2014: a year in review

Can you believe another year is over? I can’t even believe my last blog post was a month ago. Having said that, it has been a December like no other. The advent calendar campaign took up a lot of my time – though with thirteen dogs adopted out of twenty-eight, I’m pretty pleased I did it. If nothing else, it raised the profile of these dogs in the refuge volunteers’ minds and meant that a huge number of dogs found homes. Even Ufo, with seven years under his refuge belt, found a home for Christmas. Fairbanks and Alaska, my two favourite brothers (other than Heston and Charlton of course!) found a home together as well. Dalton settled in well as far as I know – I had a phone call after 48 hours and I assume all is good beyond that – and between these four dogs, they had done almost 9,000 days of refuge time.

Ufo english

That was the first thing that took up all my time!

The second was the blessed baubles – as I write, I have five hours to finish the last 24 rounds on the last bauble. That is thirty-one baubles and no cheating. I knitted these little critters to raise money for some kitties who needed chipping, vaccinating and eventual sterilisation. All kitties have found homes and the remaining cash – I raised over 500€ as of today – will be donated to the refuge.

kitties sponsor

I can’t quite believe I managed it!

I’ve been busily trying to catch up with knitting as early December ended up being a bit of a free-for-all. Next year, I have a different challenge, as co-president of a local association of business women.

It was my birthday too, and I got a fantastic new Sigma lens (my super-zoom!) which I’ve been happily playing with on days where I’ve had a little freedom to do so.

Last year, I had twelve resolutions… I’m guessing it’s time for a progress report.

To be fair, my year was very much thrown out of kilter in early January, and much of the year was spent trying to get to grips with the sadnesses life can bring you. It is little wonder the refuge brought me such salvation. That was one thing I didn’t expect at the beginning of 2014. I also didn’t expect to be sitting here with two new dogs. Now that was an unexpected alteration as well. Last year was the Year of the Dog, right?

So what did I achieve?

Resolution #1 was to knit an Arne and Carlos knitted bauble. Fact. I have now knitted 35 of the little blighters and got handcramp.

af4a3-arneogcarlosjulekugler

These ones aren’t mine. Given how hard they were to start with, I soon found my stride.

IMG_6512

Resolution #2 was to knit some socks. I even knitted a pair for Verity. They take an age though and it bores me, all that knitting in circles.

sock2

The garden – well, that was less promising. In fact, I don’t think I planted or grew much at all. The early spring was incredibly wet and keeping up with work took up so much of my time. I promise this year to be less available for so-called favours. It gets a bit ridiculous, everyone expecting me to do stuff for them, when I don’t even have time for myself. I know people ask me because they know I will do it, but except for a handful of people, favours are never returned. I tired myself out trying to please everyone.

Wednesday was not a good day for a blog-writing session. Much Love Mondays will be making a return.

I didn’t get through my sewing or embroidery projects. I think, when I have finished the scarf I put on hold at the end of November, I am going to spend a little time on the old embroidery. Knitting is becoming a dirty obsession. I have managed to master the art of intarsia knitting, as well as knitting on double-pointed needles, and cabling was the last thing on my list. I guess that is good.

As for the photography project, that never took on much ground this year, except for the fact I just realised I spent a very long time on one particular project: the refuge dogs. Very few don’t have an Emma photo now and that has been an almost impossible task!

jo2

Jo was my winning shot of the year, winning me a 6 month subscription to Dogs Today Magazine. Ralf won Golden Oldie of the month in November.

my big ralfie

I guess that is an impromptu project of its own.

As for 52 Mondays, well, I managed about 40 or so. The last weeks was not through want of dog walking – my dog walking has just taken a different path. The route I photographed was not a good route for Heston to be off-lead – too many coppices and not enough field space – so the last month or so we have been walking a more open route where he and I have a happy balance of off-lead and on-lead time. Plus, the farmer moved his cows next to the track and this drove me mental. First, Tilly is not averse to a little munching of cow pats, and second, Ralf really wants to make friends with the cows. Neither situation was one I was prepared to live with, and it tires me out putting on leads and taking them off again. I’ll hopefully run a few of these photos together in the next week or so – though I’m having technical issues and some of my photos have gone AWOL.

Tonight, a quiet night with my sleepy four. Tilly is happily working on a bone she got for Christmas. Heston is airing his undercarriage on one side of me. Amigo is on the other, tucked under my armpit. Ralf is behind me, snoring gently. I’ve got a bit of knitting to finish, a couple of episodes of The Mentalist to watch, then an early night for me I think!

Tomorrow, I’ll reveal my crazy plans for 2015.

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2 thoughts on “2014: a year in review

    1. It’s two guys, Arne and Carlos, who have 50-something bauble patterns in a book. It was a gift last year and well worth buying. I’ve not done all 50 but have very much enjoyed the ones I did do.

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