Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking back

I love the days between Christmas and New Year. A slow time to recover from the Christmas excesses. A quiet time to reflect on the year that has almost passed. An exciting time to dream about what's to come. And, yes, a time for resolutions. I love resolutions, thinking about what I want to achieve in the months to come and what I want to concentrate on. I enjoy sitting down and spending some time making plans for the year ahead. I always start looking back at the resolutions made the previous year, because my new resolutions normally evolve from those. I also think about those resolutions I didn't keep and reflect on why and whether I want to try again this year or maybe it's time to let go of something I'm not really meant to do. This year, as I told you about all my resolutions for 2009 in the blog, it was a lot easier to look back. A year ago, I promised that I would:
  • Write more: I'm feeling a bit bittersweet about this one, the resolution that appears in my list every year (and that must mean something). I've written more often, I've started several short stories, I've thought about plots and topics for potential books... but I don't feel I've done as much as I hoped. I certainly haven't managed to write every day, and I still haven't finished any of my stories. During the year, however, I took a writing class for the first time and went on a writing retreat, I collaborated with Discounderwold, and I definitely step out of my comfort zone with my writing. So, for next year, I want to continue challenging myself and I'll come up with specific targets for my writing (I'm thinking at least a short story and a non-fiction article every month), and I'll be trying again to write something every day.
  • Take more photos: I feel I've achieved this one. At the beginning of the year I knew I enjoyed taking photos but I really didn't know much about photography. My blog camp girls, and specially Julie and Kristina with their passion, and Spud with her Camera Club have inspired me to think more about photography as art, composition, and even aperture! I definitely want to continue with this one, and I have several ideas for fun photography projects for 2010. I've also decided to participate in the 365 photo project that Julie has started in Flickr. I know it's going to be challenging, but I'm looking forward to it! Also, I got a a Diana F + for Christmas and I can't wait to start playing with it! The boyfriend and I are going on a photography expedition this weekend!
  • Decorate my own house: This is a difficult one. Yes, I bought a house, but I bought it in the wrong country! My boyfriend and I bought a flat in Spain and spent the week before Christmas getting it ready to rent it out in the New Year. So, yes, I'm proud to own my first house, and I enjoyed trying to make the most of it on a budget, but I haven't been decorating the house for myself and it was a bit sad knowing that we won't be able to enjoy living there any time soon.
  • Would do more crafts, specially sewing and knitting: I'm not sure about this one... I certainly tried and learned how to sew a bag, a purse, a skirt... I took a course on bookbinding and loved it and I've been trying to do more things with my hands. But I think I was pushing myself too much with this one, and I'm going to relax a little bit. I want to continue learning and experimenting, but I need to realize that not everything I make would be perfect, specially not the first time that I attempt something!
Uff, do you think that was too much? There was also the reading challenge that I didn't keep, the think before you buy challenge that I loved, my vow to not read the news, and a lot of thinking about my 5 rules for life, which can be considered resolutions for life.

What's left for 2010? Stay tuned... :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

white snow flake, originally uploaded by micamica.

The boy and I are leaving for the airport in a minute. The snow has been causing havoc here in England, but that's not going to stop me from spending Christmas at home in Spain!
I hope you all have a lovely holiday! I'll see you here before the New Year. It's New Year's resolution time and you know I love it (See here, here, here, here and here)!

Monday, December 14, 2009

My Glee obsession

I've recently discovered Glee! How did it take me so long? My two guilty pleasures (musicals and high school dramas) combined into a TV series that is also clever, witty and lots of fun!
The perfect antidote for those winter, rainy evenings...

Friday, December 11, 2009

This year... and the next!

Hello, hello! Well, look at that! It's almost Christmas... Can I use that as an excuse for not having blogged in three weeks? No? How about my engagement? No? Surely, if I tell you that the wedding planning has started you'll understand why I haven't had much time...

I know, all lame excuses! But I'm here now. I'm here to stay. How could I not when there are so many friends reading and congratulating us in our engagement! Thank you so much to everyone who commented in my post. It's amazing to think about this bloggy community of ours, where we make new friends that then share with us so many important moments.

Yes, I'm in a reflective mood, as always at the end of a year.  I've been thinking back to what this 2009 has been like. I keep referring to 2009 as a "bad year", but that actually couldn't be further from the truth. It didn't start well, it's true. We came back from our amazing trip in South America at the end of 2008, and so 2009 was the year we came back to rainy England, the year we went back to work, the year Jon and I missed the freedom of traveling, spending time together, visiting amazing places, making new friends and doing something for others...

But of course, 2009 was also the year I turned 30 and had an amazing party, started to take blogging more seriously, made new friends and participated in the very first Blog Camp (as well as the version 2.1 in England, and we're planning the third one for January 2010). This was the year I bought my first property with my boyfriend (now fiance!), the year I got a new, much better job, and of course, the year I got engaged. Not bad, right?

So what's left for 2010? First of all, a wedding! We are planing to get married next summer. It's going to be exciting! And stressful! How do you plan a wedding in a little over six months and in a country different to the one you live in? We're about to find out! I'll try not to make this blog a wedding blog but I'll be showing you some of our ideas from time to time, if  you don't mind.

And a honeymoon! We're not planning anything extravagant, just a beautiful place where we can relax and be together. For the first time when planning a trip, our priority is not to see and do as much as we can, but to spend time doing nothing together. Any ideas for wonderful locations in Europe? Not Spain or England, please!