Retrospective & Resolutions

I love new year – the excitement of a fresh start. A blank page full of potential and promise.  And the annual retrospective of the past 12 months making note of the things I am thankful for, of the things I could do better, and of course, the new year’s resolutions for applying what I’ve learned to the year ahead.

So first, a retrospective of the year:

January we rang in the new year at the Painted Heron with Barb & Paul, then hurried up the street to Battersea Bridge to watch the fireworks in the very chilly night. Very cold first week, and snow lasting a good week.  Barb is my oldest friend here in the UK – we met in my first year of university in Paris and have kept in touch every since.  In the style of B’s mom, I often think how lucky I am for B’s friendship.  She always opens my mind in a very patient way and has helped me see the world with bigger eyes!

February I went through a crazed apple pie making phase.  I think I apple-pie’d myself right out as I haven’t made one again since.

March we celebrated 2 years of marriage –a Cotton anniversary.  I have to wait for our 7th anniversary to get to Wool!

In April my American cousins Angela & her son Garrett came to London for a visit and we hit Stonehenge, Borough Market, and met Jean-Phillipe of Gordon Ramsay fame at newly opened Petrus.  The Iceland volcanic ash disruptions meant my uncle Jia who followed Angela & Garret’s visit was in for a lengthier stay than he expected. But it was nice for me as I got to spend some time with him too.

In May DH and I headed to Turkey for some R&R and some on-location photo shoots of my KLC 2010 club sock Caretta Caretta. Jacqueline from Soak came to London and we met for the first time over a beer in the sun.

June saw me in Ohio at TNNA for the first time ever where I got to hang out with my far away BFF Susan, eat Jeni’s Ice Cream, attempt a huge Thurman’s burger and basically run around lots and lots of yarn!

July was crazy! We had prep for Knit Nation and the event itself which took up all my time. You can kind of tell as posts during the run up  are pretty non-existent.  Post Knit Nation Clara Parkes wrote a fabulous review.  We couldn’t have done it without our wonderful Knit Nation crew who are also good friends.  Kerri, Emily, Nora, Sandy, Mel H, Dee, Meljay, Jaq, Kate Q, Kate W, Ling, Tricia, Hattie, Judith, Tina, Carole, Marja, Luke, Paul, Jen F, Ali, Julie, Barb, Emma, Clare, Melissa, Chantelle, Koki & Ed! Thank you thank you thank you!  Many of the crew are also regular knitting buds who help keep me sane throughout the year. Lots of love to Kerri, Nora, Mel H, Dee, Meljay, Jaq, Kate Q, Kate W, Ling, Tricia, Hattie, Judith, Tina, Marja, Ali, Emma, Arianna, Joy, Lucy for wonderful knit nights.

Are y’all ready for 2011?  Cause we are doing it all again the 15-16-16 July.

Right after Knit Nation, Cookie Carole and I headed to Paris for a week’s R&R in August. Nora met up with us for a day in the sun.

September I had a flurry of exciting news – my little cousin J was pregnant! The other exciting news was that GMC Publishing group offered me a book contract for a book of my sock patterns. Very cool.  DH also took me to Carcassone where we ate much too much foie gras and cassoulet.

October was Shanghai baby! B and I headed to Shanghai expo, where we had waaaaay too much to eat, both got flu, and then moved to a five star hotel for its ‘curative’ properties. 😉

November my goddaughter Sophia turned 5 with a big party outing to the theatre.  My great aunt Gupo passed away at 95.

December was a crazy month.   I sent out the very last parcel KLC 2010, and then the very first parcel of Bloodlines, a vamp and hunter themed sock club with my own handdyed yarns.  I had a blast dyeing up a bright red like vampire guts for Bill Compton, and a jewelley blue/emerald/citrine/garnet for Eric Northman (True Blood themed kit).

I got to go skiing in Austria for a week – now that was awesomeness in itself.  Found my ski-legs again and picked up some Strolz boots.  The most incredible wonderful boots ever!! For once in my life I have boots that I put on in the morning and never have to adjust again during the day.  They don’t make me want to cry when I stop skiing and adrenaline isn’t there to buffer the discomfort. Even my old custom fit boots when I skiied alot in high school were never this comfy.

Then it was home for the holidays and to celebrate family friends Tina & Stef’s wedding. We got to meet 8 week old Jake, his sister Ava, eat lots of Papa Chocolat chocolates, met up with Sam from Yummy Yarn Studios, did some skiing at Sunshine, and saw my Fiori and Mince Pie patterns at Knit and Caboodle in Canmore!  Too short as always.

We managed to miss the flight disruptions due to snow by flying out before it started and flying back after it ended… but it does drive home the fact that LHR and a slew of other airports refuse to invest in enough machinery to make the airports run when it snows. Canadian cities spend over 150 billion dollars to clear snow and make things work in the winter.  Apparently Heathrow, the largest airport in Europe, spends £6million pounds.  Even Gatwick, a much smaller airport, spends three times that amount.  I don’t know how the financials work for BAA – and how individual airlines involve themselves in these costs- but it is darned embarrassing for what is supposed to be a world class airport to be knocked to its knees not by the weather, but by their own inability/refusal to be prepared for it.

We then celebrated the end of the year and the beginning of the next with an Arkansas themed party. DH & I made a BBQ brisket – I made a BBQ rub, let the brisket marinate overnight then BBQ’d it for 2 hours, followed by another 3 in the oven, all at a low temperature.  I made homemade bbq sauce (and added some szechwan peppers for a bit of extra fire) and some parker house rolls to go with it. The brisket was awesome – fork tender. Will have to make it again.  DH and I had cowboy shirts, B had a cowboy hat paired with Paul’s Toronto rocker tshirt. Charles outdid us all with a genteel southern suit with a western string tie, and a sheriffs’ badge on a bolo tie for later in the evening!

Now looking forward – my resolutions this year:

  • be more diligent and less hedonistic about working on and finishing personal projects. I have a gazillion WIPs as I tend to knit whatever I feel like.  So my goal this year – reduce WIPs to less than 5  at the end of the year.
  • blog at least 4 times a week
  • add projects I’ve knit to Ravelry along with photos
  • ::eek:: update my stash page on Ravelry which is now about 2 years out of date
  • create (and use!) a gift knits schedule to avoid 3am crazed and blurry eyed last minute knitting
  • no more missing people’s birthdays! Make a list and use the thing
  • give my post titles better names – makes the retrospective slightly easier!
  • cook more
  • ski more
  • do my taxes on time
  • read more blogs more regularly!
  • make it to Monday knit nights more
  • cycle more so I can go on cycle trips with hubby!

I am thankful for:

You, gentle readers.  Thank you for your comments, enthusiasm and friendship! Love the blogosphere and how it connects us all.

My knitting buds. You guys never fail to inspire me with your creativity and to make me laugh (generally, and at myself!)

Everyone who helped make Knit Nation a success – Crew, Teachers, Vendors & Students.  Your support made Knit Nation 2011 possible.

Knit Love Club & Bloodlines members. Thank you for your continued support and adventurous spirit!

Barb who dispenses the most sound advice and is a riot to travel with. And who understand the need for a bathtub with a view and a pillow menu when one is feeling under the weather.

Mom for living life to the fullest and lending me her clothes (even her cashmere!)

Deuce – who loves me unconditionally and thinks my lap is his right and throne.

And last but not least, DH, who feeds me and puts up with me moving the furniture around and generally indulges most of my whims.

Roll on 2011!

6 thoughts on “Retrospective & Resolutions

  1. You’ve had a great 2010 and it was a good year for me too! It just went by too quickly. Here’s to 2011!

    Ps – I hope I’ve helped in getting (some of) the taxes in on time!

  2. Happy New Year! Can’t believe how fast time has flown since I met you that one afternoon at your store. Lots of great times! You’ve just made my year already. It’s my 7th wedding anniversary this year so I am going to get me loads and loads and loads of WOOL and not feel badly about it!

    I’ll cheer you on with the WIP reduction! Finish at least one project a month again? I am on a mission though I don’t have that many WIPs as far as I know.

    See you soon! xx

  3. I love the way you have summed up your highlights making commitments to a new year that yourself and others and your thankfulness to those who help make it all happen. I am inspired. Thank YOU!

  4. Awwwww…ditto honey. You’re a truly good egg. I like the resolutions, but don’t become too perfect – otherwise who would I get to boss and tease about dates?

    Funnily enough, I am just (very belatedly) doing my own year’s retrospective. My mother was so appalled at how few cards I sent out at Christmas, that I tried to put her off with a “oh, I’ll send a New Year’s round-up”. When she left on Friday, she eyed me with a meaningfully reproachful look. Yup, 7 January, and no New Year’s round up. So you’ve now shamed me even more.

    I’m burning the midnight oil, trying to figure out what on earth I’ve done all year…no small task. Wish me luck. x

  5. Pingback: Resolutions

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