Saturday, 31 December 2011

Goodbye 2011 Hello 2012

I'll have a piccy break today as the last day of the year is traditionally a time for reflection, more Oxford pics tomorrow. Matt asked how Oxford compares to Cambridge, I can't answer that question yet, as I haven't been to Cambridge. I am looking into it, and hopefully a trip will be on the agenda soon. The Youth Hostel has a cheap offer on but no car park, so I need to look into cost of public transport to get there. Rail prices are rumoured to be going up, so it might be cost effective to drive, so much to consider when trying to organise things on a budget.

Anyway, I'm feeling quite chipper as we say goodbye to 2011, and hello to 2012, I much prefer even numbers, ha ha. On the whole it's been a pretty good year for me, mainly due to the fact that I like to make things happen rather that wait for them to happen. I know you have to plan big projects, things to consider are budgeting your money, and finding a slot in the diary to fit everything in. I also like to fill in the gaps with last minute ideas, a quick trip here and a short visit there. Being flexible helps, it's great to have my freedom now that I don't have to go to work any more.

My 2012 calendar has been on the wall for about a month now. It's next to the phone and computer in the office, so I can tell at a glance what dates I have free when I plan my trips. I used to print it out month by month, but now I tend to buy a cheap calendar for around £1, makes the job easier. Here are my calendars, they are all in order from 2004.

The question I ask myself is did I do my best this year, and could I have an even better time in the next year. Let's have a look at what I did and where I went.

January.9th. Day walk around Spurn Point. 8 miles.
21st Local walk. 7 miles.
26th - 28th Three day hostel walks in Edale. 29 miles.
20th - 23rd Four day hostel trip to Liverpool.
5th Day walk Lincolnshire Wolds. 7 miles.
14th - 17th Four day hostel walks in Windermere. 43 miles.
28th - 31st Four day hostel walks in South Lincolnshire. 65 miles.
11th - 23rd Holiday in Scotland.
11th - 13th Camping and hostel in Blackpool and Yorkshire. 30 miles.
15th Local walk 13 miles.
23rd - 30th Walk from Blackpool to Humber Bridge. 137 miles.
12th Local walk 10 miles.
15th. Hull to Humber Bridge 11 miles.
16th Local walk 12 miles
17th Misterton day walk 14 miles.
18th Local walk 10 miles.
2nd - 4th Camping in Derbyshire 25 miles.
9th Day walk in N E Lincolnshire 13 miles.
19th - 25th walk Burton to Burton 119 miles
8th - 10th three day hostel walk in derbyshire 28 miles.
27th Local walk 10 miles.
29th - 1st Dec three day hostel walk in derbyshire 28 miles
10th Local walk 14 miles.
23rd - 28th Holiday in Hampshire and Oxford.

I make that a total of 634 miles, but added to the trips where I didn't record the miles, and all the dog walking, and walks to and from town, I reckon it might be nearer 1000 miles. Next year I would like to do more :o)

My other activities which keep me busy are blogging, litter picking, watering friends garden, delivering newsletters, dog walking, giving lifts to friends, fund raising for cat rescue, foraging in the supermarkets and shops for the cheapest food, craft work (sewing crochet etc), visiting family, growing veg, and reading.

How many blank days do I have on my calendar for the year? Days when I didn't have anything arranged, no appointments, no nothing.
Jan = 11. Feb = 9. Mar = 10. Apr = 8. May = 8. June = 12. July = 3. Aug = 6. Sept = 11. Oct = 13. Nov = 18. Dec = 18.
Total of 127 days, that's far too many, I need to get out more, ha ha.

After all this deliberating what do these figures tell me? What plans do I need to put in place for next year, and what resolutions should I be making? Well, I think the answer is, get off my backside and do more of everything, because the longer you sit around procrastinating the more time you waste when you could be doing something usefull. So, starting tomorrow I will give myself jobs to do to fill the gaps, and write it all down on the calendar, so there are no gaps at all in a years time. My goodness, aren't I a genious to think of that :o)

Happy New Year to all my bloggy friends.


  1. There are several park and rides around Cambridge which you could use. The National express buses go into some of them so people often park there for a couple of days!

  2. Ilona, I think you are wonderful, full of optimism and energy.
    You mention that you were a tad jealous of my crafty goings on, well let me say that I am more than a tad jealous of your energy.
    It has been a good year browsing the blogs, I think we could do a lot worse, and the inspiration we get from them is worth its weight in gold.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and all the kitties, at home and in the cattery.

  3. Happy New Year, Ilona. Apart from all your other plans I'm sure you will continue to be a source of encouragement for many people on their frugal journey. Thank you for all the good advice I've gleaned from your site in 2011 and here's to more of the same in 2012.

  4. Happy New Year! ... :0)

  5. Happy New Year Ilona, I do hope it's a good one for us all. Thanks to you I have started walking and eating more healthily, you inspire me so much!

  6. Have a wonderful 2012, Ilona and thanks for some laughs this past year. It has been fun reading your blog.

  7. Happy New Year..may all the homless kitties find homes....and may your travels bring you joy.
    Jane x

  8. Cambridge is alright if you stick to the nice bits. I used to live in Ely. Have a brilliant 2012, hope to see lots of great blog posts from you. I doubt there will be many interesting posts from me :p

  9. Happy New Year Ilona, and thank you for a great year of blogging. You are an inspiration with your energy and positive thinking!

    Cambridge is wonderful when the spring flowers are in bloom along the Backs, behind the colleges and near to the river. I remember carpets of deep blue scilla everywhere. If you enjoy museums, the Fitzwilliam is well worth a visit.

  10. A very happy new year Ilona. Wishing you good health and a sturdy pair of boots. Sally

  11. A happy and healthy new year wish to you Ilona :0) hope we can maybe meet up again sometime this year. You truly are an inspiration!

  12. Dear Ilona, I wish you a very happy New Year and look forward to reading more of your writing. I wish I had just a quarter of your energy!

  13. Hi Ilona,
    I used to live in and around Cambridge (for about 55 years) so I know it quite well. If you want any advise let me know. Where is the Youth Hostel? The cost of parking in Cambridge is horrendous but I may be able to tell you the cheapest places.

  14. I would love to know some of the books you're reading.

    Have a great 2012!!

  15. Happy 2012 Ilona! You've been such an inspiration to me in so many ways...I've been piddling away at being frugal but this is my year to shine and save...another thing is to sell more on ebay to earn $ for the local animal shelter...May all the joy you give to your readers come back to you in spades!!!

  16. Thank you very much for all your good wishes. kelley, stop piddling and get a grip your finances by the short and curlies, and don't let go till you're in a better place.

    Jane, I don't very often write about the books I read because I can't imagine anyone being interested. Now I know you are I will do better.

    Hi Sairy. The hostel is at 97 Tenison Road. Park and Ride, that's a good idea, thanks knattyknitter.

    Hi Kate, It would be great if we get chance to meet up again in 2012. You never know, our paths might cross one day.

  17. Lovely pics.


  18. Happy New Year!

    (I've been reading all your blog posts but haven't had time to comment)


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