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It’s always easy to be on the wagon the first couple of weeks of January. And especially so when you’re still on holidays.

But for the record:

Tonight I cooked dinner. And it was delicious. I’m back on the 12WBT and I made the eggplant and sweet potato bake. And it was divine. Definitely a recipe to keep on hand to sub in for ones we don’t like. And best, it serves 4 so we have a meal for tomorrow.

I watered my garden, aka 6 fruit trees. My father-in-law watered them whilst we were away and even discovered the three I’d planted at the very back of our backyard (note, you can see from the back door to the back fence even though the lot is hu-uge, on account of the barren wasteland in between these two points). He told me he drenched these when he was there and that he thought 2 of the three could be saved. But today when I headed out and watered them, I saw budding green leaves way at the bottom of the dead sticks. I think maybe, just maybe, this watering thing could be something. And my potted dwarf fruit trees on the patio also look so much healthier than when I left them too, despite the heatwave. Ahem.

I worked on cleaning and decluttering and tidying too and for the first time ever after a trip, my bag is unpacked and my clothes washed and put away, a day after arriving home. I’ve also tried something new, instead of letting new gifts “settle in” (the time you allow possessions to just become at one with your house whilst remaining packed in their packaging and in fact just sort of metres from the front door where you first left them when you brought them in), I’ve unpacked and washed what needed washing and started using things. I’m trying this out because I’m terrified of becoming a hoarder and also because when you leaves things for “special” or for “the right time/use”, you just end up never using them at all. And if they are remotely perishable, like candles or body lotion or tea, you end up throwing them out without ever having enjoyed them at all. I guess I’m exploring the enjoy things early even if that means you’ll have used them later.

I started airing my yarn stash. This involves pulling it all out and looking at it. I’m entering all my stash into Ravelry, at the moment without photos to speed up the process and just have something that’s workable. (I’m girliejones over there). As I work through things, I’ll tag them slightly better, etc. I’m a bit scared about the total tally – that it will be ridiculously huge. And at the same time, I’ve just been looking at my more precious skeins, with the idea of looking to keep for items for myself because I LOVE and must HAVE that yarn vs using it to make for gifts for someone else i think would appreciate the colourway more, and also with the intention to reduce the amount of stash overall (so looking for projects as well, rather than just having it there “in case the whimsy takes hold”) and there is a little bit of anxiety about it – not actually wanting to give up the pile of skeins, liking and wanting the pile of skeins in and of itself. Which is not *so* terrible if the idea is that I am a yarn collector rather than knitter. But how big should a collection really be, if that’s the case? And I’m not sure that’s the case with me (though … ooh “collector” is such a dangerous word in this house … must put down the obsession, and walk away). I’m trying to console myself with the idea that when I use up all the yarn, I *can* buy more. There’s no rule that says no purchasing of future yarn in the future. But still. Pile of yarn. So yummy.

I’ve also started trying to rationalise and make better use of online (and social media) tools. I think the name of the game will be to streamline internet use both to reduce the time spent whilst also maximising exposure to quality content that genuinely interests me. So that’s meant culling subscriptions to feeds on Google Reader and being hones about what blogs and sites I genuinely want to read. And getting back into using Ravelry properly, as mentioned above. I’ve also been using and tidying up my Bookmarks (for some reason I stopped using Bookmarks in like 1998 and then never occurred to me to use them as a way of refinding things on the net. Don’t ask!) I also tidied up my Pinterest account – I got one ages ago as a way of brainstorming for my wedding palate so I never really mentioned it. But now that’s done (and really, was there a reason the colours and themes of my wedding needed to be a secret? I was always torn on that one), Pinterest can be for fun! And also, there’s my wedding board still there if it interests anyone. You’ll not be shocked to find out I am girliejones there either.

 



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Determined to get back to this blog every day thing (remember when I used to post like 9 times a day? Who was that person?), if I have nothing to say, I’m going to work on Resolution #1 – Focus on the positive. So here goes.

I thought I would have lost weight over the trip – I had a Crohns flare up for about 3 weeks and whilst that’s not the way one wants to lose weight, I thought that that with all the walking we did, maybe just maybe I’d finally break through my barrier. Weigh in says no. Which was sad at first. Funny how we always think we burn way more calories walking than we remotely do. And I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I could whilst away – French food might not be up there on the vegetarian stakes, and it might be very rich, which is not great when Crohnsing, but I love love love the patisseries and the chocolates and the hot chocolate which I drank instead of coffee and the crepes. Sigh. Oh the crepes. So … yes, considering all these things. I did not put weight on whilst gorging in Paris. And I am calling that a win!

While we were away, my Father-in-law (am using it til it stops sounding weird, ok?) popped in to our place when he was in the area to look in on things. In other galaxy and another time, I would have absolutely hated this. But this is not that time or place. He managed to be at our place just as our fridge tripped the fuse and so he was able to save the contents (not much as we had cleaned out before leaving) and put it on an extension cord to another power point. He also totally saved one of my fruit trees in the back, which I’d given up for dead, by soaking it with water when he was there. AND he chatted to our next door neighbour whom I’m ashamed to say I’ve never met, in two years, as I’m shy and not the popping in to introduce myself sort, such that she came over to say congrats to us as we arrived home last night AND offered us a dip in her pool if it gets too hot AND this morning when I put the bin out, I totally wished her good morning. I’m so glad for the icebreaking as it’s a bit scary being all by yourself in a suburb if something happens.(And she’s really nice, as it turns out).

I was worried that we would have this total anticlimactic let down on getting home from our holidays. I’d deliberately tried to head that off by inviting parents and siblings over for brunch tomorrow as the presents get delivered from the bridal registry. So I’m looking forward to that. But I’d forgotten we had our Christmas presents loot stashed at C’s parents while we were gone and we went passed there on the way home from the airport yesterday. So I got to remember how lovely they were – I got Haighs chocolates and tea, lots of tea, and some glass jars which I totally wanted (the other Alisa has homemade nougat and little macaroons on her countertops in them). And one last present we got to unwrap which was … a TEA BOX!



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We arrived home this afternoon from our gorgeous honeymoon. We were so sad to leave Paris and it seems so odd to have just been there, scoffing croissants and sipping hot chocolate yesterday, and today, it’s back to real life. We still have a few bits of our wedding to hang on to for the next couple of days but come Monday, it’s back to the grind.

We had a bit of a horror final flight home. But flying from Paris to Singapore, I watched three fantastic movies and finished off Season 6 of The Closer. The movies I thoroughly enjoyed:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – 5 stars! – intensely heartbreaking indie film about, and yet celebrating, the pain that is high school, and being different. Loved it. (And yes, those who heard C’s wedding vows, I cried)

Pitch Perfect – 4 stars! – OMG. Accawesome! This film is funny and brilliant and reminded me that I need to watch more dance, singing and 80s movies this year. I LOVE Rebel Wilson. She is choosing some really brilliant roles for herself. She does tend to play the same role, but I love it. In Pitch Perfect, she was funny without her being fat being the joke. And she’s just outstandingly confident and self assured and brilliant. And sometimes her confidence is situationally over the top but not always. LOVE her. (Also, oddly quite loving Anna Kendrick even when I didn’t really love her in Step Up 4).

Paris Manhattan – 3.5 stars – French film debut by Sophie Lellouche – Alice is obsessed with Woody Allen. Her Parisian Jewish family are odd, or perhaps not really. She is 30 and single and not wanting to be. But she’s complex and difficult. Set in the 4th Quarter of Paris, I loved the backdrop for its familiarity. And it had a happy ending.

What I noticed though, including with The Closer, is lately I have been choosing and enjoying TV and Film with female characters as leads, who are interesting and complex and are romantically with men who genuinely love them for who they are and are interested in what it is that they are doing, actively support and encourage it. That’s kind of a really nice trend.

 



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