wish list

Along with avoiding New Year’s Eve, I’ve resolved to do away with resolutions. Instead, I will make a list of things I’ll aim to do this year and not get too hung up on whether or not I manage to tick them off. It will be positive rather than negative. I am a great list maker, so this suits me well. I am also, rather tragically, a great retrospective list maker too – if a list is failing to get smaller, I’ll add stuff that I have done (made a bed, bought some loo roll, nothing major) just to tick it off. Pathetic really.

So, the 2011 list. I have always had a bit of a blind spot when it comes to house plants. I love having flowers in the house, but beyond spring bulbs, and cut flowers through the summer, I never seem to get around to cultivating proper house plants – Spider plants, Begonias, Aspidistras and so on. Probably because I don’t really like them much, I find them a little bit triffid-like and creepy. But I do like the plant above, and below (not necessarily a house plant, but happy enough to be one), in fact I covet these particular plants, which grow on a friend’s mother’s window sill. I love the rosettes of glaucous leaves, and the peculiar flowers that look so much like sweets. This is on my list, I will grow one this year…

only I am not entirely sure what it is*. I assumed that it was some form of house leek (Sempervivum) but when I searched online I found that the flowers don’t really conform. Luckily, the RHS course starts again next week, and I am sure that someone at the Botanical gardens will be able to identify it for me. I will post details when I know.

Other items on the gardening section of my list include: taking out the hazel tree and finding a suitable replacement; drawing up a scale plan of the garden in order to plot the terracing, which I hope to have completed in time to start planting in April; remembering to find out about potato days, and actually getting to one; getting on track with my section of allotment. I will also write at least one post a week on the garden. I found out today that my blog has been accepted by Blotanical, a fantastic online community of garden bloggers. I am really, really pleased – especially as most of the last month’s posts have been entirely garden-free and I thought I might not make the grade.

Other things for my list include: make a quilt, learn to crochet, make at least one dress or skirt for myself, curtains for Matilda’s room and some cushions. I’d also like to have a go at screen printing and take a short photography course in order to get to grips with my very exciting new camera, a Lumix GF 1. The photos here were taken with the old camera, just after a terrible downpour and the whole thing steamed up – hence the soft focus glow.

I want to do more walking, and of course the arrival of Sybil in our household will mean that I will have no trouble at all in ticking that one off the list at the end of the year. Cue gratuitous shot of fluffy puppy…

Some of the things on the list fall into the slightly retrospective category in that they are things I would do this year anyway: make marmalade, make a simnel cake and so on. And knitting falls firmly into this category as this year I will certainly knit. So I think I’ll formalize my knitting plans by saying that I want to knit a jumper for each of the girls and also for Joe (the last is very dangerously close to being a retrospective addition in that I have only a sleeve to go, and Joe’s jumper will be complete). As well as a tea cosy, and more socks, I want to complete at least one Fair Isle or stranded colourwork project – maybe the tea cosy, or perhaps a hat inspired by simplicity and charm of this.

I want to read more – more Elizabeth Taylor especially. I have just finished The Soul of Kindness, which, like all her novels is wonderfully subtle and understated, and lives on in the mind long after reading. I should probably work out a list of books, but I prefer to not to plan ahead too much with my reading, I like to be guided by my mood at that moment. Besides, Joe has challenged me to read Master and Commander, so for the next week or so I will be on the high seas.

I think that’s it for the list, for now. Better start getting on with it.

* I do now, thanks to atomiclulu, who kindly identified it – Echeveria Glauca