At the half-way point of the year (and how did we get here so quickly??) it's time to reflect on my progress against the goals I set myself at new year.
Artistic goals - half-finished projects to complete
Two novels half-finished:
I've been working on one of these books, and I think I have a structure I'm happy with, now. There's still a reasonable amount of writing to do, but I feel like it's coming along nicely and is definitely in line for finishing this year. (I never really thought I would have time to complete both.)
A book of cookie recipes to finish:
This is all but done. Really. Just a couple more typos to fix, so look out for a virtual book launch imminently.
An incomplete crochet jacket:
I haven't really got back to this, yet. A friend has asked if I'd crochet her some dishcloths, though, which should be good practice for getting my tension back to a consistent state.
Avoid starting anything new until the above are finished:
It was all going so well, and then I started learning Turkish. Oops. Still, there are worse ways to get distracted, and at least this seems to be an area where I can make a decent amount of progress in a few minutes a day. I'm also four weeks into a six-week corset class, another unexpected diversion - but again, there were good reasons for doing this now, and I'm really enjoying it, so I'm not really complaining.
Keep my asthma under control:
Yep, I'm still taking the inhalers. I had one slight hitch where I ran out, and had to wait three days for a prescription, but it didn't seem to make much difference to my breathing.
Keep doing the physio exercises for my back & knees:
The times when I fall down on this tend to be the times when I'm away from home. Whether in a hotel room or a friend's house, there isn't always space to stretch out on the floor and wave my legs around in whatever way the physio has ordered. And when it comes to my wrist exercises, I need weights, which I don't like to pack in my luggage. We haven't travelled very much during this quarter, so it's been quite a good period for keeping up with the exercises!
Learn to run at least 5k:
Well, I've been back to the gym, which is a step in the right direction, and then we walked a marathon last weekend. Which is not the same as running, by any means, but since I now know I can (just about) cover 26 miles I'm quite keen to get up to running an actual marathon distance eventually.
Try out the 5:2 diet for six months:
I'm varying between 5:2 and 6:1 at the moment, depending on the shape of my week, but it's generally going well (I did cave on one intended fast day when faced with a Cornish cream tea, and it wasn't easy to stick to any kind of diet in Bruges). I've been making it fun by developing new low-calorie recipes, which ties in well with my cookery goals.
My foodie goal for the year is to make something new every week. At the end of March I was up to 12, and one behind target. I'm currently up to 36, which is well ahead of where I need to be, and I'm still absolutely loving the added incentive to experiment. If nothing else, it's just fun to keep a record of the things I try, even if they don't come out perfectly every time. Here's what I've added to the list during this quarter:
- Italian Easter pie
- Low calorie stir fry
- Blackcurrant battenberg
- Cake pops
- Stuffed pasta tubes
- Quinoa with mushrooms & peppers
- Cauliflower cheese
- Coconut & mango truffles
- Roasted nuts & seeds
- Spiced cauliflower
- Low-calorie omlette
- Lime coconut ice
- Chocolate orange cheesecake
- Coriander & lime hummus
- Vegetarian moussaka
- Vegan chocolate cupcakes
- Harissa & mint vegetables
- Rhubarb & ginger crumble
- Peppermint mocha cupcakes
- Coriander falafel
- Strawberry & lavender cupcakes
- Lemon poppyseed cupcakes
- French bread
- Puttanesca sauce
Reduce my TBR pile:
From the list of books I wanted to get through, in the second quarter of the year I read Driving Over Lemons, The Blade Itself, and Missing. This takes me to 9 out of 13, so I'm ahead of target here, and I've also read several extra books from the TBR pile which weren't on my goal list.
Reread some old favourites:
Hmm, I seem to have forgotten to do this, this quarter. I have started rereading Redwall, but didn't get very far, as yet.
Be more disciplined about NetGalley:
I've been succeeding at this, to the detriment of the other reading challenges I set myself. There have just been so many excellent new books available for reviewing that it's rather taken my focus away from other things. I'm assuming this is a blip. On the plus side, I've only got six reviews outstanding at the moment.