Friday, 4 January 2013

New year, new life, new blog.

Ahhh Haweswater - remember summer?
But no resolutions!  I always think New Years Resolutions should instead be titled "Here's a list of things I want to do but will probably ultimately fail at and will thus beat myself up about at some future point in time."  Not quite so snappy though.  If you've clicked here looking for news of our latest hike then you're fresh out of luck I'm afraid, we were away over the hols and haven't been out yet, but here's a few nice pics of the fells anyway.

So what's the point of the blog if there's no hike?  Well 2nd Jan marked 2 years since we sallied forth into our new life in the north so I thought now was as good a time as any for a recap and an update.  I always promised I'd track out new life warts and all, so here it is.

Beautiful Buttermere.  And breathe...
Workwise I've taken the plunge out of full time permanent work and into full time permanent fear.  The plan was that my training work would support us while we built the writing/ photography side of things and that was working fine right up to the point when my biggest client slashed their training budget by more than half.  Darn.  Still, it's no good moping around, I have other work and can use the additional time to focus on my writing and developing the photography website.  (Ha!  "Developing the photography website" - these blogs aren't just thrown together you know!)

The vegetable plot in the garden is primed and ready for action though I'm still not quite sure what I'll be planting.  We have about 1 foot of lovely composty soil before we hit the old Morecambe Bay silts, so I'm thinking a combo of spuds and seaweed to make the most of the natural habitat.

The writing is also taking off nicely, something I never envisaged two years ago and I now have a weekly hiking column on the Cumbria24 website as well tracking the monthly adventures of the lovely Herdy.  There's a list over on the right of all the other places you can find me too.

Retro is in, right?
On the home improvements side we're still awaiting planning permission for our modest modifications; we're hoping to pop an external staircase in to open up 3 "undercroft" rooms (basement) and allow us a little more space for visitors.  At the moment our second bedroom is only a single room but that doesn't stop us wedging a double bed in on occasions. It works fine so long as the occupants take turns breathing.  But budgets being what they are I may need to live with my 1976 retro kitchen a little while longer, still retro is fashionable again, isn't it?

And that's pretty much it.  I'm not going to tempt fate with some well meaning positive comments; since writing my last blog about the joys of Christmas I've dealt with a sprained foot, Norovirus and a cold, so I've learned my lesson on that front.  Instead I shall leave you with my claim to the "oddest meal of the festive season" crown.  On a family visit to a pub on New Years Day I opted for the salmon as I wanted something light for my tum.  They were out of salmon so I switched to cod instead.  As the plates arrived for the rest of the family choc full of roast dinner I confess I felt a little envious, but I needn't have worried; 2 minutes later my own lunch arrived with a lovely light piece of cod delicately placed atop a pile of roast spuds, carrots & parsnips, all surrounded with a thick meaty gravy.  And you thought sherry trifle for breakfast was odd.  Happy New Year!

Cod & gravy - what's not to love?