reviewed and resolved; and a bit about jam and the weather

It's been stinkin' hot here. Yesterday it was 43C (that's 109F) and emerging from the comfort of mum's car was like walking into a fan-forced oven (at the temperature for merringue?). Yes, we went shopping, Victoria Gardens. Fewer shops, much less crowded than Highpoint, but with Ikea.  I love Ikea and it's so very seductive. At the end I had to sort through the trolley and decide whether I really needed another cutlery drainer. Spent an appalling (for me) amount of money on baskets, kid room storage, tin bowls and other faffery. Useful faffery, which makes it OK on occasion and last time I was pregnant with Grace. So it's all good.

Last night it only got down to 37C (99F),and as the Bureau of Meterology said, it was an oppressive night. So not much sleep for me. Luckily I made apricot jam the other day, when it was just hot, not ridiculously hot. I used a new method and am absurdly pleased with how it turned out.

There are now twenty jars of jam in the cupboard, which was my freaky jam making goal for this summer. If I make some yellow plum jelly, I'll exceed my own expectations, which would be quite nice at present. So anyway, for the reviewed and resolved, new year type stuff, I'm only going to talk about the good stuff. The other stuff, that's too dour a way to start a new year.

Looking back at 2007, I'm pleased about:

  • Learning to use DSLR camera my Dad gave me. There's a life time of learning to be had there, but I've made a good start.

  • Putting my photos on Flickr. Eventhough I don't have time to comment and browse much, uploading a couple of times a week has gotten me in the habit of working through all the photos I take as I go. My filing and archiving systems are also better now. The thought of thousands of unedited photos clogging my hardrive gives me the shudders.

  • Getting through most of the year at work, some of it nearly full time and mostly being genuine and compassionate with customers. Improving my skills and knowlege, including developing expertise in a particular field. All the time working within the legislative framework. Obviously I can't go into too much detail, but I'm giving myself a rather big pat on the back here.

  • Changing our routine at home so we always eat dinner at the table together. This bowls me over, we didn't do this all the time when I was a child. I remember wanting to and my instincts were right. Sometimes it's hard eating with a two (and three quarters) year old but mostly it's great. It forces us to stick to a sensible dinner time and we groove out to music and chat. Our cooking has improved too.

  • Blogging. Somewhere to offload, debrief, be shallow, think about things in more detail. I've truly come to love this form of writing. It's bought me back to words and enriched my inner life in a way I never expected. It's also been a great community for me. And I've met lots of lovely ladies in person. Who'd a thunk it? Details; here, here and here. So to everyone who's been a reader, commenter or casual lurker, thank you.

In 2008 I'd like to:

  • Do another photography course. One specially aimed at DSLRs, including a photoshoot. If anything, doing a course sets aside dedicated time for learning about my camera. The last one was such a buzz.

  • Make another calender for Christmas.

  • Buy a house. Not just any house but one that can become our home and not split us asunder in the process.

  • Start working towards another form of income for the future. Something more freelance. I'm thinking about writing books (ideas for children's fiction and adult non fiction), small business commercial websites, a way for G to sell his woodwork maybe. Not starting a new business. Realistically, that's going to be too hard alongside working, buying a house and making said house livable, but just sampling some ideas here and there. Trying things on, seeing how they fit.

  • More waterplay. Perhaps swimming as excercise for me during summer. Start Grace with swimming lessons (maybe in about six months). Make sure we go to the beach, the pool, the river and maybe a dam. Grace loves the water and so do I. Learn to take pictures underwater, because my new little carry everywhere camera can.

  • Try and keep some space in my life for art with Grace, art for me (ideas for wrapping paper and cards) and sewing. Learn to make a quilt. Make some more sewn knitwear, because I really enjoy that.

  • Clean the windows. Let the floors, the dusting and the bathroom go, but clean windows, they lift your spirits. Well, they do mine.

  • Learn the art of the short blog post. Ha!

Happy 2008 everyone!

And it's now a comfortable 24C (75F). Time for some sleep.


h&b said...

Happy New Year, janet !
But you've freaked me out as I *do* have 1000's of unedited photos on my hard drive, slowing everything down, clogging everything up. I'm too cheap to go 'pro' on flickr, and so my uploads are selective.
I also have trouble deleting even the crap photos off my system.
It's a worry..

Shula said...

The short blog post?
Really, Janet.
You're right about the windows. And jam-making has been known to bring me back from the brink.

Stomper Girl said...

Happy New Year Janet. I always wonder after doing my windows why I don't do it more often....

Rachel said...

Happy New Year, Janet!!!
Your jam likes absolutely divine. One of my goals for 2008 is to learn how to can/preserve. I got a fancy set of German canning jars as a Christmas present. Now I'll have to look into how to can things without killing anyone by mistake.
I hope you find the perfect house with the perfect garden this year.
Have you thought of doing something culinary related for your extra income? Cookbook? Jams? Small catering jobs. This, of course, is my current dream. Maybe not your cup of tea.
All the best in 2008.

kim at allconsuming said...

I have 2kgs of apricots sitting on my kitchen bench - so I need to know your new technique!

Miss Eagle said...

Happy New Year. Congratulations on the achievements of 07. Blessings and bliss and may all your wonderful dreams in 08.

daisies said...

happy 2008 beautiful you ... i can't wait to see what wonders dance into your life in the new year :) wishing you laughter, love and much creative bliss!! xox
and um ~ yeah, it must have worked because the temperature actually got as low as 0 degrees celcius today, sunshine and everything ~ wow!! so warm for this time of the year, tee hee ~ i hope some of our frosty coldness danced over there to cool you off ;-)
i love love love going to ikea ~ its a journey, an outing, a playdate ...

di said...

Wow- what a fablous jam stash you have! Some fabulous ideas for the year ahead. I think I'd like to do a few of those things too... (plus make some jam next summer!)