Happy New Year!

First of all a very Happy New Year from all of us here at the recently relocated Baggins Bottom. We’ve had a lovely long but busy holiday and I’m now raring to go again.

Holiday
The first week of the holiday was very, very busy with shopping trips – for gifts and supplies – and the Santa run to Birmingham, Leicester and Doncaster. We finally stood still on Christmas Eve and enjoyed a quiet Christmas Day in our new home.

crosby man
Picture: Diane Parkin

Between Christmas and the New Year the poet had 2 gigs, one in Doncaster and the other in Wakefield.

We finally managed a walk in our locality, to see what was on our doorstep. It was a bit wet and muddy, and the dog pulled the poet over at one point as they scrambled down a woody hill, but we found a lovely little dell and an unusual earth bridge. No doubt pictures will follow at some point in the future.

A snow dump just after Christmas stopped us going out to see friends Boxing Day evening, and it lingered until New Year’s Eve, when we made an emergency dash to Liverpool to get the poet a new passport – his work has arranged for him to visit Germany shortly and his passport had run out last May, so he had to make an appointment to get one done quickly.

We arrived in Liverpool at 8am on New Year’s Eve for an 8:30am appointment. But they saw him straight away and told him to come back at 12:15pm. In the meantime, we filled the car with petrol and accidentally stumbled on Crosby to take the dog for a run on the beach.

We were delighted to find 100 statues facing out to see. I’d read about Antony Gormley’s Another Place before, but had no idea we were so close. So that was a nice treat.

When we got back, at noon, the passport was already ready. What great service, Passport Office!

New Year’s Eve was spent much the same as Christmas Day with just us enjoying being in our new home. On New Year’s Day we went to buy the poet a dSLR camera. We’ve been looking for one for him for many months so when a friend announced he was selling his, we jumped at it. Plus, it was another ride out for us.

On Saturday, the poet should have had another gig, but the private party was cancelled. That gave us an unexpected evening off, so we went to our new local cinema, Penistone Paramount, to see Exodus: Gods and Kings. What a nice evening that turned out to be. The film was epic, but the cinema was a lovely old thing, lovingly cared for, with a proper intermission, stalls, a circle, a lady selling ice creams in the break, and an usherette with a torch showing people to their seats. All we needed was the organ coming out of the stage.

New Year’s resolutions
I’ve not made any. Well, not really. But I do have a newly found verve for work.notebooks

My biggest intention is to do more of my own writing in 2015, instead of editing and proofreading other people’s. I’ll still do all of that work, it is, after all, my bread and butter. But I really do need to crack on with more of my own stuff.

The poet bought me these 2 beautiful touchy-feely notebooks for Christmas (the pencil is for perspective) from my favourite shop, Paperchase. Already this is helping as I’ve started to use the pink one on top.

This morning, over breakfast, I had one of those lightbulb moments when the idea for a book I’ve been mulling for a while suddenly appeared, almost fully formed, in my mind. I’ve allocated myself writing time every day in the diary. Sometimes it’s only an hour, sometimes it’s several hours. Today it’s an hour. And while I have plenty of projects to fill the time, because this one is now tugging at my sleeve, I think that’s going to get today’s allocated time slot.

My new working day also starts at 9:30am instead of 10am, with half an hour for dinner instead of a full hour. This gives me less time for housework, but more time for my job. I also have one set period every week for admin-related work.

Other goals include making it to the Leeds write-in at least once a fortnight and finishing Catch the Rainbow.

Health
We’ve both piled on a few pounds during the busy period we’ve had recently, but now things have settled, we hope that so too will our eating habits. We do try to have 3 proper meals a day, but the poet likes supper too, and recently I’ve been joining him when eating late at night has never agreed with me.

yogaToday, then, I had my breakfast once he left for work. I measured my cereal, had a glass of fruit juice with that and a cup of tea with him before he went, and I have a pint glass filled with water on my desk and a banana to keep me going between breakfast and dinner. Fruit will be my snack for between meals and we have lots this time – grapes, pears, apples, bananas and clementines.

With a Christmas gift card we also bought Yoga for Absolute Beginners DVD. I’m not a beginner, but the poet is, and (whispers) he’s going to do it with me. We even got him a yoga mat from Tesco over the holiday.

We watched the DVD yesterday, and I think it’s quite a good one. He found the poses quite hard work, but he’s not very supple at all. He felt a million times better after trying some of them, though. We’re going to aim at this 3 times a week.

Work in Progress (WIP)
My blog time on a Monday finishes at 11:30am, and it’s currently almost that. So I’m going to finish now, having written more than 1,100 words just here.

Today I have that hour on my own work before dinner, and then I crack on with the next editing job, the first of 3 already in. I’ve done my daily competitions and tomorrow I start a weekly check of the job boards.

On Wednesday, Diary of a Scaredy Cat will be back, where I’ll share more about the new non-fiction book project of my own – which is now 1 of 3. Once that ideas muscle is cranked up there’s no stopping it …

Oh, and before I forget … before Christmas I finally published the ebook version of Tales From Baggins Bottom Best Bits Book One … and it’s already been downloaded several times. (Hurrah!) Bob along and take a look and remember, once the best bits have been collated (book two is already awaiting editing), they disappear from public viewing.

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