Thursday 30 December 2010

My Month in Numbers: December

Hello and Happy New Year!

We've spent the afternoon taking down the decorations and de-Christmassyfying the house. All the angels and Santas have now all been replaced with blackbirds and robins and finches .. in the form of all the new bird ornaments and pictures I received. The furniture has even been polished for the second time in a month which means that I'm in need of a rest ... and the furniture may need time to recover from the shock too ...

So now's an ideal time to sit and put last month to bed and with it
a whole year of rounding up my month and then blogging it in numbers! So allow me to begin with a typically English way, with the weather ...

Minus 8, 9, 10, 11 etc = the kind of temperatures we had here, during the day, in the weeks before Christmas:

When I went out to take this photo I actually had to scrape away the frost on the plastic before I could read the figures, by which time I'd already guessed that it was going to be quite chilly!

1 degree = the kind of temperatures we've had this week. Isn't that a bit of a leap? No wonder we English never quite get tired of discussing the vagaries of the weather. I mean, I spent the whole of Wednesday pottering about at home inside without a cardigan on ... which may not be an especially scientific gauge of the climate but let me tell you ... that's been impossible over the last few weeks!

2 = the number of times the temperature plummetted so low that our water pipes froze overnight leaving us with only one, cold, tap downstairs working. Luckily they thawed before they burst and the worst we had to contend with was a morning without a flushing toilet:

Well, when I say 'we had to contend with' I actually mean 'me' as James left the scene of the great freeze and went to work departing with the comforting words:

"If anything bursts we might have to rip the bathroom walls out and ... if you're going to go to the toilet today you'll have to use a bucket to flush it away".

If I had to choose ... my favourite part of that lovely scenario he painted for me was the word 'if'. 'If you go to the toilet today'. 'If'. Not 'when'. But 'if'!!!!

If that was the case there'd be other pipes in danger of bursting ... that's all I'm saying ...

3 = the number of mice we've spotted feasting on a ciabatta I left out for the birds. Here's one of them [the others look pretty much the same!]:

They're just so cute and several times I've even squealed the slightly obvious phrase: "Awww look, it looks just like a mouse".

But you know what I mean don't you? It's just such a mouse-y looking mouse. Like a storybook mouse ... in fact at one point there were the mice feeding - plus starlings, sparrows a blackbird and a robin - all piled in together in our tiny garden it reminded me of this scene from Enchanted!

33cm + 1/2 pint = the circumference and volume of my new mug which, if I'm ever left unattended, I could be in danger of drowning in:

Well, either I'll drown or I'll overdose on tea with just one cuppa.

But I do like a big mug, preferably straight sided and definitely one I can get more than a dainty little finger through the handle. As you can see from the photo I can fit my whole hand through this one ... plus it's got a cute sparrow on it so ... it ranks up there with the best of mugs in my opinion. [There available
here from SurfacePhilia if you like it as much as I do ... especially you Effie - I know how you like to start the day with a gallon of tea too].

6 = the number of [humongous] pizzas eaten with friends this month:

Any papercrafters reading will know that, unlike the rest of the population, when we order something which comes delivered in a pizza box ... it's not usually as edible is it?

£15 = the price paid for my bargain silk Christmas Day frock:

Except ... it's not silk. It felt like silk when I noticed it in a pre-Christmas sale, but between carrying a million shopping bags and getting a lift home in a matter of minutes, I had neither the time or inclination to try it on. Don't get me wrong, I love it despite it not being silk. I just thought I'd bagged a true bargain.

Do you know what tipped me off that it wasn't silk after all? The amount of static it created when I finally did get around to trying it on! Natural fibres tend not to crackle and make your hair dance do they?

Approx 25 = the number of handmade gift tags I made and tied to gifts:

Lots = the amount of wonderful gifts recieved in return. Some of which will no doubt feature here soon, starting with ...

120 miles / 3 hour round trip = the secret journey James made to fetch me a blackbird:

No, it's not real. But it does look spookily life-like doesn't it? I'd seen it - and fallen for it - in a gallery in Corbridge we'd visited in September and unbeknowns to me James had phoned the shop, asked the to reserve it for him and took an afternoon off work to go and collect it for me last month.

And yes, unlike Mr.Blackbird, James is real. And fabulous.

I'll just sit back now and count the number of times someone mistakes the ornament for a real bird and screams when they spot Mr. Blackbird on our hearth!

Well then, that's enough numbers for one day, except to suggest maybe this year you join me in collecting and sharing some monthly statistics of your own. You wouldn't regret it!

Never in my life have I managed to keep a regular diary beyond January ... and yet look!! here I am a full 12 'Month in Numbers' posts later with a whole year of figures to look back on ... plus the stories behind each of them, the memories they bring back and everything that all of that means to me!

Thanks for dropping in on me in 2010 I always appreciate your company. Here's to a wonderful 2011.

Julie x


  1. Happy new year to you too!
    Thank you for a wonderful year with inspiring and witty posts.
    I'm going to try and do my year in numbers too - not sure how many I'll get up to though!
    x x x

  2. love the blackbird and the mug, and your outfit in the pic with the mug is fab! Happy New Year x

  3. Happy 2011, love the bonny birdie. Now that is a mug and a half, just the thing for crop.

  4. Happy and Inspirational New Year Greetings to you and yours Julie....a pleasure to know you and i thought the blackbird WAS real !!

  5. Happy New year lovely Julie, wishing you a year filled with many multiples for the monthly number crunching :) I think I may join you this year

  6. Oh I love and adore this post in equal measure of being green with envy at your black bird. What an absolutely truly amazing and unique present.

    I'm with you - I drink gallons and gallons of tea a day - I go through a large box of tea bags a week much to OH's disgust. But as I've told him - there are worse addictions I could have ;)


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