I wrote about my thoughts on the New Year period in my previous post so you’ve probably got a good idea about my thoughts on resolutions. I’ve made some attempt in the past to write New Years’ resolution lists or some sort of goals list but I’ve not usually had a great deal of success. The year starts off well but gradually the list is forgotten. I sometimes write a ‘to-do’ list of things I want to accomplish or do throughout the year. Sometimes I even do things that aren’t on the list. I just get a seed of an idea and just get on with it. I generally have difficulty starting things so I consider doing anything new a huge accomplishment. Once I get over the beginning hurdle and get into a routine I wonder what all the fuss was about.
I recently found the list I made for 2017. Looking at where I’d written it down in my notebook and looking at the neighbouring notes I’m guessing I wrote it around February/March time. Let’s review:
I took a beginner conversational Spanish course a while back and really enjoyed it. When we moved on to aspects of the language I didn’t even understand in English nor had I ever heard about I stopped learning. It got too hard essentially. I meant to pick it back up. Start at the beginning and try again but it hasn’t happened yet. When The Husband was brushing up on his Italian all I managed was ”café con leche” That’s what it is in Spanish’.
Learn to play chess
This has been on the list for a very long time. I have a book ‘Learn to play chess’ but I don’t have anything to play with. I know the knight can move in an ‘L’ shape (or diagonally? I can’t remember) and that’s about it.
This I managed to do. For a time, I walked to work and I walked at dinnertime. Now, I walk the dog and I’ve managed to get to the gym and walk there too. Walking more is definitely on the agenda for this year.
I’m pleased to report I also managed this. Gosh! It feels good to tick some of these off! Gym – tick! Swim – tick! And I go regularly too, not just a token one off gesture for a couple of weeks (I promise).
Visit other islands
I mean visit other Orkney Islands. Other than the one I live on. There are around 70 islands in the Orkney archipelago, some of which are uninhabited. I’ve not been to all the main ones and others I’ve visited more than once. Last year I managed a trip to the beautiful island of Sanday with mum, dad and The Husband, during what turned out to be one of the hottest weekends of the year. I mean, I was wearing a T-shirt and cropped trousers and my extra layer was tucked away safely in my bag. And I made it to Westray, Rousay and Hoy for work which wasn’t too bad as far as outdoor offices go. Not satisfied, I will endeavour to see more this year!
Well, I think this one speaks for itself! Yes! Managed it. Big tick! I started it but where do I go from here…….? This is just the beginning.
So, I think I can feel partially pleased with myself about last years list. There’s still some work to do though. Perhaps this is the year I finally tackle chess.
For this year I’ve put together a list of culinary challenges for myself. The list includes things I’ve previously (and currently) been too scared to try for various reasons and things I’ve wanted to try for a while but just not managed it yet. So, here goes to the 2018 culinary challenge list. I’m just starting out with 5 to see how I get on with those. I don’t want to overwhelm myself and besides, I can always add more as the year goes on:
I can manage cooking scallops fine, I know what I’m doing there but I’ve never shucked them myself. I don’t like mussels and clams so I won’t be going there. It’s shellfish of the kind with legs I’m talking about, most specifically crab and lobster. I don’t just mean cooking with ready prepared meat. I mean cooking a whole live beastie. I think this has come under the category of ‘too scary’ in the past. I think now it’s time to be brave.
Macarons are perfection and nothing short of it will do. I’m a perfectionist but rarely do I achieve it. I think this is why I’ve not attempted macarons so far. I don’t think I could bear to see a wonky macaron of my own creation.
This includes meringue in all it’s forms (French, Swiss and Italian) including as buttercream. So few ingredients and yet so much to go wrong! I’ve attempted meringue many times in the past but I still feel the secrets of successful meringues still elude me (See Meringues: not so challenging?).
Things with French names
I’m hoping to prove to myself that a French name does not mean impossibly technical and difficult. Well, I hope not all the time. If I can’t understand the name I’m automatically put off trying but recently, after reading through the ingredients and methods, I’ve been buoyed by the fact I understand what to do. The mysteries of French cuisine seem tantalisingly within reach.
I have a perception that making homemade pasta takes loads of time and is a bit tricky but I suspect this is not the case. Once again, attempting to prove myself wrong. Also an excuse to get a pasta machine.
I’m pretty confident I can make some good progress through this list. This is good. I’m facing my fears and you never know, I might actually be good at some of them. Ok, perhaps I’m getting a bit ahead of myself there. I will most certainly enjoy trying. Watch this space!