Monday, 31 December 2018

Updates on Lifestyle Goals, One Little Word and New Year Resolutions

New Year Resolutions. I don’t usually make the traditional resolutions but usually set myself goals in terms of projects I want to complete, places I want to visit etc. However, this year will be a combination of the two types. I still have to sort out my list of places I want to visit but have decided on a few other things:
  • Choose own books, or to be more accurate, choose at least 30% of the books I read this year. Looking back at my reading list for 2018 there is very little that was my own choice, the list consisting mainly of book group choices or the books passed to me by my sister. Now I know I'm lucky to have such a massive quantity of books passed to me for free and up to a point we like the same things but ... I've seen reviews for books that I'd love to read but which I know my sister will have no interest in, so this is something I plan to remedy. I'm aiming to read 80 books in 2019.
  • Reduce my use of single use plastic. Pretty self explanatory and hopefully reasonably easy to achieve.
  • My big project for the year is to finish off the work on the house, complete the decluttering and get the garden up together. I'll be recording this through a daily photograph in the hope it keeps me focused and accountable!
  • The new skill for 2019 is calligraphy. 

One Little Word. I've decided to keep the same 'one little word' for the time being, so I'm starting 2019 with my focus on 'fulfil'. It proved to be the right word for me for 2018 and I think it's still applicable to what I still want to achieve. I wrote about it here back at the start of 2018 and reading through that post I can see that I still haven't fully achieved all that I wanted to.

Update of Lifestyle Goals. 

Music and Photography. I don't plan to continue with monthly updates on these because I feel that I'm in a good position with both. With the music, I am playing regularly, have my name on a waiting list for a daytime SATB choir, and have my involvement with the youth band. With the photography I'll be doing a daily photo, have the WPSH and a monthly scavenger hunt and am considering organising some photo walks again.

Health and Fitness. I started using the My Fitness Pal app to record calories and was shocked to discover that I'm not consuming enough protein on a daily basis ... sometimes as low as 6% but never achieving anywhere near the 20%- 25% daily amount recommended by the hospital. I didn't have this problem last time I tried to lose weight and was eating a sensibly healthy diet so I'm not sure where I've gone wrong. It's obviously a priority to turn this around so for January at least, that will be my main focus. I've been busy googling recipes and have already made some portion controlled high protein meals for the freezer. I've followed Joy's example and have cooked and frozen a variety of pulses that can easily be added to soups and other recipes to bulk them out and add protein at the same time, but any suggestions on how I can increase the amount of protein in my diet will be appreciated. I can't have dairy which is one of the issues and although I occasionally risk having some cheese, it's not much and not often. I'm also trying to reduce the amount of meat I eat as this will help improve the painful symptoms of diverticulitis - I'm pain free if I eat very little meat and drink plenty of water.

I'll be adding my own solo 30 minute walks back into my day and have decided to count the walking for health groups, if I ever get to join them, as an extra activity.

Socialising. In one way this aspect of life is progressing well, but I'm still left with the need to arrange some form of daytime socialising. I've tried a couple of the local U3A groups but they haven't really suited me, so I've applied to join the Bath U3A who seem to have a lot more going on. I've highlighted a couple of groups that I'd like to try out and will contact the organisers next week to see if I can join them. I've already put my name down for the SATB choir but have been placed on a waiting list as they have an abundance of sopranos and I have no idea how long I'll be waiting to join. 

Time Management/Organising. I need to establish a daily routine now that I'm retired. It is so easy to just let things drift and to keep putting things off, and I know that I have the sort of personality that will benefit from having an element of structure in my day. What that structure will be I have no idea yet but I hope to come up with the bare bones of it during January and it will include:
  • Awareness of screen time. I've decided to replace the broken iPad with a small Windows tablet as this will not only allow me to have a kindle app rather than buying a kindle reader, but will also enable me to update band info at the practice sessions rather than when I get home (so ‘do it once’). I am very aware that I need to ensure that I don’t get back into the habit of browsing when I’m watching TV/reading.
  • Organising personal life. I need to review my budget, set reminders for birthdays etc,  review contacts list/Facebook friends and just generally get myself organised!
  • Housework. I want to stay on top of the house work so that the house is always tidy enough for visitors. This may mean getting a cleaner if I can make the budget work!
  • Music practice and exercising. Make sure that I make time for my 30 minutes of walking and at least one music session every day.

My five tasks for December were:
  1. Bulk cooking to finish filling the freezer - DONE
  2. Advertise at least five items for sale - DONE
  3. Review band finances and order new music - STARTED
  4. Complete tax return - STARTED
  5. Finish removing files from the old computers - DONE (but they all need to be organised properly on the new laptop!)

My five tasks for January are:
  1. Review budgets, personal and band,  and submit my tax return.
  2. Advertise at least 10 more items for sale
  3. Plan meals for 4 weeks
  4. A trip to IKEA Bristol to buy shelving & picture frames for living room
  5. Make a list of places to visit in 2019, booking tickets and accommodation as necessary

Saturday, 29 December 2018


It’s turning out to be a very productive day. 

I’ve wiped down the tiles in the new bathroom so once the electrics are completed for the shower and towel rail, that room will be ready to use. All the clothes are back in the cupboard and linen in the airing cupboard, taking the ‘I’ll finish sorting it later’ approach! I hadn’t anticipated having so many memories attached to clothing and simply found it to be too emotional a task to complete now. The other two bedrooms have been hoovered and tidied so the upstairs is as ready as it’s going to be for the recarpeting.

The living room just needs a quick dusting and hoovering which I’ll do next and then I’ll just  be left with the cloakroom, music room and dining room to sort out tomorrow. They obviously need to been cleaned but they won’t be carpeted so are bottom of the to-do list.

I’ve had enough for today and am now having a coffee and writing this post while waiting for J to turn up. We’re going to move the living room furniture around to see if there is room for the chair that matches the new sofas. A local shop is now selling parts of the range of furniture and it would be nice to have the matching armchair. The one I bought has already found a new home in the dining room and is a perfect spot for sitting and watching the birds on the feeders.

WPSH - 1st Link Up

The Winter Photographic Scavenger Hunt has been running for almost one month so it's time for the first link up. Please add your name to the link at the bottom of this post, ensuring that you have link to your scavenger hunt post - the linky will close on January 14th so you have plenty of time. Please also take the time to visit and comment on a couple of other posts as well.

I've only taken a few photos so far, all at the beginning of December in the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth on a day trip to see the Mary Rose Museum

No 7 | horse, one of the rides in the Victorian Christmas Fayre that was held in the dockyard on the day I visited.

No 19 | a carved object, the figurehead on HMS Warrior.

No 20 | a method of communication, a display of maritime signal flags

Here's the full list for anyone who hasn't seen it. It's not too late to join in ... the more the merrier.  

1. At the end of the day
2. Pool of light
3. Fastener
4. Nail
5. A group activity
6. Water dispenser
7. Horse
8. Chocolate
9. Peel/peeling
10. Holly
11. Dressed for the season
12. Glitter
13. An instruction
14. A crossing place
15. Flight
16. A measurement

17. Orange
18. A natural feature
19. A carved object
20. A method of communication

Friday, 28 December 2018

Returning to Normal!

All of the messy, dust creating, work on the house is now finished. There are still new carpets to be ordered and fitted, internal doors to be adjusted so that they close properly, and the decorating to be completed, all of which will hopefully be completed by mid February. The entire house is in a mess so needs a deep clean, things replaced in the correct rooms and cupboards organised. 

I've had a few days off from it to enjoy my Christmas but I can't ignore it any longer and have made a start on the upstairs. So far today I have wiped out the en-suite, which is new and clean but still had smears from the grouting on the tiles, hoovered my bedroom and moved the new bed into that room. I haven't assembled the bed yet as I'm waiting on a delivery date for the carpets so, if it's going to be reasonably quick, the logistics of clearing the furniture from the bedrooms for the carpet installation will be much easier if the double bed isn't assembled. I'll know the delivery date on January 3rd so can then rethink this decision if necessary.

I've made a start on sorting my clothes, all of which were moved out of the cupboard in my bedroom and now have to go back. I'm making the effort to get rid of clothes I never wear or which are looking too worn, which is slowing me down but it needs to be done. I'm trying to be positive about it as in, once I've done this I can see what I need and then shop in the sales, but I don't really like clothes shopping so it's not going as easily as I'd like and I doubt I'll get it finished today!

Thursday, 27 December 2018

All About ... The Year in Review - 2018

What did you do in 2018 that you've never done before? I went on two HF holidays which was a new, and very enjoyable, experience for me. I also retired, although I can't count it as a 'never done before' as I had a half-hearted attempt at retirement a couple of years ago.

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?  I haven't bothered with the traditional type of resolution for several years now. My approach is to set myself goals, which can be either things I want to achieve or place I want to visit. My biggest one was the improvements on the house and, although it's not quite finished, I'm counting it as a success. 

Did anyone close to you give birth? No.

Did anyone close to you die? No.  

What countries did you visit? I may have to change this heading for next year. I didn't venture out of the UK but did spend time in Derbyshire, Liverpool, Brecon, Portsmouth and London.

What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018? I seem to say this every year - I'm lucky enough to be able to write that I don't feel I lacked anything in 2018. I've done a lot of thinking about what I want life post retirement to be, and I'm working towards that.

What date from 2018 will remain etched in your memory and why? No, there isn't one that I can think of. It's been a good year, all family and friends are well, and there have been no major traumas to deal with.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Well, I never thought I'd get to this stage, but can say that the biggest achievement was (almost) completing the decluttering. From the sheer amount when I moved into this house in 2013 when the two spare bedrooms were stacked floor to ceiling with unwanted stuff, I now have only the last few things to dispose of and it's done!

What was your biggest failure? I want to be positive so am not calling anything a failure. The one thing I didn't achieve that I wanted to was to travel abroad, but that'll happen when the time is right!

Did you suffer illness or injury? Again, another year of health issues, mainly to do with joint problems and pain when walking. However, on the positive side, control of my blood pressure has improved and the daily medication has been reduced.

What was the best thing you bought?  The new suite for the living room!  

Where did most of your money go? On the home improvements and new furniture.

What did you get really, really, really excited about? Actually 'living' in my home! With all the excess stuff out of the house it's possible to have friends round for a meal or a coffee. 

Compared to this time last year are you:
  • Happier or sadder? Happier
  • Thinner or fatter? Fatter!
  • Richer or poorer? Richer

What do you wish you’d done more of? I wish I'd kept up with the dieting and exercise but I allowed it to go on the back burner while all the work was being done on the house and am now paying the price!

What do you wish you’d done less of? Nothing that I can think of. 

How did you spend Christmas? I spent Christmas day morning playing carols in a hospital and retirement home, and then the afternoon and evening at home on my own. It was my choice to be on my own and I'm glad I stuck to doing what I wanted to do, rather than trying to please everyone else. 

Did you fall in love in 2018? No.

What was your favourite TV show? Did I have a favourite? I've definitely started watching more TV but can't think of one show that stands out from the rest. 

What was the best book you read? I have two! 'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine' by Gail Honeyman was my choice for the book group choice and we all voted it 10/10. 'Station Eleven' by Emily St.John Mandel was also a book group read and has stayed in my thoughts all year.

What was your greatest musical discovery of 2018? No, can't think of one! 

What did you want and get? I wanted to get the house finished. it's close enough to completion to count this as achieved.

What did you want and not get? A holiday abroad ... but maybe in 2019.

What was your favourite film this year?  Luckily I've been listing the films I've seen this year otherwise I'd struggle to remember. The outright winner will have to be 'The Greatest Showman', closely followed by 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri', and 'The BFG'.

What did you do on your birthday? A week of meals with different friends/family.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? It's been a good year and I feel I've taken back control of my life, so there's not 'one thing' that stands out as the thing that made this year more satisfying. 

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018? I'm still at the 'whatever fits and is comfortable' stage but I have started buying new clothes.

What kept you sane? The people I share my life with - family and friends, real and virtual. 

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I don't really fancy celebrities. I can't even think of one name to write down for this category!

What political issue stirred you the most? For the third year running, its Brexit!

Who did you miss? Ced. Always.  

Who was the best new person you met? There are two people. One isn't really a new person as I knew her as a blogging friend but we actually met in real life and was one of the high points of my year ... Lady Ella. I also met A for the first time in January 2018 and she has become one of my closest friends. 

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up!

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. Always look on the bright side of life!

Monday, 24 December 2018

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve and the builders/plumbers/tilers/decorators have finally finished. The entire house needs a good clean, the electrician still has to finish his bits but ... I have the house to myself for the first time in ages. I've managed to keep the kitchen tidy throughout all the work so today I'm concentrating on getting the living room clean and tidy for Christmas. There won't be any decorations this year but I'm okay with that, and am just looking forward to relaxing in my 'new' home!

Dates haven't been agreed yet but in January/February the new carpets will be fitted, the rest of the decorating will be completed and the electrician will finish up, so not much longer to go. Photos will follow when it is all done.

I've planned a very different sort of Christmas this year. Tomorrow morning I will be visiting a hospital with the brass band (all adults) one of my teaching friends runs and we'll be playing carols around the wards. I know how much this meant to my late partner when he was in hospital at Christmas, so am looking forward to it. Afterwards, it'll be back home for a planned rest of the day alone, which again I am looking forward to ... food and treats have been organised and I'll open my presents then. Weather permitting, on Boxing Day I'll be meeting friends at the beach for a photo treasure hunt if it's dry, or will spend the day with them at one of their homes if it is wet, or too cold.

I was supposed to be playing at my final Christmas event late this afternoon but it has been cancelled so I will be at home watching Carols at Kings and then settling in for my new Christmas tradition based on the Icelandic Jolobokaflod. I have five new books to choose from but haven't yet decided on the one for tonight. 

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas however you choose to celebrate. I'll leave you with a final Christmas song ...

Advent Calendar Day 24 | A Christmas Cartoon for YouTube

For all the cat lovers!

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook. Thank you for organising the Advent link up again this year, Julie.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 23 | A Christmas Carol from YouTube

I keep changing my mind but this is currently my favourite carol which means I'm in line with the rest of the country as 'O Holy Night' topped the list of carols last year in the voting for the Nation's Favourite Carol organised by Classic FM.

I prefer the sound of the choir of King's College, Cambridge, but couldn't get their recording to play on my blog.

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 22 | Nativity Scene

The backdrop to a KS1 Christmas story production ... taken a few years ago in one of my schools.

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Friday, 21 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 21 | Sleigh

Part of the display in a neighbour's front garden.

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 20 | Star

This was the topper on a tree inside the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth. Flash photography wasn't permitted and the lighting was extremely poor so I didn't take many photos but luckily did remember that I needed one of a star!

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 19 | Tree, Before and After

Above is a photo of the youth band's tree for the Christmas Tree Festival in our Parish church. All the other participants seem to opt for the coordinated themed approach to decorating their trees but we go more for the explosion of colour with a (loose!) theme of music!

Below is the tree packed away at the end of the week. We run a competition every year for the children to make new decorations, but always save the best of the old ones just in case!

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 18 | Wintery Scene

I'm in the middle of moving my photos to the new laptop and can't find anything suitable for a wintery scene. This is the best I could come up with and at least it is Christmassy!

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Monday, 17 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 17 | Bow

A bow on the huge Christmas tree in the foyer at Trowbridge Town Hall Arts (where the youth band meets to practice).

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 16 | Carols

A photo from my hymn book rather than the arrangement we play in the youth band. I can remember learning to sing this carol when I was very young and it's always been a favourite.

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 15 | Wrapped

Presents wrapped and under the tree ... taken a few years ago as they all prefer to receive tokens tokens now!

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Friday, 14 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 14 | Candles/Candle Light

One of a set of three votive holders ...  love the stained glass shadows on the wall.

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 13 + Take Three Thursday | Red and Green

I'm sharing three photos of holly for today's Advent calendar and Take Three Thursday. These were taken a few years ago in my sister's garden. 

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook for the Advent calendar and Mary-Lou @ Patio Postcards for Take Three Thursday.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 12 | Festive Jumper

A Christmas jumper beautifully modeled by C at the recent book group Christmas meal.

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 11 | Festive Chocolate

Thirty selection boxes, one each for the children in the band, ready to be given out on Saturday as a thank you from the committee for their hard work during the carol playing season.

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Monday, 10 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 10 | Christmas Stamp

I don't know many people who post cards now, or even deliver by hand - along with most of the people in my life I make a donation to charity instead of sending cards.

This stamp is the only one I've seen so far this year.

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 9 | Wreath

I don't hang a wreath on my front door but my sister always does ... here's one taken a few years ago.

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 8 | Stockings

The Christmas stockings are still packed away so I'm sharing a photo of some stockings on sale in a local garden centre.  

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Friday, 7 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 7 | Snowman

I have quite a few snowmen decorations but this one is my favourite!

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 6 + Take Three Thursday

The theme for the Advent calendar is 'a festive themed shop window'. I didn't have any suitable archived photos so I've just returned from a mini photo session in town looking for some beautifully decorated windows. This proved to be hard work - I don't know if it's too early but the local shops haven't put much of a display this year. These three are the best of the bunch ... apologies for the reflections!

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook for the Advent Calendar and Mary-Lou @ Patio Postcards for 'Take Three Thursday'.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 5 + 5 in 5 | Christmas Traditions

I've bent the rules slightly today ... the full prompt for the Advent Calendar is 'a chrimbly family tradition - something only your own family do' but I don't think any of my traditions are particularly unique, just special to me, and I didn't actually stick to the five minutes for the 5 in 5 but .... I have ended up with five photos of my own Christmas traditions.

In the last few days of November I unpack the 'December box' where the Christmas mugs, books and snuggle blankets are packed away. The blankets and mugs are used throughout December right up until Twelfth Night when they are packed away until the next year. The Christmas books are ones that have a Christmas theme (letters, poems, short stories) and which I make some time to read from on most days leading up to the big day. Last year I also bought a Christmas novel which I didn't get round to reading so that's next in the to-read pile for this year.

The Advent Calendar is also found and preparations for my December Christmas can start. Each drawer contains two slips of paper; one detailing a Christmas themed activity (drive round and see the lights, take part in a Christmas quiz, decorate the tree (always Christmas Eve), attend a carol service, etc.) and a number relating to one of the gifts I've bought for myself throughout the year, some big, some small but always things I wouldn't routinely buy myself.

Carol playing forms a major part of my Christmas celebrations. By the time we reach December we (the youth band) have been practicing for a couple of month and December is 'show time' - out and about in town centres and supermarkets, freezing to death but having a lot of fun. I get a new scarf and fingerless mitts most year, this year's is visible in the top left hand corner of the photo and was a birthday gift from Julie.

At some stage in December I will settle down for an afternoon to watch one of the '50 Greatest Christmas Hits' type show on TV. This is a must every year and used to drive my late partner mad! 

On Christmas Day I'll have the radio on to listen to the Nation's Favourite Christmas Carol.

This is a new to me tradition for this year, based on the Icelandic tradition of Jolobokaflod but I already know it'll be a keeper.  This means 'Christmas Book Flood' and is when the people of Iceland share in their wonderful holiday ritual of giving books to one another on Christmas Eve. They then spend the night reading.

I still have to choose my book but I have bought new pyjamas and dressing gown, which I'll change in to as soon as I get back from my final concert. I haven't yet decided on the eats for Christmas Eve but it'll be buffet/finger food so I'll break my self-imposed rule and will eat in the living room. Usually the tree would be decorated by my great nieces earlier in the day and I'd put out the rest of the Christmas decorations but that's unlikely to happen this year because of the work going on around the house.

(you can see my new curtains in the background!)

Finally, this is a tradition carried over from childhood - the Christmas jigsaw, which can't be started until Christmas Day and is usually 1000 pieces as this size fits nicely on the dining room table. Visitors to the house over the Christmas period help add pieces to the puzzle and those who are sharing meals with me are used to the bumpy table - I just cover it with a cloth at meal times!

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook for the Advent Calendar and Sandie @ Itchifingers for 5 in 5.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Advent Calendar Day 4 | Festive Pet

I don't have any pets so this is the best I can do for this one. They all perform their party piece when their paw is pressed - the teddy bear rotates on one leg, the cat does a bit of a wiggle (!) and Rudolph's nose lights up. The bear and the cat still play festive music but that part of Rudolph is broken, thank goodness, as it has no volume control and used to belt out 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' very, very loudly ... so loud that it was impossible to hold a conversation when it was playing!

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook

Monday, 3 December 2018

Review of Lifestyle Goals

I posted my previous update on November 2nd 2018, so it's time for another progress report. Life in general is still affected by the work on the house but I have taken some baby steps forward.

Music - I've been playing a brass instrument on most days, either with the band, to practice, or just for my own enjoyment at home, so this gets a really big tick in the box. Piano playing still isn't happening because I can't get to the piano but I have been looking through some of the piano books and trying decide where to pick up from when I do actually reclaim the music room and can sit at the piano!

I tried out the singing group but I'm not sure it's for me. It's more like singing together for enjoyment, mostly pop songs sung in unison and taught by repetition, whereas I'm really looking for an SATB choir that sings from notation. I don't know where to look next but I'm not too disappointed and will keep looking.

Photography - I don't think the local U3A photography group will work out. It's been another month when I haven't been able to attend on the days they've organised something, but I'll keep my name on the list just in case.

On the positive side, I joined in the monthly Scavenger hunt organised by Kate, have announced the list for the Winter Photographic Scavenger Hunt and have been out and about taking some photos. I have my first group of photos for the WPSH to share later this week.

I've also decided that I'll do another 365 Photo Project in 2019, with my home and garden as the theme.

Health and Fitness - lots of ups and downs here! The best news is that I have reduced my blood pressure medication, something I thought would never be possible, and now take two different meds daily rather than three. 

Walking has been a bit hit and miss during the past month. I contacted the leaders of the two walking for health groups but haven't heard back from them yet! My 30 minutes a day routine has taken a bit of a back seat, partly because of the work on the house, partly because of the weather, but mostly because I've got out of the habit. It's a priority for this month!

Inspired by Joy, I'm also concentrating on losing weight again, aiming for a loss of 1lb - 1.5lbs every week. I'll be calorie counting again using the My Fitness Pal app to record everything, as I know this method will work for me - last time I tried this I lost 3 stone .... but then gave up and put it all back on again! I'll also be following some of the advice on the NHS website and have set my daily calorie level based on their calculator. 

Socialising - The girls night out with Julie, Lauren and Sue is happening every month and next time we are meeting for a meal before the quiz, so we'll have time to chat properly. The first film night with J, A and L is set for next week - we've chosen 'It's A Wonderful Life' as J has never seen it. It's the book group meal the evening before and the other quiz I do with J, A and L the following week, when we'll be having another meal. I dread to think how the diet will fare! 

I'm still in the situation where I have plenty of evening events but few day time ones so in the new year I be trying to improve that aspect of my life.

On the whole I'm pleased with how things are going. The singing group hasn't worked out but at least I tried, and the issues with the photography and walking groups are outside of my control. 
I set five tasks for November: 
  1. Dispose of old VCRs, DVD players and games consoles - I've contacted a local company that buys old equipment but am still waiting to hear back from them
  2. Shredding!! - completed
  3. Bulk cooking to refill the freezer - I've made a start and will continue with this during December
  4. Finish sorting out band admin and return finished folders to storage room in Town Hall (where we practice) - completed
  5. Start checking that everything is removed from the old computers - this is almost finished. Just the rest of the photos to move across.

Five tasks for December:
  1. Bulk cooking to finish filling the freezer
  2. Advertise at least five items for sale
  3. Review band finances and order new music
  4. Complete tax return
  5. Finish removing files from the old computers