On the first day of this brand new year, feeling somewhat jaded after only four hours of sleep and a glass or two more than was sensible last night, I decided that rather than look forward with resolutions, I would start with a bit of reflection on the past year. So what follows is totally self indulgent, somewhat photo heavy and you will be entirely forgiven for jumping to the end or skipping this post entirely!
There were definitely less blog posts in 2015, a year that started in January with me recognising that life was rather bonkers most of the time and so I decided that there needed to be less BONKERS and more ENJOY in my life. Not entirely sure I achieved that but hey ho... there is always this year.
Life continued at the usual crazy pace in February but I did learn a new skill - egg tempera painting. I was full of ideas of future paintings... did I do them? Did I heck... but like I say, there is always this year... or not as the case may be!
By March I was spending time in the garden and the sight of my pots planted up with spring flowers is rather heartening... after all March is only two months away!
In April I started walking with a passion, and although I never did realise my ambition to walk the coast to coast I have kept up my walking for most of the year, just letting it slip during the past month. Today however I did a four mile walk before lunch, so not a bad start to the year.
In May I had these pieces of work in the Prism exhibition in Hoxton, where I even sold one of the bigger pieces. They are currently on show at Art Van Go... after which no doubt they will be confined to the back of a cupboard somewhere.
June was eventful on many levels. My City and Guilds students finished their two year course and all passed with flying colours and that same weekend we celebrated the marriage of my stepson James and his lovely wife Elizabeth.
For me it was also the beginning of a period of reflection where many months of soul searching came to a head and I knew there needed to be changes in my life... actual changes, not just thinking about them!
July is always Open Studios month and in 2015 I included a new venture in the form of a pop up cafe. It looked very pretty even if it wasn't a runaway success!
In August we actually had our first proper holiday in several years when we spent a blissful week in Tuscany.
In September we had afternoon tea at The Ritz, we climbed over the top of the O2 and it was also the month when I took the decision to turn my passion for baking into a business... the change had begun!
October... and I returned to Amateur Dramatics with a role in 'Allo 'Allo as "Michelle of the Resistance"... a distraction whilst our kitchen was being refitted
Then in November, with the completion of our new kitchen the baking business "Apricot & Fig" was actually launched... and this Chocolate and Peanut butter cake was my first proper order (there had been a trial run the previous month!).
And so to December which was all about baking and very little else, leaving me tired but happy!
We spent the last night of the year at home... Stewart, Mum and me, joined by four friends. We had a long leisurely meal, played silly games, drank too much wine and watched fireworks on the telly to see in the new year.
And if you are still with me after this self indulgent ramble may I wish you all very happy and healthy 2016 with time to do the things you love!
I'm not sure what the year may hold for us but there will definitely be books, blogging, walking, embroidery, family and friends... and plenty of cake!