At the end of 2013 into the beginning of 2014 it rained, a lot! Large areas of the UK were flooded and homes and lives were devastated – again. Oxford suffered, although not as badly as some parts of the country, Somerset was hit really badly and even now, in 2015 some people are still repairing the damage and counting the cost. I took this photograph of the Magdalen College School Playing fields in December 2013 and by this time the water had started to subside. Rain stops play.
This time last year – August 25th – September 8th 2013
August and September 2013 were busy months, we finally decided to make the move to Oxford and leave Odiham and The Farm behind. We found somewhere we like and it was full steam ahead, decluttering, packing, paying and more than a little panicking.
It was a fairly safe bet that even though we were living on a farm in the middle of the Hampshire countryside we’d be moving to somewhere that was a little quieter although I will miss the impromptu air displays from visitors to RAF Odiham.
I was going to go for the obvious and post a glass/bottle of Champagne (because I drink it so often!) but I decided to go for the infamous Zaphod Flaming Gargleblaster Margharita. A speciality of Atomic Burgers and only one allowed per person per night (we may have been a little bit to blame for that rule after getting a teeny bit drunk after more than 1 of them a few years ago). If you get the chance go visit – if you like Burgers, you’ll love Atomic (Also available in Bristol).
This time last year – August 8th – August 22nd 2013
August last year was all about The Gromit Trail. Gromit was unleashed on Bristol and the challenge was to photograph as many of them as possible. I didn’t get them all but it was fun trying.
After making Bristol their home for ten weeks, the Gromits went to auction in October 2013, raising over £2.3 million for Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity. Since then, Gromit Unleashed has continued to raise funds, going global with a project in Hong Kong and selling our exclusive Gromit Unleashed brand of merchandise, helping to raise £4.5 million to date. (source – Gromit Unleashed – read more…)
It’s probably about time (see what I did there?) I wrote something about last year. It seems to be the done thing to try to sum up the last 365 days at the start of a new year and who am I to buck the trend?
As years go 2014 was ok. Not brilliant but far from bad. I realise that’s not much in the way of in-depth summaries so lets go into a little more detail…
2014 – Part 1.
It rained in January! A Lot!
Parts of England had their wettest January since records began more than 100 years ago (source BBC News – read more) and large parts of Oxford were flooded. thankfully we live on a hill so we didn’t flood at home but there was misery for thousands of people across the country, many of whom are still recovering a year later.
On a Dark and stormy night (yes, I stole that line) I ended up with a Ford KA parked in the boot of my Audi A4 somewhere around Coventry. The first accident of the year (yes there was another – later). Thankfully no one was hurt and I was able to drive away and get home – not the case for the poor man driving the KA. He was fine but his car wasn’t! Audi 1 – Ford 0.
Two of my best friends got married and I took the photographs. Happy Day.
February marked the start of my full blown mid-life crisis as I finally reached 50. 50! I can’t be 50! I don’t feel like I’m 50, although I’m not entirely sure what a 50 year old is supposed to feel like. I was lucky enough to spend the extended Birthday celebrations with some amazing friends who pampered, treated, spoiled and poured wine. Life didn’t quite ‘begin’ the way I would have liked at 40 but this decade is looking good so far.
We had a lovely long weekend in Marrakech in March (Holiday Blog post here). It was a much needed break. the last few years have been tough on us financially. I’ve been recovering from a failed business venture and then being made redundant from three different jobs over the space of three years (I think I’ve had my share of bad career Karma now thank you!) so we haven’t been able to afford a holiday out of the UK until now, apart from a lovely short break in Ireland, but things are changing at last. It’s been hard work but it’s paid off.
2014 – Part 2
We decided to go camping later in the year and hired a Gypsy Caravan on the edge of Lake Windermere. We enjoyed it but I think it’s safe to say that it’s probably the last time we’ll go camping. We both enjoy the comfort of a real bed and hot and cold running water and a toilet without a ten minute walk too much, if we ever camp again it will have to be a luxury version.
There have been gig’s nights out, movies, weekends away, friends, (maybe a little too much) wine and a generally good end to the year. I’ve been making plans for the future and really want to get things moving forward in 2015 so here’s looking forward to a very happy and prosperous New Year.