I think I’ll be in bed by about eight pm. Some years are like that.
In all honesty, Mark’s death, some kind of divine virus and a fever that won’t go away have kind of put a dampener on my usual spirits – the fever is on its way out and the virus seems to be less virulent. That just leaves a bit of a hole where a good buddy used to be. A foul-mouthed creature, a ‘nightmare on legs’, as Julie Pressland said, but a person who nevertheless looked out for me and had a heart at least as big as his sense of humour. I suspect that hole will be there for a long time. I feel a bit empty, if the truth be told.
Pretty much all I’ve been up for is lying about groaning, sniffing, feeling yuck and looking scruffy. Managed to get Heston out for a walk with his brother today, which both enjoyed immensely. Heston is pacing the lounge currently though, so it wasn’t quite enough to tire him out for the day.
He’s hunting for baguette that I left outside for the chickens. Not quite as good as a bone.
I’ve got a run-down of all my last resolutions. I think you’ll like what I’m going to do with my new ones.
61. Read two more Dickens novels. Yeah, that was a fail. I’m rubbish at reading these days.
62. Read some Victor Hugo in French (one of my 10 books!) And a fail too
63. Plant a rose bush yay! I planted four! One day I will properly have a rose garden. I swear it.
64. Spend a day in Limoges Fail. I’m such a homebody these days.
65. Go down to Rocamador. Likewise. Though I did go to Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, which was uber-cool.
66. Go on 10 new long walks. I over-achieved on this. I can safely say I know the forest inside out.
67. Have a proper picnic with a proper picnic blanket. And I did this one too.
68. See a French film in a French cinema and laugh or hold my breath in all the right places. Okay, so I saw an English film and it doesn’t count.
69. Go to see something at the Carmelite music hall. The Jakey Boy. That’s even better.
70. Celebrate 14th July in France this year – first time since I was about 8! Yay! With full-on fireworks and everything.
71. Do 100 blog posts. I did 203 new posts, according to WordPress. That’s not bad.
72. Join our local library Fail. And I so should have done.
73. Go on a 30 km + bike ride (and I know the exact route!) I did 29 km so that totally counts.
74. Bike ride at least once a week. Fail. I’m too mard in the winter. I need to get my act together. I need to do it to get Heston properly running as well.
75. Scan all my non-scanned images and back them up. Dream on!
76. Do at least one vide grenier. I did. Even though I didn’t do it all. I worked hard these weekends!
77. Go to at least five vide greniers and spend less than 10€ I did this, but it was totally not worth it. The Emmaus is where it’s at.
78. Paint the kitchen blue and re-tile the back wall. Another pipe dream.
79. Put some shelves in the kitchen and make a cute under-sink curtain to hide the storage! Didn’t get this far.
80. Make a big tote bag (I’m such a child of the 70s… I’m sure my mum had a huge tote bag she made herself!) I made a couple of great bags. And they are very lovely indeed.
81. Go to two festivals I’ve not been to before. I went to the Cognac Blues Festival with Mr Jake, and I also went to the rather average medieval festival in La Rochefoucauld. Cognac Blues was cool. Dignac medieval festival was way better than La Rochefoucauld. I also went to a firework festival, which was totally awesome, as were the fireworks at Exideuil.
82. Make macarons of my own. Oh I so should have done this.
83. Knit some super-cute leg warmers. Yay! Success.
84. Upcycle a really cheap piece of furniture into something really, really gorgeous. Yay also
85. Try three more French cheeses to add to my repertoire. I did, and I should confess it just makes me miss British cheeses all the more. Cheddar; Cheshire; Lancashire; Wensleydale; Stilton; Double Gloucester; Red Leicester; Caerphilly. Sage Derby. The French are cheese racists. You can buy Danish, Norwegian, Italian, Swiss… but not English, or Austrian. I miss smoked cheese too. When I get back to the UK, I’m going to have a cheese smorgasbord and go into a cheese-induced coma, surrounded by Jacob’s cream crackers’ crumbs and bits of Branston Pickle.
86. Try Pomerol. Yes, I did. It was fine.
87. Not end the year with a white tummy and body and brown arms, legs and head. I kind of end the year as white as I began it, but having had wellie-line tan, I think this is a fail.
88. Wear a hat when gardening. I did sometimes. I miss my corduroy hat.
89. Learn more than the basic functions and stitches on my sewing machine. Jake found out more about it than I did, I’m afraid.
90. Paint some pebbles. You’ll see! Fail.
91. Can more and freeze less. Fail too. I needed a big boiling cauldron; I have one now!
92. Start an art journal. Well, I kind of did.
So I reckon I had a 50% success, which is not bad at all really. Plus, I did a whole load of other cool things. Like…
And I think you’ll agree, that’s a lot of stuff to do.
As all years, it’s had lots and lots of very sad bits. And it’s had lots and lots of very good bits. Most importantly, there was not a tornado and the Mayan apocalypse did not happen. That would have been a terrible year. Overall, I’d like to say I’ve cemented my place in village history by getting not one but two black animals (which puts me on a par with Old Demdike and Chattox in French people’s opinion – or at the very least is criminally bad luck) and appearing naked by accident to some people who had the misfortune to drive past my house after I’d been kayaking. It’s been a marvellous year of friendship. That is never a bad thing.
Tomorrow, I’ll share my New Year’s Resolutions with you.
Above all, have a great night, enjoy the end of the year. The hard bit is over and we can all breathe again as the nights get shorter and the days get longer. I suspect 2013 will be a magnificent year.