21 January 2015

Twenty Fifteen and I

A few days, that's when I said I'd be back. And here we are, more than 2 weeks later. Blogging more is unlikely to be one of my goals this year.

So, what are my plans for 2015? Make a list? Choose a word? Follow a pre-defined plan? It wasn't going to be any of these. Instead, I was going to be the epitome of aiming high and this year — the year in which I turn 30 — set myself, wait for it, one goal. Ah huh. Just the one. Which one?

Learn to drive.

Wait, you're nearly 30 and you can't drive?! Yes.

Let me explain. I resolved to learn when I was 17 but my dad convinced me otherwise. For reasons that are unclear. I can only assume he was nervous about me being on the road, or more specifically, being involved in an accident. So I put it off, thinking I could do it later. Plus, I was/am rarely one to go against my dad's advice.  Also, my mom is unable to drive due to her epilepsy and I think this instilled in me the idea 'hey! I don't need a car to get around!'. This theory propagates if you look at the fact my sister doesn't drive and both my brothers now do. Then, living in Manchester for a decade where cycling is a very acceptable way to travel, especially as it's flat and the cycle lanes are well established, having a car just wasn't a requirement nor a desire. And as I got older, I suppose I became a little nervous of being a 'mature learner'; that is, being less fearless and potentially disliking being told what to do. All of this has resulted in no driving licence and relying on trains to visit friends and family, my dad picking me up from stations etc., and taxis in scenarios where a car would've been perfect. I mean, it's not all bad: public transport offers a wonderful opportunity to delve into a good book or podcast, browse your phone, or write an e-mail or blog post.

But this year, I'm going to do it. What really pushed me over the edge? When I mentioned it to my dad, his response was; Yes, I think you should. Wow. I wonder how long he'd been wondering when, or indeed if, I might actually get around to it?!

I'm already doing pretty well against this goal: I purchased a provisional driving licence last week and it arrived on Saturday which was probably altogether too exciting than it should be for a 29 year old. The whole process is completed online now and different arms of gov.uk manage to communicate with one another to use your passport photo and signature on your licence. Although I don't plan to start lessons until at least March, as I have other things to do and pay for in the interim, I shall conduct some driving school research. Speaking of which, does anyone have any experience with BSM? Or have local driving schools fared better for you?

So, I was pretty happy with just this one goal.

But then I started to feel like the schoolchild who brings a rubbish game to school on 'bring-you-own-games-to-school' day (usually coupled with being allowed to wear non-uniform, right? What a day of excitement and anxiety!) and everyone's looking at me like: 'That. That's what you brought?!'

All in my mind, of course. But it had the same resultant effect: me wanting to add more goals. It's not going to morph into a word to represent the whole year, a master plan, or even a 31 before 31 list but it is a little longer than one single, solitary goal which, let's face it, is fairly achievable anyway.

Let's see what else we've got.


I've made pretty good progress with dressmaking over the last year and have high hopes for where it might take me next. Setting goals in this arena has little to do with it being a new year, only that it's a convenient time to list such things. There are a good number of basic dressmaking skills I'm fairly confident with, and have a decent number of garments under my belt. But there's loooooads more! Like what? Trousers, coats, jeans, sewing with leather and denim, all the hems. Lots! I'm toying with a few other ideas as well, including a Technique Checklist à la Fiona's at Diary of a Chainstitcher, which Tasia's Sewtionary would help a lot with. And even starting a sewing blog. It's tricky though: thinking of a name (all the good ones are taken!), creating and posting content in two places, having more than one social media account/presence, etc. I know a few that manage it well, e.g. Janet of Words That Can Only Be Your Own and The Hungry Vegan, (I'm sure there are other great examples too) but I'm still reluctant to take the plunge. Anyone have any words of wisdom?


Following on from last year, I've set myself another 2015 Reading Challenge on goodreads of 20 books. You can find me on goodreads here. I really enjoyed taking part in circle of pine treesthe year in books project in 2014 (you can see all my posts here) and she is running it again in 2015. However, I've opted not to post this year, but there are still plenty of bloggers I follow who are taking part so will pick books up that way. I'm still considering joining another book club but am yet to commit.


Just like the other goals, this probably isn't going to be a SMART target but I really want to be financially sensible in 2015. How I'm going to achieve that? I'm not entirely sure but plan to address it in some way. I've downloaded a spending app (Apple | Android) that allows you to track and report on how much you're spending and on what. At this point, I've not been through enough monthly cycles to infer a great deal and it hasn't really stopped me spending but hey, who knows. I mean, I've tried tracking my spending before but have lost interest. Maybe this time will be different. OK, I should probably think about this one a little more. Just having the intention to do something won't necessarily make it happen.

And that's your lot. All the 'ings. Nothing groundbreaking.

What have you lot got planned for 2015?



  1. Driving wise I learnt with this guy https://www.facebook.com/pages/Merlin-Courtenay-Approved-Driving-Instructor-Pass-Plus-Instructor/135583776482796?fref=ts He is brilliant, and got both myself and a friend through our 'later learning' and tests.

    As for sewing blogs -yes! I spent hours and hours seeking the perfect pun to no avail, give it up they're all there in one form or another. Something simple and personal is probably the way to go... 'Gingerella Sews' etc. Boring -maybe but does the job!

    I started mine simply to try to coax myself into actually finishing things and give myself an extra little push. Seems to do the trick. Great thing is if it's just for you and you alone then if you find yourself short of time or the inclination you can simply not bother for a while. I say do it!

  2. It's somehow now entering my mind that saving apps are a thing and that I should definitely have one! All attempts at writing things down before have failed :p yay for learning to drive, hope you find a good instructor and love it :)

  3. Ah thank you for saying I manage the dual social media thing- I don't feel like I do it very well at the moment! Barely enough time for Words..., which will always be my priority, let alone The Hungry Vegan.

    As for learning to drive, I didn't start lessons until I was 29 but I honestly wouldn't ever go back to not driving now - it makes things so much easier, but I also find that those of us who have lived car-free for years are also better at using public transport, walking, cycling, etc even when we have a car. Good luck with lessons!

  4. Oh great! Thanks so much for the recommendation Marie! I had a little look at his Facebook page, he certainly has people passing, and a good number first time too. Ha @ 'later learning'. Yup, that's me!

    Yes, I did consider 'Gingerella Sews' but thought I'd wait it out and see if my mind could come up with a pun of some sort. No luck so far. I know I really want to do it somehow as I've bought a trip and remote to take pictures of my completed projects. You're right, I should just do it! Thanks!

  5. Oh you're welcome. Perhaps I am too unacquainted an observer, but it certainly seems that way to me and I was impressed. Ditto! I somehow don't have enough time for this so a) I should make time and b) probably not start another blog.

    That's reassuring! I'm pretty sure I wouldn't use it all the time because, as you say, I'm very used to walking, cycling, busing and training. It will definitely make visiting people and shopping trips easier I suspect. Thanks for the luck! :D

  6. I passed first time (and Laura I think) too :) he's lovely and really patient -there were some tears!

  7. Well exciting about the driving! The judgement from some people about being 30 and not being able to drive/have a car is so weird it baffles me. I had so many comments when I got my first car last year. I think the trouble is so many people do it when they're 17 and get their cars that they just find it absolutely impossible to conceive that you've managed to get around without one.

    The freedom my car has given me though has been immense. I am still struggling to put it into words - hence the lack of blog post about it.

    When I moved to the Midlands and needed to have refresher lessons (the last time I'd driven was the day I'd passed my test when I was 17!) I asked around at work and found a local instructor who was brilliant and slightly cheaper than the bigger schools. But having said that I originally learned to drive with AA and my Dad's wife used to work for BSM - at the end of the day it's a pretty personal relationship, if you need to try a few people to find someone who is right for you then don't worry about doing it! Shop around!

  8. Yeah I am pretty excited about the driving. Nervous too obvs but that's just because I feel like an old fogey in the driving school world. Definitely hit the nail on the head: people who don't understand getting around without a car have only ever gotten around with a car. I am looking forward to the potential freedom! That's a good point; each person's experience is going to vary and I've heard good and bad things about both independent and nationwide companies. I was planning to buy some lessons in bulk e.g. 10 hours, but I'm wondering if it's worth having one lesson first, see how I feel.

  9. Learning to drive will be awesome, weird but awesome. Stick with it.
    And good luck with your other goals! Definitely not *that* kid at school. I'd love to be able to make my own clothes but I'm not so good with following instructions...or precision...or needlework. Doesnt leave much does it?!

    M x

  10. Completely expecting it to be weird and am already nervous if starting! Both good and bad for me is that I'm not good at quitting things, even when I really, really should. Oh i don't bother with the instructions or the precision sometimes! And needlework is machine operated. I'm basically pointless. 😎