1. To make a meal using only ingredients I’ve grown, raised, caught or killed myself.
April was an interesting meat-y month – we learned how to kill & dress chickens, and we also learned how to make sausages. It was also the proper start of seedling season – and that’s continued in May. So far, we’ve only had lettuce from the garden (winter gems) but the seedlings have been going well. This year is an experimentation year – I’m growing lots of different things to see how things grow in our new garden and also getting used to the different beds (two have proven to be shallower than expected, two deeper).

We’ve also been on a Wild Food Foray, which was a lot of fun and very interesting. I would like to go on another specialising in woodland wild food since that’s our main habitat.

My second attempt at a sourdough starter (after a first failure during the cold cold winter) failed miserably at the start of May – when everything came to a bit of a halt because I was sleeping 14 hours a day and tired for the other 10. However, we learned about slow rise bread while out on the Wild Food Foray and I thought that sounded bloody brilliant – so I’ve been grinding that lately. (Grinding in the levelling-up-at-video-games sense rather than the wheat-ears-to-flour sense.) Although each loaf takes nearly 24 hours from start to finish, it’s a relatively cheap thing to grind at and John is loving all the good, fresh bread.

2. To travel to a place on my “top ten places to go before I die” list.
Nope, still nothing on this one.

3. Finish writing my second novel.
I started to read through what I’ve written so far and while I haven’t done it so far, I know what my next step is (re-drafting while typing it up), then I’ll continue with the story.

4. Learn how to make sausages – wet English style ones and cured ones too.
As I said in #1, yes! Done this one! One goal off the list – hurrah!

Well, we made English wet ones and we learned the theory of making ones for curing (since it’s essentially the same). We also figured out we could use our half garage for hanging – it’s out of the way so it won’t stink up the house, quite cool and could easily be made a little more ventilated. Now it’s just a question of getting a mincer and giving it a go.

5. Spend at least a day fishing out on the North Sea.
I’ve done some research into dog-friendly places to stay on the coast, but that’s it so far.

6. Finally finish learning how to drive.
Done nothing on this.

7. Make a full outfit’s worth of clothing for myself – including spinning any wool used.
I learned how to spin today! Ok, technically that’s a June thing but sshhh! I’ve had the day off today and decided to learn a new craft – I intended it to be dyeing but when I went to the wonderful Textere Yarns (somewhere I’ve been intending to visit since before we moved to Bradford), they had lots of pretty coloured roving so I decided to give it a go instead. It’s lots of fun but my shonky homemade top whorl drop spindle is showing its shonkiness already so I’m going to get a better made one I think (and/or try to make a better one myself).

Today I’ve also started making a light dressing gown for myself for summer – from some lovely fabric I got from a random great fabric shop on Leeds Rd. I couldn’t find a decent pattern/how-to online so I’ve kinda made it up as I was going along, based on the theory of making a kimono wrap for a baby. I’m going to finish it tomorrow – if it works out, I’ll write it up and arguably, by itself, it’ll also be a full outfit, or rather an infit ;)

Tomorrow, I’m also going to try dyeing stuff – got some boring shop-bought dyes to start with but I’m hoping to go natural and find some suitable leaves at lunchtime when we’re out with the Lil’ dog.

8. Learn how to program and make a mini-game/application using Ruby.
I’ve returned to my programs and stuff a couple of times but as I said in my last update back in March, I’d reached a bit of a hurdle in my book, and that’s pretty demotivating. However, my list of ideas for simple programs is growing so I’ll get back to it soon.

9. Climb a mountain or at least a jolly big hill.
Still doing a lot of walking with Lil – or rather a lot more walking than we ever used to. Tom keeps mentioning Snowdon and/or the Three Peaks so maybe, maybe.

10. Participate more in the real world – plan/run a real life green event or scheme.
Again, lots of ideas and I’m *almost* ready to take the first step on two of them.