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It’s the penultimate day of the year and the weather’s been glorious here in the Calder Valley. We’ve had wall to wall sunshine for most of the day and temperatures that would shame the South. Sadly, I’ve not had the time to enjoy the climactic conditions in the way I’d have liked as I’m too busy playing catch-up after a week away ‘down South’ and the imminent new year. That said, I’m also determined to up my exercise levels as the Surrey sojourn did little for me in that respect so I’ve enjoyed an afternoon constitutional by strolling up hill and down dale whilst shopping. The masochist in me secretly enjoys the fact that I’ve got to yomp uphill from the Sowerby Bridge shops. It certainly beats paying to use a gym!

The fact that we’re at the end of another decade has only just started to sink in as the last one’s been tumultuous to say the least. I’ll blog more about that as soon as I have the time, because for me, there’s a huge amount to look back and reflect upon.

Shopping aside, most of my day’s been spent immersed in swapping between paperwork and computer screens but this evening I have had chance to experiment on the culinary front and try a new dahl recipe from the Dishoom book that Darren (my brother-in-law) bought me for Christmas. It’s the ‘house black dahl’. Despite the fact it takes hours to cook it’s looking pretty good…

I do love cooking. I see it as a form of relaxation and therapy as well as the chance to always try something new. I’d certainly try this recipe again as it was a hearty dahl that was ideal for a winter’s night. Admittedly, I might tinker with it next time by adding a bit more chilli to suit our tastes, but otherwise it’s a lovely dish.

Whilst I was preparing this and keeping a watchful eye on its progress Dawn’s also been busy in the kitchen, preparing the ingredients for tomorrow’s meal. Whilst we’ll be nipping out for a few drinks with friends in the afternoon we’ve decided to flag the traditional New Year’s piss-up and spend the night at home together instead. The theory is that we’ll be entering the new decade bright-eyed and bushy tailed, ready to take on whatever the next ten years throws at us. I’ll let you know how we get on with that!