January 01, 2016

Hit the Glitterball

Okay. So for once- I have actually managed it. Or hopefully I'll of managed it. I'm writing this a few days before the whole New Years Day thing - partly because if I tried writing a post in one day it might not happen. I mean.... expect the unexpected right? And also.... I'm not really going to be accessing WiFi on Friday... (I'm going to be having a lovely quiet few days of avid reading at my Grandmother's instead) and so basically.... I just definitely wouldn't be posting anything if I left it till Friday/today. 

But - I think I definitely deserve a gold star. I mean.... the first time I did a New Years Post it was June. The second time it was February. Now it's January. Not just January. January first. So definitely a gold star. :) 

And I'm speedwriting this while listening to the Fangirl audiobook because I want to get back to my book and Danish and planning all the awesome stuff. Seriously. I have actually got some posts scheduled for like..... This time next year (there is no point publishing Christmas recipes in January) (because even I'm not that into Christmas!) 

And bedtime is fast approaching. 

I'm reading last years post. It's weird - reading things that I wrote just 12 (actually 11) short months ago. I'm not sure if it's slightly hilarious, slightly terrifying, or just slightly confusing. Was that really only 11 months ago. 

11 months ago I was still in high school. 11 months ago I had never lived anywhere other than home. 11 months ago I had never got a train on my own. I hadn't sat my A level exams. I hadn't worked out just how much I loved having books - and reading them. I hadn't read a book in french. I knew SO MUCH less Danish. I knew no Chinese (although to be honest I still don't really know anything). I had always chickened out of reading The Last Battle from The Chronicles of Narnia but this is the year that I decided that as someone who is almost twenty- I am just plain too old to be scared of reading a children's book. 

And then you realize that - never mind a week ago I got a train for the first time on my own - this time last year I couldn't even get to school on my own. I couldn't go shopping on my own yet. Now I do all my shopping. 

Last year feels..... so long ago. 

Even a few months ago when I started university seemed so long ago. That first week when I got lost more times then I didn't, when I didn't have any produce and was crazily posting MoFo recipes. Also - a time when there was actually light in Edinburgh. I swear- 2.5 hours on the train north and you loose about 4 or 5 hours of light. Which at the moment- only leaves about 3 hours of light. And that's not really brilliant super amazing light. More just... kind of grey and dreary light. People keep asking me if I could see myself living in Edinburgh - and it's hard. I mean - Edinburgh is a lovely city. So much better than here. But I would really rather live somewhere where I didn't have to have the light on about 23/7. I may have all these great ideas for recipes that I want to share with you - but I'm gonna struggle if I can't take any photos. 

You might just have to imagine what all the yummy food looks like. 

But now I am well and truly just waffling (when am I not though?) and so shall we just get on with it. Before my waffling gets slightly more doolally than normal because I'm tired as well as just.... well.... 

Let's just get on with it shall we? 

How did I get on with last years resolutions?

1. Learn Danish (Cause why not?)
Jeg kan snakker dansk. Not a lot. Barely any to be honest. I can understand a lot of what I read and what I watch. But I can't really speak Danish. I have written a 200 word piece all about me in Danish - it's not that good but it is exactly 200 words. I have not given it up tho. I am still working on it. I am also going to go to Denmark. At some point. And buy SO MANY books. Because I REALLY NEED to practise. And don't even get me started on the price of shipping from Denmark. I mean................. let's just say that it's a lot. I have VERY NEARLY ALMOST finished the Danish 'tree' on Duolingo. Which was kind of my goal for this year. I've just got 3 more skills to learn. And they'll definitely be done by the time that I go back to university in a few weeks. So.... I'm actually really quite proud of myself. 

2. Write a book
I'm writing a book. A bit like the Danish, this one is definitely a work in progress. But I have all my characters down. From all the ways Conrad can consume GORP to being able to tell you all about Lexi in Chinese (no, seriously) to Madi's love of Grimm's Fairy Tales. Working on that. It will get finished this year. For definite. This summer. Oh - and expect lots of recipes with bananas. 

3. Pass my A-levels
 This was stressful and I would rather not remember it. Suffice to say I passed. 

I thought that I was doing excellently at this. I loved tea and I was drinking it all the time. It was so.... great. And then I started at uni- and I drank so much more. I definitely aced my resolution to drink more tea. The only thing I don't do so much is drink tea from a teapot. Mainly because the teapot has a broken handle so it doesn't get used very often - but also because I didn't take my teapot up to college with me. Because of the broken handle and all. But I love my tea. All kinds of tea. Except maybe normal tea. I don't actually drink that all that much. But fruit teas and flavored black teas and green teas and oolong teas and white teas and mint teas and ginger teas hibiscus teas and all sorts of other teas. Because there are so many amazing types of tea out there why would I ever limit myself to just a few types? Yeah- I don't know either.

So I'm still working on writing a book and learning Danish (although I have a feeling Learning Danish is something that I will ALWAYS be working on.) I passed my A levels and I have totally aced drinking more tea. And now it's time to look at my 'Bucket List'. I'm looking at it for what is, to be honest, the first time in a long time. It starts off not to bad... and then it goes downhill. Fairly rapidly.

So just a reminder - this is what I wanted to do this year:

1. Make popcorn with nooch/golden sprinkles/nutritional yeast
2. Make Sushi
3. Make a Disney Princess Apron
4. Have my hair in a hair elastic. Just once. 
5. Make some really awesome bentos. 
6. A super secret thing that I'm not going to tell you about yet. 
7. Go swimming
8. Master making muffins
9. Finish one Octant in Senior Section
10. Take an ABRSM exam. Even if I have to take the prep test. Or maybe the performance assessment... (i.e. two exams that would be way more than stupidly easy for me) :P 

So how did I do? Well as I said it started off okay....

1. I did this one. Several times. My popcorn maker came out and I made popcorn. And then applied nooch to it liberally. Because YUMMY. And then did it again. And again. And I made a couple of recipes using popcorn and if I had any left over- well then out came the nooch. Because YUMMY.

2. I did this. I REALLY wish that I had a picture to show you - because to be honest- it was just ridiculously funny. I guess I made giant sushi. I don't know what I did wrong - apart from evidently using WAY TO MUCH RICE (although I used the right amount of rice according to the box) because the sushi was just MASSIVE. Like one piece was about the size of my fist. (although you should possibly know that I have really tiny hands). Suffice to say, I didn't need many pieces. It was SO GOOD tho. Obviously.

3. Okay. So I have the fabric. I haven't quite got to the point where I've done it yet. I'll get there at some point tho. When I've made up with Mom's sewing machine (we've fallen out again...)

4. I have so done this. It is still way to short really. It needs A LOT of bobby pins. And I only have ridiculous(ly cute) ones with little plastic colored balls on. And oh my goodness I've had my hair in hair elastics and it looks so ridiculous but I love it. So much. I just can't wait till my hair is a bit longer so it's a bit easier and I can do it properly....

5. My bento's just haven't been up to scratch lately. This is more like an epic fail. I would love to say that it is all the fault of me not having all my stuff with me at university - but it really isn't. It's just because.... I have made bentos. Many bento's. But they just haven't been awesome. By any standard.

6. Working on it.

7. So I have been swimming in the physiotherapy pool. I've actually done laps in the physiotherapy pool. With what is possibly the worst swimming technique that anybody has ever seen. But hey who cares? I have not actually been swimming in the public pool yet because a) scary and b) so expensive.  Since when did it become £5 for one visit. And as I quite fancy swimming at the moment - it's okay to say it's £5 because that's not too bad. But if I went twice a week that would be £10 a week. And that's like.... Way no. I have looked at going in the university pool - which is CONSIDERABLY cheaper - but they only have lane swimming there and so you have to be able to swim two lanes without stopping - and I'm just not sure that I'm there yet. So.... working on that one. But haven't actually gotten anywhere with it yet.

8. I have seriously mastered making muffins. And just FYI - it wasn't making muffins that I was struggling with but mastering making vegan muffins. That I actually wanted to eat. Before this year they either had SERIOUS structural integrity problems (think a load of crumbs that you had to eat them with a spoon) or they were so dense and hadn't risen and just not that great. At all. But this year was THE YEAR. The year that I finally mastered vegan muffins. And oh the muffins.... I think that my favorite was probably the snickerdoodle muffins - but the cranberry and banana ones were definitely a close second. Recipes to come (obviously).

9. Yeah. Just no. I have worked on lot's of different ones. But not gotten to the stage where I have finished one yet. Hopefully this will be the year. And I really don't see any reason why it wouldn't be. I've actually done a lot of stuff for them that I just haven't 'documented' yet. But hopefully.... this will be the year. There are several contenders for which will be the first to be completed. And also I actually have a camp blanket to put the badge on now- so there is definitely no reason not to complete it!

10. No. I was going to- I was all ready and had learnt my Grade 1 piano pieces. But then for various reasons I couldn't take the exam. AT SOME POINT I swear that I am going to. At some point. And when I do - it is possibly going to be the longest awaited exam ever. I may frame that far off certificate and display it like it was some sort of doctorate. It will be that awaited.

And just FYI - I have finished all the ones off my bucket list from 2014. Wow wasn't that a long time ago?

So are you ready to hear about my New Year's Resolutions for this year? Are you ready? Are you sure? Because it's going to be an epic year I swear.

My New Year's Resolutions 2016:

1. Read Something in French EVERY DAY

2. Post twice a week
3. Do some Chinese every week

1. This is mainly because I spent way too long learning French to want to just give it up. I don't really want to focus on learning french, partly because I'm still learning Danish and then there is Chinese mixed in there as well - and so I really don't want to be spending time learning French as well - but also because I'm a bit passed the 'Learn French' type of books. I AM NOT SAYING THAT I AM FLUENT - OR THAT I AM AMAZING AT FRENCH - OR THAT I HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO LEARN. I'm saying that I studied it to As level (or for 6 years) - and so I'm a bit passed things like learning the names for colors and animals and learning that there exists a thing called gender in french nouns. I do actually have some french grammar books that I can go through if I want - and I can always use Duolingo which is the same program that I used for Danish this year if I feel I need a bit of practise on something - but on the whole- I think for me at this point reading in french (and watching and listening when I can) is the way to go. I may not get any better at my French - but I'm hoping that this way I won't get any worse. Or at least not that much worse. I'm going for staying at the same level I'm at. Which is not very good but I can function in french. So I want to read every day in French. I want to make it a habit - just something a bit weird (as my Dad would say) that I do. Not something that I have to force myself to do or that is a chore. Just something that happens. And - to make it extra easy - as well as a whole host of children's books that I have in French - I also have a Disney treasury of princess stories (in French of course). They're more like passages really - super short. But there is also one for every day of the year. So I literally can't go wrong!

2. That is my aim for this year. I don't know how successful it will be - but that is definitely my aim. It's also my aim to post something on Instagram every day but that doesn't happen either. And it was my aim this year to post something every week - and yeah. I haven't even posted something every month. Although I did have a good run with it for a few months. But this year I am going to try super hard to get it done. Because I really love blogging - it is one of my favorite things. It's hard to explain exactly why it hasn't happened. Mainly because I've been too busy with life in general. But if I have to force myself to sit down and work - who cares? Because I love it when I do it. And right now I feel like twice a week is an awful big commitment - but I know it really isn't. Sometimes you might get some really rubbish posts. But.... I hope now. I even have a diary and everything with some resemblance of a 'plan' in. Because I am that organised. Or just that determined to share everything that I want to share with you this year.

3. This semester I had space in my timetable to do an 'outside course'. And as they wouldn't let me do Danish (stupid Physics getting in the way) I picked Chinese. And I loved it. Most of the time. I love the characters. Because hello - no spelling!! (I would say you should see my posts before I spell check them but on second thoughts I really don't want you to!) There were times on that course when I did not love it (the character for food is a particular enemy of mine) but on the whole..... I guess it's a bit like the french. I've spent time learning it (I probably know about 200 characters) and so I don't want all that time to of been wasted. Except I don't know anywhere enough to read anything yet and so I'm gonna concentrate on learning a bit instead. Not a lot. Maybe just 1 or 2 hours a week. Which I know in reality is no where near enough to learn anything. But.. it's something. I am doing a degree here people! I have to study! I have to do so much studying! But it's my hope that I can find space for some Chinese in there as well. 你好! (and just fyi - I do no more than just how to say hello!)

So those are my resolutions - but there's also a few things that I want to do this year - which aren't exactly resolutions. So here's my 'Bucket list' of things that I want to do before the end of the year.

My New Year's Bucket List 2016:

1. Go to Denmark. And Buy Books. 

2. Become a 'Memonist' on Memrise. (That's 2 levels above what I'm on now) 
3. Read one book in Danish. And I don't mean a picture book. I mean a proper book with chapters. It doesn't have to be a great work of literature - but I want to read a book with chapters. 
4. Finish writing my book. 
5. Fill my 'book of books' with all the books that I've read. I have already filled in about 10 - but I think that there's about 80 pages. So I better get on with it....
6. Write more in French/Danish/Chinese. Because although it's great being able to understand stuff- it's nice to be able to use what I've learnt. And I'm never going to get there unless I practise am I? 
7. Stop using my crutch for 90% of the time. 
8. Tidy my bedroom. Not just so that it's tidy enough but so that it's EXACTLY as tidy as I want it. So no boxes of STUFF in weird places. Including under my brothers bed. 
9. Knit myself a jumper. One that is good enough that I can actually knit. 
10. Read the Harry Potter series again. And reward myself with a Hufflepuff scarf. Because yes I am a Hufflepuff. Don't hate me. 

And still left over from last year is:

3. Make a Disney Princess Apron
5. Make some really awesome bentos. 
6. A super secret thing that I'm not going to tell you about yet. 
7. Go swimming
9. Finish one Octant in Senior Section
10. Take an ABRSM exam. Even if I have to take the prep test. Or maybe the performance assessment... (i.e. two exams that would be way more than stupidly easy for me) :P 

I don't actually think that the last one is going to get done. But there is always hope. But that one might be featuring on the list of 'things that I've still got to do' for a long time. For a very long time.

So now I have told you all about what I've done and what I've not done and what I'm going to do (hopefully) what about all of you? What are your resolutions and what do you want to do this year? 


  1. Sounds like you have some great resolutions! Best of luck with everything this year! :D

  2. Yay for swimming and languages and making things! You have so many great goals / resolutions. This year I'm trying to learn Japanese and I intend to continue to be relentlessly body positive! If I get back to the UK I want to slim down the stuff in my storage unit which is a huge task but travelling for a year has made me realise that there's so much stuff in there that I don't need.

    1. Thanks! I think learning Japanese is definitely an awesome resolution!! If I could I would... Ha! I keep trying to get rid of some of the things in my bedroom at my parents house.... but then I buy more books.... and you know.... well....