January is marching along at a much quicker pace than I can keep up with, but I do have high hopes for 2012. I am hoping it will be a less manic year than 2011 for starters. I feel like 2011 passed me by without much participation from me. 2012 will be different.

On the work front – I am still contracting for the same Managed Services Company in Didsbury. The change programme I am leading for them is far more complex, challenging and time-consuming than they would initially admit to. However, I think they are no longer in denial, and I hope this will mean we’ll start seeing some progress on the project by getting in the right resources to work on it.

On the travelling front, we are struggling to make some final decisions on the trips planned for this year. We are definitely planning to go China in June to primarily visit my friend Arna, who recently had a baby. So the Shanghai leg of our trip is a definite. However, due to the vastness of China, it is particuarly difficult to decide what to do for the remaining 10 days of our trip. Initially we were planning to the ‘traditional’ trip to take in the sights, but due to the sheer size of the country, it means we’ll spend most time trying to get from one sight to another. So our current revised plan is:
– Fly to Hong Kong where we’ll spend a few days
– Fly onto Guilin in the South West of the country for a few days
– From there to Shanghai where we will stay until it’s time to fly back to Manchester.
This means we miss out Beijing and the Great Wall of China, which some may believe is a waste to go all the way to the other side of the world to miss their greatest tourist attraction, but we’d far rather see some rural China …

Another option we’re considering is a trip back to Albania at the beginning of September for a week. We loved it so much, we’re thinking it would be a perfect holiday to just re-charge our batteries. We will only go down to Ksamil, the quieter, beautiful area in the south.

And finally, we need to make a decision about Christmas. It is always a tricky one. If it were up to me, I would be in South Africa every Christmas, but we have family commitments here which generally doesn’t make that possible. And now that Tim is ’employed’ again, his time is no longer his own, and he is limited by the official number of holidays he is allowed, 3 days of which have to be taken over Christms when they shut down over Christmas and New Year.

I am hoping to still make time to spend my usual week or two with my sister, but I normally have to play that by ear.

I am planning something else, but I think that deserves its own post!