- The allotment and garden - it is my intention this year to give up the allotment and plant up the front garden as a vegetable patch and cutting garden instead. We got as far as turning over the lawn and digging out a few of the "keepers" from the allotment before the snow came, and until this week the ground has still been too frozen to do any more. I don't know how many of the uprooted plants will have survived the coldest winter in my lifetime, but watch this space for some garden planning posts!
- Photography - As a student, I built up a portfolio of thousands of photographs, and I still have folders full of negatives tucked away in a box. After being reunited with the subjects of many of those photographs, the Haggis Horns, I realised that digitising the images was the way forward, making them easy to catalogue, sort and print. MrB very kindly bought me a negative scanner for my birthday, but scanning and uploading so many images is going to be a big job and will have to wait until later in the year.
- Study - my involvement in work's global responsibility inquiry has reignited my love of learning. Coincidentally, the University of York is offering a set of part-time courses on the subject of sustainable food production, and while I'm too late to enrol this year I shall be looking out for the courses to run again in the next academic year.
- Culture - As a student I spent an awful lot of time in art galleries and museums and at gigs. Since moving from Leeds to York there has been much less culture - high and low - in my life, and that Haggis Horns gig last September reminded me just how much I love it. This year I am determined that I will see a proper "event" exhibition, go to the theatre (a ballet or an opera would be my preference) and see at least a couple of bands that I love. I've already got a few things in mind - Orquesta Buena Vista (an offshoot of the Buena Vista Social Club) are touring this spring and Opera North have a production of Carmen that I'd love to see.
- Health - For over twenty years now, I've had problems with my knees,* which has always made me shy away from exercise. I've rediscovered cycling after a long break, which is doing wonders for my general fitness, but I'd quite like to try something else, too. So this week (probably. I reserve the right to chicken out!) I'm going to give yoga a go, in the hope that the stretching and flexibility aspects of it will help a little with the pain and stiffness in my joints. Maybe it'll even, as all the alternative health people seem to claim, help me get pregnant.
- Cooking - Like most people, my kitchen repertoire could use a little bit of expansion. Most of my cooking is fundamentally British, Italian or French, with the odd curry or stir-fry thrown in, but there are a couple of cuisines that I have never really cooked, namely Spanish and Vietnamese. I'm hoping that Them Apples' suggestion of Movida Rustica can help with the former, and if anyone knows of a good book on Vietnamese food I'm open to suggestions (or gifts!)
The Haggis Horns - funk-spirational!
*I have fairly mild case of an inherited condition called "kissing patella," which isn't nearly as nice as it sounds, and has led to early-onset osteoarthritis in my knees and hips.