Sunday, 27 January 2013

Goal List Week Commencing 27th January 2013

Ragdale Hall, Leicestershire - January 2013 - by Maria A Smith

Last week I invested in myself. Spending time doing lots of things that make me happy. Lots of small pleasures all rolled together.

On Sunday I checked into Ragdale Hall, one of my most favourite places on the planet. Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will already know I've been going to Ragdale for the past eleven years every January. Its become a 'given' that I'll keep returning and meeting up there with two of my best friends.

Over three days, and two nights we were throughly spoilt as usual. Breakfast in bed, each morning followed by some serious pampering and lounging around doing nothing. It was bliss. The weather outside was cold, and the snow fell heavily, which made Ragdale Hall take on a fairytale like quality, and outside was very 'Narnia' like. I couldn't resist going out to explore.

Ragdale Hall, Leicestershire - January 2013 - Frozen' by Maria A Smith

I'd never seen the grounds like this before, and although I was only out for a short time, I managed to capture a few wintery shots with my camera.

Ragdale Hall, Leicestershire - January 2013 - 'Winter Wonderland' by Maria A Smith 

All too soon my fairytale ended, and I returned home, went back to work, and resumed where I had left off - rested, rejuvenated and ready to face life in the 'real' world once more.

I soon fell in step, and it was easy to achieve my goals. I said I would relax, I did, and I read. In between the distraction of the thermal spa with its many delights I managed to read more of my book. Remember I said I was a slow reader, so as you would expect I am still reading ''Fear Nothing' by Dean Koontz

On Wednesday morning, I received an email letting me know I'd won a book in a recent competition I'd entered over on the Harrogate Crime Festival 'You're Booked' web site. I received it in the post on Friday, which is quite unbelievable really considering the weather conditions.

My other goal from last week was to learn something new, well I did that too! On Saturday I went to my first 'felting' workshop, and created this lovely scarf, made new friends, and sampled lots of yummy cake. More about that later in the week though...

Nanu Scarf Workshop - January 2013

What about this week then?

My goals for the week ahead look like this.


Continuation of novel draft 2

Flash fiction 200 words for the writers group

Two Blog posts

Enter a competition


Continue with 'Fear Nothing' by Dean Kootnz


Three walks


Capture more of winter.


Do I need to explain?

It might seem a longer list this week, but I intend to use my multi-tasking skills. Do you think I'll get it all done? What are your goals for the week ahead? Do share them here with me. Have a good week!


  1. Verrrrry nice pictures. I like snow, just not living in or around it anymore...if that makes sense.

    How are you liking Dean's book? I've noticed he has changed his writing style.

    1. Hi,

      Thank you, I enjoy capturing images, and we don't get to see that much snow here in the UK, not really.

      I'm enjoying the book, I feel close to the main character, and I care what happens to him. The initial set up in the first few pages got me hooked straight the way.

      Although, the pace is a little slower now I'm half way, and I want more to be revealed quicker if that makes sense? Worth a read definitely.

  2. Beautiful photos. Sounds like a wintertime paradise.

    1. It seems a distant memory already - I shall have to start saving my pennies all over again.

  3. Lovely pictures!

    Good luck with your goals.

  4. Well done with your scarf it looks really pretty, it's lovely to get out and do something new isn't it. Good luck with this weeks goals. :-)

    1. Yes, I feel inspired to try something else outside of my comfort zone.

  5. Congrats on a good week and winning the book! Really like the photos Maria - you have Ragdale's Christmas cards for next year.
    I think the photograph as an art form mirrors so many aspects of creative writing from composition, mood and texture to plain statement. It has been a while since winter snow and blue sky has featured with such intensity - so important to capture the moment.

    1. Thank you Keith, I do love photography!

  6. Great photos Maria! I especially like the one you titled Frozen. :) I have a new camera and I'm trying to make time to learn how to take better pics.

    1. Like everything, it takes a wee while to learn, and get into the habit of carrying the camera around. I'm looking forward to lighter evenings, when I'll be able to get out walking in earnest.

      Hope you'll post some shots with the new camera on your blog?

  7. The scarf looks really pretty. It's lovely to create something new on top of achieving all of your other goals. Great photos too. Really inspiring.

  8. You're soooo organised Maria! I am totoally impressed. And the pics are truly beautiful... We were back in Uk in the snow just before then but my experience was clouded by the fact we were worried about missing transport connections! It's all relative really and so nice for you to be able to relax and enjoy!!


I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!

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