Monday, 19 December 2011

somewhere in amongst 2011

When exactly does life change from a year taking an interminably long time to pass, to each year zipping by to the point where you are in December saying to yourself "But January was only a little while ago and I haven't even done anything yet!!"? I can't remember when this might have occurred. It seems to be somewhere between my teenage years where I simply couldn't wait to be 14, 15, 16, 17 all the way up to 22, and now. Was it having kids? Do they do this to you? Probably. I am pretty sure they are to blame for the wrinkles under my eyes too.

And so, here I am at nearly the end of 2011 and I'm not sure that I have actually managed to get much done. Why, I haven't even finished tidying up yet! I'm pretty sure there is ironing still to be done from 2010. (Actually, I have barely ironed since 2007, but I like to keep up a pretence of domesticity, so stick with me on 2010 at least).

I went and had a peek at my 'somewhere...somehow...' list of things I wanted to get done in 2011 to see how many/few* (*delete as appropriate, or maybe not as I don't want to be seen as a complete procrastinator - and that's putting it nicely). So what exactly have I done? Not much it would seem at first glance from the list. Things will definitely be sliding on to my 2012 list. Here's a quick recap:

  1. improve my cooking skills
    Well, I tried. Honest I did. And I think I have gotten marginally better. At the very least I would say we are eating FAR less pork than we started out on when we moved here. And that is something we are all VERY grateful for.
  2. learn to properly use my camera
    Alarmingly, I have only got very slightly better with my camera. I was so very chuffed with my attempts at tilt-shift effects (not even done on the camera but in Photoshop!), that I got a bit lazy. I have started using different settings on it though and I adjust my exposure more, but still... oh, and I don't think that I really have improved over the course of my 365/Photo-a-day project which is what I heard would happen. Bah humbug.
  3. enrol on an evening course for something creative (in German)
    Well, not an evening course, but I did go on a sewing course - I still want to go to pottery classes. 
  4. take my sewing machine OUT OF THE BOX and learn to use it
    Yes! I did! See above. At the lovely sewing cafe Kinkibox in Friedrichshain and while my skills are limited, I did still make a dress for Orla.
  5. make cushions for the living room
    No. I haven't even got the fabric. Maybe next year....sigh.
  6. sort out my horrible hair
    Well, I have certainly had some hair cuts and highlights this year with varying degrees of success. I *thought* I had it sussed by finding an English hairdresser at Toni & Guy in Berlin. At the moment my hair is brown...but it seems to have been done poorly and already is fading out a bit and showing where my old highlights were. Will I never be hair-happy here???
    No.6 I haven't many photos of the brown hair with fringe. 

  7. read more books
    Oh yes! I really have! And I am so pleased with that. I still go to bookgroup as well. I didn't bother with the BBC's Big Read list as I knew I wouldn't either be able to complete it, or give up on it - do I really want to read a stack of Jacqueline Wilson books?? Not overly. But I have managed 35 so far! 
  8. get to at least B2 level in German
    Alas no. I stopped for a ahem...short break at the beginning of B1 and haven't returned. I may go back if we get an extension.
  9. set up an etsy shop
    The shop is set up, there's just nothing in it yet. Total laziness on my part. No excuses. 
  10. travel round Germany - Regensburg, Bamburg, Augsburg
    We saw a good bit more of Germany this year. Our summer break took us right down to the south and we worked our way back via Wiesbaden, Frankfurt, Stuttgart on the way home. 
  11. see at least 4 other German cities - Hamburg, Munich,
    Yup. Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and I can't even think where else. But I know I did.
  12. earn some money from illustration - take part in Kunst Supermarkt 2011
    Well, I have sold some prints this year, just not through my etsy shop or through Kunst Supermarkt. So a partial success I think.
  13. start a 365 photo/sketch blog
    Tickety tick! Not only did I start and pretty much complete (I have no idea how I am missing 20+ photos) my Flickr 365, but I have also maintained my fiona gray . paints blog and FB page
  14. do something different - The Night of the Jumps - The Harlem Globetrotters
    Yes. And I have to say it's been lovely having the opportunities on our doorstep to do this. We plan on trying more things next year too. Starting with 'going to a show' - I have been to theatres and things but variety and these sort of Blue Man Group shows, never. It's time to try it, I think.
  15. make a concerted effort to do more artwork
    As no.13 says - yes. It's all here.
  16. paint Orla's dolls house in pretty colours
    Yes. I think I got that done quite early in the year. Best to start with an easily achieveable one, eh?
  17. hang pictures on the living room walls
    Hmm... I have hung a couple, but the reality is that our walls are huge and our pictures look silly and far too small. But I have hung my Tiel Sievl-Keevers 'Patch Apple' and some artwork by Orla that I framed.
  18. get a lovely photo taken of the kids
    I kept meaning to get my friend Sarah to do this for me, but I kept forgetting. But I did like my photos of the two of them jumping on the bed rather a lot.
  19. make that Cath Kidston handbag!
    Not done. I keep looking at it and I immediately think: "I will rush this and make a complete mess of it. " And so it slips into 2012. Maybe I'll start with that.
  20. get round the Berlin museums and galleries - the Kennedy Museum, the Bauhaus Archiv, the Jewish Museum,
    Yes! Since my holiday from German classes I have managed to see an awful lot more than I ever could do with the kids in tow. So nice! I have a list of places to visit in 2012 already. Can't wait.
  21. make some kids duvet covers and pillowcases
    No. Of course not. I blog. How would I have time for that????
  22. get more organised - cupboards, toys, clothes, etc
    Marginally. I have given stuff (clothes) away to friends, books to the school, cleared out a few cupboards, but *still* haven't done the toys because the kids keep playing with the things I think they are finished with. Orla has just re-adopted the Fisher Price house for Polly Pocket and her friends who will be joining her at Christmas. I must be stricter about doing this (preferably before Christmas, but who am I kidding??)
  23. sell things on German eBay, starting with the highchair!
    No, but I have nearly bought stuff on german eBay. I have at least changed my account settings. I am getting rid of that highchair in 2012 FOR SURE!!!!! It is currently being used to hold coats in Hamish's little bedroom. 
  24. have just a little bit of a nice bright colour in my hair
    No. And I am kind of going off this idea. Probably won't happen. I can imagine getting fed up of it fading and having to re-do it.
  25. find a good babysitter & have a night out with JUST Stevie
    YES! YES! and thrice YES! In fact we have had 3 different babysitters. Our first and male babysitter is moving to Ireland in january, so we have started using the girl of Hamish's dreams before she goes to Uni next September, and then last week we used our neighbours daughter after speaking to her mother who said she was looking for babysitting work. It wasn't until she arrived to do it that we found out she was 13!!!! Luckily, they live literally across the hall, so her mum was on hand, and I guess she probably had most of the same toys as the kids..... :-S
  26. do more creative things with the kids
    Oh, yes. And it's so traumatic to me as they rip and manically glue and glitter that I can't even bring myself to talk about it.
  27. have my nails done
    Alas, no. A definite for 2012 I think.
  28. do more cooking/baking with the kids
    Yes. With really quite ugly, unappetising results most of the time. But we've done lots and they really enjoy it, and Orla eats more dinner if she's involved in the making of it and gets to taste along the way.
  29. look after a plant & not kill it
    Still not my forte. I've tried. But I am sticking with cut flowers. My fake orchid is still doing well though...
  30. to read the rest some (I've read 38 so far) of the '100 book challenge' listed on Facebook. I can't read 62 (when it includes War & Peace) in a year.
    Not a one. But I have read lots of books. See no. 7 for details.
  31. cycle more after winter, to the point I consider 1 of those trailers for the kids
    Oh yes, I cycled. And every time I had one of the kids on the back moaning about it, I hated it. The sooner they can both cycle unaided the better. And I didn't get a trailer. Couldn't bear the thought of them both moaning away behind me.
  32. read a novel in German
    Ha! You're kidding right? I still have half of my book of German fairy tales to read. I have barely read a German newspaper - though to give me some credit (well very little really) I do occasionally buy German Elle Deco. But I'm much more of a fan of looking at the pictures unless something catches my eye.
  33. be continued....
    Yes, I think we can say it will have to be continued. Roll on 2012...I hope it brings less procrastination, more magic telly, speedier blogging (I spend far too much time on the internet), and good health and happiness to us all - you too fellow reader. Hope you had a lovely 2011.


  1. Oooh, so you managed to read a lot this year? I always do a year end list of books on the blog of what I've gotten through in that year, and this year I thought I would make it into a blog hop. Which I would love it if you joined/linked up with. The post goes up on December 28th I believe, and then you just add a link to a post about what you've read during the year. Because I am dying to see what other people have been reading. Aaah, geekdom. :)

  2. I'll join in if I can once I get back (after the 1st jan) - I don't have internet access at my parents. have a good Christmas xx

  3. You achieved A LOT this year! Wish I had done half as much and I only have half the number of kids as you! :-)
    Der weiße Tiger by Aravind Adiga is very good German novel and easy to read...
    Enjoy your trip and I look forward to seeing more of you in 2012! xx

  4. I think the lesson we can all take from this is not to write lists of things to do each year. I can't even get through the lists I make of things to do the next day. Also, if the 2011 having whizzed by thing is to do with children then I have NO idea why my year has vanished or where these wrinkles have come from. Maybe time is actually literally speeding up? *terrified face*

    p.s. actually I think you've done a brilliant job on that list... I mean, it is a ruddy enormous list.

  5. Happy New Year to you and your family! x

  6. Blimey that's quite a list!!! No wonder you didn't get it all done ha ha. Makes my list for this year look pretty pathetic! Must buck my ideas up!
    There's always time re. the photos.
    With the cycling, I can now cycle on my bike with Milo on his Laufrad next to me. It needs wide pavements and will only work when he's in a good mood but it makes him feel all grown up and he loves it. Not sure about doing it with 2 kids though?!


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