Coronavirus really did a number on my challenges this year. I was making good progress on markets – only 7 to go out of 30. I’m pretty sure I’d have made it if we hadn’t gone into lockdown. I was behind on the health challenge. In my head, I was hoping for a late flurry of activity that coronavirus ruined, but deep down I know I was too far off to finish it. Soup I managed to finish before the close.

I’m going to give myself a 3 month extension on finishing the markets, to make up for the 3 months indoors. Hopefully feasible, but we’ll see.

Regardless, we’re now way past June and I should really have started on this year’s challenges too.

Because everything is still semi-shut (I know I know some might say half-open) I’ve been more reclusive with my choices this year – as I’m not sure how much we’ll want to be out and about. But they should still be fun and will give me a focus for trying new things, even if they’re more home-based than usual.

31 Online Events
When lockdown happened, Soph and I signed up to a few zoom experiences and really enjoyed ourselves. Providing this sort of thing continues, I want to do 31 this year. I’m going to be consciously quite loose in how I define the parameters here, as things keep evolving and changing. But essentially, accessing some element of culture from the comfort of your own home, that was previously reserved for those going out. From bar zooms to ballet, evening classes to lectures.

31 Bread Bakes
When sourdough mania hit in March, I’m afraid to say I was one of those brandishing their banneton basket. I’ve made quite a few decent loaves since then but have stuck to a relatively standard formula. So, this year I aim to branch out beyond Gellatly’s sourdough recipe and try some different bread bakes instead.

31 Albums from 2020 / 2021
Something funny happened over the last two or three years. I stopped listening to albums. And I stopped listening to new music too. Both were unintentional – a product of having no time to sit and listen to something from beginning to end, and also the bitesize listening that a platform like spotify encourage. But it’s disheartening, nonetheless. So I’m going to listen to 31 albums released in 2020 and 2021 – from start to finish.

Num: #25
Type: Mushroom Soup with truffle
Brand: Daylesford
Score: 1/5


Num: #26
Type: Rocket and Pea Soup
Brand: Daylesford
Score: 4/5


Num: #27
Type: Brocolli, Pea and basil
Brand: Souplogie
Score: 3/5


Num: #28
Type: Spicy Corn Chowder
Brand: Daylesford
Score: 5/5


Num: #29
Type: Warming Parsnip Pilaf
Brand: Glorious
Score: 2/5


Num: #30
Type: Chicken Minestrone
Brand: Daylesford
Score: 5/5


Thoughts on 2019
The Big Stuff:
The first half of the year felt rhythmic and easy. Arrival of sprog 2 threw us back into disorder. We’ve hardly slept since. Travel with work ramped up towards the end of the year too, putting extra strain on everything and everyone. Less time for side projects. Less time for anything really.

The Small Stuff:
We managed a few nights out together prior to little one’s arrival. Tim Key at Union Chapel. Alessandra Ferri at the ROH. Rudloe Arms. But that (and squash) have taken a temporary hiatus until both kids are sleeping properly. There was a fair bit of anxiety in hospital waiting rooms at the start of the year. Lots of Only Connect and hastily eaten suppers towards the end. Lol’s speedy hair growth. My sustained hair loss. Ave’s smiles. Full on tantrums (not just the kids…) Lol’s art. Dry crackers. Dry Weetabix (‘bix). A lot of “Bear” (Jungle book), “Peppa Pancake ceiling”, “Peppa Daddy Painting”, “Snail Whale”. An eventful, exhausting but enjoyable year.

In pictures:


Quote for the year: “How did you sleep?”

Books read: 27
Best three books:


Number of photos taken: 12,011
Number of songs starred on Spotify: 93

Most listened to track: The Bare Necessities – Phil Harris, Bruce Reitherman
Series watched: Living With Yourself, Inside Bill’s Brain, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Fresh Meat, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, James Acaster: Repertoire, 7 Days Out, Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, After life, This Time with Alan Partridge, Peppa Pig, Luther, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Album of the year: The Randy Newman Songbook
Film of the year: McQueen

Pub quizzes partaken: 0
Pub quizzes won: 0
Trips to the doctor: 2
Trips to the dentist: 1
Trips to the vet: 3

Museums visited:

New Year’s Resolutions:
No coffee or alcohol during January. Complete Central St Martins Product Design course. Go through David Hieatt’s brand course. Start some sort of hobby course too. Lean into Monthly design projects. Pick up morning pages again. Visit Stonehenge.

Number: #19
Name: Essex Street Market, NY
Trade: Food and drink
Visit date: 23.11.19
With: –
Bought: –


Number: #20
Name: Union Square Holiday Market, NY
Trade: Christmas
Visit date: 24.11.19
With: –
Bought: Bitters Selection


Number: #21
Name: Winter Brooklyn Flea, NY
Trade: Vintage and food
Visit date: 24.11.19
With: –
Bought: –


Number: #22
Name: Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market, Winchester
Trade: Christmas
Visit date: 21.12.19
With: Mum, Dad, Dunc, Soph, Laurel, Ave
Bought: –


Num: #18
Type: Celeriac and White bean
Brand: Soho House
Score: 3/5


Num: #19
Type: French Onion soup
Brand: Brasserie Zedel
Score: 5/5


Num: #20
Type: Rustic Vegetable Broth
Brand: Yorkshire Provender
Score: 3/5


Num: #21
Type: Hearth Minestrone
Brand: Brodo
Score: 4/5