Saturday 31 December 2011

Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt: December

Emma is still guest hosting the Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt. Have a squizz at her blog to see the other entries this month.

1. Inspiration

This is my stash cupboard. It represents just under half of my stash, I type, shamefacedly. However, it has been my inspiration this month: I've quite enjoyed going upstairs, opening it up and rummaging around for something new to knit. A lot of the yarn is bagged up with a project in mind, so it keeps me from having to think too hard about what to knit. Perfect for this time of year.

2. Something I Made

Looking a bit sorry for itself after two days of wear, and covered in fuzz from the Christmassy hats I was knitting, this was my last minute attempt at a Christmas jumper for the end of term. I loosely stitched a Yule tree onto the front of a plain jumper from New Look and decorated it with a star brooch. I thought the result was pretty tasteful for a Christmas jumper.

3. Motif: Geometric
Nobody does Geometric like the Malaysians.

Even the drain covers are beautiful.

4. Colour

I think I've put pictures of this bush up before but I am so grateful for it in December. I'm a terrible gardener but this camellia has survived all my neglect and every winter blooms with these bright pink flowers just as it gets coldest. It is best viewed from the kitchen window and makes the washing up that little bit more palatable.

5. Festive

Not the obvious, but when the mitten curled up on the stair above my latest pair of beautiful shoes, it was a lovely sparkly picture of two of my favourite things, and made me feel quite full of the joys of the season.

Friday 30 December 2011

2011 Resolutions Round Up

I set myself ten resolutions here

1. Be capable of doing five full press ups without stopping. At the moment, I can do one - badly.
Yes - ish. I told personal trainer Jenny that this was my goal and she promptly stopped allowing me to wimp out and do box press ups, and now all press ups are full ones. But, I dispute them being proper, because I can't press down very far. It looks kind of pathetic. But I'm going to say yes anyway, because actually I can get to 12 without stopping, which is a big achievement.

2. Wear the flowery Coast dress I bought in the charity shop to the staff Christmas party - or have worn it to the leavers' ball, if it fits by then, in which case I will allow myself to splash out on a new dress.
No. It is still a little snug, though not as bad as it was. There was no weight loss this year. I am mega strong and a bit buff now, though.

3. Have finished the Knitpicks sampler lace shawl I started last June.
No. I have added precisely two rows to this. I worked out, when I pulled out the shawl in September, that if I added one row a day I would be finished by the end of the year. That lasted 2 days.

4. Be able to crochet....yes, it is a Dark Art, but there is this beautiful crocheted scarf pattern that I have an urgent need to make.
No. I borrowed Rachel's book but I still haven't opened it.

5. Have done something high. By which I mean, parascending, sky diving, rock climbing....
Yes. I did glacier walking in Iceland. It was pretty high off the ground.

6. Be a regular contributor so my savings account.
Yes! And in March my final student loans payments go out, so that contribution can go up. I'm a proper grown up.

7. Have decorated Bunny Towers with lots of photographs and pictures. More to look at on the walls, please!
So, I haven't exactly done this, but there is decorating afoot at the moment which makes it a bit difficult. I keep looking through pictures and picking out a few new ones to get printed. It's on the back burner.

8. Have to come up with a new ultimate goal, having finally crossed the equator into the southern hemisphere.
Yes. Visit Machu Picchu. Then I can also say I have visited six continents (I'm not sure I'll ever make it to Antarctica, but asfter watching Frozen Planet religiously these past few weeks some kind of penguin colony visit sounds very tempting.)

9. Finally have an A* in a GCSE, hopefully. I had better started revising now.
Yes! A* Geology GCSE is now mine.

10. Be up to 150 projects on Ravelry. This one is going to be difficult...
It was. I am up to 129, from 111. It hasn't been a great year for my knitting mojo. However, working on small projects has helped so I am going to continue in that vein next year.

Hmmm...not bad. Win some, lose some. I am pretty happy with how this year went, to be honest.

Thursday 29 December 2011

December Goals Round Up

An outstandingly successful month in terms of goals! Especially considering it's December.

Knit hats for Mother Hand and Sib's girlfriend for Christmas.
Done! And I blogged about them here and here.

Write and post at least ten Christmas cards.
Done. I bought some beautiful cards from the Natural History Museum, with pictures from the Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition, and wrote them on the coach home. Win!

Have all marking up to date by the end of term.
Done. It may have given me neck ache, but definitely done.

Plan 75% of lessons for the first week back after Christmas.
By the end of term, I'd planned 10 out of 16 lessons, which left only the sixth form lessons. I thought this was good enough, in spite of it not being quite 75%. Of the six lessons left, I can double up two, which improves my score to 10/14. I'll take that.

Do my tax return for 2010/11. This is always a Boxing Day job but I may have to do it a bit earlier this year.
As of December 22nd, this was basically the last thing on this list I had left to do (not including short turns but I'm quietly confident about those) - so I was motivated to complete it a full four days early. And motivated to keep my documents better organised for next year, and complete my tax return earlier, in say, April. And not make a mistake on it. I think I might have made a small mistake. Not as big as last year's mistake, when I missed a decimal point and briefly owed more than £3 million in tax, but a mistake nevertheless.

Take five new ideas from the Google Teacher meet up in London I'm going to and blog about them on my work blog.
Didn't come away with five ideas - it wasn't that sort of event - but I did blog about it.

Get very drunk at least twice. I seem to avoid drunkeness these days but I think it's good to cut loose now and again.
Definitely done....

Really crack short turns when I'm skiing in three weeks.
Since I am currently away doing this (the joys of post scheduling) I can't say with all certainty that I have achieved this. But I am very hopeful that I will have.

Wednesday 28 December 2011

Places I have been in 2011

It's been a manic year of travelling. My passport is well-thumbed, and my little car racking up its mileage. I managed seven trips out of the country this year; three of those were thanks to work so I have not done too badly at all! I think seven foreign trips might be a little excessive, though. It adds up to a little over two months. I wonder if I could claim back some council tax for that?

February -
Warrington - to see my friend Siany
Switzerland - long weekend skiing with Mr Z, Sib and Elise

Iceland - school trip

March -
Cornwall - weekend away with work friends

Shaftesbury - knitting group weekend away

April -
Austria - Saalbach - school ski trip

Sheffield - Easter weekend with best friend Jen
Taunton - royal wedding barbecue with Ben and Kirsty

May -
New York - with Mr Z to visit Keith & Gina

(My favourite moment on this particular day was when we were in a juice bar and a girl in a Batman t-shirt walked past, and she and Mr Z had a moment)

Pittsburgh - road trip to see Lisa, for the first time in 10 years!
Can't believe I don't have any pictures of this.

June -
London - exam board meeting. Yawn. But I got to meet Kerrie's new baby and see Sib's new flat.

July -
Cardiff - Conference I organised for eight schools at the university.

Australia - THE holiday of 2011.

August -
Australia - still! Well, I did go for a month.

Singapore, very briefly

October -
Sheffield/Mansfield - Combined visit to Jen and first aid course
Austria - Stubai, via Munich - ASCL course.

November -
Redditch - finally did my grandaughter duty! And said goodbye to Sian who has now moved to Australia.

December -
Two day trips to London: one for the Natural History Museum, one for the Google thing.

France - Briancon - personal ski trip. Expect lots of pictures in the new year!

I realised, when I looked at Flickr, that I haven't been diligent in uploading my pictures there this year, so I am rectifying that. My 2011 collection is here, if you want to look at more pictures!

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Tuesday Ten

Ten Gifts of Christmas

1. This Dualit hand whisk, from Mother Hand. I particularly love that it has beaters, dough hooks AND a balloon whisk.

2. This amazing pillow, from Sib and Elise.

3. A very generous voucher for aforementioned home goods shop, to go with the pillow. Really looking forward to browsing at length and buying stuff for our newly decorated living room.

4. Three boxes of After Eights, from various members of my tutor group. I don't know what it is about me that says chocolate mint. I've played a lot of rounds of the After Eight game this season.

5. A Chromebook, from Google. I couldn't quite believe it when they said they were giving them out at the teacher meetup.

6. A reel of Merry Christmas ribbon and some very lovely gift tags from my work secret Santa. Since I organised it this year, I gave myself the deputy head who line manages me, thinking it would make it a little easier because she knows me, and she has bought me a nice gift in the past when I knitted her a tea cosy. She didn't disappoint.

7. A red and white spotty lunch bag from my forum secret friend (just the right size for my Bento box!), along with a pair of snowflake socks and a bar of Milka.

8. Two boxes of story cubes from Mr Z. LOVE!

9 and 10 reserved for gifts from my local friends whom I could not see before Christmas, thanks to the obligatory end-of-term cold I was briefly struck down by. Damn cold.

Hope you all got some lovely things too!

Sunday 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas, and final FOs of 2011

Thank you for reading my blog. In November I had the most number of monthly readers ever, which was quite nice. I do wonder who on earth finds this stuff interesting, since I still seem to be writing this blog merely to amuse myself - but I do appreciate you for popping over and partaking of my ramblings. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a very merry New Year.

Here are my final FOs of 2011:

My Christmas Hat

Pattern: Peace Street Hat by Grace Akhrem, again
Yarn: The so-lovely Araucania Azapa, about 3 metres less than a skein
Needles: 4mm and 4.5mm
Mods: I thought I knew better, this time around, and added an extra stitch in the garter edge on the right hand edge to stop the brim edge from curling. Turns out I hadn't thought it through properly, and I should have added it on the left hand edge; so when I was time to pick up stitches for the crown I had to do it opposite to the pattern, which meant I had to knit an extra row before I did the increases (I purled it instead of knitting so my hat had a solely stockinette crown), and the button flap is on the opposite side. But it was OK.

I finally used this very special Victorian glass button I have been hanging onto for a while:

I put it with three grey-black glass buttons I scavenged from Gill, who comes to the Get Knitted knitting group and is unfailingly generous with her buttons and brought in the entire collection for us to rummage through a few months ago.

I really love this hat. Like, really. Like, so much, it has bumped the double-pointed Santa hat for the last few days before Christmas, which is kind of sad really because the Santa hat can't be worn any other time of year. So much, that I got it cast on and finished in less than 48 hours. Just have to make sure I don't wear it when I'm around Elise.

Another chevron headband

Pattern: Made it up
Yarn: Rico Design Creative Poems Aran
Needle: 3.75mm

When I went up to look at my stash this jumped out at me for my friend's Christmas present, so I knit her a headband with it. It's the same basic pattern as this one but I decreased towards the crown so that it bows inwards a bit, more like a hat. Quite pleased with how it turned out.

By Ravelry's reckoning, that's 15 projects FO'd in 2011, slightly down on 2010's 17 but I will take it, since many months seemed to pass with no knitting happening at all. Eight of those were stashbusters, and I have a further five new projects on the needles; one is this rose chair which is going to be a long, long WIP, and the other is a two row lace scarf I keep for when I need something easy and portable. I have nearly finished my first sock - maybe for next Christmas. That gives me 365 days, since it's a leap year. Better go and get started now....

Friday 23 December 2011

Weekword: Mail

Emma picked this week's word. Please pop over to see her post, especially about her inspiration by post project (which I would love to take part in next year!), and read everybody else's.

I like getting nice mail, and I like sending it too. I have a stash of nice cards which I break out when I have a little spare time, which isn't often enough to warrant the amount of cards I buy. I guess they fall into that stationery bracket and are therefore irresistible to me.

My love of nice things in the post is probably what keeps me signing up for the secret swaps on my favourite forum. I've been doing these for years, but their current incarnation is secret friends, which lasts a year and involves three pieces of post and endless stalking. I love coming home to a surprise gift at a random moment, and this year my secret friend has had a good line in cupcake cards with recipes on the back which I LOVE. Putting the parcels together is really fun, too.

I particularly like getting magazines in the post. I subscribe to a knitting magazine and a History teacher magazine and I love it when they arrive, because flicking through them fills the hour or two between getting home and eating dinner. I think I might start subscribing to one or two more next year. We get quite a lot of junk mail and it would be nice to have more good stuff in there.

This is my 22nd Weekword post for this year, and I've really enjoyed learning some new words and reading some new blogs, as a result of participating. I hope we can continue our little word-picking circle in the new year - have a great holiday season, everyone!

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Tuesday Ten

Ten Random Things

1. I've got a roll of Christmas paper that I bought roughly eight Christmases ago. I wonder if it will ever be used up.

2. I really hope I don't have to have a filling again at the dentist tomorrow.

3. All I want to do is buy festive food but there's no point because I won't be here to eat it.

4. Must buy Mr Z ham and assorted pickles tomorrow or the next day. Probably the next day - I couldn't get it in the fridge at the moment, thanks to the turkey.

5. I wonder if I can make inroads into my stash in 2012? I mean, proper inroads. Inroads enough that all of my yarn fits in all of my storage without lying around the house in plastic bags and boxes, upsetting Mr Z.

6. Odds and Todds up the 'wood is THE. BEST. PLACE. to go when you need to buy a gift for someone who is usually impossible to buy for.

7. Woody's girlfriend in This Is England '88 has the same haircut I rocked for basically the whole of the 90s. And she was wearing one of the best Christmas jumpers I've ever seen.

8. The Blogger interface doesn't work properly on this Chromebook. How ironic, since this is Google's OS, and Google's blogging site.

9. I'm not complaining because this Chromebook was free! Definitely worth going to the teacher thingie yesterday, even if it rained solidly and I have the obligatory holiday cold.

10. I know Mr Z would be happiest if I were now to just say - moo.

Weekend FO

Elise's Christmas Hat

Pattern: Peace Street Hat by Grace Akhrem from Interweave Holiday Gifts
Yarn: The ever-luscious Araucania Azapa
Needles: 4mm and 4.5mm
Mods: None. Except, I didn't sew on a row of buttons. I treated Elise to three buttons from my Swarovski crystal set, which hopefully made up for the fact that I bought Sib a Kindle whilst she, his girlfriend of two years, got a hand knitted accessory. She is dark-haired and pale with very lovely dark eyes and I thought the contrast of the buttons on the yarn would suit her, which I think it did.

I loved this hat a lot. If I hadn't finished it 30 minutes before she arrived, I might have kept it for myself and knitted her something else. But there. I think I have another skein of this, I can always make myself one.

(By the time I published this post, I had already finished the one for me!)

Saturday 17 December 2011

Weekword: Resolution

Late to the party AGAIN this week! It hs been quite a full-on week, though, so I am letting myself off. Again.

picked this week's word, resolution. Good word! I have been thinking about it this week, too, because I have been reviewing my resolutions post from January to see whether I can get any of them done in the next two weeks. You might have noticed, if you read regularly, that I make monthly resolutions too.

These are very motivating for me. For example, a resolution for December was to get all my marking done and my lessons planned before the holidays. One Thursday afternoon when my neck was sore and I was tired, I used this as a motivation to mark that last set of books, even though my trainer then had to rub my neck for me for 15 minutes because I was so stiff when I got to her; and on Friday morning, when I was even more tired and really not feeling like it, I worked through several slides of a year 11 lesson I needed to plan to reach my goal.

I don't know if I would have done it without the extra motivation of having to account for my actions on this blog, even though nobody is going to tell me off in the comments for not doing it ;) Again, it's the action of writing things down and ticking them off that makes me get my head down and do the task.

Just a quickie today, unfortunately, because I have to go and fetch Sib and Sib's girlfriend from the train station, ready to scoff this enormous turkey dinner I (or Mr Z, actually) have been preparing all afternoon. But thanks for picking such an apt word for this week, Emily!

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Yule Trees in the Wild

I felted my Yule Trees last weekend.

One went out in a secret swap, one went to Mr Z's work and the other is on my desk at work.

I cut a semi-circle out of some card I no longer needed and stapled it together to stabilise the base. And then I coloured in that star myself and attached it to the top with some sellotape. I like it a lot! Next year, when we have a decorated lounge that we can put Christmas decorations up in, I hope to have a small forest of them. I certainly bought enough green cascade for a forest. I am also quite pleased that the medium sized trees came out at a very nice size, because I don't know if I could face knitting the biggest ones.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Tuesday Ten

Ten things left to look forward to this year

1. Natural History Museum school trip tomorrow. Bring on the fossils. And the gift shop.
2. "Wine tasting" on Thursday night. I use quotes as I don't imagine, it being the last full day of term, that I'll be spitting any out.
3. Drinks with the ski trip lot on Friday afternoon. Something mulled, hopefully.
4. Get Knitted Knatterers Christmas do on Saturday morning.
5. Early Christmas dinner with Mother Hand, Sib and Sib's girlfriend on Saturday night. I have ordered a turkey crown as big as my head.
6. Meeting Parpy Jo's new baby son, Morgan, who was born by emergency C section on Sunday night (Mother Hand's birthday!)
7. Going to the Google offices again next Monday night to catch up with the people I met 18 months ago and share new ideas.
8. Being off school and getting a few lie ins.
9. Actual Christmas, obviously. Looking forward to Father Z mixing me a gin and Dubonnet as I go through the door.
10. Hard to think of a 10. Hmm. OhyeahI'mgoingSKIINGagain!! New Year on the slopes, woop woop!

Monday 12 December 2011

Weekend FO

Mother Hand's Christmas hat

It's quite literally blowing a gale tonight and I wasn't home in time to get a good shot of this in natural light so you'll just have to lump it I'm afraid - I've been trying to get a good picture for the last five minutes and have run out of patience!

Also there is something seriously wrong with Blogger and its picture uploader. It's almost as if they want me to use Flickr instead....

Pattern: Star-Crossed Sloutchy beret (Rav link) - third outing for this one and I actually used a smaller needle for the ribbing, for once!
Yarn: Knit Picks Andean Silk - I really love this yarn; so soft, and has a lovely sheen about it in the finished article.
Needles: 5.5mm and 6.5mm - I reduced needle size due to the thinner yarn.
Mods: None, other than the needle size. Hence, the hat does not slouch the way it is supposed to; but it's for Mother Hand, and I think it will suit her quite nicely.

I am officially, therefore, halfway towards completing the first of my December goals. And I'm halfway through Sib's girlfriend's hat, so it looks like I'm going to make it.

I also got very drunk at Friday night's Christmas party, so you can see I am really dedicated to my goals this month.

Sunday 11 December 2011

Weekword: Colour

Late to the party this week, thanks to Friday's Christmas party frolics and yesterday's sucky internet connection.

Sally picked the word colour. It is a good one! I am a big fan of all things colourful. We live in one of those houses that will need repainting before being put up for sale, you know - red bedroom, dark purple spare room, sky blue office, and a red and black kitchen with a big red fridge. It was a surprise to both of us, I think, when we selected a relatively muted green and insert-euphemistic-name-for-beige-here for the living room, but I have some vintage blue batik fabric for curtains which needed something to contrast with.

Monument valley in 2007. It was a bright day and I love blue, so I tried to get as much sky in as possible. I'm not quite sure what happened to make it so dark, but I like it.

I follow a similar pattern when it comes to clothes. I avoid black. I have a black summer dress, a black winter dress and one black t-shirt. I avoid white as well, because I like to be able to spill. Being my own pop of colour around the place is the best way I know to brighten up a grey day.

Wildflowers - I'm not a fan of yellow but I make exceptions for natural yellows.

This year's "Autumn tree through the front door" shot. I love the colours of this tree and we get to enjoy this for almost a month. It looks even more splendid when the sun is on it and the colours are reflected into the hallway. It almost makes up for having to brush past it to get out of the house - never great when it's been raining.

Lovely word! Looking forward to reading all the other interpretations. Make sure you go to Sally's blog and check them out.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Goals for December

This time of year, my thoughts turn to survival. I feel like I'm one side of a war of attrition and my single focus is not allowing myself to be ground into the mud that threatens to envelope my classroom, and not giving in and just going to sleep as soon as I get home from work. So my goals are going to be quite focused on things to help me with this!
  • Knit hats for Mother Hand and Sib's girlfriend for Christmas.
  • Write and post at least ten Christmas cards.
  • Have all marking up to date by the end of term.
  • Plan 75% of lessons for the first week back after Christmas - we arrive back from skiing on an 8pm flight on Monday, and term starts on Tuesday, and although it should be an inset day, it's now been changed. So straight back to the chalkface and the only way I won't feel like it's a whole new attrition war is if I plan it before I leave!
  • Do my tax return for 2010/11. This is always a Boxing Day job but I may have to do it a bit earlier this year.
  • Take five new ideas from the Google Teacher meet up in London I'm going to and blog about them on my work blog.
  • Get very drunk at least twice. I seem to avoid drunkeness these days but I think it's good to cut loose now and again.
  • Really crack short turns when I'm skiing in three weeks. Assuming there is actually some snow by then. Crossing everything.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Tuesday Ten

Ten Things I'd Like For Christmas (an annual post that makes me hopeful)

1. A red Dualit handwhisk. Mother Hand's getting me this. My old handwhisk was a gift from my grandparents for my 18th birthday, so it has lasted well but it's time to put it out to pasture, with easy things like egg whites and cream.

2. Scrabble cushions. They will go beautifully in our newly decorated lounge. Sib is in charge of purchasing these.

3. In fact, almost anything from Literary Gifts. I like this, these (would be so amazing for school!) and these which made me squeak OMGSCRABBLEONTHEFRIDGE when I saw them, in a voice only dogs could hear.

4. Some more of this yarn. There was a pattern for a whole cardigan knitted from it in one of the summer Vogue Knittings, and although I think such a thing preposterous, given the cost of the yarn, I am hankering after it a little.

5. A hypoallergenic pillow. I'm so tired of wishing I could take my sinuses out, rinse them and put them back in. Itchy, tickly nose, begone.

6. Amazon gift vouchers. I seem to buy basically all my music and books from Amazon these days, and some credit with them would go down a treat, particularly since you can't buy Kindle books as gifts at the moment.

7. Some of this Neals Yard moisturiser. They gave away free samples with a magazine, which were passed on to me by Parpy Jo, and I have become a fan. Feel a bit guilty because I still love Lush skincare, and their Gorgeous moisturiser is still my favourite, but since they discontinued my all-time number one facial product, I am making sure I have some alternatives available.

8. Some thermals. Funky ones. Something I can wear for skiing and also around the house. I can't find any I like online.

9. A big bottle of Moroccanoil. This product allows me to leave my hair to dry naturally, without putting up with stupid frizziness. Ergo, it is a much cheaper version of a Brazilian Blowdry.

10. Credit cards to be paid off. Hey, it didn't have to be a realistic list, did it? And if Father Hand ever strikes it lucky on that gold claim he's got in Idaho, you never know....

Friday 2 December 2011

Weekword: Novel

Emma at the Gift Shed picked this week's word, novel. A fitting word for the end of NaNoWriMo!

I am always tempted by NaNoWriMo, but I know my limits. I remember the first year I picked applicants for the Malaysia trip, and I was super-impressed that one of the girls had completed the challenge, in her GCSE year no less. I questioned her about it during the trip and she recommended a great tool to use when you want to write but are distracted by other things. It's called Write Or Die. If you stop typing for a certain length of time it starts eating your words! I note it is now available as an app, too.

Once I was writing a novel, back when I moved to Bristol and had very, very dull office temp work. I reckon I'd written about a fifth, and I had my whole plot outlined, but then I started teacher training and it all got a bit lost. I didn't have time and my own story had diverged completely from the character I was writing. I used to think the best novels were written by people writing semi-autobiographically but since I've started to favour historical novels, obviously that has changed. Now I think that good writers draw on their experiences but perhaps only in terms of an emotional reaction or a relationship dynamic, though these might appear differently through the lens of the story around it.

I did always want to be a novelist, though. Perhaps there's still time. I love writing enough, and I have experiences a-plenty - time, as ever, is the only issue.

Please pop over to Emma's blog to read the other entries this week!

Thursday 1 December 2011

November Goals Round Up

Send out letters to parents that I usually send in term 1.
Analyse the Y7 data and identify the key group for which I'm responsible.
Done and done.

Write a development plan.
Not done - but, tbf, nobody has asked me for one. I have a feeling it may not be necessary this year, and anyway I have a mental development plan of the things I want to concentrate on at work this year. I can't believe it's almost a third over, though.

Review and set performance management targets.
Done. Eventually. I had to be a bit stroppy about it, but that's not a surprise.

Distribute new technologies questionnaire to staff.
Yes, and lots of people have responded - even more since I offered a prize draw for everybody who completed it.

Try three new recipes from my baking book, one involving yeast.
I tried two. I bought yeast and strong flour yesterday to make babas, but in the end I decided I didn't have enough time and I didn't want babas that much yesterday.

Finish knitting Louzle's ski mask.
I let it beat me! I am not enjoying the intarsia and so I put it aside and got on with the Christmas tree cones instead.

Work methodically through the chapters of this text book I'm writing.
It is all finished in terms of content. I'm wrestling with the syntax and the revision tasks now, but it's basically done, and the deadline was yesterday so that's good. I haven't sent any of it off yet, though. Well, I haven't had a contract yet. It feels a bit small to refuse to send anything until I get a contract, but it is also sensible behaviour.

Read a book.
Yes, I read Dissolution and I'm part way through Dark Fire, both featuring a hunchback lawyer in the reign of Henry VIII, solving mysteries. Very enjoyable. I may go and read some more now, actually.

Not a bad month! Maybe I made it too easy. It has felt like quite a busy month, though, and blogging every day has been quite a challenge. I noticed that I managed to, by complete coincidence, achieve 127 posts in both 2009 and 2010, so now I am focusing on achieving 127 posts in 2011 too. I reckon now I've only got 17 to go. Expect to see this on my monthly goals list for December.