Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Looking back and looking forward

It's now practically the end of my 40th Birthday Year and I
can honestly say that spending the time nomadically travelling has been just wonderful. We have visited so many amazing places and without actually having to journey for thousands of miles across the globe! I kept a few notes of anniversaries that coincided with our being in specific places.

So, as well as my 40th Birthday and our 12th anniversary of togetherness, we also celebrated Dave's 69th Birthday. (I guess that means there'll be a big Birthday next year too!)

We also visited Lincoln and viewed the Magna Carta in the 800th year since its signing.

We visited the village of Eyam in the 350th year since the Great Plague.

We visited Whitby in the 125th year since Bram Stoker was there.

There are so many fabulous highlights that I am not even going to try to condense them into a 'Best of' for this post! I am learning that pretty much everywhere has something worth noticing if you happen to look the right way at the right moment. The joy of travelling is getting to have many right moments day after day after day.


Instead, let's look forward to 2016. I don't make resolutions anymore as they never seem to pan out - yes, still biting my nails! (Now eight years smoke-free mind, but I quit in a September.) I would like to visit a new-to-me country in 2016. Did you see the travel map gadget I added at the bottom of this blog? There's a lot of grey space awaiting us!

I also want to keep experimenting with vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Having thought one veggie dinner a week would be a good achievement for us, I have found that we now generally eat two or three a week and often have completely veggie days. I'm not sure that either of us wants to completely give up meat, but this half-way house is a good compromise for the time being. Veggie food is a lot cheaper too!

Reading-wise, I am confident that I will not hit my 200 book
target for the Goodreads Challenge 2015. Close, but not quite. 180 will be a more realistic target for 2016 I think. I did complete the 2014-2015 Decade Challenge though - my book list here - and notched up a nice round dozen for the Read Scotland Challenge 2015 - my book list here. I've signed up for both again and am also looking to join the 2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge hosted by Evie over at Bookish Lifestyle. I know I have several books that I keep overlooking in favour of more immediately appealing reads, even though I know I would probably enjoy them all just as much. Most of the waiters are bricks though and I do find thick books off-putting! I have chosen 20 titles that have been sitting around a while. Let's see how many I can actually pick up:

A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving,
Dracula by Bram Stoker,
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt,
The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan,
Moby Dick by Herman Melville,
Sky City by R D Hale,
Nine Kinds Of Naked by Tony Vigorito,
Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk,
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell,
Ghostwritten by David Mitchell,
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver,
Killers Of The King by Charles Spencer,
While The World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry,
March by Geraldine Brooks,
Courage Has No Color by Tanya Lee Stone,
Black Patriots And Loyalists by Alan Gilbert,
Imperial Life In The Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran,
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton,
Dombey And Son by Charles Dickens,
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray.

That lot should keep me quiet for most of the year!

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