Resolutions 2009 - an evaluation

December 31, 2009

So it's that time of year when I drag out last year's resolutions, most of which I've completely forgotten by now, to see how I've done. Last year I didn't have a blog, so I posted my resolutions on Facebook instead.

So without further ado:

1. To spend less time on Facebook. The paranoia gnomes are out in force at the moment and rather than delete my account, I'm being a bit more private about stuff. If you can still see this, I must like you ;-)

The irony of this has not passed me by. Posting my resolutions on Facebook and then resolving to spend less time on Facebook? Oh dear. Also, I forgot to save the changes to my privacy settings, so everyone on my friends list was able to read this, a fact I failed to realise until people who I thought I'd excluded posted comments. OH DEAR.

Strangely, I'm less bothered about privacy on my blog because the people who read it either know me or are complete strangers. My discomfort with Facebook is that it enables people who vaguely know you (ex-colleagues, people from school, mums from the school gate) to find out the intricacies of what's happening in your life. You can set up complex privacy settings to get around that, but I just can't be bothered. So my Facebook has lapsed into a rarely-updated browsing tool, and I've started letting in anyone who wants to be my friend rather than being a privacy-obsessed Nazi who constantly rejects people. It's just easier. So yes - I've passed this resolution with flying colours. Woohoo!

2. To continue being a non-smoker for the entire year.

Totally aced this one as well. It's actually getting easier at last.

3. To buy a new(ish) car this year, and not still be paying for it by 2010. This is entirely do-able, but I am so shit with money that it could easily end up not happening.

Yes - we bought a new (ish) car in January and it's been perfect. It's been a bit of a revelation to discover that if you actually spend a few thousand pounds on a car rather than a few hundred, it doesn't break down within seconds of buying it and cost you an arm and a leg. Who knew? We'd never done that before! Anyway yes - it is paid for - and we even have even started saving regularly for the next one. Christ, maybe I'm becoming a grown up at last*. Three for three so far...

4. To stop drinking on weeknights! Ha ha ha!

The 'ha ha ha!' was because this seemed like a slightly unrealistic goal at the time, but both Mattgreen and I have cut back on our drinking a lot this year which is really good. It's a bit different at the moment because it's the holidays, but generally I don't drink four nights a week which is good enough for me. We had a bit of a wake-up call in March when we went to a wedding and got rat-arsed, Mattgreen lost his coat and I broke my brand new sat nav, and after that we got our act together.

5. To start running outdoors again so that I am able to join the running group at my gym from March. They run about 5 miles so I need to be able to do that in order to keep up. Of all my resolutions, this is the one I really care about. I've wanted to get back into running for years, and now I finally live somewhere flat this should be possible.

Ye-es. Hmm. Well. I might maybe have run outdoors once or twice this year. Erm. My parents bought me a flashy computerised heart rate monitor for my birthday and I have got it out of its box at least ... once. Shit. Yeah, this was an epic fail. Not a hope in hell that I could run five miles at the moment. But hey ho, four out of five is pretty good right? Better than last year at any rate.

2010 resolutions will be coming up in a few days. Happy New Year!

* Don't count on it.

Happy Christmas!

December 27, 2009

Hope you've all had a very merry Christmas, ours was good and as you can see I got what I wanted:

Now I can't wait for New Year, which is going to rock as usual.

Yesterday we went out for a walk with my father-in-law. It was, as it often is, incredibly muddy. It doesn't help that we had snow last week which has now melted following heavy rain. The place where we usually walk the dog resembles a swamp bog.

Isabel: Can I climb in that ditch?
Mattgreen: No, it's really muddy.
Isabel: How do you know?
Mattgreen: I've seen a lot of mud in my time and I'm seeing it now.
FIL: Mud isn't what it used to be.
Alicey: (in thick Yorkshire accent) I can tell you stories about mud!
Mattgreen: When I were a lad, we 'ad mud so deep you could barely walk.
Alicey: I used to open m'front door, and I'd be up to my neck in mud, and then I'd 'ave to trudge to the mud mine.
FIL: You was lucky you had a mud mine to work down.
Alicey: I 'ad mud for breakfast, dinner and tea, and I were grateful for it.
FIL: But it's not the same these days. Modern mud don't 'ave the goodness it used to.
Mattgreen: Yeah, it's all mechanically reclaimed mud these days. Don't taste like it oughta.
Isabel: (in true teenager whine) Yeah yeah yeah. So can I go in the ditch then?


December 22, 2009

On 17th October I went on a walk on the South Downs. I took Ludo and introduced her to Ben Fogle, who was there on behalf of the Council for National Parks. I even blogged about it here.

On 9th December Ben Fogle's wife gave birth to their firstborn child. What do you think they called him?

Not even joking!

More evidence that we're turning our daughter into a geek.

December 21, 2009

I'm in the kitchen making pastry. Izzy is in the dining room, talking to Mattgreen about Wizard101. [In Wizard101 you have shields, which prevent damage and traps, which increase damage].

Izzy: I'm really looking forward to getting my next spell. It's really good. I'm doing really well now that I've got my ice shield.
Me: (shouting from kitchen) It's not a shield, it's a trap.
Mattgreen: (in the style of Admiral Akbar from Return of the Jedi) IT'S A TRAP!

The youth of today

December 20, 2009

Last night I went to a gig in London and caught the 23.10 train home. It was looking like a long, uninspiring journey as my iPod had run out of battery, I was quite drunk, I didn't have time to buy coffee before I got on the train and it was stopping at every dreary backwater known to mankind.

The train was pretty full, and I was sitting in a block of eight seats by myself. Suddenly, just as the train was about to pull away, I was joined by nine blokes, all aged between early and late twenties. I offered to move so they could all sit together, but they said 'no, stay and talk to us!' so I sat down with them and started chatting.

They'd been drinking in and around Leicester Square all day. They were constantly taking the piss out of each other: one of them was wearing a turquoise scarf, which the others described as a girly pashmina. Another was slumped in a corner looking pretty drunk; they threw rolled up paper balls at him. One lad was surrepticiously trying to send texts to his girlfriend every five minutes, a practice that was loudly ridiculed whenever it was spotted.

They asked me my name and where I was going; when I told them they cheered loudly because that was where they were going too. They told me that they'd met at school, one of them worked at Gatwick, another for Direct Line, another was a teacher. One of them had an iPhone with quotes from The Office on it; it was passed around and the quotes "Oooh, kinky!" played over and over (probably to the annoyance of the rest of the passengers on the train, but I couldn't care less). The one who was a teacher told the others off for swearing and threatened to throw them off the train at random intervals. The others responded by mockingly calling him 'Sir'.

They asked me which one of them looked the most gay, I refused to tell them before relenting and selecting the one with the goatee. This was greeted with hoots of laughter and the guy in question was referred to as Gay Boy for the rest of the journey. At one point he mentioned his girlfriend Sarah was picking him up from the station; one of the others replied without missing a beat, "That's his pet name; she's really called Big John". A little later in the journey, the drunk one went to lie down on the next row of seats, but remembered to take off his shoes before putting his feet on the seats. It was funny and raucous and my face ached from laughing by the time I said goodbye to them at the station.

As I walked home, I reflected on the fact that had I been on my way home to Milton Keynes or Stourbridge, and found myself accompanied by nine young men alone on a train, I would've been quite scared. I would particularly have been scared to be walking home alone. But last night I wasn't afraid for a moment. They were perfectly friendly despite their exuberance. They were never aggressive or spiteful; they were just having a laugh. I wish I could ring up their mums and tell them how lovely their sons are, and yes I do know how old that makes me sound.

Hello hello!

December 15, 2009

So, er, hi my loyal readers :)
I have been a little bit distracted...

Sorry. I got really fed up of posting after November, and then I went through a really badly obsessive phase of playing Wizard101, but I think I might be coming to the end of it. Scarlet is now level 44 and the maximum is 50, and although I do have a couple of other characters waiting in the wings, I'm sure it won't be quite as exciting second and third time round. Well, nearly sure.

If you want to come along and play, please do. Mattgreen and Izzy are also going to roll up characters and we're going to play as a family... Oh, and I was thinking I might start a little blog about our adventures. But yeah... I'm nearly over it. Probably.

Anyway, other than that, we've been up to the usual stuff. It's nearly Christmas so we put up our Christmas tree whilst listening to HP Lovecraft carols, in the traditional Green family way. We talked about Cthulu with Isabel, and she said she wanted to read some Lovecraft, and I said, "Yeah sure*" and Mattgreen said, "NO WAY". Then she went to a friend's birthday party and taught him 'Freddie the Red-Brained Mi Go' and now the child's parents probably thinks we are a bunch of freaky weirdos. So - what else is new?

* I have never actually read any Lovecraft myself, but it's not got blood and gore in it so how scary can it be? Surely if a book is scary you just stop reading it?

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