06 Mar

the easy life is not so easy

It’s that time of year again: another batch of friends have left Singapore. Before Christmas three of my wine book club, fully half of it, left to go back to Melbourne. Others left too, at the same time or just after; it’s a great time of year for Australians in particular to go home, the start of the school year. Another family, people I really liked, are leaving at Easter. Maybe there’s even more that I don’t know about yet, because you often don’t get more than a couple of months notice for a work move.

You have to keep on top of people here. If you’re on the sort of casual, I like spending time with you but doesn’t life get crazy schedule that works back home, you might completely miss the news and then poof they’re going. And you have to be happy for them, if you are a good friend, but in your mind you’re clutching at their ankle screeching, “NOOOOOO! How can you LEAVE MEEEEEEEE?”

Amazingly, not many people outside of your immediate family make life decisions based on what you want.

Then you have to start the cycle of making new friends all over again. But what if you meet someone, and they seem great, but then they tell you they’re going midyear? Do you just rub them off the mental blackboard? Oh well, not much point making the effort there. I’ll be honest, I’ve done that before. It’s a good way to protect yourself from the sadness when a friend goes. But it’s also a good way to miss out. Because what if you really get along? Sure, they’ll leave and they could end up anywhere: Italy, Tokyo, Toronto, Ireland, but then you’ll know someone who lives there. It’s really cool knowing people all over the world. And as a fellow expat, who knows what the future holds? You could end up in the same place again.

You have to work at friendships here, really make the effort to keep catching up, which is hard for an introvert like me. But if you don’t, you end up feeling like a Larry No Mates because it’s your birthday and you”d like to go out to dinner but the two people you know are busy. Even an introvert like me hates that.


A couple of months ago, I ended up at the doctor’s because my anxiety and depression flared up way more than normal. I was having Bad Thoughts, really bad, of a kind I haven’t had for many years, and it scared the crap out of me. So I went to the doctor and he prescribed antidepressants and gave me a referral to a psychologist, and I’m working on stuff.
I don’t know what caused it. Is it hormonal? I was diagnosed with PMDD in the past, but it’s been fine for ages. There is no Why, or maybe there are a thousand mini-Whys. I had a feeling of isolation, of being useless. I remember thinking I would lift right out of this family with no ill effects. I don’t work, I don’t do housework, the only thing I really do is kid homework and bedtimes, and that’s easily replaced. I figured I could disappear and no one would notice.  Hell, I didn’t even think it was worth going to the doctor. What’s the point? I said to Dave. I’m just going to be wasting his time. What will I even say to him? And again when I got my prescription filled. These are really expensive here. We’ll need to do a cost benefit analysis to see if they’re worth it. Between sanity and not sanity? he asked. No, between me and not-me. It just seemed like too much effort to go to.
But then someone I knew lost a friend to suicide and I saw how it really affected her. I remembered another friend, whose dad committed suicide when she was little and how it still tore her up, and, I couldn’t do that to B. So I went to the doctor, and I cried, and now I take my antidepressants and monitor my moods and try to do things that give me joy like exercise and hobbies and I’m doing ok now, except that I still don’t know why it happened in the first place.


The moral of the story is: living here is amazing and wonderful, but it can be lonely too. You have to look after yourself, . Those book club ladies, I didn’t see them that much outside of book club but I liked them, and I liked our catchups, and now there’s a gap in my social life. But the other half of the group are still here, and I also really like them. So I’m going to swallow my shyness, and reach out, to all my friends, not just the ones that are here. This is going to be my challenge for this year, to be better at this.
22 Apr

mortality sucks

I never got to see Prince live. I wish I had.

I had the opportunity. I was in London when he played the O2 arena, which was a really big deal, but I didn’t go. Next time, I thought. Maybe. And then he toured Melbourne and I thought about it, but again I didn’t even try for tickets. I had friends who went though, and I was jealous. I wished I had gone. Next time, I decided again, and now I can’t.

This is why you’ve got to seize the day, people. Take the chances as they come. Make your dreams happen. Yes, your dreams, you still have them, they’re floating around in your head. The things that you fleetingly think, “oh that would be so cool” but in the next breath think, that’s not possible? Those things. Don’t think in terms of “what will I regret on my deathbed”?  because that list will be filled with spending time with your kids and not working so much, blah blah blah. You want to think of the fun stuff that your subconscious is wishing for. No one is lying on their deathbed regretting missing a Prince concert or not seeing the Northern lights, but that’s the stuff that makes life wonderful.

An example: years ago, we went to The Fat Duck restaurant. It was in 2006 or 2007, before Heston became this huge TV personality, when the restaurant was first or second best in the world and he was making headlines because of snail porridge and Sounds of the Sea. It was kind of mythical, a tiny place spoken of with reverence in newspaper articles, hard to get into (and expensive), but one day I realised it was possible for normal people to go, and I mentioned to Dave that of everything in the world dining at The Fat Duck was my dream to do Someday. And he organised it for my birthday and became an absolute hero in my eyes, and it was everything I hoped it would be and more.

So what is yours? Do you want to spend a year in France living only on cheese? See the Aurora Borealis? Write a novel? (Yes, yes and yes.) So do it! There is nowhere on this earth that you can’t go if you want to. Some places, I’ll think you’re nuts if you do want to go there. But that’s okay! Think about these things and make them happen. Don’t dismiss them with Someday. Someday is like the horizon, you’ll never reach it. There’s all these places that get on standard bucket lists like the Grand Canyon, Hawaii, Egypt. Work out which one you really truly actually want to make an effort to see, and do that.

Example two: Eurovision is coming up. This year it’s in Sweden. Do you like watching Eurovision? Lots of people do. We love it. We’ve watched every one together since we’ve been a couple. I buy the album every year. We have parties with friends where we dress up and we have fake voting and have a wonderful time. Last year it was hard because it’s not televised in Singapore so we had to watch it on YouTube on our own. But this year, we’re going, because why the hell not? We have eight days in Stockholm and tickets to both semi finals, and it will be the ultimate awesomeness.

(It’s funny the reactions we get when we tell people, from a nose-wrinkling “oh my god you’re doing what?” to outright laughter. One of Dave’s workmates, a German guy who is now my favourite ever, got so excited. He loves it too, has parties too, but it hadn’t occurred to him to actually go along, even when he lived in Europe! I like to think next year, he’ll be getting tickets.)

This is the stuff I’m talking about. This is what we need to do more of. And yes, I am aware of the irony of me plugging seizing every opportunity and yet spending most days lolling on the couch. I’d better read this entry too.

What things do you dream of doing? Give me some ideas.

08 May

Warning: contains whingeing.

I have my cranky pants on today. Next door are doing renovations, and it sounds like they’re using a jackhammer to pull the tiles off the walls in the bathroom, directly on the other side of my wall. This is day two. Yesterday it went on for nearly four hours—maybe longer, I was out in the morning–and it is driving me nuts. I cannot think straight, I’m getting a migraine from the noise. Yesterday I asked one of the workers how long they’d be doing that and he said, “it’s stopped.” Since I could barely hear him over the sound of the jackhammering at that particular moment, that was either a misunderstanding on someone’s part or a clever attempt to confuse me. And they promised that today would be quieter, and it’s not, and that is why I’m sitting in a coffee shop muttering into my latte.

I am very tired. Bianca came into our bed in the night, which always means I sleep very badly on the 4 inches of mattress I’m allowed. Then at five AM she did the old dreaming you’re on the toilet trick and wet our bed. I got her up, cleaned her up and put a towel on our bed, then she climbed back into her own and fell straight back to sleep, the little sod. I lay on my damp towel for a bit before I gave up and went downstairs to do the ironing. I could really do with a nap now but see above re: deafening noise, and also re: in public whereupon it is frowned. Grrr.

I am also cranky about myself, about the way I am failing to get out and appreciate being here. The way I live, I could be anywhere.  This week I have actually achieved stuff, I have scrubbed the kitchen and lounge and given them a good declutter but big deal! We have been here four months already. We are one sixth of the way through and I couldn’t even tell you the best bits about Singapore because I haven’t gone to look.

I’m angry and disappointed. Do you ever play that game with yourself, if I didn’t have to work, I’d do…X? Well I do, and I’m actually living that now. I am so lucky, but I feel like I’m blowing it. Instead of doing all my X’s I’m doing housework (badly), grocery shopping, and lying on the couch sweating from exhaustion after a short outing. And then the tv goes on or the mobile phone games start and it’s shit. It’s really shit. I’m really shit. So what if I’ve finally seen all the old episodes of The Mentalist? That’s NOT what this trip was about!

Forgive me if I’ve already talked about this, but I’m too tired to check. And forgive me for having a rant about the same old same old, woe is me, everything sucks and I can’t change it crap. I am tired, and I am cranky, and I am not nice to myself when that happens.

I’m reading a book at the moment, The Art of Travel, by Alain de Botton, which is essays on the theme of travel, interspersed with discussions of travels of historical explorers and poets etc. It’s interesting, but kind of a hard slog at times and I wouldn’t have chosen it myself (it’s a book club book). ANYWAY,  in the first essay he talks about how the idea of travel, and the picture we draw in our minds of our destination  is always much more idealised than reality, and that reality always disappoints, because it contains all the mundane bits our mind has ignored. So we see a photograph of a hotel on a beach and imagine a perfect idyll, but when we actually get there it smells and there’s a freeway just behind the hotel and of course all the other people getting in your way. I think maybe this trip is like that; I had a vision of me having all the time in the world to take cooking classes and do yoga and meditate and ignored the reality that Bianca’s home from school at three thirty and someone has to wash the clothes and get the food in. But at the same time, I am wasting a lot of time. I was doing better when we were at the serviced apartment, I think when we shipped all our stuff over, my old habits came too.

Oy. I think I need to have an early night, and then to delete all the games on my phone and get on with it. What about you? Have you ever taken an extended leave from your job, or real life, with the idea of fulfilling some dream, and did it work out the way you wanted it to? How did you manage it? Please, tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with this?

18 Oct

Better together

My man is back! My man is back! Woo to the hoo, he’s back!

We went out to dinner tonight, I may have had a little bit of wine (two thirds of a bottle to be precish), and we had such a good night. Giggling like schoolkids, doubling one another’s entendre, laughing so hard… it’s the closes we’ve been to the old us in a long time. Whether it was the lovely Margaret River sangiovese, or we’re child free until tomorrow, or that we’re both just so glad he’s back — I don’t care. I don’t want to dissect it. It just felt good.

(And the wine was awesome, and the food divine.)

You know what? From when B was a little baby, I thought about leaving. Running away, leaving them, sumetimes even hurting myself in the baddest of times. Motherhood did not cone naturally to me; I felt trapped and I wanted out. Then I got diagnosed and some antidepressants and it was better, but I still harboured resentment: of what I’d given up, of what we’d lost, whatever… my default reaction, whenever we had an argument was to think about leaving, to think about the out. The intimacy’s gone, we’re gone. We never snuggle on the couch together of an evening, or even talk anymore unless it’s about B or whose day was harder. I’m just a nanny and a housekeeper, I come somewhere down the bottom of the list after the bike and the bird and the friends and the kid. Why are we still together?

But somewhere in the last year, it’s changed. I’ve realised we’re better together. We still have fun. We might not be on the same couch at night but we’re still heckling TV. And we only talk about the birds and Bianca so much because they’re so damn funny. There’s been extra pressure these past few years but it’s coming to an end. B’s no longer a baby, she’s a girl. She’s going to school next year! And nights like tonight prove that we’re still here, we just maybe need to work on it a bit. It’s more than just settling with one another because the alternative is too hard. He’s my man, I’m his girl. We’re a couple, a unit. A family. It’s where we’re meant to be.

And now, a new chapter of life is about to start. We’ve got some really big fun adventures coming up. Everything’s going to change, and I’m glad we’re doing it together.

14 Oct


This is one of my favorite quotes ever, from Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency:

“The man just liked to talk,” he would later tell the police. “Man, I could have walked away to the toilet for ten minutes and he would’ve told it to the till… Yeah, I’m sure that’s him,” he would add when shown a picture of Gordon Way. “I only wasn’t sure at first because in the picture he’s got his mouth closed.”

And boy, can I identify with it…

Dave’s away again for two weeks and as ever I’ve started off with grand ideas of getting so many projects done, but after just a few days everything’s devolved into chaos. I swear if I was a single parent I’d end up on Hoarders. I mean, without Dave around I can’t even be bothered closing cupboard doors. Everything is overwhelming, everything is too hard.

I don’t understand it. I love Dave, he’s an awesome husband and father, but let’s face it, I do most of the housework and daily chores around here, so his absence should not be generating that much more work. How can it get so bad when he’s gone? How can I be so bad at this?

Well, I might have worked it out.

On Sunday morning, I woke up filled with optimism and determination, and actually managed to tidy up a bit and put a load of washing on. (I am usually right on top of the washing, one thing Flylady has managed to instill in me, but right now the washing is right on top of me.) As a reward, I decided to spend some time on a princess dress I’m sewing for Bianca, while she sat next to me alternately making a mess with beads and cutting a scrap of fabric into atoms. It should have been a really relaxing time right? Pinning and tacking and making something with my hands. A treat; I always feel better afterwards. But it wasn’t relaxing and I didn’t feel better, and I think I know why everything goes pearshaped when Dave isn’t around.

It’s B. She never shuts up. “I’m cutting this up. Do you see mum? Does it look good? Look at me! Look at me with your eyes. I want to help you with that. Can I cut it? Now look! I’m doing this!” jabberjabberjabberjabberjabberjabberjabber!!!!!

Look, she’s four. She’s supposed to talk all the time! I don’t expect her to stop; I love that she’s telling me stuff. But, I am an introvert who needs quiet time in my own head with my own thoughts, and when Dave’s here sometimes she’s talking to him and I can just… tune it out. But I can’t do that now. I always have to have an ear out, just in case. And I am fucking exhausted because of it!

I’m actually giggling at myself right now. This is quite the insight for me; everything makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE now. Of course I’m not coping! Now I need to use this information to look after myself. No more mindless evenings watching tv and playing on my phone once B’s in bed. Maybe that’s when I should try to do the sewing. And maybe also do the dishes and close all the cupboard doors. I’ve got four days to sort out this house and finish my projects before Dave comes home.

22 Sep


For July and most of August, we were on holiday. We had a couple of days in Singapore (not “the real Singapore” as Bianca calls where we were last time, just Sentosa Island), then almost two weeks in the north of England for the start of the Tour de France and to visit family. Next to Holland, where I have relatives and where mum was conveniently also visiting, then we left Bianca with them for a week while we joined an amazing cycling/gourmet tour following the last week of the Tour de France. (The cycling was for Dave, his 40th birthday wish to ride up crazy mountains, but the gourmet was for both of us.) Then mum and B met us in Paris and we had a couple of days at Disneyland Paris before another week at a friend’s place in Switzerland, then finally in London for the last ten days.


The holiday was everything we hoped it would be, and a revelation. I spent lots of time thinking about how I want my life to be. Like cooking, I want to cook delicious, healthy, foody meals. And retain a sense of adventure. When we were staying places with beautiful gardens, I wanted to learn to make one too. And in Holland I revelled in my family there (they are, seriously, awesome people) and wanted to stay there always.

Now “normality” is back, arms outspread, trying to engulf me in a bear hug of habits. I have to work to retain that feeling of anything is possible. Try to remember what it was like to drive through Yorkshire or stand on a mountain or wander through a little village in Bordeaux and think, I could live here for a year, easily…

One of the big changes I want to make is this blog. It needs to be. I have been blogging in one form or another since 2001; hard to believe isn’t it? My life grew, changed, and this was one of the things lost when I became a mother. This is not anyone’s fault but my own. None of it is. I made the new rules and left all the fun stuff behind. It is time to change that!

I made a mistake trying to give the blog a theme. Blogs need themes now, right? You’re either décor, DIY, diet, fashion, finances, self improvement. Well I’m sorry but I am all of those things. I can’t narrow it down. I don’t want to pigeonhole myself. I want to write about me, my life. Isn’t that the bet theme to have? So there it is. You won’t find a more authoritative source on the interwebs anyway.

I did think about a new name, a new start. Not My Mother was for when I was supposed to be concentrating on self improvement. But really it seems as god as anything else. Maybe it’s really “not my mother” — as in, my identity is not as someone’s mum. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch. But I’m not going to do the online equivalent of my teenage self, abandoning my old neglected diary and starting a whole fresh new one for a new start.

In summary: spring is here, Europe is awesome, and I am back.

08 Mar

International Women’s Day

(from Facebook)

I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t want to have a daughter. Inasmuch as I wanted to be a parent at all (the jury is still out on that one), I wanted a boy. Partly because early on Dave and I settled on a boy’s name, partly because I wanted to have a little Dave and definitely not a little me. When he talks about his childhood it is happy, whereas I was a weird and lonely little kid with warring parents. It’s irrational, but I wanted to avoid that. Also on the avoidance list were fairies and pink and Shirley Temple and look at me! Look at me! I’m a princess! Listen buddy, I’m the princess round here, got it? And later on, with the teenage years. We’d lived on the border of Essex, I’d watched the local highschool girls, I’d seen the skimpy clothes and the manipulative ways, and I had no respect for them.

Look, I said it was irrational. Bear with me, I get better.

So, I wanted a boy. I even bought a book on choosing the sex of your baby that purported to have an 84% success rate (and blamed the rest on people not following instructions properly) and followed the instructions to the letter. And then I got pregnant, and I was convinced it was a boy (because how could it be otherwise?) and we always spoke and planned for a boy, all the way up to the 20-week scan. The sonographer asked if we wanted to know the sex and I said sure, although obviously it was a foregone conclusion.

And it was a girl.

At the time, all I said was, “okay, so it’s Bianca not Benjamin.” But on the way home I started crying. I sobbed for a full two hours; I felt like I’d let Dave down because he really wanted a boy. (He was shocked I felt like that.) And I cried and cried, until I had to pull myself together to go to the osteopath.

On the way, I started thinking, of all the awesome women I know. My friend with the PhD doing genetic research into diabetes. My awesome osteopath friend who is living her dreams. The one who went back after having her babies to train to become midwife. The creative ones, the activist, the one that’s head of planning at the local council. And I realised I was doing them all a disservice with my thoughts.

And this is what I’m ashamed about. I’m ashamed that I gave in to bad stereotypes when I have so many strong amazing women around me proving they are not true. Hell, even me: I have a degree in physics, I work in IT. I’m non-traditional. My mother brought me up to think I could do anything I wanted; it never occurred to me that I couldn’t be good at maths and science and “boy” stuff like that. (Okay, I was rubbish at woodwork and sheetmetal.) And these days, I work in IT, there are very few women in roles like mine and often I am the only woman in meetings. And it never occurs to me that it’s strange. So what the fuck was I thinking about back then?

So I’m ashamed that I ever thought that way. And I’m sure as hell bringing Bianca up to think she can do anything. And these days I’m glad I have a girl because we get to have the best of both worlds. Pirates and dinosaurs but also mermaids and princesses. And she does look pretty good in pink but prefers purple when she can get it.

The possibilities for her are endless. And that is what we are celebrating today.

(from Facebook)

25 Feb

working with a one-month lag

As ever, I started 2013 with plans to be better, in general. And I did okay, I really did, but not amazingly well. Mostly this was because I started a new role at work which ended up taking all of my focus. And I let it, because for the first time in a couple of years I am doing something I really enjoy, and as a result I sort of forgot to make my goals a priority.

Then February rolled around, and I don’t know what happened but suddenly I’m doing better. I’m nicer, I’m concentrating better, I’m making actual progress at work. I don’t want to eat everything in sight. Dave can ask if I want icecream and I can say no. It doesn’t even feel like I’m depriving myself  bymaking the healthy food choice because that doesn’t come into it: I think, “do I want ice cream?” and often the answer is No, I just don’t. Maybe this is what “listening to your body” means.  I’ve never really experienced that.  (This doesn’t mean I never have icecream, I got stressed the other day when the washing machine broke and ate it all. But it’s not my default state. And it definitely doesn’t mean I’m losing weight…sigh.)

Same around the house, little jobs are getting done, things are getting decluttered. Again, I’m not aware of making any effort on it but it is just happening. I’m not questioning it and I’m sure as heck not looking up to see how much else needs to be done, I’m just enjoying the ride.

Is this what happens when you’re happy? Is the new job the secret key? Whatever, all this busy is good.



31 Dec

what would Ideal Nicky do?

The other day I watched a documentary called Kumaré which has been languishing on my TiVo for months. It was really interesting and I highly recommend seeking it out. It’s about a New Jersey-born guy with Indian heritage who began questioning religion and particularly all the “gurus” out there who claim they can show people the way to enlightenment but in reality end up just serving their own interests. He wondered if he could become a guru himself and in doing so prove the point that religion — and faith — was all fake.

So he did. He grew his hair and beard long, adopted his grandmother’s accent and along with a couple of friends moved to Phoenix Arizona where “people would be more open” to his message. Sure enough he soon attracted some followers. What happens next is really interesting, because people found their lives changing.

All along he was saying that he was a fake; that while he could show people what their truth was, he was an illusion and their real guru was inside themselves. His idea was to look inside and find your Ideal Self, who you really wanted to be. And his followers listened to him, and they found their Ideal Selves, and they acted on what they found.

I think the thing Kumaré did was give people the permission to be brave and act on what they want. Everyone has hopes and dreams,  so what stops us acting on them? Why aren’t we all travelling the world and losing weight and changing careers to be a yoga teacher? It’s fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of going against what others expect of them (and having to face the comments.) But Kumaré, he was sitting in front of them saying they had their own truths inside, and he was implicitly giving them permission to do what they wanted. He gave them courage.

Who is the Ideal Me?

Of course, of course, this has resonated with me. I’ve been thinking about it a lot over the past few days, about why we (I) do this to ourselves. The people I admire most are the ones who went against the norm and followed their dreams. So why am I so scared to do the same? And I’m not even talking about big things like giving up my job. What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? I’ll be happy? I’ll stop thinking what if?

So I wondered, who would Ideal Nicky be? What would she do? In other words, what is it about now that makes me sigh and feel dissatisfied?

Ideal Nicky:

  • goes to bed at a decent hour and gets enough sleep
  • gets up a bit early each morning to do some yoga/stretching and have quiet, thinking time
  • is present in the moment and aware of her own thoughts
  • realises people do want to be her friend
  • leaves the house and meets these people
  • feels comfortable and healthy in her body
  • has energy to jump, run, ride her bike
  • lives in a calm, uncluttered house
  • looks after her own sanity
  • reads a lot
  • writes every day
  • loves to cook
  • easily keeps on top of paperwork and housework
  • feels no need to binge – on food, shopping, or red wine
  • is focused and enjoys her day job
  • avoids feeling resentful or bitchy about missing out due to being a mother and just makes stuff happen for herself
  • smiles

In a nutshell, Ideal Nicky is calm, fit and healthy, and sane. She is organised at home and has lots of time for the creative things she loves. She smiles. She is happy. She sounds pretty good to me.

Have you seen the movie? What did you think? And who is your Ideal You?

24 Dec

getting a head start on my restart

I’ve always, always loved new beginnings. New weeks, new months, new years… and how much better when they start on a Saturday! But, new year’s day has always been a bit of a struggle for me. I’ve been up too late, probably had too much wine; hangovers and bacon sarnies are not exactly the best state of mind and body for a clean slate. This is why some people say you should start your new year’s resolutions on January 2nd instead. But that’s no good for me. It feels just like any other day. I’m not saying I need to wait 364 days for the next go round, but… it’s just not special enough to count.

I thought of starting everything last Friday. On Thursday I finished work for the year, and next year I’m moving to a new role, so it was a good time to draw a line. Except it didn’t quite work, what with all the late nights and bad food and my use of the don’t break the chain method of alcohol consumption. Yeah, not so good.

What I think will really work is Christmas. It’s  the reason for all the craziness in December, then you get a day or two when your routines are interrupted, you eat too much, and then it’s done and everything goes back to normal. Isn’t that a great time to start afresh? Plus this year we’ll be in Ballarat, returning home on boxing day and I always feel fresh and ready to get to it when I’ve been away. So, it seems perfect.

So the next question is what do I want to have as my restart? What do I want to focus on? I do not want to make the mistake of having 57 different resolutions, one for each thing I’m unhappy with. I’ve thought about a lot from 57 different angles and the overarching theme is pare down. Get rid of clutter, whether it be in my house (stuff!), my days, my body or my mind. For most of this year I’ve felt like I’m enveloped in confusion. I need to regain clarity and focus, and I can’t do that with all this mess around me, inside and out.

What about you? Do you look forward to the new year as a chance to make resolutions, or is it just another turn of the calendar? How do you do with them? And what are you hoping to achieve in 2013?