So, another year over and a another reflection on what has been achieved (or not).
Things I’ve done this year
- A single LARP
- Victoriana. It was great fun and I can’t wait for this year’s game, although it’s probably a good thing that it’s not until September, as I still have lots to make for it.
- I did enjoy this, but I didn’t like the deadline, the amount of work required, and more than anything I found I’m just not interested enough in clothes. Although, no doubt I’ll find it a very useful skill at times.
- Underground Tour
- This was really interesting and ticked off an item from my 101 list.
- Fire marshalling
- Technically, an ‘Evacuation Marshall’. I failed to step back quick enough when someone came around work looking for volunteers. So far though, we’ve only had a couple of evacuations, and as a bonus I get to shout at students.
- I was fortunate to get onto the work provided ‘First-Aid at Work’ course over the summer. This means I am first-aid qualified again for the next couple of years. The downside is that I have to be on-call for first aid incidents at work every four weeks.
- We have achieved a small garden. At one point it had tomatoes, strawberries, thyme, rocket, spinach and sunflowers. However, it was a terrible year for ripening fruit, so there was very little to eat and foolishly I didn’t make the most of the leafy veg when it appeared, so overall very little got eaten, except by the slugs.
- I grew three Sunflowers for the Turing’s Sunflowers project. Sadly, I wasn’t able to count the seeds, mostly due to slugs, but it turned into a nice little photography project. More about it here.
I’ve put this into a separate section, as I’ve done a fair amount of travelling this year, with Paris being the highlight by far. It’s an amazing and friendly city, with so much to see and with a fantastic hotel to come back to at the end of each day (27th floor, woo!).
- Daytrips to Bletchley Park, Buxton, Chester Zoo and Liverpool (anywhere else I’ve missed?)
I missed not going to Centre Parcs last year, but I’m hopeful that a trip will be organised this year (and before anyone asks, I’m far too lazy, um I mean busy, to do it myself).
- New phone
- My contract expired and I kept running out of space on my old HTC Desire, so I now have a very shiny One S and a cheaper monthly bill.
- New monitor
- This has been an absolute necessity for editing photos and it has made a huge difference. Chris now has my old monitor with its slight blue colour cast.
- Aftershot Pro
- For the first time in many years, I’ve actually purchased a piece of software. I’m really pleased with it so far. It’s lacking a few features compared to Darktable, but its rendering of raw files, especially the shadow areas is much better. It’s also very fast and lighter on resources, and I can still use Darktable for the occasional photograph.
This is probably the biggest and most time consuming thing I’ve been involved with this year (as everyone who knows me has no doubt noticed).
I’ve started studying again, with a course by the Open College of the Arts. As a result I’ve:
- Completed two assignments, photographed things I wouldn’t have otherwise and generally thought a whole lot more about my photography.
- Been to see exhibitions at the Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Photographic, Manchester Chinese Arts Centre, Liverpool (lots of places thanks to the Biennial), Brighton (again lots of places due to the Biennial), and London’s Barbican Art Gallery.
- Been reading as much as I can, watching lectures and researching other photographers.
- Been on photowalks and study visits.
I’ve also completed the 52 weeks project. The full set of photos are here:
A couple of the photos were featured by the Guardian in the Flickr group, which I’m really pleased about. Also, a few of my sunflower photos were chosen for the Turing Sunflower gallery at MOSI and Manchester Art Gallery. I’m not sure yet whether I want to continue with another 52 weeks project this year or do something different..
Aims for 2013
I’ve not really done any regular exercise since moving to Denton. I want to get into a regular running routine this year and work my way up to 10km (I don’t think that will happen this year, but it’s a long term aim). The British Army Fitness book is lying around waiting to be read, and having had a brief look through, it seems to be just what I need.
Finish the Art of Photography
My progress has been much slower than I would have liked on this course. I really want to get my head down properly and finish it this year.
This year, Chris and I intend to visit Berlin. I would also like to visit a few other places (maybe as part of an extended German holiday). It would be nice to go back to Bletchley Park and London, and well, most places I’ve been this year, as well as exploring new ones.
I’m not sure what else I want to achieve this year, there’s a few smaller items, but generally it would be nice to see people more often and maybe do more table-top or LARP (but nothing too time-consuming or expensive or requiring too much kit, so this seems unlikely).