Hello, hello and welcome to the first 'Month in Numbers' of 2015!
Unbelievably this is the start of my 6th year ... and the 61st time I'll have shared my vital monthly statistics!
But, if you're new to this numbery way of doing things then stick around and don't panic ... there's absolutely no long division involved and algebra doesn't even get a look in. And there's plenty of help and inspiration available for any numerical newbies:
- read the Month in Numbers tutorial I created - it's full of ideas on how and why you might find this a fun thing to do!
- read a few of my old Month in Numbers posts - you'll quickly see that there's no one single way to do it, no one type of thing to document .... absolutely anything goes!
- read through posts by the other members of the Month in Numbers community - to do this just visit the Month in Numbers Pinterest board where I store everyone's contributions, then click through the various images to be directed back to the original posts. There are as many different approaches to it as their are people playing along ... and your unique contribution will be just as welcome!
And, like I say ... it's not all about counting .. because sometimes you can't ...
Countless = the number of times this month I've heard people say they hate January.
- They say this as they're taking down the Christmas decorations.
- They say it as they prepare to put down the chocolates and the remote control that have been glued to their hand for the previous fortnight and head back to the world of work.
- They say it during a snowstorm in the 5 minutes of daylight we get during these post-festive days.
- They say 'I wish I could go to sleep and wake up in the spring'.
- They say 'nothing ever happens.' ...
Every time = how often that - after someone says 'Nothing happens in January" - I want to reply [maybe while stamping my foot a little]: "What about my birthday?!"
And, as many of you will know, when you have a birthday during one of the darkest, coldest, most deflated months of the year you really do have to hold on to all the festive feeling you can and enjoy your birthday month ... even if no one else does.
And you have to be one of the few people who's left the sanctuary of their cosy home on a snowy day to go somewhere lovely for lunch. [Top tip: January afternoons aren't exactly packed out!]
3 courses = the meal I enjoyed at the restaurant I've visited on my birthday for 2 years in a row.
Robineau Patisserie [nr Darlington / N.E England] is absolutely my favourite place to eat. Not only is the food completely amazing ... it's only open during the day [apart from the occasional theme night] and, as I'm really not a night bird ... a visit there makes for a lovely long relaxed afternoon eating and talking ... and eating. Then we can go home and get cosy in front of the TV on the evening. A party girl I'm not. But I do like my food ...
I did some party-hosting of my own this month [again, yes, on an afternoon] where this was my table ...
30 = sheets of paper to make a table-runner
I saw the general idea on Pinterest ages ago and, as goodness knows I have plenty of old books to tear pages from, I decided to take that from inspiration into reality.
Someone did, however, find a diagram of the intestines on their napkin ring ... but that merely seemed an appropriate thing to contemplate when sitting down for a meal ...
8 = the number of days after 'real' Christmas that my friends and I celebrated our traditional fake Christmas. [I've written lots more about fake-Christmasses-past here].
10 shelves / surfaces / drawers = the areas, so far, I've tackled, sifted through and sorted, in what could be the start of some Spring cleaning. [But, hey, let's not go too crazy just yet. I may have peaked already!]
4 = charity bags filled with the results of my January-tidying-spurt.
And of course ... because I've been so organised ... and created some space by getting rid of a load of old tat ... that means I get to go shopping to fill up the gaps. Right?
£1 each = how much I paid for two old flower arranging frogs:
And if you're not sure what it was I planned to do with them then this should explain:
49p = how much I paid for this splendid stationery set in [a different]charity shop:
£3.00 = the price of this wonderful vintage duvet cover [from a 3rd charity shop ... my back was aching by the time we got back to the car with this little haul plus the 4 books we bought for 99p!]:
4 = the number of books I read. 2 fiction. 2 non-fiction. But I won't go into all the details right now as I'm planning to list them in a new reading-related regular feature I'm planning. I'll try to get that started next week sometime.
1 = how many foxes I spotted, strolling casual-as-you-like along the main road past the steel works.
It was broad daylight, shortly after 10am, and it didn't look anxious or concerned to be out and about and exposed like that. It made me wonder if it had just got off a shift ...
And finally ... if you'll allow me to move seamlessly from a vulpine tale to a lupine one ...
2 = the number of episodes of the BBC's adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall that I've watched ... and revelled in.
If you're a long time Month in Numbers reader then I'll have bored you in 2010 with my progress through the 674 page Wolf Hall novel ... and then again, in 2012 with the 411 page sequel Bring Up the Bodies. And now it's happening all over again with the TV drama! [And after that, at some point, there'll be the final book of Mantel's trilogy ... so don't say you weren't warned!]
I was uncertain about what to expect from the adaptation. For one thing... they've made just 6 hours of drama from over 1000 pages of source material. And for another - I wondered how you could externalise all the necessary action when so much of the feel of the book comes from viewing everything from Thomas Cromwell's perspective; so much so that, while I was reading it I described the feeling as if I was behind his eyes. That I was living there, in Tudor England, rather than just reading about it.
But, fortunately, it's such a sensitive production that they've somehow managed to keep the same atmosphere. Of course there are things missing, time is condensed, events don't unfold quite how they do over the vast expanse of the novel ... but the first episode felt like a visual skim read, a flick-book, a speeded up visual representation of the source material; it may have omitted some of the finer details, but it managed to stay faithful to the essence of the story and characters.
In fact, few minutes into the first episode, when I still didn't know if I was going to love it or not, I turned to James and said 'I hope they do the scenes with the angel wings' [Long story. Literally!]. But really ... what were the chances that - amongst all those scenes, in all those hundreds of pages - they'd have included the fleeting moment that I specifically wanted to see depicted? It was a hope against hope ...
But then ... a few minutes later, Thomas Cromwell's little daughter came into the room wearing her wings made of feathers! And the programme makers found themselves a loyal fan.
So ... that was my January: a wolf, a fox, 2 frogs, lovely food, good company, new gifts, vintage treasures and some appropriate out with the old ... and in with the new.
Now how about yours? Which statistics shaped your month? The temperature? The depth of the snow? The Christmas decorations you realised where still on display after you thought you'd packed everything away?
As always you're welcome to join me with your own memory keeping-by-numbers.
- Why not share a few with your blog readers, your Facebook friends, Twitter or Instagram followers? #Monthinnumbers
- If your post is 'pin-able' I'll save it to the Month in Numbers board, that way other members of the community can drop by, browse the posts, and then swing by your virtual home for a visit!
- And don't forget to say hello to me too when you drop back here with your link.