This is not how I had envisaged it.
New years eve, I imagined this moment sitting down to tot up my list of successes. My witty prose littered with irregular Spanish verbs as my dual lingual brain flitted between tongues, popping up to the keyboard to type in between stomach crunches.
But this is not defeat. Oh no. There may be suspicious wiffs of it loitering in the air but defeat this most certainly is not.
I had to buy a new car. I hadn't wanted to, but I bid farewell to the Australia fund and trundled off in a reliable tin can.
Not that I don't love the new car, but I've certainly lost the excitement of never quite knowing what will happen when I start the engine. Will I have power steering today? Will the brakes cut out if I let the car fall below 2000 revs? Not to mention what will happen to my fantasy of being a mechanic each time I have to pull over and top up the oil to get me home, complete with oily rag (kitchen roll) tucked in back pocket and humming Shania Twain.
This only failed me once, when having made it home from a hair raising commute (2 break downs, 1 brake loss and a smell like someone singeing Dolly Parton) I lifted the bonnet and reached for the oil.
The Five o'clock traffic crawled by inches from my car, bored commuters glancing my way. I imagined the admiration on their faces when they saw me; black work coat buttoned up smartly over grey suit trousers, oily kitchen roll tucked in pocket and wielding 4 litres of 10W-40. I unscrewed the oil cap and poured with the confidence of a seasoned grease monkey.
I missed. As soon as the oil hit the hot engine, billows of smoke rushed into my horrified face. Traffic continued to crawl by and if I had imagined windscreens full of astonished faces before, I was certain of them now. I was no longer a modern woman, laptop in one hand and spanner in the other. I was a pair of terrified eyes floating in the fog of my shattered fantasy. I was an idiot.
I abandoned the car and ran for the house, screaming 'BEN! The car's on Fire!'.
1)So Australia is on the back burner for now, but not forgotten.
2) Move out of Trowbridge. I'm in limbo on this one. Still waiting to hear news of employment after March i.e. will I have any? If yes, great. I will have somewhere to live and can replenish the Oz funds. If not, I'll be moving to shit creek.
3) Write a children's book. February is going to be all about the children's book. Not only my ambition, but I figured it could get me out of leaving little person each day and packing him off to nursery. It's not good for him there. I went to collect him today and he grabbed a handful of flour and threw it at me then incited another small person to do the same. Most mothers get a finger painting.
4) Wear clothes that excite me. I'm not totally failing at this one actually, courtesy of some vintage clothes fairs and with carboot season looming, this can only get better.
5) Get fit and toned............. ha
6) Act in a play / film. Must get googling projects to impose myself on.
7) Learn Spanish. - Must. Put. CD's. On. Ipod.
8) Start taking photo's again. - Nothing to say.
9) Travel to another country. - This is happening. Must have holiday this year. It is January and little person asks to go to the beach every days. I can't handle another 6 months of beach requests.
10) Grow my hair long - I'm doing this all the time. Success.
11) Eat more veg- I can confidently add trimmed green beans to my veggie repertoire and last Sunday, a landmark day in my vegetable development, cabbage passed my lips.
12) Make 3 new friends. Well, I don't think I've lost any which is always a plus.
Get my arse in gear.
Eleven months to go.