Saturday, January 31, 2009

My amateur, narcisstic, opinionated blogs

Celebrity bloggers are sooo annoying. Their intimate, over-sharing is embarrassing and unnecessary. Don't they have all the opportunities of TV, press and radio interviews. Not to mention the coverage they get in Heat, Look, Closer and so on.

But oh look, just like Don Mills Diva they get misquoted. Journalists get lazy about sourcing information and take quotes out of context. Even a respected publication like The Times and Times Online gets lazy.

Maybe blogging and tweeting give them an opportunity to speak direct to their audience without being misinterpreted by a journalist. Funny though, the press just regard them as exercises in navel-gazing.

What if it happened to me? Would I be so cross if it was me who was misquoted. Well, duh. Yes I would be. I write an internal communications magazine for my company and I check every quote. Even the stuff that I think doesn't matter. I do this because I appreciate that people don't like surprises particularly when their professional reputation is on the line.

I'm surprised the Times doesn't have higher standards about attribution. In articles such as the one where Kelly was quoted, readers certainly think that everyone who has been quoted has been interviewed. The article has a very different tone from one that is lifted, say, from a company's press release.

I do run the risk of someone not liking my blog (I know - how unlikely is that?). I might be trolled. I might be trolled by a print journalist! I blog because it gives me something I don't get from the print and broadcast media. Personal connection with other people interested in the same thing as me - parenting, work/life balance, having fun.

In terms of my other blog about sport, it gives me a forum to talk about women's sport. The press barely cover that at all. I'm not talking about exercising. We all know there are blogs about diet and fitness (even though I did write my own strangely lush fitness plan). I mean coverage of women in competitive sport at local, national and international levels. The UK press stink at that. I have written to The Guardian about this... I don't think it's too bothered by my opinion.

So whether I'm incorrectly attributed - or ignored altogether - blogging gives me the last word. I like that.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A political football

You might have noticed that I've started monitoring the level of coverage the Guardian gives to women's sport. It's online coverage is better than in the print version of the paper.

At the top left of my blog, I'm providing links to all the articles that have appeared in its 12-page sports supplement so far this year. It's not particularly impressive. If it wasn't for Dokic and the Williams sisters, there'd only be two articles. One focuses on the UK's best hope for success in the Melbourne tennis tournament and the final one - on women's football (soccer) - actually reports on the career progress of a male coach. Not a word on the actual success or not of any women in football.

This bothers me for a number of reasons - in no particular order...
  • why does male football have to account for such a large proportion of print sports coverage - guys tell me they would like to read more about golf, boxing, kayaking, windsurfing, squash and so on. There's a lot of diversity in sport and that's not reflected in the mainstream daily press.
  • why do women in sport barely get a look in? The Olympics showed evidence of women's success in sport and many women bloggers confirmed in a number of different posts and comments how inspiring this was to see.
  • if so much money can be generated by male sport - in particular UK soccer - why isn't this commercial success being exploited in female sport?
The lack of good print coverage of women's sport - beyond the sexy photoshoots of sportswomen in Sunday supplements - is especially frustrating when there are so many lifestyle articles denigrating women for their lack of involvement in team sports.

There are plenty of women involved in team sports like hockey, netball, rugby and football - I'm sure there'd be even more of them if this activity wasn't practically invisible to anyone who relied on the sports section of newspapers for coverage of women in sport.

Another dimension to women in sport, is that it can be political. In Iran, football for men and women is extremely popular. A leading team - Esteghlal - is now in trouble because during a training overlap, its male and female teams were on the same pitch for ten minutes. The football academy director may be sacked for this and who knows, maybe even the players themselves may suffer repercussions.

Sport is one of a limited number of ways women in Iran can express themselves through physical movement. These women - and indeed the men who coach, manage and finance the teams put themselves at risk of prosecution and harrassment for falling foul of the state's strict interpretation of Islamic behaviour.

Their determination to play, despite the difficulties, has helped me decide to create a new blog. I'll use it to highlight women's achievements in sports. It's going to take a little while for me to find my sources, but please send me your thoughts, any useful links and even content - I think this could be a good blog for additional contributors. While I might focus on UK sport, I'm interested in including international stories too.

How he sees us

At least here's evidence that Recaro knows I'm not completely ignoring my child while blogging.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Soft furnishings go... odd

I've been meaning to post about this for a week or two. I'd seen some cushions and they got me thinking. Now this isn't a post about decorating - sorry, I know there are people out there who would find that compelling blog material.

This is about icons and scatter cushions. I suppose you can imagine a cushion with fabulous embroidery and applique around an image of Elvis. You could even imagine iconic images of Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe on a (maudlin) teenage girl's collection of cushions.

If you are of a more radical frame of mind, you might want to consider planting your butt in a disrespectful fashion on the faces of dictators past and present. 'Take that Mugabe/Stalin/Hitler!' you'd mutter as you settled down to watch the latest episode of Grand Designs.

But would you ever, really, choose to put Anne Frank's image on a throw cushion?

Because that's what I saw this month in the window of a fabric shop on Wigmore Street in central London.

If you find photos of Anne Frank compelling - for reasons such as the pointlessness of her death and the vivid personality expressed in her diary - would you ever consider making yourself comfy on her image?

On the flip side, are anti-semitic, holocaust-deniers likely to adorn their sofas with her image?

The question is (in the style of Carrie Bradshaw) ... is there a time and place when an Anne Frank cushion is not just acceptable but the very best choice of all?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Yep - still talking about Dati

Rachida Dati resigned her job as France's Justice Minister. She's going to pursue a place in the European Parliament as an MEP.

Her departure is all too reminiscent of the times I've seen one colleague and one boss lose their jobs shortly after returning from maternity leave.

Coincidence? Maybe they didn't lose their jobs because of being mothers, but it probably hadn't helped to be so ... noticeable.... feminine... or in Dati's case, to have an 'abrasive management style'. What a loaded expression that is.

However, I raise the topic of Dati again because I read a Hadley Freeman article today in the Guardian where she suggested that women should stop 'looking at other women in a purely narcissistic, deeply emotional manner'.

Apparently, 'only women' publicly express the view that 'women have to work harder in all areas of life and that so it's only natural that what other women do impacts on the expectations of other women'. I can't believe 'only women' have this view. Even if men aren't talking about it, this doesn't mean women are mistaken in holding this belief.

Before I go on - I need to let off steam in the manner of a pre-menstrual woman who just found an empty milk bottle in the fridge. It irks me to be told that any criticism of Dati's maternity leave decisions are inevitably expressed in a deeply emotional manner. Does anyone else think that phrase carries a lot of baggage?

It is incredibly interesting (to me at least) when a women in a senior public position has a baby and decides to return to work after five days. Just as it was interesting to many men when Steve Jobs decided, after some hesitation, to take time off work for health reasons. No one was hysterical - I was interested because it allowed me to reflect on the decisions I make in my own life.

Leaving aside the issue of celeb magazines where Hadley rightly points out the frustration of seeing women simultaneously lauded for losing baby weight while encouraging readers to hate them for their willpower and access to personal trainers, women should talk about other women in public life.

Why? Well there's not that many of them. There's something holding women back - whether it's in ourselves or in the workplace... or even in the media's perception of us.

We need to exhaust the discussion about work, success (whatever that means to each of us), careers, glass ceilings, women on the board and motherhood. Because until we are so familiar with the issues and the solutions there will always be petty prejudices and obstacles to equitable work/life opportunities.

As I read her article, I'm not entirely sure who she's berating. Is it me and others like me who have blogged and talked about Dati or is she furious with the press and women's magazines?

At least with a blog, I know I can get the last word.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Burning dolly

That speedy bedtime? Well, it's not been completely plain sailing. Last night she crept up the stairs 15 mins after I thought she'd gone to sleep. She by-passed me (because I'm a stinky-you-shall-go-to-bed-mutha) and rushed up to Recaro for a loving hug. As you'd expect with such a soft touch of a daddy, Peaches ended up watching TV with us while we ate dinner. Eventually I got her to sleep by pretending to sleep with her. With a sinking heart I hoped we hadn't set a dangerous precedent.

While I was mulling over how to improve the bedtime routine, we had a mostly good day, but with two memorable incidents. Peaches was bitten by one boy and had her doll thrown on a fire by another. She doesn't know what happened to the doll. We cleared out of the room (staff at Ask pizza restaurant in Canterbury were so calm even if they weren't too impressed by us...) before she realised where the acrid fumes were coming from. The doll has a twin, so I think she'll get by without it.

Incidentally, I'm pretty sure I know which boy did which horrible thing - Firestarter's mum isn't completely convinced her boy is to blame, but I think she's going to change her mind when he says 'Burn dolly burn' during bath time tonight. Meanwhile Gnasher's mum is already signed up to a parenting class and is tackling her son's wilder moments. We are all still speaking to each other.

It might come as a surprise to hear... but I was kind of glad to get us both home in one piece. To celebrate I decided Peaches would have an early night and aimed to get her in bed by 7pm.

Sometimes I make such GOOD decisions. We had a hot bath, a mellow ten minutes of In the night garden, just three stories* and she was asleep by 6.45.

I am now so chilled.

But I think that might just be my blood running cold at the thought of the biting, hair pulling and dolly-burning that we've endured today.

*The essential bedtime stories are:

Happy Hector is a brilliant story about a stuffed pig who just wants to be the centre of Tilly's world. The Princess story is very repetitive and dull to read - I can't work out why she loves it so much but it has the merit of being very short.

Even as a regular church goer, I'm surprised that the bible is in the list. I'd been reading the story of Christmas to her in December and she doesn't want to give it up. At least with this edition, if ever someone challenges me about if I've ever read the WHOLE bible, I can say 'yup. done that'.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rude? Crude? Or is it just...

the right ad, in the right place at the right time.

It made me laugh.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The journey from a cot to a bed

When we took the side off Peaches' cot, I wrote about my hopes of her going to the potty at night and sending herself back to bed. It turns out my fears were misplaced.

Instead it's been a problem getting her into bed at all. Fortunately, I've been suitably philosophical about this and it appears that my solution is working out.

The first night, she went to bed at 7.20pm. I read her stories and she snuggled up. After turning out the light and singing nursery rhymes she complained loudly and jumped out of bed. After a bit of argy bargy refusals to get into bed, Recaro offered to take over.

Okidokee I thought. I'd prefer to have let her simmer down and try again, but if he wants to give it a shot, I won't say no to some shared parenting endeavour.

I sat down and read the paper. The next thing I know, Recaro brings Peaches into the living room and tells me she's not sleepy. 'Pmph', I thought. Parenting, schmarenting.

Having tidied up the toys, I stop Peaches playing with her toys and tell her I'll read her a story instead and then it's back to bed. I told her there's no playing after bedtime - it's very very dull and the only thing to do is to sleep.

I take her back downstairs and go through the bed time routine again. I put her to bed and she gets out. I hold her while she wails and tell her, 'no playing, it's sleeptime, you can have a cuddle on my lap'. She wailed and wailed. Recaro comes back to the bedroom. I think he was concerned that I was about to lose my rag. I wasn't though and I told him Peaches was not going to go back upstairs (we have an 'upside down' house). Reassured that I'm really very calm - and very determined to crack bed time difficulties - he retreats to a safe distance behind the laptop...

After a sip of water (he he, I've banned milk after toothbrushing because I'm paranoid about wrecking her teeth) she calms down. She tries getting me to read books, but I take them from her and put them on the floor saying, 'no. it's time for sleep'.

She tries the book thing three times. Next time she goes for the door, but I block it with chair, sit down and put her on my lap again. There are tears but she accepts water and calms down again. One last attempt at a book.

And then she goes to sit on her bed. She gives me the bewildered look of a broken spirited toddler who realises that mummy has more patience than she realises. Regretfully she tucks herself up and goes to sleep at 8.45pm till 6.30am the next day. Despite my 'success' I feel rotten for having got my way by adult perseverance. How unfair is that?

The next day, we did a simpler shorter version of the above. From a 7.2o bedtime, she was settled and sleeping by 7.45am. Today, it took 25 minutes again. I'd like it to be quicker, but I can deal with this. She is at least asleep by 8.

I have been checking on her at 10.30. In her bedtime dismay she goes to sleep on her tummy. Having read of toddler cot deaths, I have to check that she's rolled over before I go to bed. So far I've not been tested with the need to turn her over - and risk waking her.

I've had to go for this slow patient route to bedtime, because I fear the picking her and returning her to bed just gets us both cross. I hate the thought of being tempted to lose control when dealing with Peaches in a tantrum. My preference is to encourage a calm attitude in us both. I'm sure there are people who can manhandle their children into bed without getting cross - it's just that I'm not one of them.

IN OTHER NEWS... I was on a train during Barack Obama's inauguration. Just after picking up the parking ticket left on my car (I forgot to put the parking ticket on display...) I listened to the last three sentences of his speech. At least I'll remember where I was - damn those efficient car park attendants.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My telly confession

Peaches' TV time has been gradually increasing. Since I'm sure the habits we make now, will shape our future lifestyle, I knew the time had come to rein in TV time.

As a consequence, we've had dressing up play, cutting, sticking and drawing, a walk up to the high street and finally cake making

We made a fat free swiss roll.It looks pretty doesn't it - sadly it doesn't taste that special. Damn those fat-free recipes.

I hope all this activity is going to pay off because today... da da daaaaa... we took a side off the cot and created a bed. She has slept in a bed on holiday once before, but today we've been explaining how she'll be able to go to the potty when she needs to.

The signs are good. She played on her bed for a while, then took herself off to the potty. Fingers crossed. I'll let you know how she gets on - because I overshare like that.

In other breaking news, for the first time we were asked 'nearly there?' Only she didn't ask once... She had a good go at sulking, pouting and folding her arms.

She couldn't keep it up though. Just like her mother, she decided to smile for the camera.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Good news - plane crashes

I took Peaches for breakfast at Tea and Times. It's always a happy time. This time it was even better and there was a buzz about the place. This cafe also sells newspapers and all the papers were running front page stories on an amazing thing.

A plane has two engines fail and it has to crash land. Somehow Captain Chelsey B Sullenberger keeps the plane afloat and everyone gets out alive and safe.

I just hope more than a few passengers were on a shopping trip to NY and only packed empty suitcases.

Though right now, I bet they don't care a stuff about their lost belongings.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Does anyone cringe at being called mum?

According to my latest site statistics report, I received no visitors in the past week. Zilch. Nada. Zip.

Recent commentators - some expressing themselves with more vigour than others - have escaped the detection powers of Sitemeter. Just as soon as I complete my tax return (31 January deadline) and notified my friends of an imminent change of personal email address - I might turn my attention to getting accurate statistics.

In the meantime, I'm being distracted from these urgent tasks by discovering a new reason for blogging.

Most days, I read the Guardian. I used to read the Daily Telegraph because I disagreed with it and I liked to test my principles and beliefs against its right wing stance. After I while I realised that I wasn't studying politics any more and it was okay to read what I liked.

And there's a lot that I like. But every now and then they write stuff that irritates. Today it was an article about whether it's okay to be called 'Mum'. Well durr... after asking lots of journalist mothers (who usually get to write far better articles on other subjects) and someone from* the outcome seemed to be that it's a privilege to be a parent and to be a mum (however you got there) is to have a special relationship with another person.

At least it filled some pages (the headline was REALLY big).

The article reinforced my love of blogging. We don't indulge in weirdo, why bother debates about 'mum', 'mummy' or 'mom'. Okay, we might not like it said in a whiny voice. We might not appreciate a two-year old shouting it out at 4am. But we aren't dwelling on something so necessary as a familiar noun for being what we are.

The only credible reason for not liking being called mum was given by Zoe Williams - when its used by an adult who isn't your child. She's probably the closest to the experience of dealing with health visitors who can't be bothered to remember or use the names of adult women.

I'd prefer to see articles about research into how some mothers can abuse their children - isn't there research on this? Certainly there are mothers in prison they could interview. There have been articles about how abusive mothers/women are particularly demonised, although even that often descends into the media talking about itself again. Or what about how single parents (not just teenagers) cope with working and looking after a child: what has that done to their personal autonomy - has it made them live closer to grandparents, not accept certain jobs etc. Or how about something about the quality of data behind the frequently used height and weight charts?

That's another great thing about blogging. I can say what I like and not offend anyone. After all, according to Sitemeter, there's no one out there.

*The Guardian and most UK papers do this. It's as if the rest of blogland - or dare I say it - real live mothers, doesn't exist. 'Hey guys, I've got the non-celeb/journo motherhood vox pop covered, one person from should do it'.


It occurs to me that I might be giving the Guardian a hard time over this. Perhaps they had to pull a better article out for some reason and created this as an emergency filler.

Over the past year, I've written twice to the paper about its pitiful coverage of women in sport. The number of articles seems to be increasing to two or three a week (in its 8 page supplement). It's a bit dispiriting to discover that some of these focus more on the successes or not of the male coach or manager... but it could be the beginning of the Guardian making moves to give regular coverage of women's athletics, team sports and so on.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chilly cold

What do Kylie Minogue, Mariella Frostrup and Jennifer Aniston have in common?

They have all been mistaken for me. Of course.

Just in case I didn't have enough reasons to love Peaches, she likes to point at photos of slim, attractive and sometimes diminutive women and declare 'Mummy'. Happily she does this in public places.

Sigh. Such a people (that is, me) pleaser.

Of course when she's a teenager she might well tell me that she'd prefer to have grown up with Jen, because at least Jen's house is in Malibu where the beach is sandy and the weather is hot and sunny.

Meanwhile, in Whitstable even when it is sunny, the beach is shingle and it can be so cold the sea freezes over. Just like it did yesterday. I hope you can detect similarities to slush puppy in the photos below. There was no wind though, so it didn't feel too cold to go for a walk. We took these photos at 11am - imagine how much icier the sea would have been just a couple of hours earlier.

After taking a few frosty seaside photos, Recaro took Peaches off to her granny's house, while I got my haircut (that's a tick against one of my new year resolutions) and ate stew and dumplings at Tea & Time. Despite the cold weather, the stew made me feel toasty warm from the inside out for the next two hours. I'll be going back for more next weekend I think.

Maternity leave: use it or lose it.

When there's so much to do and not enough time to do it all in, I find it a bit dispiriting to see a woman in a senior government post NOT take her fair share of maternity leave.

Rachida Dati, France's justice minister, returned to work (and spike heels) just five days after giving birth by C-section. She's right to say being pregnant isn't a sickness - but it rankles with me that despite her seniority she's not prepared to take her employment rights. She could have taken annual leave for longer so I don't see that her career need have suffered by a few days more at home.

She didn't seem to be grimacing from any stinging pangs of healing scar tissue. So maybe she was on massive doses of pain killers. I can't help but wonder what sort of policy decisions she might make while she was half out of it with drugs and the new mum blues.

It would be wrong to judge everyone by my own experience, but I loved staying in my PJs for the first five days (perhaps only achievable for first babies - not so practical maybe for seconds, thirds etc), sobbed uncontrollably in the shower on day four and subsequently watered up whenever anyone offered to babysit. I imagined they were telling me that couldn't cope*.

Reassuringly, even Nicola Horlick (the UK's own apparent superwoman) took six months maternity leave for each of her children and insists paid work is best done with the support of a mixture or all of family, partner and nanny.

Despite the pressure that Dati puts on us all to pretend that motherhood doesn't have to change a thing, I'm embracing flexible working, treasuring each tantrum (yes, really!) and avoiding any opportunities for promotion that get between me and my Friday/Mum day.

*I got over this and now wrestle for control of their diaries.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Take a look through these rose-tinted specs of mine

Pull up a chair and have a cup of tea. It's time to think about the type of year we want to have.

I've been inspired by Reluctant, who was inspired by Under the Mad Hat. They have each posted a list of first line of first posts from each month of 2008. Being a looking where I'm going sort of woman, I thought I'd write up my preferred list of first lines for the next 12 months...

February; I've managed a month of doing ALL my new year resolutions - of course, it's easy if you just stay focused.

March; What a drag - I've dropped a dress size and just HAVE to go shopping for clothes just when all the stores have announced massive sales...

April; Sh! Is he really gone? Has Mugabe really stepped down?

May; Peaches has this uncanny knack for picking lottery numbers so it looks like we'll get that holiday in Greece after all.

June; It took an humanitarian crisis in Gaza, but it seems those guys are actually talking to each other about power sharing, international aid and relaxing border controls.

July; Just a quick post from our windsurfing holiday in Greece to share the news that today I learnt to water start.

August: I really like what Amy Winehouse has done with her hair.

September; Peaches started pre-school today and I have to say I was a little embarrassed, and okaaay - a little bit proud - when the staff noticed straight-away how well-balanced, gifted and popular she is.

October; Recaro is so irresponsible. He's insisting that we are ready to put this house on the market and make use of his payrise by insisting that we move to a lovely family house (with period features throughout and yet strangely modern kitchen..).

November; I've been researching holidays in Cuba, but it seems everything's been booked up by Americans who can't wait to make the most of their refound friendship.

December; What with all this world peace breaking out everywhere, I thought that this Christmas, I might pray for Madonna to deal with all that excess weight she put on this year - after all I'm in such good shape I can afford to be charitable towards her difficulties with willpower and food.

January; It occured to me over Christmas that among all the incredible things that happened in 2009, I didn't cut myself once with the chopping knife - could it be that I finally grew out of my clumsy phase?

What sentence would you most like to write in 2009?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Strangely lush kitchens and peachy skin for 2009

Hot on the heels of a wonderful Christmas break, Recaro and I are making inroads into our STUFF. We try not to accumulate STUFF. We have very few ornaments or knick knacks. Every now and then someone will buy us strange shot glasses, candlesticks or novelty tea towels. This year, we are reducing the courtesy time these 'objets de uselessness' spend in the house to the mere 12 days of Christmas. What ingrates we are!

We have several bags of candlesticks, 'fun' shot glasses, hardly used baby bibs and other gew-gaws to go straight to the charity shops. We are ruthless - ever since we built in wardrobes and cupboards we've been determined to get organised.

Actually, I have a confession. This year, there's not much 'we' about these jobs. Recaro has spring cleaned the kitchen, reorganised the cupboards and tidied miscellanous stuff into clean plastic tubs. He's being... a little.... well, anal about it.
Maybe he was frustrated at the state of our pre-Christmas fridge. That's FIVE pots of Greek yoghurt on the top shelf, plus Peaches' fromage frais. TWO leftover chicken carcasses, plus a third chicken ready to go at the bottom. At least we had plenty to drink, apple juice, Ribena, milk and a teeny weeny can of beer. Recaro reorganised the fridge to accommodate that beer keg. It made him so happy but may well have kick-started his inner Monica. (For more fridge-related advice be sure to call in on suburban correspondent)

Since we both live, eat and sleep in this house together, I'm not wasting anytime feeling guilty about this. Some of you might think that the kitchen is 'my' territory, but really these jobs have to fall to those who care most about them. Which is why it's me who wipes the skirting boards, did the ironing (just when is our ironing and cleaning lady returning from her holiday in Egypt??) and cleaned the bathroom. These things are invisible to Recaro.

While I have been ironing and sweeping floors, my main interest this holiday, has been in playing with Peaches, checking that she's eating enough of the good stuff and getting enough sleep. (This also explains why it was Recaro who cooked Christmas dinner and fed all our guests at a recent dinner party...)

I can't help but justify myself a little, over the past week, Peaches has spent time on the beach, on the swings, painting with her friend Rosa, decorated gingerbread men, done lots of drawing, made spaghetti pictures, clambered about the children's play gym with Oscar and this afternoon she'll have a party with her cousins - when we will eat the party cakes that I've iced with pink icing.

Last year, I ranted about the evils of the pink consipiracy, but despite my best efforts Peaches will insist that her favourite food is 'pink'. It's possible she didn't understand the question, but if you saw her with a pink fairy cake you might realise that she did.

Organising the house, garage and attic will take time. Meanwhile, I made a 1st Janary start with my resolution to do at least five minutes of yoga and sit ups before I go to bed each night. In itself, I don't anticipate this will do much to my waistline, but having completely dropped off the Strangely Lush Fitness Plan, I have to start somewhere.

At least I have this.
I'm just getting used to the gloopy vaseline feel of this stuff, but I think the early signs are encouraging. It was quite a treat to discover this in my Christmas stash this year. I just hope Recaro was so thrilled with the Dalek toothbrush holder I gave him...

As a fan of new year resolutions, I'll post my list here. Going public is a good thing for me. Also, I'm less likely to throw the list away and might actually check up on myself. In no particular order:
  1. No 'school night' drinking.
  2. At least five minutes of yoga and sit ups every night.
  3. Knit clothes for Peaches and gifts for others.
  4. Stay motivated at work - especially when working from home and continue to not work Fridays. That's MY day.
  5. Stay in touch with my far flung family, remember their birthdays and remember to post their presents on time.
  6. Clean out my handbags once a month. (Ha, I've caught myself feeling strangely guilty as if I've given you too much information about myself. Surely there's no shame in 'fessing up to the accumulation of trivia and trash? They are handbags, okay. Not a euphimism for my life.)
  7. Buy fruit and veg from a farm shop
  8. Take more care of myself. Without spending a fortune, it really is okay to have regular hair cuts, not bite my nails, wax my legs and throw out clothes that I shouldn't be wearing any more.
  9. Keep on blogging - it'll be more news (of the strangely lush kind) and views (I will be so much more opinionated in 2009).
All achievable sensible stuff. Tell me you didn't expect me to put down stunts like bungee-jumping, skinny-dipping and crowd-surfing. That's soooo last year - this year, I'm keeping it real with the mummies.