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Hello, 2020!

Happy New Decade!

I don't think I'm going to make any resolutions this year, but this seems like a good time to have a look back at how successful I was with the ones I made last time:

1. Take up running. I did it for a while and I successfully completed the 7k run in May, but after that I just... stopped. Turns out running is actually really boring. I'm proud of myself for completing the 7k though.

2. Do a 365 Project where you take a photo a day for the whole year. I was almost entirely successful with this. I know there were a handful of days I forgot, but for the most part I did take a photo a day. Where I failed was finding time to put them online!

3. Finish reading books. Complete failure here. I still have the terrible habit of starting new books while I'm in the middle of old ones. I do exactly the same thing with fanfiction too.

Actually, you know what? I am going to make resolutions this year. Or not resolutions as such, but specific goals related to last year's resolutions:

1. Find a form of exercise that I don't hate.

2. Post all of my 2019 365 photos before the end of 2020.

3. Finish reading all the books I've got on the go right now (Furiously Happy, Wild Magic, The President is Missing, A Dance With Dragons: Dreams and Dust) before the end of 2020.

4. Post the fanfiction that I'm currently working on.

Ok, so that last one isn't related to last year's resolutions but I wanted to put it down as well to motive myself to keep going and not give up when I find myself thinking that it's completely rubbish and nobody will want to read it.
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Goodbye 2019. Goodbye 2010s!

Happy End of the Decade, everyone! I've been saying that a lot recently (and telling people at work I'll see them next decade) but I still can't quite believe it's actually true. So much has changed in the last ten years, but it still feels like it's gone by so quickly.

My plan for this evening is to try and stay up until midnight, watch the fireworks on TV, and then crash cos I have to be at work at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning. Which is exactly the same as my plan last year and I managed it then, so there's a precedent at least.

I'm currently drinking eggnog. But not the kind I make myself. My friend bought me a carton of American eggnog for Christmas and it's rather different from what I'm used to. It's kinda like drinking custard. I like it.
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Christmas Eve

Happy Christmas Eve! The lights are on, the train is running around the tree, and I have a glass of sparkling wine to celebrate. Yay! =D

I finished work at 3:30 today, which was very nice, and I won an Impulse body spray money tin in the raffle. I now have two days off to enjoy the festive fun, which I am very happy about, although I'll be making up for it by working long hours on New Year's Eve and Day next week.

I've been so busy this year that I haven't had a chance to watch any Christmassy TV episodes or traditional films, which is a shame. I mean, I did see Muppet Christmas Carol at the cinema, but normally I make a point of watching things at home and I simply haven't had a chance this year. I might have to try and watch a few after Christmas, but that's not quite the same.

I did find time to make eggnog on Saturday, which was very nice. But most of my weekend was spent wrapping presents with Christmas 24 on in the background. So while I may not have watched the traditional Christmas films, I have seen the American perfume maker falling in love with the Scottish duke, and the childhood sweethearts rekindle their romance at their small town's Sugarcane Christmas Festival. A distinct lack of identical strangers swapping lives in this year's offerings though.

Now it's time for me to go and watch Child Genius vs Celebrities and hope that the celebrities can triumph once again. I hope that everyone is having a great Christmas Eve!
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Canterbury Christmas

My Christmassy weekend started with us going to Canterbury. It's been years since I've been there, I think the last time I visited was not long after I graduated. It's always weird going back to a place you used to know so well but haven't been to in ages, everything was so familiar but different at the same time.

As well as looking around the city centre and the (slightly disappointing) Christmas Market there, we ventured up to my old alma mater to say hello. That was where the weird feeling was strongest cos there are so many new buildings and extensions that the place in my memories doesn't really exist any more.

But one thing that I'm happy to say does still exist is the Keynes duck pond:

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Good old ducks.

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Hello December

It's December! Which means it's Christmas time! We're allowed to wear Christmas jumpers at work now and you better believe I'm rocking mine every day. I've amassed quite a collection over the years so I'm trying to wear them strategically, starting with the more generic snowflakes and penguins at the beginning of the month and moving up to the really Christmassy ones as we get closer to the big day itself.

December also means Advent Calendars and once again we're not skimping on our selection. This year we have Cadbury's, Lindt, Lego Harry Potter, Playmobil, Dogs Trust, Gin, Wine, Tea, and the reusable one that I've filled up again for Mum. This time it contains pieces of a jigsaw puzzle which she'll have to assemble in order to make a picture which is a clue to the code needed to open the combination lock that I'm going to secure her main present with. Obviously. =D

Of course December also means work gets extremely busy and stressful. I hope I can keep my good cheer going all month but I think it's going to be difficult at times.

This weekend I'm going to London to do Christmassy things with Paul. One of which is the now traditional sing-along screening of Muppet Christmas Carol. We're also hoping to get the train to Canterbury to check out their Christmas market, as well as riding the Mail Rail at the Postal Museum and checking out the Museum of Architecture's Gingerbread City at Somerset House.

I know I still have a couple of Wales photo posts to make, but they're probably not going to get done until next year now. I've also paused in writing the fic I was working on, but I am hoping to keep going with that as well when I have more time. Also, as at least one person knows, I'm planning to do a Ships of the 2010s list as a follow up to my Ships of the Noughties list and my Ships of the Twentieth Century list. So I am rapidly filling up my time after Christmas as well!
Halloween

Happy Halloween!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Wales posts to bring you this year's Halloween pumpkin:

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It's a witch! I carved her while watching the first four Halloween episodes of Brooklyn Nine Nine last night. It was a lot of fun. And I had a little help from these guys:

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No Trick or Treaters again, so we once more have a lot of chocolate that we'll just have to eat ourselves. Except for the Snickers bars. I took those into work cos no-one here likes them.
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Update

I just want to say that I haven't forgotten about my Wales pics, I'm just being really bad at finding the time to post them! As usual I took far too many photographs so it's taking me a while to go through them all. I'm also getting more hours at work, so less time to plan LJ posts.

I also spent much of last week feeling like my mind was in a fog, which was disconcerting and unpleasant, but the fog seems to be lifting now, so that's good.

Another thing that's taking up my time, though, is fanfiction. And not just reading stories, which I already do extensively and is nothing new to me, but for the first time in ages I have a proper idea for writing one. At first I planned to write it just for me and not share it anywhere, but I'm now wondering if I might put it online. That does make it harder to write though, cos it means I feel self-conscious about the work and spend ages on research and word-choice rather than just writing whatever I like knowing no-one else will ever see it.