This first few weeks of the year have been dedicated to sorting things out, tidying up the spare room, donating surplus things and tackling the mending pile - the kind of jobs that give me a mental block and make it hard to start new projects. There were things in the mending pile that had been there for literally years - and they were fixed in about five minutes. I know it's completely ridiculous but I just can't get excited about mending. It feels good to have it done though.
I've also been using the beginning the year to think about food and menu planning, try some new recipes, and to get out of the cooking rut now that I have a bit more time and that the rush of December is over. I'm still making muesli regularly, my current favourite version has pumpkin seeds, pepitas, flaked almonds, brazil nuts, pecans and diced dried apricot, sultanas and cranberries. Eating it with natural yoghurt & some stewed rhubarb and nectarines is such a good way to start the day. And we've been eating lots of summer salads like this one.
We've settled in to a nice school holiday routine - a mixture of playdates, excursions and time at home. We've visited a few of the Sydney Festival activities and other Sydney summer things - the big duck at Parramatta was ridiculously cute and appealing again (although I inadvertently traumatised M, who is very attached to the duck, by showing her the exploding one in Taiwan), and we saw Exxopolis at the Opera House and a rockpool workshop down by the beach.
I saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty last night, and loved it. It's beautifully shot, and even though it's a big budget Hollywood movie with all the associated storytelling predictability and a bit of schmaltziness, it is a reminder to enjoy life and make the most of every day, which seems like a very good note to start the year on. This one is going to be a bit different for me, because for the first time since having children I will have three days of childcare, which opens up all kinds of possibilities in terms of work and other projects. I'm excited to see what it brings, but for now I'm enjoying the last few weeks of the holidays and the chance to get organised, tackle a few more nagging tasks, and spend lots of time with the family.