Theme for 2016 - Expansion

Apparently having a word or a theme instead of a list of New Years' resolutions is a thing now, and it's a thing that I like, on the grounds that if you really wanted to stop biting your finger nails or exercising more you'd probably just crack on and do it, rather than waiting for a specific point in the year to inspire (more often than not) short-lived motivation. 

So my theme for 2016 is 'Expansion'.

I took this photo of the sun setting over Tokyo Bay ten years ago - it was my first experience in expanding my horizons and travelling alone.

We began 2016 by expanding our family with the arrival of a third beautiful brown-eyed daughter, whom we have named Elodie. Her big sisters are besotted with her, and we're all blissfully happy. "Is the whole family here now?", asked Eva. Yes, little one, we're all here now. 

On the same day, our long-awaited builders arrived to begin the process of expanding our house - we excitedly kept an eye on progress from the hospital in between newborn snuggles. I took lots of 'before' photos as my last act before the baby arrived, so will share these in due course, but for the meantime, here's what the back and side of the house looked like before the builders got started:

The photo above shows the wasteland at the side of the house looking back towards the terrace and the main garden - this is where our new kitchen will be located. 

Here's the original view from the back door:

And here's a quick peek at the same view from the back door now:

The terrace has gone, and the soil has been levelled to ground level. We now have an exciting 1.5 metre drop out the back door. 

I also want to take the opportunity in 2016 to expand my own capabilities by taking on a challenge of a kind that pushes my out of my comfort zone - such as running a 10k (I am not in any way, shape or form, a runner), gaining a new vocational qualification (perhaps reiki or homeopathy), or learning a new skill like French polishing (because why not?). 

More pictures of building progress coming up soon. I might even manage a weekly update if little Elodie allows me to. 

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