Thursday, 3 January 2013

2013 New Years Resolutions - I can do more.

Looking back on 2012.

Will this rain ever stop?  It’s driving me mad.  The chickens’ look pathetic.  All bedraggled and wet, the children are driving me crazy with being indoors for what seems like days on end and I’ve still so much to do in the garden.  There are at least another 600 tulip bulbs to go in as well as a whole load of David Austin roses that are currently sitting on buckets in the outhouse.

Of course I am now analysing what I achieved in 2012. I think the highlight of the year was being able to bring the story of the Ndali Fairtrade Vanilla story to BBC Radio Four Food Programme.  I felt that I managed to communicate the importance of what fair-trade actually means to real people.  The trip opened my eyes to the world around me and I came back changed. We've also converted the potting sheds this year and my husband is now working from home.  It's something we'd been dreaming about for years and he loves it.  He sees more of the children and is far more relaxed that he used to be. We  set up a regular pop up bakery  early in the year and now I teach a course on it. So I guess it has been a good year in all.

I’m now wondering what to do with the rest of the holiday?  If anyone follows me on twitter then they may remember that we were all really poorly over Christmas and I know it sounds churlish .. but I really resent that we were so poorly.  I recovered enough to cook Christmas lunch and to be fair the whole of my family in law came. 21 of us in all.   It was so good to get everyone together, but it was an endurance test for me.  Now we are into the New Year and I have finally got the chance to enjoy a bit of time with my husband and children and it’s bloody raining. .. still.  Perhaps a trip to Borough  Market will cheer me up. 

These next few weeks are the darkest for me.  I struggle to keep things in perspective when there is no daylight and getting outside when I can seems the only thing to help.  We've had so many members of the family really ill this past year that it's been really hard, especially when you face things that are beyond your control. So more than ever I am resolved to live life.  I really don't want to end up in a nursing home one day wishing I had done more. We get one shot at life, so my take is to grab it.  My Dad once said you can give in, give up or give it a go, so the first of my resolutions is to get the cookery school off the ground and get the courses booked up. I also have big plans for the front garden, including a dedicated cut flower garden, and as ever I’d like to loose some weight.  

In fact so determined am I to shift the pounds I actually joined a gym.  Really.  I loathe and detest gyms, however this one has a swimming pool and the changing rooms don’t look as though a yeti has been attacked in them.  I abhor dirty changing facilities in swimming pools and gyms.  I won’t share the disgusting experience I had with you when I went swimming in the local pool.  It’s enough to say that I took photos and ended up on the front page of the local rag. I think that the headline was Mothers Fury and Filthy Facilities - try not to laugh out loud as I tell you that in the photo I was asked to hold a mop angrily and the photographer actually asked me to say Grrrrr!

Well I hope the gym I just joined keeps itself clean, or I may actually take them by surprise and turn up with that mop if standards slip and I am so not joking.

I’m stopping my local BBC Radio Kitchen Garden show this month.  It’s taken up about a day and a half a week for almost two years, and although I now share it with the fabulous Carmella it has taken up so many hours I am relived to be getting the time back.  I shall spend this time now on me.  Yes yes I know that sounds so selfish as I write it. How unlike me to think about me.. ..well actually its’ never been heard of before, but I must now consider my health and well being.  It’s as though turning forty has hit my joints and my weight in a head on collision of time and neglect and I feel that I am deteriorating at an expediential rate.  It’s time to do some yoga.. yawn .. and swim .. double yawn.  However the real truth is that I always come out of the pool or session feeling fabulous.  I have to remember that as I trudge unwillingly to ( uuurgh )  exercise.

The last of my resolutions is to up my actions on my food convictions.  I do support my local food scene by shopping at the local butchers, my local greengrocers and fishmongers.  I also grow much of my own vegetables and keep chickens.  However I can do better. I can buy more and support my farmers markets more.  It takes effort and despite ordering my basic groceries on line and making my own bread I do slip when things get pressurized.  I can do better.  I can plan further ahead.  I can do more.

Yes I think that is my actual resolution.  I can do more.

Happy healthy and peaceful New Year to you all, my blog friends.



  1. you are an inspiration!

    Each year, rather than make resolutions for myself saying 'do ths, do that',I make it more like wish list. Things I'd like to do, things I plan to do, things I want to buy. Not everyday stuff, but things that are a little bit special or fancy.
    I do have reference to my weight, but it's more about living by the 'skinny girl' idea by Bethenny Frankel. A change in the way I think about food, rather than out and out dieting.

    My list is pretty (I draw little pictures around the outside!), and I keep it in my 'daily file', which is my folder of recipes, cleaning tips, school stuff and general junk. I looked at my 2012 list and found that though I hadn't done/bought everything on there, I'd had a good go. So it works for me.

    My main goal for this year is to simplify and declutter the home. It's not too bad, but I can do better! And I shall. 'Simplicity' is going to be my key word.

    Love that your husband works from home. Wish mine could do that.

    I wish you a fabulous and busy 2013. And every bit of luck and success with the cookery courses, you thoroughly deserve it.

    much love

  2. Do be careful. I tried to do more, I thought I was doing rather well at it and then I had a complete breakdown and discovered that there is a limit to how much more can be done at any one time. Baby steps please :)

  3. Lovely to read about your plans and I can identify with some of them for sure.
    Happy new year to you and yours. xxx

  4. Lovely post. Good luck with everything. I've created my own ' Just do it' list. It's filling up nicely and one day I hope to add a visit to your cookery school.
    All the best to you for 2013. Lovely new website x

  5. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  6. New Year's resolutions!!! I should have a carry forward List I think, although last year I didn't do too bad. Some need to be revisited though. I find it very difficult with putting self first but agree that exercise and well being should be high on the list unless you put yourself first it gets pushed to the back and does not become a habit and like you I find exercise for exercise sake sooooo boring. Still it has to be done but sometimes the busy life takes over - all the doing for everyone else takes over. ME sounds so selfish but maybe that should be on the top of my kitchen blackboard just to remind myself too. Happy New Year and look forward to all your new adventures.

  7. Happy New Year, Vanessa. You've achieved so much in the world of food and food writing already. Your events are always inspirational and I know that you will be a great teacher and will make a great success of your school. Have faith in it, word will spread and the school will grow. Like a garden, you'll have to water and prune and then you'll see it flourish. As for doing more, sometimes I think we can do more by doing less. My focus is on simplifying - letting go of some things to make room for other things. I think we are all more conscious of our food choices and on the impact of our buying and consuming on the plant and on our communities. Thank you for bringing the 'fair trade' of Ndalli to our attention and for continuing to stand up for what you believe in xxx


If you are reading my blog I must warn you that I am not impartial. I want to influence you. I want to make you stop for just a moment and consider the effect of a lifetime of seemingly insignificant decisions and how making small delicious choices can change the world.

I believe that we can change the world one bite at a time.

It's a delicious revolution.