A Photo an Hour: 16 January 2021

Hello lovely readers! Yesterday was February’s photo an hour date, which of course reminded me that I hadn’t actually written my post for last month’s photos yet. And so here I am attempting to catch up. The chosen date for January was the 16th. As usual it wasn’t the most exciting of days, but here it is anyway.

10 a.m. The day always starts with tea.

11 a.m. Time for a shower.

12 noon. Went down to collect the mail and was very excited to find this book had been delivered.

1 p.m. Putting on a load of laundry (having taken an identical photo yesterday I suddenly realise just how boring my life is!).

2 p.m. Quiet time is over so the hoover can come out.

3 p.m. Sat down to read for 15 minutes while I waited for the washing machine to finish.

4 p.m. On the way back from taking away the organic waste and recycling. As you can see, we had snow.

5 p.m. An appropriate candle for the whiteness outside!

6 p.m. Time to make some food.

7 p.m. Tuna pasta bake is ready!

8 p.m. Watching Green Book.

9 p.m. The film finished!

10 p.m. A spot of reading before bed.

11 p.m. Bedtime with Eeyore.

And there you have it. Another boring lockdown Saturday* Hopefully I will get this month’s post up faster!

(*Disclaimer: we are not actually in “lockdown”. Although shops (other than supermarkets/DIY stores/flower shops), museums, zoos, galleries, restaurants, bars are closed we can go out and meet people if we want to, hairdressers are open, public transport is running. We can’t do much but we are not in lockdown. And personally I don’t want to go to crowded places anyway.)

2021 goals

Hello friends. Once again I haven’t felt like sitting down and typing up a blog post after being on the computer all day for work, but it’s the weekend now and I think it’s about time I posted my goals for the year! Once again, I’m splitting them up into sections.

Reading goals

Read 104 books (Good Reads challenge goal). That probably sounds like a strange number. It’s two a week, which seems sensible. Of these:

  • 10 should be non-fiction – I failed at this again last year but I’m giving it another go.
  • 20 should be from the BBC Big Read list – I only managed 2 last year and I’m way behinf, do I am upping my game.
  • 52 should have been physically on my to-read shelf before the year started – I have way too many unread books that I really should be getting to before buying even more! I think making half of the books I read ones I already own seems fair.
  • 6 should be in German – I only managed to read one book in German last year. Six is such a small number, but it means I only need to read one every two months. Surely that’s doable!
  • 24 should be rereads of books I already own and need to read again before deciding whether to keep them (the aim here being to hopefully clear some space on my shelves). That’s only two rereads a month – there’s really no reason I shouldn’t be able to manage that!

Cleaning goals

Deep clean once per month. I actually did really well with this last year so I want to continue. This will include:

  • Cleaning the bathrooms/kitchen including mopping the floors
  • Changing the bedding
  • Cleaning the oven (at least using the “cleaning” function even if I don’t manage to wipe it down)
  • Washing the dishes that can’t go in the dishwasher
  • Hoovering and dusting the entire flat
  • Taking away recycling, etc. as needed

Some of those things obviously need doing more than once a month, but the aim is to have one day/weekend a month where everything is done and the flat actually looks semi-decent.

Health goals

  • Have at least one portion of fruit or veg with lunch (a glass of juice or a smoothie counts). I haven’t been doing this so far – because I only just thought of it – but starting from February I’ll give it a go. I failed at having fruit/veg with every meal last year but maybe I can at least manage to have some with lunch? And we always have vegetables with dinner so that should increase my intake at least a little bit.
  • No more than two cups of black tea per day. I started doing this because cutting down on caffeine is supposed to help with fertility and will continue until I successfully give birth to a living child.
  • Drink at least two pint glasses of water per day. Last year I forgot I had made this goal and I’m not sure whether I consistently managed it. Trying again this year.
  • Go for a walk once a week. I actually managed this last year! There were only 2 weeks that I didn’t go for a walk (with good reasons) and since there were also weeks that I managed more than two it balanced out well. So I will be keeping it up this year. I should really think about getting some other form of exercise as well, but we’ll start with the walking and go from there.

Social/life goals

  • Write at least two pen pal letters every month. I did a reasonable job with this last year – in September I only managed one letter, but I wrote at least two every other month. Having this goal definitely helped me keep on top of things and not leave people waiting months for a reply so I’m going to keep it up this year.
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Learning goals

  • Go on Duolingo at least once a week. I asked Jan to think of a goal for me and he suggested a language one, so this is what I’ve come up with. Again, I haven’t actually been doing it ye because I’ve only just come up with it, but starting from February I will give it a go!
  • Learn to crochet. Last year I made myself a goal to take an in-person class/course and the one I was going to do was crochet… but then the pandemic started before I could sign up. I still want to learn to crochet and I’ve already bought a book so I’ll be trying to teach myself this year. Wish my luck!

And that’s it. They all seem achievable and, for the most part, fun. (Not the cleaning ones. Cleaning will never be fun, but will always need to be done).

Do you have any goals for the year? Is there anything new you want to learn while you’re being forced to stay at home? Let me know!

Did I achieve my 2020 goals?

I’ve been meaning to write this for ages, but after working on the computer all day I can’t seem to bring myself to get back on it again in the evening. I do want to finally put a lid on 2020 before January is over though, so here I am – on the computer again after work.

So, what were my goals for 2020 and did I achieve them?

Reading goals

Read 100 books (Good Reads challenge goal). – I read 185 so that’s a win!
Of these:

  • 10 should be non-fiction – Nope. I read 2. One year I’ll actually do this…
  • 12 should be from the BBC Big Read list – I managed 8 last year so I’m going to try and top that. – Again, nope. I read 2. Better than nothing, I guess.
  • 36 should have been physically on my to-read shelf before the year started – I have way too many unread books that I really should be getting to before buying even more! 36 is just three a month, so that gives me plenty of scope for reading newly acquired books I’m excited about. – 88 of the books I read had been physically on my shelf before the start of 2020. So I definitely achieved this one! Said to-read shelf is still overflowing though…
  • 6 should be in German – I have a few German books on my shelves that sound really good but I’ve fallen out of the habit of reading in German so I need to get back to that! – You would think 6 would have been achievable, but no. I read 1 and started another.
  • 12 should be rereads of books I already own and need to read again before deciding whether to keep them (the aim here being to hopefully make room on my shelves for more books). – I managed 6, so half, and I ended up not keeping most of them. So not too bad, but not all that helpful either.

Cleaning goals

Deep clean once per month. I did pretty well on it last year, so I’m sticking with it. This will include:

  • Cleaning the bathrooms/kitchen including mopping the floors
  • Changing the bedding
  • Cleaning the oven (although the new one has a “cleaning” function so that won’t be as hard as it used to be)
  • Hoovering and dusting the entire flat
  • Taking away recycling, etc. as needed

Some of those things I obviously do much more than once a month, but I want to check off that I’ve definitely done them at least once a month. Otherwise I can definitely go several months without ever taking out the mop…

I did indeed do some kind of deep clean once a month, every single month. However, I only dusted three times. And *mumbling, ashamed* I didn’t mop the bathroom floors even once. I am a terrible housewife.

Health goals

  • Eat a piece of fruit or a vegetable with every meal. In 2019 I tried to eat my 5 a day on at least 3 days a week, but it was too hard to track. Someone mentioned they eat fruit or vegetables with every meal (it might have been Hazel? If I’m wrong and it was you let me know!) and I thought it was a great idea so I decided to try doing that in 2020. – Nope. I started well but gave up when I was ill in March then never managed to start again.
  • No more than two cups of black tea per day. – I think I actually achieved this. For a while I stopped drinking black tea entirely and only had green tea in the morning then fruit/herbal teas the rest of the time. I started drinking black tea again in October but I don’t *think* there’s been a single day that I had more than two cups.
  • Drink at least two pint glasses of water per day. – I… don’t know? Honestly, I stopped keeping track.
  • Go for a walk once a week. I did not get even close to enough exercise last year. This will be a start. I will allow walking to the supermarket and back to count if it’s the supermarket at the train station, but not if I walk to any of our local ones. – I only missed two weeks, and I had good reasons for both. Since I also had weeks when I went for more than one walk I’m counting this one as a win.

Social/life goals

  • Write at least two pen pal letters every month. I got way behind last year and didn’t write to some people at all. This year I will be better! I’ve already three in January so I’m winning. – I managed this most months. There was one month that I only wrote one, but since I wrote 7 the month before and at least 2 every other month I’m saying I achieved this.
  • Take some kind of in-person course. It doesn’t matter what, as long as it’s something I have to physically go to and interact with actual people. – Hahahaha. Nope. Clearly not. I found a beginner’s crochet course I wanted to take and had planned to book it after we returned from our trip to Poland. Then came the pandemic. Poland was cancelled and in-person courses were out for the rest of the year. I guess even the universe thinks I’m better off at home away from my fellow humans?

Overall I did pretty well. Apart from the last goal, which was out of my hands. And the fruit/vegetables thing. It’s not as though we ate terribly, but there are definitely days that I only eat one or two portions of veg, so I need to find a way to do better on that. Hopefully I’ll also do a bit better with reading non-fiction and in German this year! Goals for 2021 coming soon.

Do you have any goals for the year? Or will you just be taking things as they come while we continue to deal with everything the world continues to throw at us until the pandemic is over and we can go back to something resembling normal again? Either way, I hope 2021 is all you want it to be.

A Photo an Hour: 12 December 2020

Hello lovely readers! I’m juuuust sneaking this post in before the end of the month. The chosen date for the final photo an hour of 2020 was 12th December. I didn’t actually realise until I belatedly chanced across a tweet though, so my photos start halfway through the day. Let’s have a look at what I did, shall we?

12 noon. Cross stitching one final Christmas card.

1 p.m. Shower time. Yes I was in my pyjamas until then. Sssh – this is a judgement free zone!

2 p.m. Dressed and heading out.

3 p.m. Walked into town, now to drop off some books (goodbye and good riddance Truly Devious series!). I get quite a few of the books I read from this and the other free public bookcases dotted around town – particularly older books and German ones. I found The Bell Jar in this very bookcase!

4 p.m. Picked up some shopping, now heading home. Cue awkward bus photo – although it was surprisingly empty.

5 p.m. Home, shopping put away… time to hoover.

6 p.m. Finally writing a long overdue blog post (this one, if you’re curious).

7 p.m. Peeling potatoes for tea.

8 p.m. Food is ready. I may have made too many peas!

9 p.m. Back to cross stitching.

10 p.m. Determined to finish a book before going to sleep! I had 120 pages left.

11 p.m. Final photo of the day… joining Eeyore in bed. I took my book with me and did indeed finish it, but didn’t take any more photos.

And that’s it. Not a particularly exciting day. But then again, they never are. Until next year, photo an hour fans!

A Photo an Hour: 21 November 2020

Hello friends! Today I am bringing you a round-up of my photo an hour from November, in the hope that I might actually get December’s posted before the end of the year… hahahaha. We’ll see. Anyway, here’s what I got up to on November’s chosen date:

10 a.m. Washing some dishes while I wait for the kettle to boil (that spoon is one that failed to get clean in the dishwasher!)

11 a.m. Quickly getting some hoovering in before quiet time starts at 12.

12 noon. Getting on with some cross stitch… not long left to finish those Christmas cards.

1 p.m. Went to get the mail and this book had arrived. Yay!

2 p.m. Jan got up (about 15 minutes before I took those photo), so I could finally put on some washing.

3 p.m. Tea break! Green tea for me since it’s ever so slightly healthier (maybe) and we’re hoping to be able to carry on with fertility treatment soon.

4 p.m. Waiting for Jan to have a shower so we can go for a walk. I was literally just standing waiting so I had no idea what to take a photo of!

5 p.m. Walking through a park. This is the entrance to a Kindergarten!

6 p.m. Home… time to cook tea.

7 p.m. Corned beef hash doesn’t look very attractive but it tastes good!

8 p.m. More stitching – it’s getting there!

9 p.m. Making hot chocolate. Yum.

10 p.m. On to the back stitch!

11 p.m. Final photo of the day. Off to bed with a book.

As always, photo an hour was hosted by Jane and Louisa.

A Photo an Hour: Saturday, 31 October 2020

Hello friends! On Saturday (which was *somehow* almost a week ago!) I took part in November’s photo an hour, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t even written a blog post for October’s one yet! So that’s what I’m doing now. The chosen date was Halloween, but that isn’t actually a thing in Switzerland so for me it was just a normal Saturday. Jan was out at choir practice for most of it, leaving me to clean the flat…

9 a.m. An earlier start than usual since Jan had to be at his rehearsal by 9:30. Starting the day with tea, of course – in the best mug!

10 a.m. Getting started on another cross-stitched Christmas card.

11 a.m. Enough sitting around… time to change the bedding.

12 noon. Emptying the dishwasher (so that I can refill it…)

1 p.m. A quick break for lunch. Lentil hotpot thingy.

2 p.m. I missed the morning window for hoovering (should have done that before emptying the dishwasher!) but now quiet time is over so I’m allowed.

3 p.m. Another task that had to wait until after quiet time – taking away some recycling.

4 p.m. Home – after a stop at the supermarket. Now to clean the bathrooms.

5 p.m. “Make apple and blackberry crumble” wasn’t on my last of things I *needed* to do that day, but I made one anyway (and it was delicious).

6 p.m. Back to cross stitch while dinner cooks. (I have no memory of what we actually ate).

7 p.m. Persuaded Jan to watch Heathers with me while we ate. I don’t think he was impressed, but I still like it.

8 p.m. Still watching Heathers while cross stitching.

9 p.m. Still stitching away. Nearly finished!

10 p.m. In my pyjamas, about to go to sleep. At 10. On a Saturday. Because apparently I’m 90.

And that was my Halloween 2020. Maybe I’ll actually get round to posting November’s photo an hour soon… not that it’s any more exciting than this one but I like having them.

2020 goals

Hello! I’ve finally finished dwelling on the past (well, almost – Show Us Your Books is still to come, in which I will be recapping December’s reading) so now I can reveal the goals I want to work on for 2020. Like last year, I am breaking it down into different sections, namely reading goals, cleaning goals, health goals and social/life goals. So, let’s get on with it.

St Chrischona TV tower

Reading goals

Read 100 books (Good Reads challenge goal). Of these:

  • 10 should be non-fiction – I failed at this last year but one year I am determined to achieve it!
  • 12 should be from the BBC Big Read list – I managed 8 last year so I’m going to try and top that.
  • 36 should have been physically on my to-read shelf before the year started – I have way too many unread books that I really should be getting to before buying even more! 36 is just three a month, so that gives me plenty of scope for reading newly acquired books I’m excited about.
  • 6 should be in German – I have a few German books on my shelves that sound really good but I’ve fallen out of the habit of reading in German so I need to get back to that!
  • 12 should be rereads of books I already own and need to read again before deciding whether to keep them (the aim here being to hopefully make room on my shelves for more books).

Cleaning goals

Deep clean once per month. I did pretty well on it last month, so I’m sticking with it. This will include:

  • Cleaning the bathrooms/kitchen including mopping the floors
  • Changing the bedding
  • Cleaning the oven (although the new one has a “cleaning” function so that won’t be as hard as it used to be)
  • Hoovering and dusting the entire flat
  • Taking away recycling, etc. as needed

Some of those things I obviously do much more than once a month, but I want to check off that I’ve definitely done them at least once a month. Otherwise I can definitely go several months without ever taking out the mop…

Health goals

  • Eat a piece of fruit or a vegetable with every meal. Last year I tried to eat my 5 a day on at least 3 days a week, but it was too hard to track. Someone mentioned they eat fruit or vegetables with every meal (it might have been Hazel? If I’m wrong and it was you let me know!) and I thought it was a great idea so I’m going to try that this year.
  • No more than two cups of black tea per day. I did really well with this last year – I may have had more than two over Christmas in England, but other than that most days I actually only had one – so I shall continue with it.
  • Drink at least two pint glasses of water per day. I started well with this last year then started slacking around September so I’ll try again.
  • Go for a walk once a week. I did not get even close to enough exercise last year. This will be a start. I will allow walking to the supermarket and back to count if it’s the supermarket at the train station, but not if I walk to any of our local ones.

Social/life goals

  • Write at least two pen pal letters every month. I got way behind last year and didn’t write to some people at all. This year I will be better! I’ve already three in January so I’m winning 😉
  • Take some kind of in-person course. It doesn’t matter what, as long as it’s something I have to physically go to and interact with actual people.

That’s all I’ve got. I think it’s enough for one year. I will let you know how I get on with them.

Do you have any goals for the year (or month or quarter)?

Did I achieve my 2019 goals?

I’m still considering which goals I want to set for myself next year. It will probably take me a week to get them fixed and write a post again, but for now I want to take a look at last year’s goals and see how I did with them. I had them split into three sections (reading, cleaning and healthy eating) and I did a recap in the middle of the year where I changed/added to them so I will talk about the new goals here as well.

bookcases

Reading goals

  • Read 100 books (Good Reads challenge goal) – increased to 150 in the middle of the year. Of these:
    • 10 should be non-fiction
    • 12 should be from the BBC Big Read list
    • 20 should have been on my to-read list before 2019 started
    • Additional half-year goal: re-read four books that I own and decide whether I actually want to keep them or not

I won’t have time to read anything today, so I’m finishing the year on 180 books. I think it’s fair to say I smashed the overall goal! However, only two (and a half) of those were non-fiction. I really most try harder to read non-fiction in 2020! Seven were from the BBC Big Read, five of which I read before my recap in July. Both the ones I read in the second half of the year were huge though (960 pages and 1376 pages) so I don’t feel too bad about it. As for re-reading, I only managed to re-read one book – which I did then get rid of. I’m definitely going to make some kind of goal involving re-reading for next year because there are a few I want to revisit before deciding whether to remove them from my shelves.

9-bathroom cleaner

Cleaning goals

My one cleaning goal was to deep clean once a month (I then went on to list all the things that involved, but I’m not going to do that here). I’m going to say that was mostly a success. I did clean the oven once a month up until the renovation, and since then we’ve had a self-cleaning one. And I’m pretty sure I’ve cleaned the bathrooms at least once a month. I’m not sure I mopped every month, but certainly more often than in the past so I’m calling it a success.

10

 

Healthy eating goals

  • Eat 5 or more portions of fruit and veg on at least 3 days per week
  • Have nuts/fruit as snacks instead of chocolate and crisps
  • A maximum of 2 cups of black tea per day
  • Drink at least 2 pint glasses of water per day

The first one I’ve found really hard to track. There have definitely been days that I’ve had no vegetables at all, and weeks where I’ve had vegetables every day but haven’t managed five portions on any day. I did do pretty well at having dried fruit as snacks at the beginning of the year (which also helped with my portions) but honestly it’s all fallen by the wayside since around October and I’ve eaten way too much chocolate. Being healthy just hasn’t felt that important between all the IVF failures. If I’m not going to get pregnant regardless of what I do it all feels pretty pointless. I’m definitely feeling motivated to get back on the bandwagon next year, I just need to think of a goal that’s a bit easier to track. I can say I’ve been very successful with the black tea – most days I only have one cup. I may have increased to three a couple of times over Christmas but I’m okay with that… in general my caffeine intake has been pretty low. Water has been a but of a mixture though – during the summer I did really well (extreme heat helps!) but recently I’ve been forgetting to drink for most of the work day then realising I’m thirsty right before bed and downing a whole pint of water. Not ideal. I really do need to work on that!

Overall I’m going to say I did okay. A few things ticked off in each section, and I’m at least more mindful of what I’m putting in my body even if I don’t always succeed at actually drinking the water and avoiding the chocolate.

Of course, my other goal/wish/hope for 2019 was to get pregnant again and to actually stay pregnant, but that one was entirely out of my hands and did not happen despite mine and the doctors’ best efforts. My body remains useless but, for now at least, we’re not giving up.

And that’s that. 2020 goals coming soon!

A photo an hour: 16 November 2019

I almost missed photo an hour day again this month, but luckily I saw a tweet about it half way through the morning rather than at 7 o’clock at night! It was 10:30 so I decided to take my hourly photos on the half hour rather than waiting until 11 for the first one. Unfortunately, I wasn’t actually doing anything that day, other than sorting out the flat ready for my friend coming the next day (my cousin and her boyfriend had left on the Wednesday so the spare room needed to be sorted again). Last month we actually went out for the day so I would have had interesting things to take photos of if I hadn’t missed it. Oh well, such is life. Here’s how my day went:

10:30 a.m. The calm before the cleaning! Drinking tea and trying to find something to stitch for my little cousin’s birthday card. (I did not go with the newt.)

11:30 a.m. After a shower, it’s time to answer the eternal question of what to wear… Dress chosen, looking for tights.

12:30 p.m. Changing the spare room bedding ready for my friend to sleep in it.

1:30 p.m. So hungry! Time to make a bacon sandwich.

2:30 p.m. About to hoover the spare room. The exciting life I lead!

3:30 p.m. Making teas. Three because Jan came home from a choir meeting with a friend.

4:30 p.m. Finally managed to sit down and start reading. Not making much progress with Jan and his friend rehearsing songs in the background. Also, immediately after I took the photo my washing machine started beeping at me. No rest for the wicked!

5:30 p.m. Pairing socks. *Yawn*

6:30 p.m. Heading out for food. I was excited because I was starving!

7:30 p.m. Finally got to feed my face. This empty plate once contained delicious Afghan food.

8:30 p.m. I took the photo 10 minutes late but the activity hadn’t changed… drinking beer.

9:30 p.m. Home! Sorting out bedding for the sofa bed since the aforementioned friend was staying the night and I was mean and wouldn’t let her sleep in the freshly made spare bed 😉

And that was it. I was in bed by 10:30 so I didn’t take another photo.

What did you get up to on Saturday?

 

A photo an hour: 21 September 2019

Happy Monday friends! I’ve come to the realisation that photo an hour posts are my least popular in terms of both views and comments. But that’s okay – this is not a complaint, just an observation. I shall continue posting them because I quite enjoy being able to look back and see what I did on a random day two years ago – even if it mostly wasn’t anything interesting. Anyway, September’s photo an hour date fell on Saturday. I took part on Twitter and now I shall also share the photos on my blog. As always, Jane and Louisa were the hosts.

9 a.m. Starting the day with tea, as always.

10 a.m. Cross stitch, but soon I’ll be going for a shower.

11 a.m. I got dressed – yay me! Now opening my post, which included this candle. Look how shiny!

12 noon. Off to the Post Office, where I sent my brother’s birthday present.

1 p.m. In town. There was an emergency services event happening.

2 p.m. Back home. Time for a cuppa before I commence cleaning.

3 p.m. Gotta empty that dishwasher! (And then refill it. Where do all the dishes come from?)

4 p.m. Hoovering the living room.

5 p.m. Second load of laundry about to go in.

6 p.m. Jan was at an all-day choir rehearsal, but he said he would be home by 7 and would want food… guess I’d better get started then.

7 p.m. (ish – I got distracted and took the photo a little late). Food and Pointless Celebrities.

8 p.m. Going back to the 90s as I start my Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-watch.

9 p.m. More Buffy.

10 p.m. On to episode 3. When this was finished we went to bed, and since it was still before 11 there are no more photos.

How was your Saturday? A little more exciting than mine, perhaps? If you want to join in next month, October’s photo an hour will be on the 12th. Simply take a photo every hour and either post it to Twitter or Instagram (or both) using the hashtag #photoanhour or save them all up and write a blog post. Or do all three! Whatever floats your boat. Have a great week my lovelies.