Happy New Year and a look back at 2013...

Wishing you love, luck, health and happiness for 2014!  

It's natural to approach the New Year with optimism while taking time to reflect on the year that's just ended. I'm no different and will use this post to do just that.

So 2013...

It was quite a year, although it got off to a bit of a stuttering start when in January I was diagnosed with an over active thyroid.

At first, I was disbelieving but was soon forced to accept that my symptoms and the medical evidence were correct. Throughout the year both the NHS and private medical care I've received have stabilised my thyroxine levels although I remain on a daily tablet and expect to do so until May this year.

In February I started this blog to capture our journey of the work we were having done on the house. Since then I've posted 327 times from planning the work, progress and the lack of it along the way and much more in between. 

We celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary in June with a short visit to Guernsey, the weather was mixed but we had a fab time walking, visiting gardens, eating and photographing our stay on a beautiful island.

Back home and our new patio and stone circle were completed and at the start of July we were ready for the kitchen and redecorating work to startor so we thought. I don't think anything could have prepared us for the disruption that was to follow.  We sold our old kitchen on eBay - too cheaply on reflection but we hope it went to a good home - and MOH became the BBQ King of South East London!

There were unfortunately many low spots throughout all of this but we were lucky it was a good summer as our new patio became our new sofa and in August I rediscovered crafting.

It wasn't until September that I was using the kitchen again properly and the decorators finally completed their reduced schedule. There aren't many posts on this as it was really tough emotionally and I didn't want to jeopardise any of the negotiations while they were taking place.

Let's just say that our gut feel in July when they started work was right and we should have been firmer about them stopping work rather than being optimistic and move on. It's still raw, maybe one day I'll post about which decorating company to avoid, but not now. 

My parents said goodbye to Chessie just before their holiday, and ours to Norfolk to cat-sit her while they were away - a tough, but brave decision on their part though. Our luck didn't improve in October when we had the first of our storm damage with some fence panels "leaning."

On reflection that wasn't too bad as we suffered worse storm damage in the Christmas Eve storm (which I've yet to post details of, but will soon).  

Before we knew it it was December and I was taking part in this Capturing December challenge and we headed off to Barbados for a friend's wedding but with strict instructions to be back for Christmas in Hunny!

I've learnt lots this year, including practical things like:

  • How to reconnect our wifi, and how reliant on it both of us are!
  • Where our electrical circuits run and where each is located on our new fuse board
  • How to turn on the gas BBQ, the BBQ King allowed me it use this unaided when he was out!
  • How the vacuum cleaner hose comes out (just don't ask me to demo it, I managed that twice this year without help!)

And more generally:

  • While things (stuff) are nice to have around, it's not the important stuff in your life
  • TV is not the only form of entertainment, but it is the easy option
  • I'm a detail person (incase there was any doubt!)
  • Just because you're paying someone to do a job doesn't mean they will do it well
  • Home cooked food is best - we knew this already, but really missed proper food this summer. See here which also reaffirms the detail point above!
  • Dust really does get everywhere
  • And finally, that wet wipes and paper plates are always handy to have around!

Quite a year, and quite a lengthy post so I think I'll leave this post here and post a forward look at 2014 separately. 

Happy new year!