Following my review looking back on this year posted on Friday, I’d like to take a few moments to look forward to the new year that starts in a couple of days’ time.
Even though our wedding is all paid off, I expect 2014 to be another expensive year for us – namely because we’re intending to buy a house. So far we’ve been renting, which is fine when you’re still getting established as a couple. But in the long term, it’s expensive (our mortgage repayments are likely to be less than we’re paying in rent), and it’s restrictive – we can’t really decorate, for example. We’d also like to move out of a flat and into a proper house with a garden.
My parents gave us quite a bit of money towards a mortgage deposit as a wedding present, but we’ll probably need a bit more. Also, something else has to happen before we can buy: we both need to learn to drive.
Right now we’re restricted to living close to Sowerby Bridge railway station, and on a main bus route, as neither of us can drive a car. So we are both going to learn to drive this year, allowing us to choose a home a little further off the beaten track. Those of you who have read this blog for many years will know that I had driving lessons in 2006-7, however, after failing my practical test twice I gave up, and haven’t tried since. Though I won’t be starting from scratch, there’s a lot that I’ve forgotten in six years and so I’m not expecting to be qualified until the summer. I also need to re-take my theory test; though I passed it last time, it was only valid for two years and so has now expired, and it has got more difficult since.
So learning to drive will be one of my New Year’s Resolutions. Another will be going to the gym more, as that has fallen by the wayside somewhat since the wedding (not helped by a series of colds since September). Whilst giving up lactose has helped me feel less bloated (and so clothes fit better), I could still do with losing a bit of weight and improving my fitness.
May, as well as being our first wedding anniversary, will also play host to my 30th birthday. Which is a somewhat daunting prospect.
We have been invited to two weddings this year – one in March, in Nottinghamshire, and another in the summer, in the Lake District. Hopefully one of us will be driving in time for the latter but we need to sort out transport for the former very soon. As many of our friends are at the same stage in life as us, I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up being invited to more weddings this year. I’m just pleased that I won’t have to organise one again.
We haven’t yet booked a holiday for this year but we’ve talked passively about a trip to Ireland. I’ve never been but Christine had family living there for a while so she has spent quite a bit of time there as a child. We also have tickets for a concert in Manchester in March. And we’ll be spending New Year’s Eve (i.e. this Tuesday) with friends, probably drinking the leftover champagne from our wedding.
So, to all of you reading this, I would like to wish you a very happy, prosperous and loving new year, and my best wishes.