Things I learned in 2013: Part One

I long ago gave up on the idea of New Year’s resolutions made on January 1 – mostly because I discovered that, with remarkably little effort, I was capable of breaking them even before the day was out.  What I like to do now instead is use January to take stock, clean house (literally and metaphorically) and work out what I would like to achieve this year (apart from a clean house).

This year, I’m going to get the ball rolling by reflecting on what 2013 taught me.  I think, when I come to write it down, I will find it’s quite a lot and, if that’s the case, I think it behooves me to write down the lessons, so as not to forget them.  (I try never to make the same mistake twice – I much prefer to find new ones.  Sadly, I seem quite good at that.  However.  Moving on…)

So without further ado, working backwards, because that’s what’s freshest in my mind, let’s start with the lessons of this festive season:

1. If you over-cater Christmas with sufficient enthusiasm, you can avoid having to go to the shops until the 2nd of January.  Given that over-catering is my MO at all times, this is not a complete surprise, but this may be a record from a single event.

2. The above will involve you eating cocktail snacks for lunch and/or dinner at least once.  If your family objects to this, they are welcome to go to the shops themselves.  Mine is sufficiently well-trained to limit their comments to asking if there is sauce to go with the party pies. That, and the girl will ALWAYS accept leftovers.  (Last comment added by the girl herself.  Told you I had them well-trained.)

3. People will give you boxes of Cadbury favourites.  DO NOT OPEN THEM.  If they are unopened, they can be regifted in an emergency, or used for unexpected visitors, thereby serving a useful purpose.  If you open them, you will discover a hitherto unknown capacity to eat more tiny chocolate bars in a sitting than you would normally eat in 6 months.

4. After a week of this carry-on, your stomach will have expanded to approximately the size of a small European principality.  Reducing it to a more usual size over the subsequent weeks will not be pleasant.  I will try not to whinge too much.

5.  If you buy icicle lights and leave them in the box for 4 years before putting them up, they will take longer than 8 hours to charge, even in full sun.  Then, after the third time you try and fail to get them to turn on, you will decide they don’t work, forget you have left the switch on and come home in the dark to find them stuck on the setting the girl refers to as ‘Tokyo game-show nightmare’ (otherwise known as seizure-inducing flashing).  Also, once you do get them up, their dangling nature will encourage critters to lay eggs on them.  I have not removed the eggs, as I am not arachnophobic and I am curious.  But should you be planning to visit, you’ve been warned!

6. If Great-Aunt Mabel sends you, for Christmas, a large and expensive set of DVDs but accidentally sends you ones that won’t play in your DVD player, do not despair.  Most players can be adjusted to play DVDs from other ‘regions’.  Consult Mr Google and save yourself the cost of a new player and/or familial disharmony!

7. Both our families are interstate and although we hoped to, we didn’t get to gather with either family this year, as our dear old doggy has had some trouble with her legs and couldn’t be left.  While I regret missing the family gatherings (especially all-day degustation Christmas at my sisters!), I regret not one cent of the money and time spent on getting the dog bracing devices from Dogs in Motion and Orthopets.  She will never be young again, but at least now she can get out and sniff and wee on the surrounding plant life with some degree of comfort and confidence.  They weren’t cheap, but she’s a member of the family and I’m glad we could afford them.  (They’re also a fascinating bit of engineering and I do love clever things!)  I will put up a photo as soon as I can find the right cable to get it off my phone!

*Update* Here she is, in all her braced and grey glory!


Who knew Christmas could be so edifying?

Hope yours was good!

15 thoughts on “Things I learned in 2013: Part One

  1. I do not want to even consider what might have laid eggs. Dr Shrinkee cleaned out the garage (under out house) to paint the cement> he told me about the ‘things’ he found. Under my bedroom.

    I keep a box of Cadbury Favourites in the fridge. Just in case I ate all the cookies.

  2. Aah. I get it now. You’ve been cleaning and that’s how you found the mouse in the washing machine…
    Cadbury Favourites. Noted. Good plan.
    Personally, I snaffled lots of chocolates that got gifted to hubby and I convinced him the FAR greater good for those, was to become part of two gift packs I’m putting together at the moment for you know what. (Hint – involves that golf bunker you is gonna get sandy in & a blog hop).
    Lovely post Imelda – can’t wait to see what I’m gonna learn in Part II.

    • Excellent use for the choccies! There might be something in that, if my last box survives. And yes, I admit to cleaning, but only because it’s January and it SMELLED! I did actually find the mouse today. Sadly, with a trap. But I couldn’t find it any other way in the end bedroom. Way too much furniture in there to chase a mouse!

  3. An entertaining perspective on Xmas. I think you’ve nailed it with the food! For us, it was a huge family gathering. I often wrap a ‘spare’ present which was quite handy this year when one of my husband’s nephews brought his new girlfriend along to Xmas lunch at our holiday apartment. The ‘spare’ has become one of my repertoire of Xmas preparations.
    Hope 2014 brings you challenges you choose and many more achievements.
    Best wishes, Susanne

    • A spare present is an excellent idea! I found a cache of forgotten presents this year, after I had re shopped for those people, but I managed to use most of them in ‘spare’ situations. I love buying kitchen gadgets to have up my sleeve for those occasions. They’re adaptable to almost anyone and especially hostesses!

  4. Pingback: What I learned in 2013: The one about writing | Wine, Women & Wordplay

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