Hello 2013

My ideal way of spending today would have been tramping through the wilds of Hampstead Heath. (In the style of a Richard Curtis film, complete with co-ordinated winter knitwear and a handsome man on my arm, obviously.) However, that wasn’t to be, so instead I spent it watching donkeys, cheerleaders, Storm Troopers, Games Makers and kites fly through the streets of Piccadilly. (Clarification: only the kites were flying, everyone else had their feet firmly on the ground, apart from the unicyclers of Hackney and stilt-walkers of Barking.)

Ballooooons!

Impressive kites, no? 

It was the London New Years Day Parade, a rather bizarre event that goes on for a phenomenal length of time and features a competition between London’s boroughs as to has the best float – my money was on Merton. (Yes, that’s a borough!) A friend’s boyfriend was one of the Games Makers, so I kept her company during the two hour wait on the cold streets before his appearance. I already have one numb toe – by the time we left I had eight!

That would be the donkey breeding society. No, I had no idea either.
(Their marching was accompanied by a rendition of ‘Little Donkey’. Awesome!)

The point of this introduction is to say that, should I be collecting them, attending the parade would be a 2013 First. However, I’m virtually certain that I won’t be doing that this year. It’s been three years and my motivation to try new things has grown beyond belief (I believe Easter’s foray into snail eating might be the pinnacle of this), so it’s served its purpose. I’m an awful lot readier to try something out than I was when 2010 dawned. It’s also inspired a lot of other people to keep track of their own firsts – my mum, for example, is now recording her ’60 Firsts’. I’m fairly sure it’s not a list of 60 things she’ll do for the first time, but in fact things she’ll do for the first time now that she’s 60 (like having a pedicure and getting her senior citizen’s railcard).

As I’m sure I’ve said before, I don’t do resolutions. Once I’m back at work, my commitment to My Fitness Pal (the best calorie counting app out there, in my humble opinion) will resume; I have a new gym membership – but that’s thanks to a special offer I can actually afford; and my current mission to sort certain aspects of my life out began several weeks ago and is non-calendar related. However, I do like a challenge, and thus I’m grateful to Jenni for her suggestion of something I should do in 2013.

It’s not massively original, but it is something I’ll enjoy and ought not to be too challenging – it’s simply a 365 day photo challenge. There’s no theme, the idea is basically to capture something beautiful (or just interesting, failing that, it’ll be food…) in the ordinary-ness of every day. (I’ll admit that my days aren’t always the most ordinary, but still, the principle’s there.) It’s being facilitated by the rather fabulous new Flickr app (the acquisition of which I think gained three extra months on my pro membership). I may try and round up the photos on a regular basis, but otherwise they’ll have their own set on Flickr and will inevitably get tweeted.

And what of 2013? Well, there are already a number of adventures in the pipeline…

  • Next month I’ll be visiting Africa for the very first time, specifically, Uganda. It’s super exciting and I feel very privileged to have been given this opportunity by Tearfund. There will be more (much more) about this soon – in fact, I’ll probably bore you all rigid talking about it!
  • Easter sees a return to Chateau Duffy. (Want to come too?)
  • Fingers crossed I’ll be heading back to Texas at some point in the summer (I’ve got a bit of a research project brewing).
  • Then there’s the ongoing adventure that is vicar training, though 2013 sees the beginning of the end with the commencement of curacy hunting. Scary stuff!

The other thing that 2013 holds is the launch of lizclutterbuck.com! I promise! I know this has been a very, very long time coming. (I was chastised recently by a friend for not getting my act together – I’m now worried that this will be a massive disappointment to all who are eagerly awaiting it.) Basically, it’s been in my hands for over a month and hopefully in the next few days I’ll be able to send word to my web designer that my part’s done, and it’s time to begin the final stage of the process. It definitely needs to be up and running pre-Uganda, so there’s at least a deadline! (However, I am getting this as a freebie, so there are limits to how quickly this can happen. Needless to say, I’m extremely grateful.)

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