5 Things

At the end of every year Bill and I have different routines. Bill likes to look back through his diary to ponder the things he has or hasn’t achieved, work out if we had more or less rain than usual, add up how much he’s spent on repairing farm machinery, compare the wheat price to the previous year … you get the drift. On the other hand, I write down what I’m doing in the coming year. This usually includes vague suggestions such as have friends over more often and go to the theatre more than once a year, together with a few more specific “things to do” like paint the front hall (a recurring entry for several years). Vague suggestions were quite easy to achieve or quietly forgotten about as they were difficult to quantify (how many times counts as more often?) and I rarely looked back to check what I’d written down.

feb index card
This year I decided to be more efficient and target driven, which is probably a result of hours spent working on Marketing, Tourism and Business Plans for a project that Ruth and I are trying to launch. In place of vagueness, I settled eventually on 5 headings of Discovering, Friends & Family, Growing, Making and Visiting. The headings are themselves a bit vague and open to a little twisting and contriving, but hey, I have to start somewhere. Under the headings, I shall write down 5 Things to do each month. Not necessarily new and wildly exciting things but just getting round to actually doing something. I often read about exhibitions or plays or courses and then forget about them or leave it too long so that they’re fully booked or have finished but now I shall write them down and make sure I go; I won’t just say that I’d like to learn how to make salami or upholster a chair but will find a course and learn. That’s the theory anyway. I started well enough in January but in February only got as far as writing a couple of things down and I shall have to fill in the card retrospectively.

I did check out Candlemas Day, we made pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and I did the knitting that I’d planned – a shawl because I loved the colours and more socks, because I can knit them without thinking too much about what I’m doing as essentially they’re a tube with no increasing or decreasing apart from the heel. Once the first few rows are completed, knitting with five needles is easy and looks far more complicated than it actually is and variegated yarn adds colour and pattern without the bother of changing yarns and dealing with the ends. I’m not a natural knitter. I follow patterns with little idea of why I’m instructed to “[k2tog] twice, [yo,k1] 4 times” until I’ve repeated it about a dozen times and finally realise what I’m doing. I had to restart the shawl (from Colours of Shetland by Kate Davies) three times because I got in such a muddle with the stitch chart and even then I realised about a third of the way through that I’d done a whole section completely wrong. Never mind, it might not be perfect, but it will keep me warm.

Under the February Visiting heading, I shall slip in the visits to farmers’ markets in between trips to the cinema and a Trade Show in Birmingham. After the disappointment of the local farmers’ market, I ventured further afield to Sudbury and found a bustling, thriving farmers market with stalls selling meats, bread, fruit and veg, cakes … My favourite stalls were the one selling wonderful fresh fruit and veg and The Gamekeeper’s Daughter selling rabbit pies and squirrel pasties.

For March I’m going to keep to my original idea by finding things to do and making sure I carry out my plans. Tell me, do you say yes to everything or do you say you’ll think about it and get no further? Do you regularly take on new challenges?

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13 thoughts on “5 Things

  1. Jane says:

    Ooh I do like the look of your special project! And your description of knitting gives me hope that maybe one day I can become a bit of a knitter too, if not a natural one.

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  2. Jayne says:

    I used to say yes to everything and then would be killing myself to get it done, now I say I’ll think about it and let it roll around in my mind a bit and see if it’s something I really want to do.

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  3. Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    Sometimes the act of writing things down helps sift what one really wants to make time for and what one doesn’t. I like your 5 headings. Interesting. Your knitting is fabulous by the way! And you say you aren’t a natural?! Looks like it to me! E x

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  4. sophiezest says:

    This sounds very organised. I wouldn’t be able to manage 5 things x 5 headings each month (I love the actual headings, though). Now that I have a little more me-time I am trying to take on new challenges, and really enjoying it. But I’ll only take something on if I have time to do it.

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  5. Glenda says:

    Hi Anne, I have taken to subscribing to a season of plays. That way you pay at the beginning of the year. This ensures, months later when the play is on, that you actually go.

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  6. erickett124 says:

    We have quite a good farmers market but it is only once a month which isn’t much help, but we do have a great farm shop which I only tend to visit in the winter when there isn’t much left in the garden.

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  7. Sarah @ Chantille Fleur says:

    Sounds like a great plan 🙂
    I’m making myself do things this year too….just as simple as I continually tell myself “you’ll have to find a recipe for homemade baked beans”, etc. I’m actually going to DO it! 🙂

    Sarah x

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  8. Ali says:

    I’m a bit of a ‘say yes to everything’ person, which is great for small things, but works less well with long term grand plans. You’ve been very knit-productive!

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  9. knitsofacto says:

    What a wonderful idea! Might I borrow it do you think.

    I just never seem to have enough time! I certainly need to be more focussed, and perhaps a little less ambitious, if I want to get things done.

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  10. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial says:

    Anne, what a lovely post! I wish you luck and joy with your new adventures this year. I rarely plan much like this anymore – since starting the blog, it’s a bit like a river and it just pulls me along in its tide, and I go with whatever it brings – at the moment, it’s lots of sourdough baking! But I did make a vague decision to spend more time exploring art this year, as we’d enjoyed our adventures last year so much! xxx

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