Monday, January 04, 2016

A Year of Good Intentions

Happy New Year!
Thank you to everyone who has sent us good wishes over the past few weeks.
Today is a public holiday in Scotland, so I am able to take this first Monday a little more easily than those to come.  FL has a hospital appointment tomorrow, so "back to work" is postponed a little longer.  And no, I still don't know how we are going to manage.  I need to have A Conversation with The Boss.

A favourite sunrise from 2015
Recent events have made me ever more determined to take more control of my life, so that is my theme for 2016.  Hmm... maybe I need a Theme Song - any good suggestions?!

My Intentions for the year are as follows:


  1. Put Up With Less, also known as "take greater responsibility".  I must fix things or get them fixed.  I started by ordering a new farm coat to replace the one with the broken zip, and new wellies (with furry lining!) to replace the leaking ones.  Both were remarkable sale bargains and the coat was from an ethical company.  I do not need to put up with being cold and wet every time I go out with dog!  The second thing I did was screw the handle back on to the door of the cooker.  It had been hanging off for a week.  The oven door handle has been off for almost a year and I can't work out how to reattach it, but I am the only one using it so that is less important.  FL could conceivably want to use the grill.
  2. Cook new recipes from my Anna Jones books. A far less fundamental goal, but it will help me stay focused on healthy eating.  FL is sleeping a lot and eating very little these days so it is all too easy to forget about meals, but I need my strength, both physical and mental.  I made some amazing pancakes out of chickpea flour and grated carrot the other day :)
  3. Get back to literature.  I had stopped reading and listening to audiobooks, for no good reason other than that I hadn't ordered any from the library.  Today I will make a list and get in the queue!  Any recommendations?
  4. Spin! I am really enjoying my spinning wheel.  I want to learn to do it better and try out different fibres.  I want to spin with particular knitting or crochet projects in mind.  I really fancy making a handspun blanket :)
  5. Knit from the stash.  I would prefer to invest my pocket money in spinning fibre than new yarn this year.  I have loads of lovely skeins waiting to be knit up and several patterns printed out and ready to go - I just need to sit down with a podcast for company and get on with it :)
  6. Sew what I want to wear. Obvious really.  Stop being sucked in by what the cool kids are making.
  7. Plan to attend a woolly event this year.  This one is really hard to do.  I can barely plan to the end of the week, not knowing how FL is going to be feeling from one day to the next. However, I have a tentative plan to go to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, down and back in the day.  March is a long way away.  Who knows what my life will look like by then!
7 goals - that's enough to be going on with.
I hope to keep blogging on a fairly regular basis.
If words elude me, I will at least aim to keep posting crafty catchups on Instagram, where I am theroobeedoo.  See you there?

Right... spinning!

27 comments:

Knitlass said...

A great list :-)

Try sugru for fixing the cooker handle. Santa gave us some for mending the lid of our slow cooker. I've given it to my dad/brother in the past - it's a great gift for people that like to fix things.

Good luck with the boss and the Conversation.

Mali Jones said...

I am inspired!

On the reading front, I recently finished " The Space Between Us" by Thrity Umrigar. Great story, strong characters, and a fascinating look into personal and cultural dynamics in a culture different from mine. I really enjoyed it, and have been recommending it to anyone looking for a good read.

coyotewoman said...

What kind of music do you listen to each day Roo? Your goals covered four senses: taste, smell, sight, touch but not sound. I'm unfamiliar with spinning does that produce a pleasing sound. Best wishes 2016.

Lizzi said...

A good list - achievable and energising. I love the new coat and wellies - it is funny how we plod on with the old stuff not realising that they do wear out.

I will be at EYF - if all goes to plan - it is a nice show and is warm and dry.

Melissa said...

I had to chuckle at the "stop making what the cool kids are wearing". I totally understand that as I've gone down that road and hope to avoid it as much as possible.

Your goals and intentions make me want to do some for myself besides the lofty "get healthier".

As to audiobooks, it really depends on what kinds of book you like. While I borrow a lot of fiction, I ended up buying the audiobook for "The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society". I really love the book in paper as well as audio form.

Have fun with your goals this year! BTW, which Anna Jones book are you talking about, her first or her new one?

Jenny Larking said...

Good luck with your plans Roo, it's good to have goals for yourself and to make plans, even if they have to be altered by circumstances. Because somebody gave me a paper diary which I don't have a lot of use for I have set myself a fun, unattainable target - to make one 'thing' every day and write it in the diary. So far, 4th January I have made 2 pouches and 2 sewing machine covers. I also added some elastic from my husband's old braces to my dog's coat so I count this as an extra. I know it won't last but it is one way to keep a record of what I make.
I love Ann Tyler's books - The Accidental Tourist, Back When We We Grownups, The Amateur Marriage are some. I must try to read more this year and put the iPad away occasionally.

Louise Perry said...

Great plans, good luck.

Charlotte said...

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr was lovely -- great storytelling, slightly magical but in a way that works, and actually surprised me a few times, which novels hardly ever do anymore.

Jennifer Hill said...

Excellent goals. I have three for this year, the most immediate one being to start my own blog - this month. Oo er. I would also like to be on IG but don't have a smart phone; I'm led to believe that's a necessity. I will follow you, however, despite the fact that getting more actually DONE, sewing, knitting, crafting etc, is another of my goals, which will require my third, greater focus and self discipline. Ho hum. Good luck with the Conversation; remember your goal 1!! You should surely be entitled to time off, and not as a favour, in the circs, no? Very best wishes for the New Year, Jen.

Lorenza de Medici said...

Ref book recommendations, these are my top reads of this year (in no particular order):
O Douglas, The Proper Place. Published in the 1920s. Scottish female writer. Story is set in the Borders and in Fife. I thought this was exquisite on the circumstances of women post WW1. Wikipedia rather dismissively says O Douglas writes nice stories (or something similar) but this covered the aftermath of the death of children and partners, changing class structures, the new mercantile class,different strands of Christianity in Scotland. Wonderful. Very insightful, loved the character developments. It's also humorous in places. I don't know why she's not better known. I borrowed this from my local library, which had to dig it out from the recesses of the Fiction Reserve.

Diana Gabaldon, The Outlander series. Well researched, rip-roaring stuff; historical fantasy. Interesting gender politics. Has inspired various knitting patterns on Ravelry. Lots of references to Scottish history.

Christine Dwyer Hickey, The Cold Eye of Heaven. Set in Dublin, a dying man thinks over his (seemingly uneventful) life. Beautifully written.

Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being. Loved, loved, loved this. Amazing meditation on being, Japanese mysticism, bullying, online pressures.

Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine, and What Matters in the End. Non-fiction. Might be a bit too close to your present circumstances but interesting and thoughtful, if perhaps more relevant to US readers in some of the details.

Rachel Cusk, Outline. This slim book packed a big punch. The narrator is a blank page for the stories of others and yet is very present as a character somehow - tour de force of writing.

William MacAskill, Doing Good Better: a radical new way to make a difference. Non-fiction. I don't agree with everything he says -he has no role for passion! - but lots of food for thought that can help in thinking how one can live one's life.

Mog said...

Hi Roo,
Wishing you well for tomorrow, The Talk, and focusing on your goals. Love the coat! Dog walking keeps the head clear and got me through some tough times.

Thinking about you, and sending best wishes up to the blustery north.x

jessica said...

Happy 2016, Roo! Great list - and I can definitely relate to accommodating quite a bit that really, perhaps, is unnecessary to accommodate! Good for you for taking advantage of those sales. Comfort on a walk (that happens daily/regularly) is key!

As for book recommendations, I think I dumped a bunch on my blog awhile ago. I really do love The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli though (I think that's how you spell it). Or The Brothers K by James Duncan, which is dense but funny and touching. Also, I find that a nice, chatty, fun book can be a great way to get back into reading, so can I also suggest the YA mystery series by Y.S. Lee? Female teenage sleuths set in Victorian English - silly and fun and strong females, all in a bundle together. There's four total but I most recommend the first two. (The last two seem to fall prey to the "have book contract, running out of time" syndrome. AKA "must add to series so people buy more of my books" syndrome.)

Good luck in your Conversation, and in book writing with FL in general :-). And don't be shy about using the resources available to you! If not used by you, then by who? (whom?)

Coco said...
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Coco said...
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MaryinTN said...

Very good intentions Roo. Hugs for you and for FL. I hope he is feeling better and is able to work on his book. That is one I would be very interested to read as you and he are such neat, wonderful folks! Have you seen the blog called Dovegreyreader Scribbles? She has many years worth of titles and reviews. I've been inspired to read those I can find here on this side of the pond based on her reviews. Now that your first intention has lit a fire under my chair too, I finally called in a service appointment for my truck.

K.Line said...

I love your list. So sensible, nourishing and laudable. Giving you good vibes for your convo with your boss.

poppyinstitches said...

great list, love the sound of the chickpea pancakes. I must seek out this book, picking up Jamie Oliver's new cook book from the library today (to aid my healthy eating 2016) after my teen vetoed eating anything from Eat, Nourish, Glow :D(

Roobeedoo said...

Thank you for your comments Coco. The purpose of this post was to try to put myself first for a change. FL has someone to look after him. Me. If I don't look after myself then we will both be in a mess. If that makes me self absorbed then so be it. As for having respect for him, I am sure he would agree that everything I have written is true and it might help someone else to understand what is ahead for them, so they can try to be prepared. There is a taboo around the reality of death and dying which does not help anyone. I see you deleted your comments. I hope that getting that off you chest was helpful to you. Good luck with your own health issues. I hope you have someone to look after you.

Knitlass said...

Here's a link to info about sugru: https://sugru.com/

Alimak said...

All the best to you and your family in 2016, Roobedoo! :-)
Obviously, whatever you choose that will work for you will be good, but I will admit to hoping that you don't replace blogging with Instagram. I really love your blog. The way you write is smart, funny, candid, and so inviting, I check back everyday and keep scrolling through the archives to hang out with your writing's voice some more. So thank you for that! And I hope that the new year brings you and your loved ones joy, peace, and health (yes, yes, yes!).

deborah said...

Your positive, determined attitude to all life throws at you is utterly astounding and inspiring. I wish you the very best with The Talk and hope they prove supportive and constructive. I also recommend "All the Light..." and, as well as Dove Grey Reader, look at Cornflower blog's book section which always has sound recommendations. Wishing you all the very best for 2016, my goodness you deserve it. PS Thank you for putting Anna Jones our way- completely delicious!

coyotewoman said...

You are absolutely right when you wrote "If I don't look after myself then we will both be in a mess". Time and time again in the Emergency Departments that I worked in 26 years as a Registered Nurse then Physician Assistant (mid-level provider) we saw thoroughly exhausted caretakers come though the door. When there is know other immediate family, friends or church group to take up the slack then unanticipated decisions about interim care must be made by social services and medical professionals. The added stressors can cause huge setbacks. You are so smart to appreciate the self-care as a priority. That is probably the hardest thing to do for someone in your shoes and therefore a most unselfish duty. My heart goes out to you. My husband was only recently diagnosed with MM and your blog is an inspiration of resilience,strength courage and caring. Thank you for so generously sharing your experiences.

coyotewoman said...

You are absolutely right when you wrote "If I don't look after myself then we will both be in a mess". Time and time again in the Emergency Departments that I worked in 26 years as a Registered Nurse then Physician Assistant (mid-level provider) we saw thoroughly exhausted caretakers come though the door. When there is know other immediate family, friends or church group to take up the slack then unanticipated decisions about interim care must be made by social services and medical professionals. The added stressors can cause huge setbacks. You are so smart to appreciate the self-care as a priority. That is probably the hardest thing to do for someone in your shoes and therefore a most unselfish duty. My heart goes out to you. My husband was only recently diagnosed with MM and your blog is an inspiration of resilience,strength courage and caring. Thank you for so generously sharing your experiences.

Amphibiaknitter said...

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is a brilliant book (both print and audiobook). It will make you cry, but it is so worth it. It's a brilliant read about a curmudgeon determined to end his own life after his wife's death, but he ends up continually thwarted in his attempts by the people around him who grow to become his family.

Hang in there.

Laudable goals for the year. I love the new coat.

The Coffee Lady said...

I listen to a lot of audiobooks due to a ridiculously long school run so here are some of my recommendations. I'm glad there's something I can offer you, however small.

Richard Russo's Empire Falls - this is the loveliest book I have ever read. It won the Pulitzer a few years back and it is so gentle and so warm.

The Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) crime books are a lot of fun - there are three of them. Ridiculous plots but very well voiced by the other Glenister (not the totty one). Escapism at its best.

A much harder - but utterly gripping - listen was The Passage by Justin Cronin. Lots of vampires and blood and dystopia and horror but I couldn't stop listening. Very, very dark, though.

Beautiful Lies by Clare Clark was a great listen; really good literary historical fiction. I tried Wolf Hall as an audiobook but just got really confused by it; couldn't work out who was who until I borrowed the actual book out of the library.

Middlemarch by George Eliot - read it years ago, never appreciated it until I heard it read aloud.

Neil Gaiman's American Gods - lots of figures from myths and legends running cons in America. Dark, again.

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Utter cobblers, lady priestesses and King Arthur and faeries and wotnot, but loads of pseudo-mythological fun.

The Coffee Lady said...

Most of my book choices are very long, though, so be warned - every so long I take out a discounted membership of Audible and choose books deliberately on length, because I was brought up to get my money's worth!

MaryinTN said...

You are right in putting yourself first. How else can you make the right decisions for FL's care and comfort. Hugs at this terribly difficult time. If you were closer I'd be there in person to help. And I think I speak now for all your readers who care about you and love both you and FL.