Monday, January 17

Project 2011

As well as my cycling goals and the January to-do list (which will be updated soon) I've a number of other projects bubbling under, waiting until I've a little more time or energy on my hands.
  • 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!)
 So.  Six little things to do in 2011.  Someone remind me to come back and check on my progress later in the year!

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.

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