It's been wonderful to have time off work, time that I've been able to spend relaxing (something with which I often have some difficulty), and doing work for my PhD (on which I've fallen behind a bit of late). I don't often feel that I have the time to sit and unwind, since I always have a lot of things I should be doing instead of relaxing. I also had a very good Christmas, receiving books that are both useful and interesting (Kim Newman's Nightmare Movies, a Boris Karloff biography, and a book on the English Civil War), DVDs, and Nintendo DS games that should keep me out of mischief. I even found time to do a spot of baking, producing one of my now infamous chocolate orange loaf cakes and a collection of ninjabread men for Christmas Day.
What are ninjabread men, I hear you ask. Well, they're gingerbread men made using my ninja cookie cutters! I had a lot of fun decorating them with icing pens as well, and I've included some photos below. Cool, aren't they?
The ninjabread men before...
They were also incredibly delicious and I'll no doubt make them again in future. I have some dinosaur cutters that I want to try so you never know, I might feature a gingersaurus or something within the next few months.
For New Year, I originally went to my best friend's house party but a killer headache (and a problem with my shoulder that makes it painful to breathe) forced me home early, so I saw in the New Year with my parents. I was also my family's First Foot for the year, which is a somewhat archaic tradition that we follow in order to welcome the new year. In Scottish and Northern English folklore, the First Foot is whoever is first to enter the house in the new year, bringing with them good fortune (allegedly). First-footers must leave the house before midnight, and return after midnight, bringing with them a collection of 'gifts'. In our house, it's a silver coin (to symbolise prosperity), a piece of food (to ensure continuing food), a box of matches (to bring warmth) and a drink (usually whisky though I've been known to toast the new year with cranberry juice. First footers are supposed to be tall, dark-haired men, but I've done it before, and I'm doing it again. Other countries, or even parts of the UK, have different traditions, but that's how we do things at Castle Sedgwick.
I posted last week about looking back over 2012, and looking forward over 2013, and I did say my main goals were related to fiction projects, my PhD and things at work. Having said all of that, I also decided to make some creative resolutions, and I've decided that my goals for the year are to;
- Read and review at least one fiction book every month,
- Go to the cinema and review at least one film every month,
- Write 100 words every day,
- Produce an image of some form every day.
So now I've said all that...how about you?