Thoughts and other Miscellany

Things I tried to do on my sabbatical

I took two months off between quitting my old job and starting my new job. On my to-do list for the sabbatical were the following, and this is how I got on.


Please bear in mind I was expecting this sabbatical to last at least 4 months, and actually it was a week and then 4 weeks… (interrupted by a week in the USA, and two weeks of full time mum mode with Supernanny out recovering from appendicitis):

  • read 10 books – pfff. I opened and abandoned one, and have started but not abandoned 3 more.
  • resurrect blog – done! Right at the end of the break, but it still counts, right?
  • cook 10 new meals – definitely done. I like HelloFresh* and Gousto* for helping me switch up the meal planning
  • go on 3 long bike rides – pfff. Not a single one. We did take the bikes to CenterParcs though.
  • Walk at least 10 miles across London – who was I kidding?
  • lose 8kg – yeah, right. Next!
  • Start learning Italian again – ummm, nope.
  • establish a gym habit – hmm. Start gym habit, sure. Establish – no.
  • Run a sub-30 minute 5km – astonishingly, done! New shoes and a new route helped, as did a new podcast to listen to!
  • Learn to write a website – I did a few website sessions but it’s painfully slow progress.

* There are referral benefits for these – if you want me to introduce you, drop me an email at and I’ll set you up.

Less loftily, my specific Bullet Journal October tasks and goals were:

  • Get a new job – done!
  • Catch up on the family budget – done at some point early in October for the previous 6 months, and I’ve been keeping up since
  • Get new clothes – done. I have been throwing out anything that doesn’t fit / I don’t like (a la Marie Kondo) and found myself somewhat short of clothes. A £100 spree at Marks and Spencer fixed that up.
  • Get Bookmark to go to sleep in her bed – achieved on a few occasions, but not a solid habit yet, though we are doing pretty well so far in November despite teething and a horrible cold
  • Go to Confession – done
  • Sew 3 projects – I sewed two (a plastic shopping bag holder and some cleaning clothes that are flannellette on one side and a silly pattern on the other). I failed miserably at two skirts and got grumpy.
  • Start a crochet project – done (earwarmers)! I even finished it too. Unfortunately it’s a bit small for me, and Bookmark doesn’t see the point in earwarmers.
  • Sort the photos we have of Bookmark to date, and get a new canvas printed up – didn’t touch this one
  • Practise 3 braid hairstyles – or this one!

On my November goal list is (some of them are the things I didn’t get done in the last few months!):

  • Start new job (done!)
  • Get Christmas shopping started and completed (urgh!)
  • Get Bookmark to go to sleep by herself consistently
  • Sew/crochet 3 new projects
  • Practise 3 braid hairstyles
  • Read and review 5 books
  • Go on one long bike ride. See how I’m not defining “long”?
  • Take Bookmark out on the bike at least once
  • Finish the German Duolingo tree and have it all gold at once!
  • Get started on another language’s Duolingo
  • Look at other language learning tools e.g. Memrise, conversation tools
  • Carry on with website learning

And on the November task list (I put less lofty aspirations here):

  • Birthday present for Supernanny, whose birthday is a week before mine
  • Sort the photos we have of Bookmark to date, and get a new canvas printed up
  • Fix up my very broken cricket pads

Plenty to keep me busy!


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