It was my birthday yesterday and as a result my Olympics coverage has gone rather array in the last couple of days but as events have neared an end the sports I feel I can contribute anything to have also come to an end.
And to add a bit of brightness to this blog the photos included show that I had a rather cheese, cake and wine heavy Friday because they are a bit of a birthday tradition for me (but I am hoping to have more cheese and wine nights in the months that follow).Selection of Greggs cakes (they did get candles)
There is always part of me that hates my birthday and it serves as a reminder of how unpopular I am amongst people, from friends to family, and often feel rather lonely and forgotten about. But it also helps to show me who really cares about me and will take the time to write a couple of words in a text or facebook message. Silly I know.Slate selection of cheese and crackers
But it is also a chance for me to consider my aims for the year ahead. I never feel that setting them in January really works for me because projects are rather fluid and doing things by the end of an actual year never seems to work. I think I find setting aims and wants around my birthday works because of the way the British education system works and how I have always celebrated just before the start of a new school year.Camembert and garlic bread to share
The thing about the aims I set are they are generally over ambitious and I try my best to reach them and complete them all but never feel bad if I fall just short. For me as long as I try to meet something then that is all I, and anybody else, can ask of me.2012 Gran Corte VII by Pulenta Wines of Argentina
And the wants I set are things I would like to do or places I would like to go and I want to include them here because then if somebody thinks the product or place is rubbish I can find out and cross it off the list rather than wasting my time and money. it is a bit of a wish list I guess but if they are shared publicly then it gives me the motivation to achieve those but also puts a more realistic side on how long it takes to manage those things with other commitments as an early 20’s couple living alone in London. These things may take a couple of working weeks to a couple of months or even not be managed by this time next year but you have to reach for the stars sometimes right?
I am thinking about doing a monthly update on how my aims and wants are progressing because I really want to ensure that people see the realistic progress in being able to achieve dreams and how long it takes to get back level pegging and being able to treat yourself after pretty harsh financial times (for over a year).
- I am due to start a job in September/October and it involves a qualification. So not only do I hope to complete both successfully but also to come away with the highest marks possible for each piece of coursework and exam. This is not just about getting a job and working hard but rather proving to myself that I am back and am able to achieve whatever I put my mind to once again.
- In the coming months it will be the first time that my partner and I will be financially comfortable and able to do things without scrapping the pennies together and looking down the sofa cushions to find money for rent. I hope to be able to meet up with at least one of our/my friends once a month whether that be grabbing a bite to eat, a drink or going to a specific event. I know enough people to be able to vary it up quite a lot but if I can see more than one person/group a month that will be even better. It sounds so simple but before now we have barely had any money for travel let alone to spend anything at the other end so it will be nice to have a social life once more and to help look after myself and my mental health by doing more than work and seeing my partner on an evening.
- We have a lot of cookbooks and whilst I will be working there will be at least one day where I am able to get back into the kitchen and do exciting things. I am hoping once a week to either bake or make something that I have not tried to do before. It will be a good way to break up the quick and easy after work meals and to keep cooking exciting whilst also getting to dabble in one of my many loves and hobbies.
- As a bit of self-indulgence I hope to be able to treat myself to something little but nice after each pay day, or at least once a month, to remind myself that I am working to be able to have nice things rather than to just pay bills and continue to live a rather lifeless existence. Whether that be a new top or a new lipstick or even a theatre ticket etc it will just be nice to be able to reward me for my work. I will also be putting money aside to replenish birthday money, inheritance money and money from back last year when we got engaged and it all had to go on living costs and necessities.
- I want to carry on blogging every other day and having posts go live at 9am. When the income starts coming in and arrears on a never-ending list of things have been paid I hope to get a camera to be able to improve the quality of my photos and a proper diary to schedule things out and plan rather than my haphazard notebook at the minute. It will take a lot of effort, especially when tired, but I hope to be able to put a good few solid hours into it each week to get them written and scheduled for the following few days.
Wants/ Wish List
- To learn to drive and pass my test. Not necessarily get a car but be able to hire one should I want to go anywhere (such as home or on holiday).
- To have a holiday. I mean something like a weekend city break in the UK. I want to show my partner the delights of North Wales or Somerset but most of the places I want to go realistically need a care (hence the last bullet point).
- To see The Railway Children, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, This House and Nutcracker in theatre by the end of December (or after if they carry on past that date). This list will no doubt be updated in each update.
- Attend the Cake and Bake Show, BBC’s Good Food Show and The Clothes Show. The last on the list only happens in December but the other two happen in various locations throughout the year. I am sure this will be another list that as one thing gets ticked off ends up with another thing being added.
- Get Crystal Palace Gold membership to actually be able to have the chance of going to some games this season before getting a season ticket next year (and therefore saving for such and when it will become available), attend a couple of England Women’s Football fixtures if they happen in an accessible location, try get tickets to attend the NFL International Series in London again, and hopefully be able to get tickets to the Para Worlds/World Championship of the Athletics in London next summer.
- Purchase a multi-tasking waffle maker, some good skincare and be able to find what works best for my (recommendations on this welcome), new bedding, candles, bath bombs, a BBQ and after barely buying any for several years some new work and casual clothes.
- As I have not had a hair cut since July 2014 that has to be near the top of my list as well as being able to have my nails done on a regular basis and perhaps the occasional facial/spa day but these will probably end up waiting until after December when I know that I can maintain them all regularly.
- Eat at Alberts Table, Karnavar, Cote D’Azur, Little Bay, Dishoom and St John’s for the first time whilst returning to Pescatori, Vapiano, Harrods (for afternoon tea) and to eat in at Welcome Friends.
- The list is pretty much endless at this stage but I am hoping that as the months go on and I start to get those simple and more essential things, such as clothes the fit well and are not worn to the thinnest of threads and getting a regular hair cut, that this list will become increasing interesting and full of exciting goodies that I will then be able to share with you in time.
I hope your year is going well and you can find some motivation to keep pushing through with whatever goals you might have. If you feel like you have failed to keep to some goals do not worry about it there is always another day or month or year. Do what you need to do right now and focus on those dreams when you can. We might be getting older but life is not going anywhere any time soon (I hope).
XOXO – Dannii