The last bit is tough though - time starts crawling by - still, I've allowed the final countdown to begin in my head, and I'm on a kind of manic mission to get the house sorted and things finished before he's back. This usually happens, and as I've already said it's completely bonkers, because he's not going to be remotely bothered about how the house looks. He just wants to be home. But I think it helps me somehow.
Not everything has gone to plan. I won't be meeting him at the door, wrapped in a crocheted blanket of many colours, as I'd optimistically thought way back when, before granny squares got the better of me. According to my little counter I've almost enough for a blanket, but sewing them together could take another year...
During a kitchen drawer clear out (because he's really going to be looking through the drawers..) I found a box of fish. They're made from copper wire someone gave me a while ago. I bent it with pliers into a simple shape, then threaded beads and shells onto very thin wire, and wrapped this around each one.
I've always had a thing about fish. Not exactly sure why, but there's something comforting about them. I have shoals of all shapes and sizes, on curtains, cushions, pictures, tiles - you could easily play spot the fish in any room here.
Over the years I've worked them into many things I've made too, and that's really what I'm getting at in a roundabout way. The last time my husband was on tour in Afghanistan I made a large mosaic fish mirror, and it is important to me - packed with memories and emotion. Making something out of the wire fish is similar really. A reminder of the year - the ups and downs, but I hope mostly the positive things that have come out of these 12 months on my own.
I knew I had a bag of lovely bleached, smooth pieces of driftwood gathered on a beach trip, so a mobile seemed like a good option.
Getting the balance right was tricky, but attaching it to a hanger on a curtain pole meant I could fiddle about with the dangling fish, and get them hanging properly.
Now they're swimming around in the bathroom, and mobiles have been added to my list of things that are seriously hard to photograph..
Will he notice? Maybe not.
But it'll always mean something to me.
I'm linking up with Lakota's 'Ta-dah! Tuesday'