29 Christmas Diners

...and before someone wise cracks that I've turned into the Vicar of Dibley (comparisons have been made) I didn't eat all the turkey meals.... it's the number gobbled in this house in the space of a few days.

I love my family and my friends, but next year, it will be different.

We'd the seasonal gathering of my favourite people over the space of five days and it was great - though exhausting. Pictured below, "the second day of Christmas" crowd - that's boxing day up north and St Stephen's to my republican listeners.. not sure what the three Welsh folk call it.

The tall ships came....

...and the tall ships left. And while it would have been lovely to sail up Belfast Lough on one... and maybe out to some heavier seas (oooooh that would have been good), we had to settle with the "big" departure which, if you'll pardon the Belfastism, turned out to be a bit of a damp squib.

The best shots (taken to amuse myself) were through Dave's telescope... I think it makes the ships look like paintings!

.... despite living this close to the coast it was hard to see anything.

Anyway, the point of this blog is short and sweet - I'm heading west again - this time with company - lots of it! Can anyone recommend good churches in Nashville, Knoxville /Gatlinburg and Boston?!!! We'll be around these places mainly in September. Also, what d'you reckon the chances are of seeing some fall colour around the end of Sept?
Oh yes... and hippo burdy to my mum and Jennifer - how cool is it that my mother and my friend share a birthday.

I'm SO (never) bored that...

... I haven't blogged about the latest trip west to the States (great to see Jennifer and co) ... or the exam at the end of the first unit in the Certificate of Theology course some of us are loving.... or progress in "God's Garden" (yummy produce and sheds like men... ie - none for ages then two arrive at once....) or a certain boy's first birthday.... or even the fact that this year's "colour" isn't sun kissed skin but a mix of rust and mould. Welcome to summer NI style.

We did have a lovely day however for the Craven clan picnic ...(half the family.) If you didn't make it - WE MISSED YOU - please come next year! So without further ado.... a few snaps.

If you're in them, you'll know the who, what, where and when stuff. If you're not - it's a mix of the north coast of NI and Easton PA. Enjoy peeps.

Race for life.

So it was the hottest day of the year so far.... but WE DID IT. The girls from the the Book and Pudding Group Raced for Life... though it really was too hot to do the sprint we intended..... (no, really...)

Ali, Ali, Wils and JJ/DD (not in photo) made it round the 5km course in about 70 minutes (with essential pauses on the hill to Parliament Buildings).

And we got medals to prove it!

For our American friends - Parliament Building, Stormont - it's where our elected representatives run Northern Ireland from.... I'll leave the political comments on how well they do it for another time!

The grounds are beautiful - woodland, open lawns and lovely walks... it's just on the outskirts of Belfast.

I'm not sure how many people took part but we saw walker number 5248 along the way. It was really well organised and there was a fantastic atmosphere.

Best of all was the finish line! Dad came to cheer us on as did Ali's husband and son.

The fundraising target was a whopping 389 thousand pounds (over 630 thousand dollars) but I've no idea how much money has been raised overall. I know I'm well over target so far, and to everyone who dug deep into their pockets and wallets, THANK YOU. We can all feel proud to have done something very good today. (If you haven't chipped in yet and would still like to.... it's not too late - I'll leave the "sponsor me" button on the blog for a few more days.)

I'll let the snaps speak for themselves.

Allow me to introduce.... Jennifer

I have a friend called Jennifer.

We've been friends since we were eight, when she'd come to Northern Ireland from the USA to stay with her grandmother who lived in the sweetest little village in Co Down.

It was home to many families over the summer months when I was a child. The moment school finished in June, the car was packed and we drove to the caravan park to be surrounded by cousins, aunts, uncles, grand- parents and friends until the end of August.

It was bliss.

On good days, the children escaped after breakfast and only returned throughout the day for food. When the light faded at night, we were exhausted and we headed "home" to the "van". The gas mantles hissed, the curtains were drawn, and the air full of the smell of hot buttered toast and tea which kept body and soul together until breakfast.

There were so many friends. We spent our days on the beach poking around rockpools, jumping into the sea at the harbour, cycling, wandering up the coastal path to Orlock to see the seals and talking, talking, talking.

On colder damp days, all the cousins piled into one caravan for a marathon game of Monopoly that kept us going till evening.

Now, the caravans have gone, and there are houses. I moved here in 1995 and my parents followed in 2002 and we're still surrounded by old friends. I've written about it before here.

Anyway, back to Jennifer. We met at CSSM - the Children's Mission... maybe in 1970 or '71? To this day I can never remember if the middle bit of CSSM meant Sea Side or Special Service. For two weeks every summer, the CSSM team moved in, the guitars were tuned, the sandcastle pulpit built and decorated every morning with shells and flowers and we got down to some serious chorus singing and Bible teaching.

The year we both turned 21, Jennifer joined us to be part of the team in Derry and we had a blast. My friends HJ & M who are now married and live close by, were also on that team, and HJ hosted Jennifer's 21st birthday party that August. We've all been friends a long time.

As soon as they heard I was to have surgery for breast cancer at the end of December 07, Jennifer and her family booked flights and came to visit. We had a great new year's eve in HJ and M's house with lots of friends. It was a tough year, made easier by her phonecalls, bandana mailings and prayers.

She isn't just an old friend from America, she's my sister minus the DNA and now she's on the same journey. This time, it's me booking the flights....

Jennifer, a walk on the beach, a mug of tea and a good giggle are called for... but they'll have to wait a while. It was balmy this evening - the hottest day of the year so far, and after a late tea, Robo, Rosebud and I hit the beach for a dander - we recorded this about 9pm. (What were you doing at 4pm girl??!!)

We can't send you the smell of the sea, but this is the next best thing sis, so put your feet up and visit for a moment or two.... and enjoy!

Now to the rest of you.... we need to stuff this sodding disease once and for all.

Tomorrow is the "Race for life" and there's still time to put your hand in your pocket - the button for sponsoring me is on the top right hand side of this page..... go on, go on, go on. I might even let you walk on the beach next time you come by!

I'm doing this for mum and dad, and Anne and Eileen and Clemmie and Eric and Carrie and Jacky..... and now for Jennifer. Oh yes, and me too. Go on.....!

Ah yes.... sponsorship

Ali is putting me to shame. So since I'm the only one in the Book and Pudding Club team (to the best of my knowledge!) that has acutally had boob rot (cancer) I guess I need to make more of an effort to fund raise! Ta to everyone in the lovely world of work who's chipped in. Anyone else who'd like to.... it's such a good cause.

(Just as long as we clarify that when it comes to the "race" bit, think more "tortoise" than "hare". And as for the book and pud club gals... the pudding bit of our evenings sometimes (?!) gets more attention than what we've been reading... hence the previous sentence. Now, as Ali would say, we're clear when it comes to the Trades Description Act.)

NOW!!!! See the big blue rectangle to the side ... the one with the pink and white bit that says "RACE FOR LIFE - SPONSOR ME"? Well, all you need is a bit of plastic and the will to do something to share a few pounds/dollars/yen/shekels/euro whatever. All gladly received! Honestly! And thanks.

Cue Vacuum cleaner noises

Anyone know where I can buy glue on hair?!

I discovered an old school friend has a hairdressers near home, and since I needed a TRIM (ie - "just take the ends off please - I'm happy coming every few weeks....") but I think we talked a little too much. Rather, she talked and my eyes watered at the pain of watching my folicles disappear - couldn't have done a cleaner job if she'd used a vacuum cleaner.

Thing was, there was no point in stopping her, because once one bit's done..........

If you see a bucket on two shoulders waltz down the street... it's me. See you uh... maybe in September?

(Now where did I leave those chemo hats............)

How many friends...

...can you hope for in one day? (Not including Robo and Angela who were slaving away in the kitchen a few doors away!) I seriously love it when people either just pop in because they were passing by or call to say they hope you're in because they're on their way. Had lots of visitors today which put a smile on everyone's face here.

Ali wanted an update on the plot.... seeds in trays, spuds chitting, soil broken up (borrowed a bit of machinery from a friend, ) and more to do tomorrow. Thanks Dad, Phil and L - sometimes a bit of muscle is very much needed! Looking forward to your help tomorrow Doodle ;o)

On the lookout for a 10ft gate if anyone has a spare lurking behind the shed?

Allow me to introduce...

... my dad and his chums. They've been in the Boys' Brigade pretty much all their lives. Dad's 76 now and the others are in the same age bracket - give or take a decade. As kids they played football together, cycled about Ireland, camped here and in GB. -Dad sang in a quartet that I'm told was pretty amazing.

They've all been members of the BB Old Boys' Association for years too - meeting EVERY week for Bible Class on a Sunday afternoon, Friday night for indoor bowls and snooker and on Saturdays in the summer for outdoor bowls. A lot of them are in the BB Centenary Choir - dad loves it - and they sound great as they visit churches to sing at special services.

This wee video clip of the Old Boys was taken at the end of the annual district parade last Sunday afternoon - right after the service. All the young members of the BB had already passed by, but I love this bunch right at the end of the parade. They just never give up. I can't begin to imagine how many artificial knees and hips and heart pacemakers are helping these guys along, but I take my hat off to them.

For those who know Belfast, they'd just passed by the City Hall and the High Sherrif had taken the salute - they were on their way back to May St Presbyterian. The band is the Symington Memorial. (My dad's the happy chap on the far side - he waves at the camera as he passes...)

Livestock arrives

Ok, so it's not the kind of livestock I'd thought of over the weekend for the plot.... but they're fluffy, cute and the inside bit is good to eat, so they pretty much fit the bill.

Mum's been knitting flocks of these chicks and I've been bestowing features. (And yes, I know, there are a couple of wonky beaks!) They've a chocolate cream egg inside and at a quid a throw, money's rolling in for the Senior's Stall fund at the church. Mmmmm.


The Good Life....tractors and pig poo

So it's started... and it's a Proverbs 31 thing. You know the bit where the virtuous woman buys a field and plants a vineyard? Ok, there are a few differences. A) I didn't buy it exactly... more to do with barter.....I made a genie costume for a panto in exchange for the loan of a corner of a field, and B) the vineyard bit could be a problem.
Firstly, this is Ireland. (Think rain and cold... and "challenging" sea winds) and secondly, I'm surrounded by tee totallers... one of whom throws a "Skippy" when alcohol is even mentioned. (Anyone remembering the Australian programme from the 70s (?) "Skippy the Bush Kangaroo" will understand. "what's that you say Skip? Tut tut tut tut tut tut tut......") Anyway, I digress.
I made the costume (green with gold sparkly bits) and now I have my corner of the field.

A very exciting big blue tractor.

My friend D arrived with his big blue tractor and a very clever bit of kit he designed himself to ram the whopping big posts into the earth. And it worked. And I got to drive the tractor. And I'm still all excited by it. It had loads of levers and do dahs and it was very, very exciting. I'd like to be a tractor driver when I grow up. Am I digressing again?

By lunchtime we'd all the posts in. (I got to drive the tractor all morning - did I mention that?)
It was eye-wateringly cold and I was wrapped up like a blue onion, which wasn't very flattering. (My coat was blue, not the onions I was wrapped up like. Come to think of it, I've never seen a blue onion. I might plant red ones though.... and brown ones... ) Because it's a bit unflattering, I've no pictures of me. So here's one of my friend D beside the newly finished fence. (He's the one who owns the big blue tractor.) Isn't the fence great?

So bring on the expected (4 legged) occupants of the bigger bit of the field outside my bit. I'm ready. Except there's no gate - yet.
Now all I have to do is get stuff growing. What would you plant? All (serious) suggestions welcomed.
D suggested a couple of pigs to fatten up over the summer on the basis that they'd root about and poo all over the place helping to get it ready for next year... I have left it a bit late to get organised. Hadn't given much thought to livestock, but am worried I might get a bit attached to them, so will think this through. (Once I stop fantasising about leaving broadcasting and driving tractors for a living. )


Mother's day and an Irish picnic

Irish... because we ended up eating it indoors... for a host of reasons, not least because although it was sunny, it was very cold here on the peninsula. A friend and her mum joined us and the four girls headed out for a drive down the inner coastline round Strangford, and it was just glorious. (And yes, part two of the picnic was in the car and we still managed a doze!) Happy mums all round.

Yee Ha!

61 years in the waiting.... but oh boy, they did it.
(Did you hear the screams and whistles and whoops from our house?)

UFO dealt with at last

The latest in a long line of UFOs *un-finished objects" has been ticked off the list. Yeay! This wall hanging (or cushion front if she'd rather!) is a thank-you for a cousin who brought me lots of lovely sewing goodies back from her last trip to the USA. It is SO satisfying to finish something isn't it? I need to keep reminding myself of that!
I've made a rule that I'm not allowed to buy anymore do-dah projects until I get a few more out of the workbasket, completed and into use - a step towards frugality and common sense - the ceiling is about to fall in with the weight of fabric!

Miss-ed out?

They've been busy again. This time, the European silly season focuses on titles for married/single/divorced/grumpy or whatever sort of woman you are. Read all about it here.

  • Miss - someone who never hit the marriage bullseye?
  • Ms - someone in a hurry who didn't grasp that pretty much all good English words have vowels and without a U in particular, it seems there's a bit missing?
  • Mrs - easily confused with Misses - as in someone who looks back occasionally to the days when she could do her own thing in her own time.... ("misses the peace and quiet?)
  • Mr - phonetically describes a husband bereft of his wife for a day, or a bloke what didn't hit the marriage bullseye, or one who's grumpy and into throwing things? (Missed 'er)

For those worried about how to address me - just write my name. Handles are useful - if you're a pan or a jug or a bicycle... I'm a person. Why worry?

this week so far...

...has been interesting. Sunday we made it to the park to feed the ducks, have fun in the play area and do the nature trail thing. I love getting out into the fresh air on a Sunday afternoon.

Monday I travel up to Belfast for a meeting in work to learn that they've "found" the funds to hold onto me for a year. Hmmm. Cheaper than a court case methinks, but there was a reason for their change of mind. I'm grateful for prayerful friends and haven't lost a wink's sleep over the whole month long mess. It's been a time of good learning about trust and faith and what might come next.
Monday evening was "Good Book" club when we started a study on the Apostle's Creed - then a run from Bangor to Glengormley to deliver frozen food to friends whose baby has been unwell since he was born seven weeks ago. The girls at the GBC figured a freezer load of home cooking would lighten the burden a little. Sweeties they are.

Tuesday, we measured the chunk of field I'm planning to turn into a veg garden - a friend's coming soon to put the fence posts in - maybe even this weekend! Wheeeeee! Green gym here I come.

3 things? Boke, phones and JWs.

Last night finished late - sluicing out the ensuite after a very, very sick parent. Having hit the sack at 2am, (following a tiring six hour drive yesterday) it took hidden depths of calm this morning to explain to the other parent how the new hands free phone kit in the car worked. Long explanations and several demo calls in both directions later, I discovered she was still in the driveway... Hmmm.

Reassured that the poor father who tried the late-night regrouting of an ensuite was feeling better, I scampered up the stairs to answer a phone. Really, it's like carrying an umbrella to make sure it doesn't rain. If I keep the phone with me, no one rings, but as sure as heck as I leave it at the far end of the house, the world queues to talk to me.

Minutes to ponder and explore L's query ("would you like to be a music director in our church?") and having just hung up, the door bell went. Convinced it was the mother returning to check which button to push (she knows them all, believe me, but I'm talking phones here...), I practically slid down the banisters. At the door were two nice ladies from the local wing of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Hmmmm squared. Under instruction to come back for a chat someday soon... they ran for cover through the flowerbeds (artisic licence here - one of them tripped over a plantpot) and I scooted back up to get myself ready to go out.

Minutes later, I overshot the runway and missed the turnoff to M's house AGAIN (there are six roundabouts in a row) and had to motor up the dual carriageway, round the next roundabout and head back down. It always happens when you're late doesn't it?

The soundtrack playing was from "Oh Brother where art thou?"... "I'll fly away". Tempting, but I don't have the wings for it.


a weird week

So it's been an odd little week or so. Aside from forgetting my log-in again (it's getting serious), the week was full of;

  • A musical evening with three old friends where we had a lot of laughs and sang a lot (cleverly disguised as taking an evening meeting for women in a church)...
  • a morning spent in a local nursery refreshing my memory about working with that agegroup (brilliant fun)...
  • bookclub where Ali fed us fab chocolate torte (recipe here!), and
  • a few days lying low with a boggin' throat and virusy thing going on.

Then there was "the work situation". Hmm.

It started with a blunt little email inviting me to a meeting then a phone call (from me) to find out what was on the agenda. One meeting later and I'm out of work. Literally. It appears that my post is going at the end of March and as I have leave to take (after 13 months off?!!) I'm actually finished now.

What would your reaction be?

Me? I'm bemused, relieved, cross at the way it was handled (though not remotely surprised - we're only the leading media brand in the international "communications" industry after all, so you wouldn't expect "Blooming Bad Communications" - clue there...) and I'm also excited at the possibilities the future holds. Odd isn't it?

I'm also grateful - a lot of "preparation" things now make sense. Wee things I'll not bore you with, but things that reassure me that this was planned and the way through it will be too. God works in mysterious ways! So like I say, exciting.

(Now, before anyone starts to talk about the Indian map / email "co-incidence" ....... I'm not qualified to teach those subjects to A level!! No, really!)

Did you hear the one about....

...the Irish policeman and the Polish driver? It's worth a read on the local news website - a case of mistaken identity of sorts... and a lot of red faces in the Irish cop shop.

You couldn't make it up. I'm still laughing an hour since I heard the report.

Enjoy. Here beginneth the weekend methinks.


Wow. Two posts in one day... but I can't resist this one.

I also love it when things sort of slide together into place. An example.

To the left of my desk is a very large wall map. I glanced at it a few moments ago as the clouds cleared and a shaft of brilliant sunlight poured through the not quite drawn curtains and fell on the world at my elbow.
At the very same time, an email pinged into the inbox... from a friend... asking for prayer for a missionary family who may have to return to the UK if they can't find teachers very soon for the kids.
Of course, the couple in question work in... India....
So, an email about people I don't know, in a country I don't much think about, just as it's "highlighted" for me?

Co-incidence? Serendipity? A God moment? Anyone got a better name for these delightful little incidents that you feel should mean something...?
Maybe there was a reason! If you're reading this, and you can teach music, English, RE, art and PE to A level, get in touch, I know a place where they need you urgently.


I love those soft, gracious posts where bloggers tell you what they can see from their window, what's on their mind and what they're wearing.

So it's my go.

Favourite lilac flannel shirt, teashirt (not a tee shirt - it wouldn't give clues as to what one had been drinking....) and half dead black sweatpants (I'm in my own study in an empty house and they're comfortable - get over it). On my mind... what do worms taste like? Y'see, there are lots of birds heaving themselves at the freshly tilled field across the road... clue to what's going on outside my window. Today's new word is "Nyangye" -the kind of air you can chew. Happens around this time of the year when the farmer is helping nature along by spraying the field with something not quite natural.. and within "chewing" range of my study window. Bleuchgh.

(birds cleverly disguised as dots....)

senior moments?

So after a hectic couple of weeks, it's nice to pop in and say hello again. (Confession, it was busy - but not THAT busy - I actually forgot who I was and couldn't bloomin' log in! There you go. A senior moment. Oooo that feels better now.)

Little visitor time and we were baking again.... yummy buns this time;

and braving the freezy breeze to hit the beach with nanny and granda;

Then it was time to sort out the rental house to make it easy for the nice inspector to give us five lovely red stars! Whooopeeee.... all that hard work rewarded!

Not so nice was spending hours in the A&E department of the Ulster Hospital with an elderly aunt who'd broken her wrist and was very confused. She's a little unsteady on her feet, so I wasn't quite sure how I'd get her to the car once she'd been plastered (paris of... not the other kind!!) but help came in the form of the hobbling angel and her hubby. Sorry for your trouble Ali, but very thankful for the help! The Lord works in mysterious ways.......

Back to work

Several thousand emails to sift through, a 2007 diary to dump, dusty post-its to bin, and a phone to re-programme. Names to remember, and emails to send. But the worst? 13 months,and 2 weeks and 1 day's worth of cracker crumbs and cream cheese smear to wash of a plate and a knife... I meant to call back into the office at the end of the afternoon session of the course, but there were obviously other things on my mind that day.

It's weird being back at work...

So it wasn't his priority after all!

I have to admit it, I was wrong. I was so sure President Obama was a man of his word. Despite his promise to prioritise the legislation to make it easier to kill babies, he clearly didn't have that as high up the list as bankrolling other people to do the job, not just in the USA but in many developing countries. If you missed the news, he lifted a ban on providing federal funding to foreign family planning organisations that facilitate abortions. Shame on him.

Add that to today's news from Belguim where another man went crazy with a knife among the babies and toddlers in a creche, killing two little ones, an adult and injuring another 10 children and 2 adults to the extent they all needed surgery and you have to ask what's going on.

These stories hit the headlines today. Yet while our focus is directed towards them, we shouldn't forget the many children in other places who also endure pain, neglect and abuse at the hands of those who should protect them.

If ever our most vulnerable needed saturated in prayer, it's now.

A new era.. with freedom of choice on the way

This week, all the stops were pulled to help two newborn British children survive. You can read the story here, but in brief, their mother went into labour 10 or 11 weeks early and in snowy, windy conditions, the nation's best went into action to bring them from the Isle of Lewis to a hospital in Glasgow and to care for them. Everything possible is being done to help the little girl and boy survive.
Tonight, our American friends have a new leader. He'll have many tough decisions to make over the next four years but at least one pre-election promise needs re-thought.
While doctors in Scotland "care for" these little ones, doctors in other clinics continue to "take care of" other babies.... in a very different way. President Obama has said that making it easier to kill babies is one of his priorities.... ok, maybe he didn't word it that way, but watch the video clips yourself and tell me how you read it. To clarify, when "choice" is mentioned in the clips, they're talking about a women's right to choose whether her unborn baby should live or be killed. The "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA) President Obama's going to make his priority, will make abortion much more available and with fewer rules.

The Soggy Bottom folk

Awoke to a house that felt like a refugee camp - beds, bodies and "make do" everywhere. Lovely - just the way I like it. I escaped to play for a panto rehearsal (Oh no you didn't, oh yes I did) and that was short but sweet.

Now, when the forecast says "gale force winds and driving rain" and gives a "stong weather alert", you'd think sane adults would have more sense than to sit in the middle of it all, outdoors, watching 31 men hurtle round a field trying to stay warm. So I was reassured when Ali and Anon's other half said... the wind will get us, but not the rain...we won't get wet in our seats, never get wet there.... never in all these years. Except today.

Dreepin' ringing soaking puddle-bums the five of us were... like there was no roof over our heads. I've never really seen such persistant horizontal rain before, nor have I seen players take shelter behind the padded bit of the poley things (technical term), but hey! A good result. Well done Ali and co for ... re-enthusing me re rugby. I'll be back.... especially if Ulster keep winning ;0) Next time I bring a hip flask.

Now... cranium is planned at number 6. Hope they have the fire lit!

Things are looking up!

It's howling with a gale outside and there's piddly rain too, but it's a good day. Here's why:

I got a big fat pink "good news - everything looks good" from an assortment of doctors this week. I'm now officially over the first year bump. Clear skies ahead! Thanks everyone who supported me over the year with fun stuff, kindness, love and prayers. You made a difference.

I'm doing sugarcraft again - one wedding cake on the books already for the spring - happy days! That means I might have a few more to add to my album!

My camera issues are now sorted! The credit card statement arrived this morning to show a full refund from the company since they couldn't return my camera to me! Happy happy days and my faith in the decency of small businesses is now restored. More nice shots from around our coastline on the way! (This one's from Donaghadee.)

There's a full house this weekend - everyone above plus Grace - all coming for a big fat sleepover. Yeay!

How much more happiness can a girl take?!

Very unusual birthday present!

My just-turned-10 God-Daughter number 2 (hereafter GD2) had an unusal birthday present this month - a Hampshire ewe and two lambs! Goes without saying almost that the l'il guy adored them - he blew a raspberry everytime the ewe "huff puffed" at not having her lamb right beside her - very funny. Pic shows GD2, her sister and the l'il guy. A cold, but very happy day!

New Year's Honours....

Hooooey - I've just been given an award. The Lemonade Award.

Yeah I know, anyone who knows me is laughing hysterically at the very idea of my name on "the" new year's honours list! (Not exactly the strongest supporter of HRH and the old "honours" system... but hey, this one a-peel-ed to me!) Thanks Ali - undeserved as it is - this one doesn't give me the pip! In fact, coming as it did from Dana to Ali to me, I'm chuffed to wee bits. Thanks girls. I'm "honoured".

No big sticks!

Hi, new day in the diary, so "happy new day". I prefer that to "happy new year". It doesn't seem so daunting or set up for failure if you get my drift. No big sticks to beat myself up with.

I don't "new year resolutions" - somehow when the lose weight/get fit/become frugal/walk more/be kinder/pray more/study more/stop kicking cats/quit-drowning-slugs-in-booze routine falls by the wayside (by day 3), it sort of knocks the head of steam out of you a little. Having a "new day, fresh start" thing going, gives you a regular chance to start afresh.

So with that in mind, the "not eating any sweets" goal (which lasted 6 hours) can kick in again tomorrow can't it? And it'll not do any more harm to just finish the box of jellies. It's not all gloom though - the "walk more" got started ok. I walked to the car. And in again. Does that count?

"Find someone with a pulse to play backgammon with" is the next goal - s'got to be more fun than beating a computer .