20 for 2020 – goals for the year

20 for 2020; No resolutions as they are made to be broken.  Instead I am setting myself 20 goals. People are already tweeting about it being the roaring twenties. Well I am woman hear me roar. With my big gob I am sure you all will.


20 for 2020

  • YOGA The first and the one I am really looking forward to is the 30 days of yoga. There is still time to join in as the yoga proper starts tomorrow. I did this challenge last year and really got a lot out of it, I felt better, had fewer aches, my mind was clearer. Not sure why I did not just keep at it. Life got in the way I guess.  I am determined to do it again and keep it up once the challenge is over.


  • FOOD  A few years ago we went mostly veggie.  We are still keeping this up, but I want to introduce more vegan days and to restrict processed foods. There will be days I am tired and tell Mr CK to grab a ready meal on his way home from the office, but I would like this to happen less often. I also want the food we eat to be as local as possible. One personal goal is to eat 3 proper meals a day. I am a grazer, a nibble of this, a cookie, a bag of crisps. My diet could be far better than it is.


  • CHARITY/VOLUNTEERING  We started volunteering in the local park last year, the council have no funds for keeping it tidy, or tending the beds, so it is rather wild and overgrown with loads of invasive Himalayan balsam. So we will continue with that. There are some local charities we will continue to support, be it through donating or buying from their shops or going to their events.


  • JESS/DOG TRAINING Jess is still reactive. She is better in that if you tell her no she listens and calms down fairly quickly. The plan is more pack walks to try and desensitise her, more time in the garden with me, so she gets used to other dogs walking by and hopefully we can get her to the point some normal obedience or some sit and stay type social classes will be possible.


  • DIY/HOME  There are a lot of unfinished DIY projects in our house, if we are to ever sell and downsize then we need to get these things finished. Most of the things I can manage alone. Painting, filling holes, sanding things, tiling and grouting. I am starting small and aiming to spend an afternoon or morning each week getting some of the jobs done.


  • GARDEN Last year I had the bright idea to dig up the lawn so I could grow more veg. I did grow more, sadly quite a few things failed before they even made it outside, so I was left with dozens of tomato, chilli and courgette plants and not a lot else. As we want to sell I am going to make the garden back into something more family friendly. Flowerbeds, a lawn. Seating, maybe remove some of the concrete slabs. I will see how much time we have and what resources are available.


  • MOVING We want to move to a small (probably a bungalow) house, something that is solid, but is pretty time warp in decor, we are happy to do it up slowly over a few years. Then once it is done sell and do the same again.  Repeat this until we are mortgage free, then start thinking about a forever home. In my head I have a romantic notion of a house in the wilds of Northumbria or North Wales and a small houseboat to live in when we are needing to be in a town or city. We shall see, we may fall in love with one of our projects and not want to move on. Much as I love this house and the area, the house is way to big.


  • LEARN A LANGUAGE  I have half half-heartedly tried to learn Welsh, but not got past the first few lessons. So, this year I am going for it. If we do move to Wales then speaking Welsh will be a huge advantage. Another bonus in learning is I will be able to understand the excellent dramas and other tv shows that are on S4C. I have just completed my first lesson. I’m using duolingo.


  • CRAFTING  I have many, many projects floating around the house, some works in progress, others not even started. This year I would like to spend more time being creative. I like to knit but rarely pick my needles up. At one time I enjoyed sewing, making clothes, altering things I own to make them more me.  Once the basement rooms are sorted I will have room for these hobbies. The newest arrival to the clan might get a knitted gift before her first birthday. Felting, painting and stamping are also on the list to try. Those creative juices need a stirring.


  • BLOGGING  I’ve had this blog a fair while, but only used it sporadically. At one time I wrote daily, used the space as one would a personal diary. I am not planning on using this space that way. This is and always will be a place to share food and creative things. I do however want to get more involved in the blogging world. Guess the easiest way is to jump right in. If you have a blog or want to recommend one for me to read then let me know in the comments.


  • LESS SCREEN TIME This might sound a bit odd, especially after me saying I want to blog more and watch Welsh TV. What I want to do is spend the time I am in front of a screen more wisely. So less trashy tv and faffing about on facebook and more quality programming or educational pursuits. I also want to have some quiet time on an evening with no flashing lights or loud sounds.


  • READING I have barely picked up a book in years. As a child my head was only out of a book if I was climbing a tree. I might have to pick up some of the books I loved back then to ease myself back into the familiar fantasy worlds I was often in. Head in the clouds, away with the fairies were terms often applied to me. On that note I am going to join the library.  Just looked up opening hours and they are open past 5 a couple of times a week, so Mr CK and I are going in to find out what we need to do to join. There was a join online option, but that did not work when I tried to use it years ago.


  • TRAVEL This year I want to explore more of the countryside around here. Go to some of the smaller towns and villages, get to know them, see some touristy spots and some lesser known places. I would also like to get out for some camping, proper wild camping, where you can lie out under the stars and listen for an owl hooting or spot a fox or badger scuttling past. This will have to wait for lightly better weather as I do not want to get washed or blown away.


  • WALKING This kind of ties in with travel, but is more about my local area, things within 5 miles, rediscover old favourite walks and hopefully find a few new ones. There are so many paths I have not explored, miles of uncharted for me bridleways. The countryside in this valley is stunning. I want to see more of it before we move on.



  • PHOTOGRAPHY Again, kind of linked to the above, but I want to learn to take better pictures. I am still very much point it and hope for the best. Composition and light are afterthoughts. I want to take photographs that are beautiful and really capture the essence of the location, ones that when I look at them I can remember the taste in the air, the feeling of the moment, the memory alive again.


  • FORAGING/PRESERVING I make jam most years, usually just a strawberry one, but there is such an abundance of wild berries and other produce available I would love to use more of it. From wild garlic in spring through to the mushrooms in autumn. You rarely see anyone picking anything. Maybe a few docks when it is The World Dock Pudding Championships and some thrifty cooks gathering a little wild garlic. There are so many other things, I have seen hen of the woods, bilberries, chickweed, nettles, dandelions, beechnuts and elderberries all within 10 minutes from home. The local NT does a mushroom forging course, so next time I see it is on I will be signing up. Preserving some of the other wild goodies will also be tried, nettle and wild garlic pesto and some bilberry jam are top of my list.


  • REDUCE  Not my weight, although that will be a bonus of a generally more active lifestyle. Plastics and single use things. This past year we have been fairly good at reducing. I’ve not used any cling film, we now use wax wraps (I will eventually have a go at making some). We use solid soap and shampoo (thoroughly recommend friendly soap)  Our Bio-D dish and clothes washing liquids refilled at a stall on the market. Milk and juice come from the milk man. Where we fall down is cheese and veggies and those oh so convenient ready meals. Things like mushrooms rarely come loose, I need to get out to the local markets and the 2 packaging free stores to do more of my shop. The cheese I am not sure about, there is a new cheese shop in town, so they might be willing to let me have it wrapped in my own wax wrap or in a tub from home. I will go in and chat to them.  Don’t know if we will ever be completely plastic free, but we will continue to do what little we can. Slowly we are replacing our modern furniture with older more solidly built pieces. I sand and paint them, maybe add new handles, make an unloved piece into a beautiful loved  item again.  We even have scaffold planks I salvaged from the river, these will be sanded and stained and turned into shelves.


  • CYCLING  We are already a one car (electric) household. I still think we can cut our mileage down more by cycling more often. The 2 small local towns are both a really easy ride into (even more so once the canal path works are completed) . Cycling to the shops will mean we will have less choice, so the eating more locally and seasonally will be easier. Also exploring on a bike is fun, people stop and have a chat, you get to meet locals out on their bikes who pass on those hidden gems like the pubs with the best cider, or the perfect place for a pie.


  • STRONGER I am a weed, my upper body strength is abysmal.  So I’m going to start lifting weights. We have a few sets in the house, these will be a good start. Jess is such a strong dog, she is very adept at pulling, she also likes to use her body weight to push at your legs.  My confidence handling her took a knock the time she pulled me over (was in mud on a slope) I broke my finger that time and damaged the nerve. So to know I am physically strong enough to hold her no matter what will be good. Plus with all the DIY we need to get done being able to hold something in the air for more than a minute before moaning my arms ache will be useful. Not to mention giving poor old Mr CK’s ears a break.


  • HIPPY SHIT  Ok, was not sure what to call this as wellness sounds twee, self care a bit too much about actual physical health.  This is about having time out and relaxing. Counting to ten when people annoy me. Having a place in the house to go to when the inevitable noise from the workmen gets to much.  I get way too angry sometimes and I need to stop, there are some things I can not control.  Kill them with kindness as the saying goes.


There are loads of other things, but these were my priorities. I’ll be blogging about progress as the year goes on. Happy 2020 everyone.


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