Here goes, folks. I like to give myself realistic and positive goals.
- To declutter my house. I tend to keep stuff just in case I need it. However, I realise that I don’t use a lot of my clothes and craft stuff. It is taking up a lot of space and I want more space this year. Also because I store a lot of stuff, I buy stuff again because I can’t find things. I also want to get more coat hangers too and keeps things more tidy.
- Borrow a Doggy from Borrowmydoggy to help an owner walk their dog and for me to have more exercise and get more experience with dogs.
- Go on a floristry workshop and practice some new techniques.
- Ban chocolate,coca cola and porky scratchings from my house and get people who see it to remove them. These are my weaknesses!Imust only have them on special occasions.
- Take part in Dry January and raise awareness to others. This also means you could get free meals too and some sponsors give you benefits
- Take part in Bullyonline campaigns, Alcohol Concern, Domestic Violence issues, Personal Safety, Road Safety and anti drugs campaign charities.
- Make my own granola breakfasts and actually eat it
- Cook more and try new things
- Improve massage techniques to improve wellbeing
- Be more minimalistic – help the planet, save money, create more space, have more me time
- Lead a more hygge lifestyle
- Support Lush as they do some excellent products
- Continue to make my own beauty products without toxins and raise awareness
- Take up Nordic Walking (I have already bought some poles)
- Ramble more locally along the footpaths and do a lot more walking. Join walking groups
- Listen more. People like to be listened to.
- Have no technology days or evenings.
- Read a novel, and make time for this. I have been struggling to make time for reading. Hopefully, having a more minimalistic lifestyle it will be easier.
- Go on free tours in London’s Museums and learn more about history
- Make more crafts to give away for Christmas
- Buy things over the year for Christmas to save money
- Mix with people who lead a positive lifestyle
- Do more art and crafts
- Continue to look after the wild birds
- Have a more healthier lifestyle and inspire others
- Eat more fish
- Read more poetry
- Read to other people
- Sometimes do nothing
- Improve my computer’s memory by clearing up old files
- Watch more ‘feel good’black and white or colour movies
- Go to the Buddhist centre more often and read more Buddhist literature
UPDATES to follow
Writing thank you letters is an important part of my culture.
My aunts and parents have always written thank you letters and we always enjoyed receiving them in the mail.
This year is no exception; birthdays and Christmasses, I have always written them. It is a incrediblly hyggelig thing to do too.
I love choosing the type of stationery and cards and I like them to be really special, after all, they are a family keepsake. Throughout the year, I look out for nice stationery. I always avoid the lazy and tacky, ready-made printed cards; they look so boring.I come from a family of letter writers so we like to make a bit of effort. Lazyiness really shows up in letter writing. A letter can say so much about someone, and even their family. Not writing one comes across as thoughtlessness. selfishness and laziness (of course, if people are disabled etc, I can make exceptions).
People find it hard to afford presents these days and they are also very busy, so it makes things extra nice for them when they get a thank you letter of appreciation. Like me, they probably love the pretty stamp,the handwriting style, the choice of pen they used and the design of the letter and the choice of words.
I find it dreadful that many British people nowadays don’t bother to write thank you cards and some even send a naff, soulless text. It looks really bad on them. Your thank you letter, I think, is ‘your own PR’ which can last generations.
We all need a little bit of thoughtfulness in our lives and it is so important to keep up such a warm tradition.
George Michael died at 53 on Christmas Day. Once again, another pop star has died far too young.
However, I was never really a fan of his ‘piped music’ or his lurid lifestyle but what really gets me is that he is regarded as a ‘national treasure’ for his music ignoring the fact that he chose to drug drive. He could have killed other people, including his friends and relatives in such an act. He just didn’t care.
As a straight edge person, I find the tributes annoying and bizarre. Sure he did some good things, but stepping into the driving seat whilst under the influence of drugs is one the worst things anyone can do. There is no excuse for such a selfish act.
In Britain, we often glorify those who have lead toxic lifestyles. It even becomes one of their little ‘quirks’ after all, ‘none of us is perfect’ which Brits often say on the forums. You see this all the time, from adulterous footballers to ‘cheeky chappy’ actors, who get up to criminal activities, their talent for acting or football seems to override almost any bad behaviour, no matter how criminal. Henry VIII is a good example. He chopped off his wife’s heads yet royals are glorified. There are some exceptions like Rolf Harris, which some Brits are finding it hard to come to terms with, so I expect it depends on what kind of crime they get up to.
I am one of these people who is really fussy with their perfumes. I tend to be a Penhaligan , Worth or a Yves St Laurent girl.
My favourite perfume of all time is Je Reviens by Worth. It has a light, citrus scent and it reminds me of my trip to Paris when I went to La Fayette. It ‘is’ Paris to me. I am glad that they still make it today. I remember buying it in the 1980s. I have been using it all the way from my twenties right through to middle age. It just makes me feel fresh, carefree and ready for the day ahead. It is a bit like perfumed talc. Rating: 10/10
Lately I discovered Equinox Bloom which came out last Spring..Now, this is a really special perfume from Penhaligans. It has a warm,spring scent and it reminds me of cherry blossom. In fact, that was the idea. For me this was perfect. I have always loved the idea of the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival, so much so, that I bought a cherry blossom for people to enjoy in my local park. When I last visited my tree, I saw a young girl twirl around it like a maypole.
The perfume has a very distinctive aroma and a kind of depth that citrus perfumes do not have. This one is a head turner because it is so special and unique, and you think that you are the only woman in the world who has discovered this extraordinary perfume. I save it for special occasions.Rating:10/10
This Christmas, I received Beyonce Heat and my heart just sank when I saw the bottle with the name all over it.I generally avoid celebrity perfumes like the plague, however, it was a gift and I do not have that many perfumes. It has a vanilla, magnolia and woody scent which reminds me a bit of ‘pound shop’ perfume. However, someone said they liked it when I walked past. I have a huge bottle of this and quite frankly, I feel uncomfortable with it.It is far too sickly for me and it also reminds me of candy floss or salted caramel or something to get rid of cat fleas.I will have to use it up, even if it pains me. If I see people leaving the seat next to me on a crowded train, perhaps it does have something good about it Rating: 3/10
As I been on a budget this year, it was a challenge to get presents so I made a few handmade gifts for a personal touch. These are not the ‘main presents’ but some that kind of add ‘bulk’ under the Christmas tree. Some I didn’t make, but I wanted practical presents.
Here are some inexpensive presents I made or bought this year:
- Homemade lip balm using coconut oil, beewax, Vit E oil and essential oils.I bought some small lip balm tins online. It is amazing how many you can make, one or two for each person. And the benefit is that you are not using any toxic ingredients. A hipster bonus.You can add wintery spices with ginger, tangerine oil, lavender flowers and clove oil if you wish. Coconut oil (the lardy type) can be purchased from a health shop, but it is hugely expensive there, but you can get them at a good Tesco or an African supermarket at a fraction of the price.
- Make your own candles, so easy to make. And, you can recycle your old candles too. You can easily get candle wicks (and ends), candle wax and dyes online. And you could even use them for next Christmas too.
- Moisturiser with shea butter, essential oils, beeswax, Almond Oil. Once you have got these ingredients you can easily rustle up a good quality gift at a moment’s notice. This is excellent product is totally natural. Always keep these items in your house for birthdays, Christmas etc. You can make them seasonal too with appropriate essential oils. This year I used peppermint and chamomile essential oil for my moisturiser.
- Bath salts. These are incredibly easy to make. However, if you are lucky to be in London, there are some excellent Turkish supermarkets and you can get Himalayan Pink Salts for just 85p for a small bag. Just add a bit of almond oil, essential oils and food colouring of your choice, but even this is not necessary. You can also layer the colours to add interest. Like the previous gifts, this is totally natural and non toxic.
- Anchovy Butter, so easy to make and quick to do. It is also so versatile to use.
- Sugar Scrub – just caster sugar, essential oils, almond oil and essential oils. You can add food colouring to add interest.
- Flower Arrangements – It is easy to make a candle flower arrangement and if you have conifers in your garden, you are halfway there. Additionally, you can easily make a flower headdress for Christmas Day, with real or fake wintery flowers. With the candle flower arrangement, add cinnamon sticks and Christmas tree baubles
- Make a DIY breakfast cereal. You can often pick up large biscuit jars at the pound shop. It is a lot of fun designing your own granola. I got this for my mother as I didn’t feel she was eating healthily.
- Practical present ideas -pajamas, even some food items, basic clothing as it is amazing how difficult it is for some old people to shop and some old people don’t have enough for basics too. Even simple foods they love, like Angel Delight, and they can enjoy remembering. My mother is foreign so I bought her some gingerbread biscuits, black treacle she loves, and sauerkraut. Even socks are great, even though they are supposed to be ‘boring’, but find some nice ones. Socks wear out, and we always need them
- I made a ‘Snow’ Conditioning Shampoo with natural incredients like castille soap, almond oil, essential oils, rosewater and Vitimen E oil. This was great as a winter gift..The majority of these ideas are on Youtube, so you can choose your own instructions. I am really looking forward to seeing what people will think on Christmas Day.
Update: The winter spiced lip balms were very popular, including the bath salts. Lots of people were very impressed by the high quality natural beautifully smelliing products, and one was inspired to make some natural beauty products herself. Even my relative, a bloke, said he loves the homemade bath salts as he gets lots of migraines.
My neighbour was a middle-aged builder who bought an old oast house and he put all his hard work into making his home a nice place and showed off to the neighbours. After three years of working on it, he was caught drink driving by Kent Police and he was banned for several months.
His wife didn’t work so he was the main breadwinner. Without being able to drive for his work, he fell behind with the mortgage payments. Clearly this created problems at home, and his relationship fell apart and he divorced. A few months after this, his home he worked so hard on, was sold and he moved away from the area. And there of course is the embarrassment as all his neighbours knew what happened as an article appeared in the local paper that he was a drink driver.
All because he chose to drink and drive.