I haven’t been blogging much lately, and it creates a real feeling of unease, I don’t want to spend too much time planning for 2017 that we don’t appreciate it, but I am really enjoying a little time now putting plans into place. So I thought I’d write about them here. Some are a little bit exciting, some are the realities of a women who’s realised it’s happening- she’s turning 40 next year. Ssssssshhhhh.
My best friend’s wedding
One for the ridiculously excited category. 2017 is the year my Gavin and Stacey are tying the knot. It just feels we’re on a roll with good years. Bestie turned 40 last year and introduced me to a spa. I become a convert. Bestie is getting married this year, I am sure another spa break will be experienced. Thanks to Jocelyn’s post I realised next year I turn 40, and my other two besties. So hopefully this is a roll. But a wedding, well, I can’t help but hear Sweet Charity… and maybe a little Aretha.
And for me, there’s the small matter of a hen weekend, hen night, and the wedding, which will include me and him spending a night away (hold onto your hats), without the children (I really wrote that). I will of course need a new dress…. shoes… handbag.
Really, what else could come first on this list?
The boys turning 6It’s somewhat inevitable. It being 2017 and all. I have realised I can only cope with birthday parties ever other year, such is my need to go to town on a theme. But one thing I’m realised is I need to alternate with CM so it’s not two parties a year. I spent the weekend making bubble wands into light sabers, making Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader swords, and preparing Stormtrooper chocolates. I’m ridiculously excited about these two babies of mine turning six. And yes, I am bereft about these babies of mine turning six. There is no calling them babies anymore.
It had to happen. We’ve been here five years and I think we need to get a fixed rate. I’ve been reading my Martin Lewis emails. So I’ve been on the phone with the lovely man who sorted our mortgage when we moved here. At the beginning of 2016 I did think we’d end the year mortgage free. On the plus side (ahem!), I ended it increasing my service and without a redundancy payment. But, we have a lump payment to make, and now need to decide whether to reduce the term or benefit from a little extra cash each month.
Getting better with money
I have no idea where our money goes. Every so often we look at my bank statements and every single payment and direct debit seems justified. But over the years we’ve paid loans and credit cards off, we’ve made savings, and yet still we don’t seem to save money (beyond the children’s savings accounts).
I know that for the mortgage savings we’ll sort it that it just magically disappears before I’ve got it, but even so we need to get better. I’m not sure how far this will go. But we will try.
I am so proud that we are able to give our children the lifestyle they have, and somehow afford a stay-at-home parent. It’s not the be all I know, but for me it’s reassurance when I’m working away.
But in 2017 we will get more savvy. A couple of things we can do in use sites where we receive cash back when spending online and putting the savings from insurance renewals into our savings account.
A Pokemon Trading PartySeeing the Star Wars prep (and still holding a grudge with mummy about last year), and due to the school banning Pokemon cards (far too much time spend adjudicating negotiations), CM wants a Pokemon Trading Party. Fortunately not on her actual birthday (Super Saturday). But I suspect my daughter will be worst than any bridezilla.
Passing my first year at uni
If I do manage to get through my first year, well, let’s just say there will a celebration. Maybe it will involve corks popping, I suspect sleep, lots of sleep, will also be a factor. In the meanwhile I will need to plan enough reading, and writing time into my days.
There must be theatre. I must stay sane. I spent a wonderful evening with my Sherman Theatre programme and my diary. Needless to say, with work, I’ve had to manage my expectations. I then mapped across WMC, the New Theatre, The Other Room, and Chapter. And I’m a little bit excited.
I haven’t heard all of it, but I’ve heard something of the Sherman Theatre doing something with Gary Owen and Chekov’s ‘The Cherry Orchard’. The set text of my A-level. And Gary Owen.
Oh, and there’s a co-production between the Sherman and the Royal Court of Gary Owen’s ‘Killology’. I think I’m turning into a geek but after ‘Iphigenia in Splott’ and ‘Violence and Son’… how could this not be a highlight.
But more importantly (sorry), the favourite Roald Dahl book of my gorgeous boys’ will be at the New Theatre for my mum’s birthday. I really hope it will meet with B and E’s high expectations and make the perfect birthday for Grandma.
A New Kitchen
This is my current favourite place to spend my time procrastinating. 2017 will be the year of a new kitchen-diner. Somehow.
We moved in five years ago, when our home was just hitting the ten-year mark. The house was still ‘good enough’ to not have to update- one of our key criteria. But five years of coping, I think we now need to personalise beyond the children’s bedrooms. The bathrooms, carpets, and the kitchen need to be updated. I think we’ll consider a move in five years’ time (when the boys’ are ready for secondary schools [and in line with the new mortgage term]) so starting with the kitchen-diner feels like the right move.
And I want to go to town. On a budget. I want the space to feel like a kitchen-diner, rather than the knocked through kitchen and dining room that we bought.
I was spoilt with a new kitchen – diner in Todmorden, with a range, and slate floor. We installed it, and then decided to have children… and move 200 miles away.
I want to feel spoilt again.
A holiday in AngleseyI love Anglesey. I know it’s going to be a worse journey than it ever was from Yorkshire. The irony. But now we get to introduce all three people to Anglesey proper. I’m hoping for good weather but it doesn’t matter.
I feel like I missed out on family holidays last year as Mr J took the children away whilst I was working.
But this year, I want to enjoy time with my children. Appreciate the view. Drag out my camera.
Video and photo editing
I am so proud that I learned to use my camera on manual in 2016. So much so I won’t start telling you about it.
And I figure it proves my ability to learn practical skills. Which I just don’t think I have a tendency, nor preference, to enjoy nor understand.
On the basis that it seems I’m able to learn this things which interest me, I would love to get conversant with Photoshop for photo and video editing in 2017. Please don’t direct me to You Tube. My husband is self-taught editing guru (my words, not his), but I just don’t learn that way. Nor from him. It’s almost like I need another weekend in a country cottage… please.
And so, beyond my need to food plan, blog plan, and loose a pile of weight, this is it. For now.