Well here we are again. The New Year is almost upon us and in true Sunday newspaper style I can’t help but look back on the year and review it. What have I learnt? What will I do differently in 2013? My husband once reminded me whilst crying over my 15th failed attempt at macarons that doing things the same and expecting a different outcome each time is the definition of madness. It’s a good thing to remember when attempting any New Year’s resolutions. Here are the things I have learnt. What about you? Maybe you’re more grown up that me and don’t hang on to jeans older than your children?

- Going to bed before 11pm and reading a book about Kings and Queens from times gone by makes me a much nicer woman the following morning. Makes for regal dreams too. Just call me Elizabeth.

- I am perpetually cold and therefore need to dress accordingly. I will NOT buy another summer dress to lay redundant in my wardrobe. My broken thermostat can’t handle them even in the height of the British summer.

- The slow cooker is a High Goddess and should therefore be worshipped regularly. She provides hearty, wholesome food that warms my cold toes and manages to stop any stalemate behaviour once the children are in bed about who cooks dinner. A Goddess I tell you. Nurturing and mediating.

- Treating the week like a constant set of diary appointments makes no-one in our house happy. Having whole afternoons where we construct elaborate dens, eat lunch in a tent and play hiding with torches does. Less routine, more fun.

- Keeping hold of clothes over 17 years old and 4 sizes too small is akin to abuse. To myself. Nope, I will never, ever fit into a size 8 pair of Pepe jeans again. Those times have gone. Let go, let go Holly. (As I trundle them off to the charity shop for some whippet like teen to enjoy them, sob.)

- Spending time with parents who treat raising a child like a competition is miserable and makes everyone feel inadequate. I can’t change other people’s behaviour but I can avoid them. Cowardly? Maybe…

- Eating chocolate crispie cakes for breakfast isn’t cute and doesn’t make me kooky like Carrie in (RIP my favourite programme of the 90s) Sex in the City. What it does do, is make my jeans not fit.

- Doing good deeds feels good and makes other people feel good and it’s completely free, so more, more, more! So in 2013 I will be doing more helping women with buggies as they approach stairs and lots of stretching to the top shelf of the supermarket. My height is a blessing sometimes. And thank you to the man who saw me eyeing up some toy cars in my local Oxfam. He bought them, followed me to a coffee shop and gave them to my son. Kindness is underrated. He made my sons day. He made my week for reminding me that people are good.

- My skin is happiest when fed with lots of veggies, fat and wholesome carbs. That’s just the way it is. I am going to attempt to get my vice like hits from fatty things and less sugary things. Please note this is the thing I have learnt that I will completely ignore. Everyone’s allowed one.

Happy New Year lovely, lovely people!

NB: Picture from the pavement in San Francisco circa 2006.

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