This year I'm looking to attack all these issues in advance. The first thing was a diary - yes, a proper paper diary...
...and see, it even matches my rather beautiful purse that MrEH bought me for Christmas. AND it only cost £1.50 which is the sort of money I can handle paying for a diary which I know full well will almost certainly get lost at some stage in all the fun and excitement anyway. Yes I KNOW I've got a perfectly good iPhone, and that does do duty for day to day reminders of stuff, but for actual "Places I've got to be, weeks in advance" stuff, I like paper & a pen, thank you. As and when the dates were released for airshows I planned to go to were released, they got written in, along with holiday dates, the beer festival, and similar things. As time goes on I'm adding notes of travel that's booked, accommodation for various events, and where I'm staying with pals. It's quite deliberately a nice small one too - it needs to be able to fit into my handbag or my camera bag so I've always got it with me.
Next thing - Oh JOY! Was a notebook...
...and I know of a good number of readers of this who are thinking "ooh!" along with me now too! I do love a notebook, especially when it's a cheery bright yellow one with a rather cute pig on the front! (Even better I've had that one for YEARS and never quite managed to find a long term use for it - so it didn't even cost me anything!) - that's being used for noting down all the stuff that's too "wordy" for the diary - detailed notes on train travel, the collection codes for train tickets that need picking up, where I've booked accommodation for various event the details of the sites I've booked through, and whether anything has been booked as a "just in case" and might need cancelling nearer the time. I've also got a complete list of all the shows in there - some may drop out and others may get added, but at least I've started with a list so when someone says to me "Are you doing X show?" I can (hopefully!) check and say yes or no!
On the household front a meal-plan is back in place, along with a new magnetic pad on the fridge for noting stuff that needs adding to the shopping list. We've found a more local - although smaller - farmers market which it will be viable for Ben to go to on his own on weekends I'm not about so we can return to buying our meat direct from the producer which we far prefer. A bulk meat order is also being planned. The meal plan will be being expanded to turn into a rough rolling 4 or 5 week plan which we can pick and choose meals from depending what suits, and I'm also going to be coming up with some ideas for foods that can be conveniently carried with me for the single day airshows to avoid the thing of "just grabbing a burger" which adversely affected both my bank balance AND my health last year.
On the subject of finances I have a plan there too! *grin* Since the end of last season I've been adding any spare cash to a savings account - entirely separate from from regular "fun stuff" account so I know I have a cushion of cash there to start me off with. So far it's paid for all the advance ticket bookings, several bits of travel, and a couple of hotels too. My £2 coins from last year went there, and anything that's been left in my current account at the end of each month has also headed that way. Money left in my purse at the end of a month has been going - as usual - to my "treats tin" and the contents of that have been being paid in whenever there's been enough to make it worth it and I've been going near the bank. Once the season kicks in fully for me (not long now!) my plan is to use the regular spending money for the day to day stuff and try to leave the airshow account untouched until accommodation needs paying and stuff like that. That in itself has relieved some stress over money - I love doing all this stuff but I absolutely cannot justify getting into any sort of debt for it under any circumstances - we've fought so hard to ensure that our only debt now is the mortgage and I won't compromise that - so knowing that I've saved in advance to cover some of the bigger costs is great.
All in all my little bits of organisation feel like I'm starting the season off as well as I possibly can - there really is little more that I can do to make things go any more smoothly, which means all that remains is to look forward to a fabulous 4 months to come packed full of fun and excitement with some fantastic people. Bring it on!