A SMART new year

pile-of-booksThe madams have gone leaving a strange silence in their wake.  The Christmas decorations are coming down.  I can never work out the date for the saying about decorations and twelfth night.  Is it January 5th or January 6th that the decorations need to come down in order to avoid a year of bad luck? If Christmas starts on Christmas Eve its the 5th; otherwise it’s the 6th. I should also add that it would be very unlucky indeed for a length of tinsel to be sucked inside the vacuum cleaner and that I want to get the house back into a state of order before normal service resumes.

Its also time for the resolutions and plans for 2017 – best done without three small persons in tow.  HWIOO informed me that being more organised is far too vague and that whilst becoming a best selling novelist (which has featured on my list since I was eight years old) is okay it perhaps needs to be broken down into several smaller steps – like sending the manuscript to agents listed in the Writers and Artists Yearbook.  He added that my targets, as I should already know, need to be smart; as in specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound.  My concern is that I will be audited in March to see what progress I’ve made!

However, I have already achieved three of my SMART targets – registering at a dentist, finally changing the address for my library card and finding out about the local swimming pool.  You’ll note I’ve not actually been swimming.  Think of it as a build up to plunging in the deep end.  I’ve also identified that there are regular aqua-aerobics classes in the pool but I don’t think it would be a terribly good idea at the moment any more than going on a cycle ride with HWIOO in his current state of unbalance would be a good idea – so the doctor’s surgery information video about doing 120 minutes exercise this week is probably not going to happen – though HWIOO has looked for our various books of walks.  I have a feeling that discussing our favourite walks from the comfort of the living room doesn’t count.

My next resolution is to sort out our books.  HWIOO has dragged me kicking and screaming into the 21st century with a kindle for Christmas which is very exciting as I can download books at the click of a button assuming the Internet is actually working. There is also the rather practical caveat that we are not going to buy any more book cases and there’s only so much space under the bed.  The Pottermeister suggested that I could photocopy recipes and craft ideas from books that I’m keeping for one or two things and then hand the book into a local charity shop – which if I’m honest is my main source of crafting books in the first place- it should reduce the collection somewhat.  We don’t keep fiction on the grounds we’d have to move every eighteen months if we did.  Culling reference books is always tricky and I’m still recovering from the fact that I accidentally took a box of books I wanted to keep to the charity shop when we moved.  I suspect the thinning is going to be a bit of an uphill struggle although now that I’ve gone electronic I can have as many virtual books as I want and no one will ever notice (cue manic laughter punctuated by coughing).

The next thing is to organise the book cases.  HWIOO is concerned that some of the shelves are buckling under the weight of their load so I’m under instructions that double stacked shelves should be filled with only one layer of books (perhaps he’ll not notice when our bed turns into the book equivalent of the mattresses described in the Princess and the Pea.  I’m currently working on ordering books according to topic and size.  Hattie has her books in alphabetical order which is very sensible but faintly scary on account of the fact that my memory is a visual one so I can remember the size and colour of a book but very rarely its title or who wrote it which isn’t terribly helpful in a bookshop or the library- you try asking for a big book with a green cover on the Tudors and see where it gets you.

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