January has passed by in a blur of illness from practically all parties – only Toby has survived unscathed so far – some work and not a lot else.

One thing I have done though is take a picture on my iphone of something each day and I’ll be putting them up here tomorrow.

Normal day again please?

Mary Jean Iron: Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return

Apparently the snow isn’t thawing until Wednesday at the earliest. Our nursery is closed, my children are way too young to entertain themselves, both my husband and I have a backlog of work. The house is full of toys and noise and pent-up energy.

Stressed doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Twelth night

And so the end of Christmas, officially. Even the church has to stop eeking it out now. Mother nature threw us another reminder that it is nature and not the human calender in charge of the seasons, with another heavy dump of snow.

Toby has been out on my sledge with Daddy. I am working, albeit from under the comfort and warmth of my duvet. Next door have had their baby girl ahead of schedule (and the snow!). The last Christmassy thing for me to do is to put together my scrapbook album for this season.

A Personal Nihongo Dojo

by El Fotopakismo

by El Fotopakismo

So, this year, I’ve decided that I shall really work at learning Japanese. I know it’s the trendy language to learn and that I’m just jumping on the big ol’ bandwagon, but hey, it’s mine and I’ll ride it.

So, learning kanji and learning a decent amount of vocabulary are my aims for this year. I have some modern textbooks and resources, I have Remembering The Kanji and a slidepack, I have a playlist of Japanese music and radio shows. Now I just need the gumption and to make the time for it. I really want to do this so I shall have to move it up the priority list, starting today.

I’m going to update my progress here to keep track of what I’ve worked on.

Done and done.

Goodbye for now

Goodbye for now

Every year I knew Christmas was over on the 5th January. I know 12th night is the 6th – a big thing in France I think – but you see, we would almost always be back at school by now (as the kids are this year, snow aside) but also the 5th is my mum’s birthday. She would always have the decorations down to make space for her cards on the mantelpiece and, even now, to me the 5th is Christmas done and dusted and time to return to ‘normal’ life. I like that Christmas overlaps the old year and the new but now is time to sort the recycling for collection, put the wrapping paper away for another year, and pack away the decorations.

I took all the shinies down over the last couple of days and dragged our tree (still looking pretty good!) to its frozen end outside the house ready to be chopped up and used by the city parks. Our cleaner very obliging vacuumed up the trail of pine needles it left in its wake. I spent yesterday sorting laundry and today I’m back on client work.

Yep, Christmas is over and 2010 is here. I’m excited. Bring it on.

Neither blue nor manic.

Mostly freezing and quietly industrious, for a Monday. My cleaner was in today after the holidays and helped me drag my house back into some semblance of normal. Decorations are down, laundry is turning and hangin and waiting for attention. Children were back at nursery (but currently downstairs and making a racket!) and husband back at work. The return to normality is actually welcome as I like pottering about here myself most of the time.

But clients are starting to clamour. My attention is being called upon. Back into the fray I go.

Reading with the aid of a finger

Animation Smash!

Animation Smash!

Last year I decided to read 52 novels, and I think I did just about do that (even if some of them were in my beloved audiobook form). This year my goal is to read some simple manga in Japanese, and work through a couple of Japanese videogames.

Right now this involves 2 dictionaries, a syllabary reference chart, pen, paper and a whole bunch of patience. Like an hour to understand one simple paragraph. Yeesh.

Actually, I’ve never really set myself this sort of rule. Never thought I could learn a new language but I really want to do this. I think that’s what makes the extremely s-l-o-w finger under the word reading still fun to do.

The Best Bit

omnomnom, originally uploaded by RellyAB.

“Toby, what was your favourite bit of Christmas?”

“When Santa and Rudolph ate their snack!”

Fresh, tender and new

2010 by redstamp

2010 by redstamp

So, as I get older the wonder of Christmas (wonderful though it still is) is replaced with an excitement at the New Year. I posted about it a day or so ago, of sorts, but I still don’t understand why NYE gets the fuss. I’d much rather celebrate January 1st. The New Year is a time for me to think about new opportunities and I’m looking forward to embracing them, making changes, trying to form new profitable habits, setting new goals.

And I know it isn’t just me. Whole spades of twitter friends have said they are glad to see 2009 go and ready to embrace 2010. It’s a raw new world out there, sometimes amazing and sometimes terrifying, but I’m all set to tie up loose ends and look to pastures new.

Watch out, 2010. I’m sincerely ready to kick ass and take names.

Say hello to your future.

This house is something of a mess today. So my first resolution is to tidy up. But then it always is. That’s the thing about housework, it doesn’t seem to stop. Still, the time for the decorations to come down is nigh. I’m going to sort out the cupboards for housing my scrapbooking supplies and get set for the working week, which doesn’t actually kick in until the second week of January properly – purely so I can sort out paperwork and processes. First step to all this is a big GTD braindump. The new year seems a good time to give myself permission to start afresh and review all of my todos.

This evening I do have one last festive fun task left, and that’s to make a gingerbread house for Toby and Jemima to enjoy decorating tomorrow. Which reminds me I must Google for a good frosting recipe. Something akin to supaglue to stand up to the handling of two preschoolers, I think!