New Year 2016 

Happy New Year to all you lovely people out there!  I have been thinking hard about what my New Year’s resolutions should be this year. I usually make some vague resolutions in a dizzy haze of champagne at 11:55 on the 31st and then never stick to anything I’ve said. In fact I was trying to remember my resolutions for 2015 and I don’t even have a vague recollection, clearly I must have achieved them all very early in the year! 

So, for this year I wanted to choose something achievable and realistic, that I actually want to do, instead of signing up to the gym and never setting foot in the place after the 2nd of January. Here go my “resolutions” for 2016. 

Read more 

Miss W used to work in a bookshop and now works in the publishing industry, so I have regular (free!!!!) access to all the latest books and early reading proof copies, so I am constantly getting new books, so much so that I could probably run a book stall out of my living room. However, I am finding that this amazing access to books is making me slightly blasé and I dip in and out of loads of books and never really read or finish anything. I have lost that lovely feeling of being completely absorbed and envelopped by a book and sticking to it for however long it takes to finish it. Over the Christmas holidays I have managed to finish one full book! I read In the Skin of a Jihadist by Anna Ernelle, a French journalist who infiltrated ISIS’ recruitment networks and impersonated a young impressionable convert to Islam who wanted to go to Syria and become a jihadi bride. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about online jihadi recruitment. So my resolution is to attempt to complete books. I also want to keep a list of all the books I read in 2016. I bought a nifty little “all the books I’ve read” notebook so now is probably a good time to put it into action. 

Travel 

Obviously travel is a huge part of my life and I hopefully will always travel a lot, but in 2016 I would like to discover new areas that I have never been to. One place that is on my list that I have already booked for 2016 is Rome. I have been to Italy several times, but have never been to Rome. All of 2015 I attempted to go but it just never happened. Now finally I am going. My main activity in Rome is going to be sitting in cafes in a sun drenched ancient square wearing an impossibly chic outfit, peering out at bronzed Italians from under my pamela hat while they say ciao bella and I sip my cappuccino, ah, and of course there will be opera playing in the background… 

Other countries or places on my list for 2016 are: Mexico, Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Philippines, Iran, Corsica, Iceland, Stockholm and a return trip to the Greek islands. 

I hope I can go to all of these places but it might be a case where I have to pick… Miss W hates making choices so it’ll be   tough. 

French 

I have always kind of spoken French because of spending so much time in France with my family, I also studied it at school to A-level and also a bit at Uni. I now have a pretty good level but I want to improve my accent. An awfully kind French soul once told me I had an accent à couper au couteau, which literally means my accent is so thick you can cut it with a knife… (Miss W would like to dedicate a hearty ta gueule (shut your mouth) to the Gaul who inspired my resolution!) So, yeah, I want to keep speaking, reading and learning more French, despite my très British accent. 

Health 

Miss W has had a bit of a bumpy ride in 2015 health-wise, she felt sick pretty much since August until she had an operation in November. Finally doctors found the cause of the pain and nausea and removed the dirty little critter, and Miss W has been given a clean bill of health, thankfully! Miss W was brought up mostly vegetarian and has always dabbled in the dark arts of natural medicine and healthy eating, long before hipsters in East London started drinking green smoothies and using spiralisers. This is not to say that Miss W doesn’t like chocolate and cheese and all things naughty, she absolutely does, but I am craving that healthy light feeling that comes from eating raw fruit and vegetables, the freshness of nature. So, in 2016, Miss W will at least attempt to be a bit healthier. 

Creative living 

Like I wrote in the post about Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic, I would like to continue doing creative things in my spare time. Painting, ceramics, knitting, sewing, whatever it is… I also want to write more regularly… Since I graduated I stopped writing as I was so tired of having to write on demand (dissertations are like hitmen for creativity) but in 2016 I plan to get back to it. I also want to keep being inspired by new things around me, exhibitions, films, books, concerts, people, places… 

So, there you go, that’s Miss W’s plan for 2016. What are you planning? Pray do share all your fun new plans. 

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