Thursday 31 January 2013

My Month in Numbers 2013: January

Hello you.

Let's leap straight in and start with a number: the number 4.

Today marks the 4th consecutive January I've summarised with stories and statistics here on my blog ... and so begins my 4th year of My Month in Numbers.

And now it's a habit. A ritual. A reliable, searchable, online journal which I can refer to when I want to reminisce or remember the date of a specific event. Because this journal has documented - using numbers as a starting point -  many of my notable moments be they big, small, happy, funny, strange. In fact, it's better when they're strange.

Knowing that, month in month out, I'll have to find something to fill the next Month in Numbers post has made me take notice many of the smaller pieces which go towards making up the jigsaw of a month.

And in doing so I've recorded so many small, ordinary and out-of-the-ordinary events, incidents and everyday oddities over the last 3 years of counting that would otherwise have been diluted by the flow of daily life and lost.

 And, while my monthly jigsaw may be a strange shape at times ... but there's no doubting that it certainly has colour!

And so ... if you're joining in for the 1st time today, perhaps inspired by the lure of a fresh new year, or for the 10th time or more ... then welcome, welcome, welcome. What say we make a start on our '2013' jigsaws right now?

Here's how my first few pieces have dropped into place ...

11 = the number of days after Christmas I gave and received gifts from friends. This was fun. It gave us enough time to recover from the initial official round of receiving to catch our breaths and to start to feel like another gift round about now would be just the job. And it was.

And then the gifts kept on coming ...

16= the number of days after Christmas I received a lost Christmas gift from my parents. And, believe it or not, the gift was ... appropriately ... a roll of number-design sticky tape!
Here's how the lost gift was found:

Location: Mam and I were wandering around our local art gallery gift shop ...
  • Me [holding up a roll of number-design tape]: 'I love this'
  • Mam: 'I know you do. That's why I bought you one'.
  • Me: 'You didn't. I haven't got any.'
  • Mam [confused and concerned for the sanity of at least one of us]: 'I did! I knew you liked it from the last time we were here so I came back and got it. Ask your sister, she was with me.'
  • Me [emphatic]: I don't need to ask Jo. 'I believe you!!  But I definitely didn't get it'.
  • Both of us: 'I wonder who it was who sat there on Christmas morning wondering why on earth someone had randomly bought them sticky tape!'
Cut to 36 hours later. My parents' house:
  • Mam [walking down stairs clutching a small, distinctly roll-shaped gift-wrapped bundle]: 'I can't understand it. It was on the floor where all the presents had been. It wasn't even hidden. Just sat there, all on it's own.'
  • Me [tearing at the wrapping paper]: 'Thank you! I wonder what it could be ....'
And still the gifts kept on coming ...

17 = the number of days after Christmas I received birthday gifts. Mainly because it was my birthday ...

Do you remember last month's Month in Numbers where I detailed how I was going to be spending much of 2013 drinking Root Beer and filling out puzzles? [Visit December 2012 for an explanation]. Well, you now need to picture the same scene but with the addition of crisps, because ...

30 = the number of packets of Monster Munch crisps inside the wholesale bulk box I received as a birthday present:
Writing all this down [puzzles, fizzy drinks, crisps] I'm keenly aware that you're in danger of thinking of me as an uncultured 13 year old ... and I can't have that! So ... for balance ... I feel an urgent need to tell you that I also spend my leisure time watching subtitled foreign dramas while drinking Sauvignon Blanc.


I feel better now.

3 = the number of library books read:
  1. The Girl With the Glass Feet by Ali Shaw - this one really is a case of 'it does what it says on the tin'. It's about a girl. With glass feet. As you might have guessed by that it's not a true story ... but rather one from the magical realism genre [I can only ever really read fantasy when it's sprinkled on top of reality!]
  2. The English Monster by Lloyd Shepherd. I really enjoyed this. It was everything that Ripper Street [BBC1s new unappealing and slightly objectionable drama] could have been. With history, more magical realsim and some Sherlock Holmesian touches thrown in. A great read.
  3. And Astray by Emma Donaghue. Which I admit, I only partly read. Based on snippets of true-life these short stories felt a little more gritty than what I'm looking for in my fiction at the moment.
£10 = the bargainous sale price of the russet cord jacket I bought using some birthday money:
Here I am in it before going out for a birthday meal wearing - top to toe - an outfit which didn't cost me a thing. Every item was either a recent Christmas or birthday gift!

Now let's move on to accessories ...

2 = the number of bowler hats played and posed with just after midnight at New Year:
Who knew bowler hats were like buses? You never see one and then two arrive at once!

And one of them was even donated to James as a gift and so it came back home with us.

A bowler hat that is. Not a bus.

Now let's move from hats ... to scarves ....

2 = the number of grey zebra scarves I now own:
A few weeks before my birthday a friend saw me wearing the one on the left and smiled knowingly stating: 'You might find you've got another one of those'.

Turns out she'd bought + wrapped the one on the right for me without realising I already had one. However ...

... upon closer inspection ...

I realised that the new one is a completely different shade of grey so, you know, it's actually an essential part of my grey zebra scarf wardrobe. And a girl can't have too many zebra scarves!

And yes ... it's already been pointed out that there are 48 shades of grey left to go before I've got a full set ...! ;-)


OK then, those were mine. How about yours?

If you want more details plus tips on how to join in if you haven't already - those things can be found here.

And ... if you're just happy to read my vital statistics for January 2013 then that's grand too!

But .. if you do want to join in ... and you'd like for me to pin your post to the Month in Numbers Pinterest board [currently followed by 535 people] then ...

Here are the usual notes to consider:
If you write a Month in Numbers post of your own and want to leave a link for myself and others to come and visit [then please bear in mind it's more fun if it's a shared experience.
  • When you swing by my blog to drop off your link then please leave a comment for me while you're there. Not because I'm needy ... but because it feels fair. Reciprocal.
  • Please link to my blog in your post. As much as I'd like to think that everyone who reads your blog already knows what 'My Month in Numbers' means... the truth is, they don't. So unless you explain where the idea comes from and how your readers can join you in doing the same next month, they are none the wiser.
  • Please take time at some point in the month to visit and comment on a few of the other posts too.
But most importantly ... remember to tell the story of your month ... in your words ... for you! And in 12 months' time let's compare notes on what a year it's been!

Right then, I'm going to go and get comfortable with a nice chilled glass of root beer and a packet of Monster Munch and settle down to read what you've all been counting  ...

Julie :-)


  1. I love seeing these and SOMEDAY will join in the fun. I can't believe January is all but over!!!

  2. Loving reading all your numbers as always Julie x I have a "thing" for fox scarves at the mo:)
    I'm just starting my 2nd year of MINx

  3. Loving your monthly numbers and I will be along in a day or so with mine. Fab zebra scarves - I have a blue one with pink zebras on but I think the grey ones are prettier. And talking of scarves I wore the lovely one that I won last year on your blog - it was the perfect addition to my tropical outfit on the Caribbean themed night as it matched my sundress perfectly but a huge fail on my part, I didn't get Mr P to take a photograph :(

  4. The fourth January? Now that's a lot of counting! Wow.

    If you like Monster Munch I'll have to see if I can get hold of a new snack which is becoming popular round here. From a local factory, they're called - Titanic snacks

  5. trying to join in this year as I love reading your posts, the scarves are gorgeous.

  6. I am so happy that you keeping with this tradition! And it sounds like you've been spoiled all month:) Loving the jacket BTW! I am back playing along too:

    Happy February!

  7. I love reading your month in numbers and decided this was as good a month as any to start. Thanks for inspiration. :)

  8. My month in numbers is up and running :)

  9. Now that sounds like such a happy month, full of lovely, edible and wearable things :). I love that photo of you in your jacket!

  10. Nom. Roast beef Monster Munch are the BEST flavour Monster Munch! I remember the year I bought Craig a whole box of Cadbury creme eggs for Valentines day I think it was. He couldn't believe it... Neither could the Co-Op cashier who had to stand counting them at the till :-) He often hints that he could quite easily eat another box!

  11. P.s what is that you are wearing in the bowler hat piccy? Is it a vest? 'Tis very pretty.

  12. Happy "My Month in Numbers" anniversary!
    Love your dressing style. :) Great gifts stories.
    I don´t have a Pinterest account (I know! *shocking*) and follow you on FB and GoogleReader.
    Here are my January numbers:

  13. Great numbers. You know, I don;t think clothes or accessories have ever figured in my M in N. Sounds like something worth counting in Feb!
    Here are my Jan vital stats, recorded in my Smash book again.

  14. a month of giving and receiving - how lovely. great to read your numbers Julie.

    i never got around to blogging my numbers during the latter part of 2012. This year i'd like to dip in and out if that's okay, using your numbers for occasions i think!
    my numbers this month are:

  15. Yay, managed to join in at last! :) Here's my first ever MIN post:

    Love your zebra scarves. Sadly I'm 50 away from a full set...

    I love belated Christmas pressies :) (I particularly love that belated Christmas pressie, v fun! Want some!!)

  16. I love the bowler hats and the zebra scarf (although I am a bit in love with the jumper (?) underneath)

    Heres a link to my month:

  17. When I saw the Mega Monster Munch graphic I thought of bubble gum...then I saw roast beef flavored!!...then I felt nauseous...until I saw they were chips :) Participating for the first time mine will post on Monday the 4th.

  18. great jacket and hats are always fun, love reading yoru round up each month and the growing community. Mine is posted here

  19. What a great month of numbers you have. It is always strange seeing posts with winter stuff in it as we are in the middle of summer. My post is two months in one. December and January.

  20. Finally got round to posting my numbers -

    Karen x

  21. Hi Julie! Love that roll of tape, so perfect for month in numbers!

    I am planning to participate this year, my link is below :)

  22. Looks like you had a very good month, lots of pressies :). So funny that your friend bought you a scarf like you already had, shows that she knows you well.

    It's been a while since I joined in but have put together a little something for January.

  23. Ooh loving the bowler hats.
    I'm linking up this month

  24. Your lost present of number tape really made me giggle! Love the bargain jacket too. I have a book detailed in my post this month that might interest you ;-) Sorry I'm a bit late again - I seem to be in a different time zone to everyone else atm! Anyway here are my numbers...

  25. Love the mystery of the lost number tape! Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your number-crunching!

    I have fallen off the dice and not been counting properly for a while. I'll be back when 2012 is finished IYKWIM!


Thanks for leaving me a comment, asking me a question, sharing your own story or just randomly saying hello.