What will the year bring?

As the clock ticked over to 5am and the alarm went off, it would have been very easy to stay in bed a little longer this morning.

It is the first day back in the office after a two-week break.

It has been a great break, without having to worry about deadlines and general work matters. The sun has been shining, we've caught up with a lot of people and I've managed to get a few things done around the place.

Sitting on the deck eating breakfast and watching the day come to life, I thought about what lies ahead in 2013.

And who knows what that will be. Some of it is the predictable routine of being part of a business, but this is the unpredictable business of news.

The first few pages of my diary are full of to-do lists left over from late last year and things that didn't get done during the quiet weeks of Christmas and New Year, although I should be able to tick them off pretty quickly with all this energy from having time off.

It is a good time for making changes - stuff that should have happened last year and just never quite made it to the top of the list, or was overshadowed by other decisions that seemed more important at the time.

Yes, I'm happy to be back and getting stuck into all those things.

Another reason I'm pleased to be here is to get out of the road of the builders at home.

They started three weeks ago on our long-await renovation and have pulled out a couple of internal walls that will make several smaller areas into one larger living space.

It turned out the main wall we wanted to come down was also the main wall holding things up so the engineers were called in and we've ended up with a couple of hefty beams carrying the load.

Not everything has gone to plan and we've had to make a few adjustments along the way. As with all renovations, until the ceilings and wall linings and floors coverings are pulled out, it's never clear what's behind them. Early plans based on best guesses don't always turn out.

Like the floors. We were hoping to pull up the carpets and find wooden floors to sand and polish. We found chipboard and are still researching our options.

I spent a lot of time last week just standing and looking at various parts of the project, trying to work out how it will all come together in the end.

It's the little decisions that are keeping us busy now - like where the plugs and switches should go, and where the phone jacks and TV cables need to be, what sort of lights to have and where they should go, and the best type of water heating for the kitchen.

When we bought the house, I planned to do a lot of the work myself but realise now that calling in the professionals was the only way. I just don't have the skills or the time. It is a much bigger project that we first thought.

Living in the house during the building work is not ideal, especially having to keep the dog out of the road, but it means we'll appreciate the finished product even more.

The Marlborough Express