Happy New Year 2014 & Five Resolutions

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This year we ARE sitting in front of a roaring fire in the renovated upstairs fireplace, unlike last year when we decided not to herald in the New Year until the renovation was finished. We finally lit our first fire on February 28 only to the discover it smoked. The problem was eventually solved in March when the roofer  opened up the top of the chimney. By then it seemed a little late to welcome in the New Year.

Celebrating New Year in front of the renovated fireplace
Celebrating New Year in front of the renovated fireplace on 31st December 2013

Having just reread my resolutions, plans and expectations for 2012, I see that I have failed miserably with the first, which was NO MORE RENOVATION until we move here permantly. Yes, well, I haven’t mentioned it because it isn’t finished (ha! ha!) but Jean Michel is making an upstairs kitchen because once we got the fire going in October, we decided it would be cool – or should I say warm – to have breakfast and apéritifs dinatoires in the upstairs living room.

The S-bend in the Wachau in Austria
The S-bend in the Wachau in Austria

I’ve done better with the second resolution to travel more in Europe. We loved Barcelona and our cycling trip along the Danube in the summer which included Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Switzerland, was undoubtedly my best holiday ever. We also unexpectedly went to Sofia and Plovdiv (which reminds me I still have a post to write …).

My third resolution was to go back to fitter occupations and lose the 3 or 4 kilos I’d gained. No problem about that one – our 1,100 kilometers of cycling along the Danube plus all the other shorter cycling holidays have certainly made me fitter. Discovering the 5:2 fast diet is now a way of life. I lost the extra kilos and am now able to enjoy foods I thought I had banished forever.

An Aussie in France on Berges de Seine which opened in summer 2013
An Aussie in France on Berges de Seine which opened in summer 2013

I’m not sure about my fourth resolution of getting out and about in Paris more. I certainly did during the summer months particularly on the banks of the Seine, but as the days get shorter, so does my resolve. I do have the excuse of being in Blois a lot during the winter!

The last resolution was to make the most of my iPhone camera particularly at night. I did learn to do fashion shoots when Black Cat was setting up her sewing blog and I created a second photo blog, Blois Daily Photo, in July but I haven’t made any progress with night photography so I can put that back on the list!

Lilac time at Closerie Falaiseau
Lilac time at Closerie Falaiseau

My first resolution for 2014 is to have a maximum number of holiday bookings for Closerie Falaiseau between 1st April and 30th September. We rented for a total of 19 weeks in 2013 so are not far off our goal. All our guests were lovely and gave us wonderful reviews. One extremely nice American couple came back again and have already booked for 2014.

The second resolution is a bit tougher. I’d like to diversify into some sort of tourist-related activity in Blois but it still needs a lot of defining and requires more energy than I seem to have at the moment. Maybe along the lines of the THATlou treasure hunt, walking tours, visits to châteaux, mushroom picking, organisation of short stays in the Loire Valley …

Château de Chenonceau from the cycle path
Château de Chenonceau from the cycle path

Another long cycling holiday is my third resolution so we’ve started looking at the map. Perhaps in the northern part of Germany along the Rhine. In the meantime, we have organised a home exchange in Venice at the end of April!

My fourth resolution is to discover the secret of getting enough sleep. Maybe if I set it as a goal, I might actually be able to do something about it! Who knows?

My favourite view of Blois with the traditional gabarre boats in the foreground
My favourite view of Blois with the traditional gabarre boats in the foreground

And the 5th is improving my night photography skills.

How about you? What are your new year’s resolutions for 2014?

As one of my friends so cleverly put it: may 2014 bring what 2013 forgot!

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6 thoughts on “Happy New Year 2014 & Five Resolutions”

  1. Great job Rosemary! I don’t set resolutions for myself, but love reading others’. What I would like to do more of is catch up with more blogger friends – Paris in early April good for you?

    1. I like to think back over the past year. You often discover you’ve accomplished more than you thought! Early April is perfect for me as we’ll be back in Paris on 31st March. Look forward to catching up again.

    1. Thank you Gaynor and happy new year to you too. I forgot to mention the neighbour situation. When we came back the next time, their main gate and the poultry yard gate were both wide open and there were hens on the road. The honking geese was gone. Jean Michel has a theory that they don’t want the hens any more but don’t want to kill them in front of the kids so are letting them meet their own sad demise. I’m not sure but I don’t have any other suggestions. We’ll see what happens in the summer.

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