January 17, 2013 by talkaboutyork
You know when you start a blog post and then don’t finish it because you have something to say but it’s not a full thought? And then perhaps you have another and do the same again. Until eventually you have a series of draft blog posts that are never published.
That’s what my January has been like. Hence the lack of blog posts.
So I shall summarise all those half thoughts into one post:
On 1 January I embarked on my ‘Operation Fab by Forty’, which does what it says on the tin really. I have to look fab by the time I turn forty which is at the beginning of March. So far, I have had zen-like ninja focus. I have exercised daily. I’ve had just one glass of wine (people who know me will know that I normally have one glass of wine by the 6pm on any given day as a little aperitif to get me through supper/bath/bedtime with the kids, before consuming the rest of the bottle). I have stuck to my diet, turning a blind eye to many temptations. I’ve even cut right down on caffeine, drinking gallons of ‘lesbian tea’ instead. It has been frightfully dull.
Getting organised for 2013
To take my mind off not face planting into a vat of melted chocolate, I have taken to organising the entire year. First I arranged son 1’s 9th birthday party. Second I scoured around for a venue for my 40th, created invitations, sent those out and have spent hours looking for the perfect party dress (to show off my fab by forty body…?!)
Then I organised a holiday for my high school girlfriends and I to go to Dubai to celebrate all of us being 40. Next I organised our summer holidays, April half-term and am on track to sorting out May half term too. I booked tickets for various local events (which will come under my next heading). I’ve arranged playdates galore. I’ve sorted out various health niggles that I’ve been ignoring for ages. I’ve got my hair done and eyebrows threaded. I’ve sent off thank you notes for Christmas and cleaned the house a lot. I’ve even booked a family photo shoot having realised that our children are almost 9 and 7 and we’ve NEVER had any professional pictures taken of them.
I’ve ignored my final writing assignment, the deadline for which is now rapidly approaching so I should be doing that instead of this. I signed up to run the York marathon. Obviously (having never run more than 9 miles in my life). And lastly, I’ve been doing market research for a new product range that I think the world is crying out for and which may become my next business venture. So I’ve been keeping my mind busy and away from the biscuit barrel.
Events in York
As this blog is about York, I feel it is my job to keep you informed of things that are coming up so that should you be a York resident or find yourself in York, you’ll be aware of some of the cool things on the cards.
Firstly, there’s the York Residents Festival on 26 and 27 January. This is a thank you to the residents of York for hosting tourists for the rest of the year. Residents gain free or reduced price entry in a huge number of places and special offers at restaurants. My job next week is to look at the line up and pick something. The challenge will be trying to create a short list.
During February halfterm, there is the Jorvik Viking Festival which sounds absolutely marvellous for small boys. We have tickets to go the finale spectacular during which two Viking hoards battle to the death, sending a warrior off in flames to Valhalla, the Viking afterlife. I know two small boys who will love the gore of this, but the whole week looks fantastic.
There is also a great line up of theatre at the York Theatre Royal. Instead of doing what we normally do, which is see a poster for a play that is about to come on stage and find we can’t get tickets, we have booked tickets all the way through to August. We’ve gone a mixed bag – a comedy, some ballet, a bit of Shakespeare and The Legend of King Arthur (for the boys).
I continue to love York and after the craziness of last year, I hope to really settle in and enjoy living here. But I have a confession. There are days when I really miss living in the countryside. And today was one of them.
It is a beautiful morning. Freezing cold (-6C) but with a mostly clear sky. Walking back from school, I had a magnificent view of the Minster spires standing majestic in the coral pink sky. The trees were covered in hoar frost, my very favourite kind of frost. The holly looked fierce and prickly. The weeping willows leaning over the River Ouse looked like giant Afghan dogs. The ground was hard and crunchy where old snow had iced over. It was beautiful.
But it wasn’t quiet. There were people walking in puffs of cold breath to work and buses rumbling over Lendal bridge. I had to share this beautiful morning with other people. In the countryside where I used to live, I would go out on a hoar frost morning and walk for miles and miles in utter solitude. It always made my heart feel free and I secretly felt that I had the world to myself.
I think I need to add: ‘Go explore the North Yorkshire countryside’ to my to do list. Because we all need a bit of country every now and then. What’s more, it all helps achieve that Fab by Forty goal.
P.S. Darn it! I knew I’d forgotten something. This weekend I did a walking tour of York with my youngest son. It was amazing. I shall have to dedicate another entire blog post to it as I learned so many fascinating facts. Here’s just one: when people were hung, drawn and quartered, the latter bit involved chopping the body into four pieces. Apparently the left leg was always hung in Bootham Bar, the gateway closest to our house. Nice. Oh, and no matter where in York you are (at ground level) you are never more than one metre from a corpse. Blame it on the Medievals who couldn’t be bothered to bury their dead outside the City walls. Glad we didn’t discover any when we did our house renovation….