We're 31 days into a shiny [if slightly damp] new year ... so how's it been so far? I hope it's been gentle with you.
[I also hope that I'm not the only one who hasn't quite managed to put the Christmas decorations back in the loft just yet too ... tell me I'm not alone ...]
If you've decided that 2014 is going to be the year you give this whole memory-keeping-by-numbers thing a go then you just need to follow the instructions on how to join in with My Month in Numbers ... and I'll be over to read your vital statistics soon after.
And please don't worry about getting things right (or wrong for that matter!) there aren't really many rules to follow and I'm actually pretty patient and hardly ever shout ... so no panicking! OK? OK. [btw: That wasn't shouting ... that's just how you spell 'OK'].
Anyway ... if you're just here to say 'hi' and to read my numbers ... then 'hi' back at you, now allow me thrust the following under your nose ...
Let's start with the Communal Count questions [where we all document a number based on the same theme]
[a] How many new things did you try? Well, I didn't keep meticulous records on this one, but there were at least 5 which includes:
- spending 2 nights entirely alone [but more on that in a minute];
- tackling a Tax Return on my own;
- supporting a student in a chemistry lab [in my 7+ years on campus that's a new one on me];
- eating a hot pork pie [I've had plenty of cold ones ... but never one warmed! Wild and crazy times people! Wild. And. Crazy. Times.]
- and ... I dabbled in having vertigo when I lie down. And now, after showing no signs of improving after taking 23 tablets for it so far ... I'm a bit tired of that particular 'new' thing and would happily go back to boring old 'getting into bed without it feeling like I'm boarding a roller-coaster' feeling.
Now, let's get onto the rest of the numbers shall we?
8 = the number of days after Christmas 4 friends and I shared our traditional 'fake Christmas' where we took almost 2 hours to open our gifts!
Here's the detritus left behind after our 20+ presents had been opened. Crafters sure know how to make a pretty-coloured papery mess!
7 = the number of 'Only Connect' style quiz walls I created - using low-tech sticky notes - for a spot of post-New-Year-lunch-entertainment:where you have to sort the 16 things into groups of 4 linked themes] then do yourself a favour and watch a few if you can; if you're a quizzy/puzzley lover you'll love it.
And, even if you can't find any to watch then you can still play along with all the previous 'walls' online here.
You could even play along with the walls I created ... if I'd kept them somewhere ... I'll go look ....
15 crafters / 2 days / 2 meals out / 1 huge buffet = a crafting weekend away at the stunning Sneaton Castle in Whitby.
Organised by my ever-organising friend Jean [of 3DJean] this was a different kind of crafting break to the cosy cottage weekends we have twice yearly; more people, hotel-style accommodation and a larger work room for a start.
Here it is all tidy when we were just moving ourselves in:
And, after crafting [and eating, and drinking tea] in there all day I returned to my next number ...F10 = the room in which I spent 2 nights in. Alone.
As I've mentioned, there were 15 of us in total and, while everyone else paired-up and shared a room, being a bit of an introvert, I chose to stay in a room on my own. As I was going to be spending 12+ hours a day with other people I really wanted to secure myself a portion of empty space too!
So, as it was my decision I really didn't worry about being alone ... until I saw where my room was.
My building joined on to the one where the others were sleeping .... but there was no one else actually in my building!! And, if that wasn't bad enough ... see that dark ominous have-you-ever-seen-The-Shining corridor ...
Now , maybe I've seen too many detective dramas in my time [OK, so there's no 'maybe' about it] but it's a well known fact that any woman on their own in a dark building [especially one near an old castle for goodness sake!!] will find herself dead at some point.
It's just how these things go.
So I was pretty convinced that I was bound to murdered at some point over the weekend ... as I told James over the phone. And, such was the concern from someone who's watched an awful lot of Sherlock over the last few months, he replied:
"Well, if you do then at least make sure to leave behind a clue as to who did it."
Well ... who do you think it is I'm sitting next to while I'm watching all those detective dramas?
However, as you will have surmised, I lived not only to tell you [and maybe even slightly exaggerate on] the tale ... but to do some crafting too ...
3 layouts and 3 mini-albums added to [if not entirely finished]over the course of the weekend. It's not an overwhelming amount of work is it? In fact, I'm certain I spent more time eating than I did crafting.
22 = the number of items of clothing I wore to spend 2 hours outside on a windswept RSPB reserve watching a murmuration of starlings:
A murmuration is where the birds fly together in huge groups, making strange and beautiful shapes in the air, before landing and roosting for the night. This was the 4th time we've attended the 'Soup & Starlings' event at RSPB Saltholme and the warm soup half way through was most welcome!
It was an absolutely amazing display this year - the guides estimated there were over 5000 birds which came so very close to where we were all seated:
... so close in fact that at one point a bird flew through the gap between two people's heads!!
It was truly as if the birds knew we had come out especially to see them on a chilly January afternoon ... and they thought they'd put on a bit of a performance for us all.
This is my favourite shot of the day - where if you squint a bit - they formed [almost] a heart shape:
Now it's your turn.
As I mentioned earlier all the instructions for how to join in the Month in Numbers community can be found on the dedicated page of my blog which is the best place to start.
But for now ... keep up the number-crunching and have a great February.