Well at the risk of being uninventive, it makes sense to me to kickstart the year and the first blog in months with a piece about the New Year.
I started 2014 with pretty much the same ideas I have every new year. Eat less, drink less, smoke less, work out more, work harder, be more productive, and just generally be a better, more rounded and accomplished individual.
It took until 3pm on January 1st before I was stuffing myself with pie and peroni – admittedly with less vigour than I had been throughout Christmas, but it was hardly a flying start. However, I’m currently watching ‘Weight Loss Ward’ out of the corner of my eye and seen as I can get out of my house without a hoist, I’ve decided I’m not going to focus too much on the whole weight thing this year.
So what am I going to do differently? But of course, I’ve made some resolutions…
No.1 – Visit one new country
So this originally started as a blog about running. Then it became a blog about holidays and travel. Then somehow, it disintegrated into me talking mainly about food and drink. As ever my main goal in my life this year (now that I’ve finished Breaking Bad) is to go on as many holidays as possible. Unfortunately this has coincided with 2014 being a year that I need to spend less money. So my options are more limited shall we say than in previous years.
However, you could argue that having already booked one holiday last week, one mini break being booked in the next few days, and a further three holidays abroad, two long weekends and a festival all in the pipeline – I’ve either turned to crime or I’ve just decided to stop eating altogether so that I can spend every penny I earn on trips. I’ve had a lengthy conversation with CP about the benefits of shopping at Lidl, and prepared myself to spend another year wearing clothes I’ve had for some time, just to make these dreams a reality.
The problem is that all the planned trips, with the exception of one, are all to places I’ve already been to. So I’ve set myself up for a fall here unless Bez comes through and gets her 40th in Amsterdam sorted.
I think potentially going on 4 holidays, three long weekends and to a festival in one year will mean I can tick a box though? Bankrupt?
It’s all for the sake of the blog…
No. 2 – Climb Great Gable
Bit of a strange one this. In February 2012 we went to the Lakes. We decided, in a bid to behave more maturely, that we would buy ourselves a sensible adult piece of art (this is what grown ups do after all), rather than just spending all our money in the pub. So after about an hour sifting through every photo this particular photographer had taken we finally agreed on one of Wastwater, brooding, picturesque, and with Great Gable fairly prominently featuring. We thought we should probably climb it at some point, lest we were asked too many times why it was hung above the mantelpiece when we’d not even been.
Fast forward to the Diamond Jubilee weekend in June of that year. We’d spent the extended bank holiday weekend at Scott & Sally’s wedding just south of Doncaster, and then planned to make the 5 hour trip up to Wastwater to spend 3 nights camping, chilling, and climbing Great Gable.
This was a great plan, flawless in fact. Except this was the week that everyone who went camping either blew away or was flooded. Half of the campsites in Wales were ravaged by 70mph winds, Devon was nearly washed away, no-one in their right mind went camping. Except us. The 5 hour journey up to Wastwater was interesting enough given that I’d had to be put to bed at the wedding and felt, as Scott so aptly put it, ‘like I’d been dug up’. What followed didn’t improve matters.
It took 2 hours to put up a 3 man tent. This was no fun, and I say this from the point of view of someone who gave up after an hour and went and sat in the car reading ’50 Shades of Grey’. According to the angriest camper I’ve ever encountered (CP), the pegs weren’t working because the ground was too rocky, the driving rain wasn’t helping, nor were the flies, and neither was the fact that his assistant was sat in the car having lets face it, a rather entertaining read, and had no intention of getting out and getting done for not putting pegs in at the right angle.
Eventually something resembling a tent was up, only not one that you could cook your tea in, and not one you’d trust to sleep in, so we disappeared to the pub, only to be told there were no tables, all night. If you don’t know Wastwater, it’s probably the most remote part of the Lakes. We had to drive for 25 minutes to the nearest place we could eat at, which meant CP couldn’t drink, at a point when the thought of a pint was possibly the only thing keeping him from total meltdown. I was fine by the way.
Long story short, we got back to the tent, had the worst nights sleep we’ve ever had, got up at 7am, packed up, f**ked off. We spent the rest of the week at home, drying out the tent (which I’m surprised didn’t end up in Wastwater). I read the entire 50 Shades trilogy, and the week picked up considerably as a result…
But Great Gable is facing me as I sit here writing and it just feels appropriate that 2 years later we try again. Given that I claim walking to be one of my hobbies, and not reading semi pornographic fiction, I feel I owe it to myself to climb it this year. So watch this space.
Now no. 3 should really be watch less TV. Less e4, less repeats etc. However Chris has finally got to the point where he’s getting into boxsets as much as me, so at this point I must retire from blogging so we can watch Boardwalk Empire. We’ve got Game of Thrones to go at next and I’ve recently discovered Orange is the new Black, which I fear is going to write off any chance of me reading any books this month – thus ruining another of my resolutions.
So to finish on a high…
No.3 – Do not smoke any cigarettes
I thought that sounded less daunting than ‘Quit smoking’, for the hundredth time. It is 14th January and I can happily say, I have not smoked any cigarettes. So something is going right this year so far…