“Anything can be solved by wine, chocolate or cheese”? – 31 December 2016

These are the type of statements that come about while playing cards with friends and I’m losing spectacularly (and I have a lot of chocolate sitting in front of me). However, if I only had one item that I had to choose from the above list, mine would be cheese. It is most definitely my comfort food (grilled cheese on toast, macaroni and cheese, cheese and biscuits) and living in a country with superb cheeses, well what else could it be?

So today is New Years eve, no real plans for tonight, Pat is cooking a wonderful slow-cooked lamb recipe for us and our friends and we are just planning on a quiet night in with cards (can I redeem myself) and most likely a game of Carcassonne. If any of us last to midnight we will welcome the new year in and most likely be in bed 5 minutes later…. However the plan is to get out of bed on New Years day and go to nearest high hill (which thankfully is the highest for substantial distance) and “witness the dawn” – thankfully sunrise here at the moment is at 8:30am (dawn starting just after 8am) so it’s not too early a start. Hopefully we can get some great photos and it isn’t as foggy as it was yesterday – where we couldn’t see a thing all day!

This idea came about from one of my Christmas presents, a book called “You only live once” which is divided into sections of things you can do to improve your life if you have an extra hour, day, week, month and year. One suggestion (under the hour) was to witness the dawn – now the books suggestion of places to do this were all a little far (New Zealand, Egypt – it is a lonely planet book) but the idea tickled my fancy and I thought it would be a great way to start the New Year. So tomorrow morning you will find me on a mountain with my coffee in a thermal mug awaiting the dawn (I thought it was going to be champagne? ed).

For those of you who know me well, I still do New Years resolutions and I look back to see what I have achieved from those resolutions. I do ok with my resolutions, I decided to look back over the past couple of years and see what I haven’t done and would still like to do. So my resolutions for 2017:

• Join a walking group – this was from 2015 and we haven’t done it yet, but it came up again recently in a discussion with Pat as a way of improving our French and getting out a bit more.
• To spend less than we bring in this was from 2016 – which may be obvious but this year we overspent, which of course means dipping into the retirement savings – not something we want to do.
• My biggy for this year – this was from 2009 – only watching tv on weekends – this is to help me get a few more things done to the house (like making the couch cover that I’ve been thinking about for 8 months and had the material for, for 4 months).

So on that note, I shall get myself out of bed and into the shower to start my day and I wish you all a wonderful, interesting and prosperous New Year.

Enjoy Pat’s blog next week (hopefully with sunrise photos) http://patblog.patbell.co.uk

My most recent Christmas tree decoration - from York

My most recent Christmas tree decoration – from York

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