General ramblings

The Year that Is….

January 1, 2014

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Here it is then folks.

2013 was a bit of a roller coaster-I had a possibly slightly overambitious list of things I wanted to achieve, but I managed to cross at least half off, so not bad going.

So what are my aims and ambitions for 2014?
I am not sure.
I swing between thinking I have lots, and then thinking I don’t have that many at all.
My head is a bit of a mishmash jumble crazy mad whirling thing at the moment, and I think I really need to ‘ground’ some of my thoughts and ideas, so forgive me if this post is a bit rambling. Think of it as therapy…
My plan for tonight is to make a kind of mood board for 2014-containing lots of images and phrases for what I want to achieve, and how I want my life to be.
My Make Do and Mend Year taught me lots of things in terms of new skills, and thinking more about the impact our lives have on the planet, but the most important thing it taught me, that I now try and keep at the forefront of my thoughts, is that I, and only I, have responsibility for my life-my actions, my thoughts, my words. My life. I alone can change my actions, my thoughts, my words. My life.
That’s a pretty powerful thought to take forwards into a New Year, don’t you think?

I heard somebody saying the other day that we should all work to make sure that our actions reflect our thoughts and our vision of the person we want to be.
So if I want to be kind and selfless and compassionate, I have to work hard to make sure that my actions and my words, and even my thoughts, reflect this. I accept that I won’t transform into Mother Theresa overnight (or indeed, ever), but sometimes, just becoming more aware of the things you want to change, is the first step to changing them.
And on a practical level, if I believe, as I do, that each of us has a personal responsibility to tread as lightly as possible on our beautiful planet, and that we owe it to our kids to to do what we can to try and make sure they have a habitable planet left to live on, then I need to make sure that my actions reflect this. So I am going to try and make sure that I don’t fall into the trap of thinking I have done my bit, I have made the changes that I need to, and that I can kick back and relax, because it’s now everyone else who needs to change. I am going to start trying to make sure that the really mundane choices we make everyday, like what toothpaste or toilet cleaner to buy, reflect my beliefs, and that I don’t cop out and take the easy (usually cheaper!) option.

Wow, that’s all a bit deep for the New Year and those of you who may have sore heads isn’t it? Soz.

On a lighter note, some more measurable aims for 2014 are, in no particular order:

  • A month of no TV
    images-24I have been mulling this one over for a while, and then I saw that the lovely Pugh’s over at A Year Without Supermarkets did it in December, and much to hubby’s disgust, I have decided to give it a go too. I am not expecting hubby to join in-this one is my resolution. I am hoping to spend the time expanding my mind with some reading, completing all the half finished craft projects that are lying around, and getting some early nights. I am really hoping not to substitute one screen for another, and spend all my time online..!
  • As I mentioned above-I have a heap of half-started craft projects, and lots of things around the house that are always on the ‘To-Do’ list and get bumped. So I want to finish these, AND I want to do it using what is already in the house! I have a MOUNTAIN of fabric, and  yarn and all sorts of other stuff (yet I never have just the right piece of fabric or ball of wool-what is that all about..?!) and I WILL NOT buy anything else until this is gone (or at least some of it anyway…)
  • I am contemplating a month buying nothing (except food and toiletries etc). I have fallen into the trap of wondering around the local charity shops and picking up bits and pieces because they are nice, or might be useful one day, and then suddenly I have spent a tenner, and if you do this a couple of times a week, it soon adds up. I will start a new mantra-I have all I need, I have all I need….
  • And on that point, I really want to have a good old ruthless sort out. You know that quote (I just googled it-William Morris) “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”. That is going to be my house….
  • I won some Transition training at the end of last year, and really want to enrol on their online course, and then see if I can put it all into practice with some kind of Transition movement here in Warminster. I want to have some Give and Take days, some more sewing days, and maybe some skill swaps as a start. And carry on with the Repair Cafes, and the Swishes too!

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  • Maybe a 10k, or even a half marathon. I keep dabbling with getting back into running. It does me the world of good, both physically and mentally, so I am resolving to join my local running club, and then see where that takes me!
  • The book! Don’t forget the book. I WILL publish this, THIS YEAR. You heard it here first folks, and you have my permission to nag me about this one too!
  • And this is the best one, the one that I hope you will all join with: “Each morning when you wake up, before you do anything else…SMILE!”

SmileI think that is enough to be getting on with for now 😉

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  • Reply Not Buying It… | My Make Do and Mend Year February 2, 2014 at 8:21 pm

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  • Reply Chris January 4, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I’ve knitted for years. A while ago I was watching Time Team on the TV and admiring Mick Aston’s jumpers. I wondered if I could make anything similar to use up some of the leftover wool I had stored away in plastic boxes upstairs.

    First I sorted the wool in to basic colours i.e. reds, yellows and blues. I disregarded shades and dye lots because as long as they were not used in the same strip it would not show and if completely different shades of the same colour were to be used I blended these in.

    Next I picked my favourite plain knitting patterns and worked out the total amount of wool required for a complete jumper. I took the 3 or 4 colours that would knit to this amount allowing extra for complete stripes.

    I took the colour of which I had most wool and knitted all the ribs so that at least these were all in the same colour. I left these on a stitch holder until I was ready for them and kept aside some of the same shade for knitting the the neck later.

    Once I knew how much I had of each colour, I was able to how decide how many rows of each colour to knit. I found either 4 or 6 looked best.

    The results were very pleasing and I’ve had a lot of compliments. These were free jumpers as such, as all the wool used was left over, which makes them even better. I’ve since made similar jumpers for my grandchildren using smaller quantities of wool and then with the real odds and ends I’ve made bobble hats and dolls clothes. If you’re really clever I expect Fairisle patterns could be used.

    • Reply Jen January 4, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      You are far cleverer than me Chris, they sound fab! My mum promised to do me a Fairisle jumper last Christmas (after I presented her with a pattern from a magazine and said “look, it only says Intermediate”..!, and even bought the wool to do it, but she never quite got round to it 🙁

  • Reply KathrynH January 2, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Some lovely thoughts here. And don’t forget to keep on inspiring us all as well – the Repair Cafe has really worked up here in North Wilts. Looking forward to lots more inspiration from you!

    • Reply Jen January 2, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      That’s great to hear Kathryn, thank you! Happy New Year to you and yours 🙂

  • Reply johnbelljubble January 2, 2014 at 9:24 am

    I’ve been writing about similar subjects on my blog, albeit to a much smaller audience. See http://john-bell.com/2013/12/10/how-bad-for-us-is-our-time-of-plenty/. Lots of love from Transition Town Berkhamsted for 2014.

    • Reply Jen January 2, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Great post. Will check out your Transition Town website-really want to get something going here!

      • Reply johnbelljubble January 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm

        You’ve certainly got a good start with what your doing. Good luck – and get in touch if you ever want some advice on Transitioning.

        • Reply Jen January 3, 2014 at 7:46 pm

          That would be fabulous-thankyou 🙂

  • Reply Sue January 2, 2014 at 9:12 am

    You have such a good life ethic Jen, which should be followed by us all! If everyone followed just one idea you suggest, we would be in a better world. Health and happiness to you and your family for 2014. Sue x

    • Reply Jen January 2, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Thanks so much Sue. Best wishes for 2014 to you and yours too 🙂

  • Reply Jo aka Kiwijo January 1, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Very thoughtful post here Jen, I like they way you are thinking. Im gonna declutter 500 items form our home this year (I see some people are aiming at 2014 items for 2014, but there is NO WAY I could acheive that as a) we dont have any lilttle people and b) OH is a bit of a hoarder. So Im looking at stuff and thinking ‘would I take this to NZ with us’ and if the answer is no, then Im finding it much easier to let go of.
    Really looking forward to hearing about your adventures in 2014.
    Jo
    x

    • Reply Jen January 2, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      I asked hubby today how many items he thought we owned-mind blowing to even try and quantify it, which in itself is kind of depressing. 500 items sounds like a grand plan-good luck!

  • Reply Rae Hodgetts January 1, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    I think we are on the same wavelength with ambitions, which is hardly surprising now that I have been following your blog for a year. I particularly like the no TV for a month challenge – perhaps I could give it up for Lent and show how much I can achieve instead. I’m not doing NY resolutions as such but mindfulness and happiness feature big in my 101 things in 1001 days list.
    Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy year ahead x

    • Reply Jen January 1, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      Great idea for Lent! Loving the sound of 101 things in 1001 days 🙂
      Wishing you a peaceful and fulfilled 2014. xx

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