieve as a running example. I doubt it. I bet I don’t revisit this list more than three times! However, it might be nice to look back on next year and see what got done! It will be about a third of these things. That’s fine. There’s nothing like ambition! I must point out that it is 10:38 and I’m sitting here in my pyjamas, with unbrushed hair, covered in dog hairs. Hmmmm.
I do like the new year for that breath of fresh air I get from it. It feels like a new start, like a new term at school where you get new books and have a new pen. Everything is beginning again and it feels clean. It’s like all those new books you have lined up at school, unwritten in, fresh, uncreased, the corners un-dog-eared, graffiti-free. It lasts, as new term feeling does, for only a few days, but it’s nice to have that feeling of being at the beginning again and feeling ready to start a race.
Take up knitting.