Wednesday 31 March 2021

A Photo Every Hour - 2020

Well this was a weird year wasn't it? I'm guessing it didn't really go as planned for anyone. But there were still things to take pictures of, even if the majority of them were at home. 

18th January 2020 - Lily had asked for a birthday day trip to see some dinosaurs so we went out to the Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester. We started off with breakfast at a garden centre on the way, had tea and cake for lunch and finished with a stroll on the beach and fish & chips at the seaside. 

15th February 2020 - A day of sorting and tidying (a lot of that went on in 2020!). 

21st March 2020 - A weird day from what I remember, although the lockdown restrictions hadn't started officially it felt like should be staying at home already. Lily watched some online lessons and did lots of playing. 

18th April 2020 - The first photo an hour day officially in lockdown. I made a sling for Lily's toy baby, scanned some old family photos and finished off the last of my Easter chocolate. 

16th May 2020 - I jumped on the 'baking bread' bandwagon and had a go at doing our own (which we still do now when needed). We also repotted some of our plants and seedlings before having dinner in the garden as it was such a lovely sunny day. 

13th June 2020 - More tidying up and playing and in the evening we watched a streaming of some carnival footage from years ago that I'd transferred and sent to a local website. 

18th July 2020 - The most exciting thing that happened that day was the arrival of some dinosaur fabric to make a dress for Lily! A lot of my photos seem to feature rather boring things like washing up or tidying, sorry. 

22nd August 2020 - The start of being able to harvest our vegetables from the veg patch. I scanned some old school photos and put them onto a Facebook group (I'd promised to do that after going to a reunion in 2019) and in the evening we had some home-grown potatoes with our dinner. 

19th September 2020 - This day was mostly spent tidying up the garden and harvesting lots of things from the veggie patch. 

31st October 2020 - Photo an hour fell on Halloween last year and we dressed up and took cake round to my parents house for a mini Halloween party. Lily had great fun doing a spooky chocolate hunt and we had fish & chips for dinner whilst watching the "next slide please" COVID briefing that evening. 

21st November 2020 - Back in lockdown and we started the day with Lily doing an online science lesson. I did a bit of sewing in the afternoon, finishing off a tshirt and dress that I'd started earlier in the week. In the evening we watched the Glastonbury Carnival virtual procession (all the carnivals having been cancelled back in March). 

12th December 2020 - And I didn't realise it at the time, but we ended the year with a photo an hour in the same place as where we started back in January! With a day trip to the south coast, ending up in Weymouth, this time to celebrate my birthday (which was the next day). We had ice cream, fancy hot chocolate and fish & chips by the seaside before venturing into one of the few shops we'd been in all year (armed with a long list of bits for Christmas). 

I'll round up the first few months of 2021 in a few days and then I'll be up to date!


Monday 29 March 2021

A Photo Every Hour - January 2018

So for some completely unknown reason, back in 2018 I wrote a blog post summarising February's photo an hour but not January's. When I did the 2018 year round-up last week I only started from March, mistakenly thinking I'd already done January (and not actually bothering to check). 

So just to keep things complete, here's 20th January 2018. We did some cleaning, went to a friend's 2nd birthday party and in the evening I did a bit of geocaching planning. 

Right, back to summarising 2020 tomorrow!


Sunday 28 March 2021

A Photo Every Hour - 2019

Next up in my photo an hour round up, 2019 - the last "normal" year! 

19th January 2019 - Lily had a friend's birthday party to attend north of Bristol so we turned it into a day trip, starting with a Toby Carvery breakfast and taking in the new 'Hey Duggee' movie at the cinema. After the party we did a bit of shopping for Lily's birthday party the following week. 

16th February 2019 - We did some tidying and sorting then went out for a drive to do some geocaching and ended up at a soft play centre for dinner. 

23rd March 2019 - Another day of tidying and sorting out, with a purpose as the next day we were doing a stall at a local baby & children's table top sale. 

27th April 2019 - A day of travelling almost 300 miles home from our Easter holiday break in Anglesey. We stopped off on the way for dinner and a play at Gloucester Servives on the M5 of course. :-) 

19th May 2019 - A Sunday this time and also Andrew's birthday. In the morning I helped at a local baby & children's sale and in the evening, we had birthday pizza before watching a show at the Bath Festival. 

15th June 2019 - Another baby & children's sale, this time the local NCT one where I was volunteering and manning stalls. After the sale me, Lily, my dad and brother headed to the hospital where my mum was (this was the month she was diagnosed with cancer) and then came back to our house for dinner cooked by Andrew. 

20th July 2019 - Was our carnival club's annual fundraising fun day. Andrew took the lorry along as an exhibit, I made lots of cakes and also manned some of the stalls. Lily spent all our money on the stalls winning sweets :-)

24th August 2019 - This day fell on the weekend of Great Dorset Steam Fair and it was a lovely sunny warm day. In the morning me and Lily did our shift in the pay box of a friend's vintage arcade and in the afternoon I did a shift volunteering on the trailer rides around the ring. The evening was spent at the fairground whilst Lily's favourite area of the fair was the freak show (performed by the Circus of Horrors) which was not surprising as we camp directly behind their show and she'd seen all the performers every day. 

21st September 2019 - We went away for the weekend to help run the vintage arcade at Carter's Steam Fair in West Wycombe. It was a lovely autumn day driving there and a mild evening too with fab fireworks to finish. 

12th October 2019 - A day of tidying, cake baking and playing. In the evening we watched a live stream from one of the local carnivals taking place that day. 

16th November 2019 - The last time I performed on a carnival float! (as the processions were cancelled last year for obvious reasons). The morning was spent sorting out my costume and bits from the previous night's procession and then getting ready for that evening's one. 

21st December 2019 - It was our carnival club's Christmas party that day. We had a bit of shopping to do at lunchtime and then I made the cake that'd been requested by a couple of people in the club - a battenberg cake! 

Just one more year - 2020 - to go and then the first few months of 2021 :-) 


Friday 26 March 2021

A Photo Every Hour - 2018

So the last photo an hour post I wrote on here was for February 2018. As I mentioned the other day, for the sake of completeness, I'm going to cram the whole year into one post. 

Here's a whizz through March to December 2018 where in the space of a few seconds of scrolling, you can watch Lily go from just-turned-2 years old to almost-3. Also watch in amazement at all the things we used to be able to do pre-COVID!

24th March 2018 - We had a day trip to the West Somerset Railway for their Spring Steam Gala and managed to find the tallest tree in England!

28th April 2018 - I had a child-free day trip to London to see Kneehigh Theatre's fantastic stage production of 'Brief Encounter' at the Empire Cinema Haymarket. I did a bit of sightseeing too, collecting some geocaches at Paddington Station, Kings Cross Station and the British Library. 

19th May 2018 - Happened to be both the Royal Wedding of Harry & Meghan and also Andrew's 40th birthday. We went along to a local church to watch the ceremony (they were providing free sandwiches and cream teas), Lily did some flag waving (or should it be "fleg" nowdays...?) and in the evening, had a birthday meal at Toby Carvery. 

16th June 2018 - I volunteered at a local NCT sale, helping with the running of the stalls. We were also selling out stuff too and managed to shift quite a bit (as well as bringing home a few purchases of course). 

28th July 2018 - Was the first day of our annual roadtrip around the UK to Edinburgh and back. Our first stop was Leicester for a couple of nights so we drove along the Fosse Way doing some geocaching on the way. We finished our journey with a holiday treat of a meal from Five Guys. 

18th August 2018 - There was another Gromit Unleashed trail that year and we'd spent a large amount of time finding them all. We took a trip out with my dad to tick off a few more Gromits and ended up at a playground in the nice weather. 

22nd September 2018 - Carnival season had rolled around again and it was Frome Carnival that evening. I spent the day doing some tidying and cleaning then we headed out to watch the procession, picking up a McDonald's for dinner on the way. 

27th October 2018 - We started the day at Lily's nature class then did some cleaning before heading out to Warminster carnival. Dinner that evening was a meal from Morrisons Cafe, sheltering from the rain!

17th November 2018 - By this time, we're into proper "big" carnival season and it was my first time back dancing on a carnival float after having had a few years off. We started the day with a big breakfast before getting my costume and clothes ready then heading out to Glastonbury Carnival. It was the last procession of the season so we always try and do a big cast photo and after the show, the float is packed up and driven back to its shed to be taken apart ready for next year. 

15th December 2018 - Me and Lily went out to watch a Christmas music concert then we spent the afternoon making sandwiches and mince pies ready for helping run a Christmas quiz night in the evening. 

Excellent, that's 2018 done. Now to do 2019, 2020 and the first 3 months of 2021 :-) 

Wednesday 24 March 2021

Eight years ago today...

Um, well, hello. No idea if there's anyone still out there (or indeed, if that actually matters). 

8 years ago today I started this blog and just over 3 years ago I just kind of...stopped. 

The obvious reason is lack of time; Lily's 5 years old now and in some ways is a lot more independent but in other ways, still takes up a lot of time and energy. I might have also just sort of ran out of things to write about - although that's probably not really true, I still have lots of ideas and pre-COVID we still did lots of things. I suppose somewhere in the back of my mind I just wondered if anyone (apart from family) actually wanted to read what I wrote - in reality, my life is probably no more interesting than anyone else's so why bother sharing it? I mean there's always the line that you shouldn't write a blog for anyone else, just for yourself but if that was the case, I'd keep an offline (private) diary. The many times I tried writing in one of them as a teenager though, by March it'd become, "gone to school, came home, spoke to xyz friend" etc, etc. Having a "public" diary does encourage me to write a bit more than that which can only be a good thing.

Secretly we all know that it does give us a sense of...excitement? pleasure? satisfaction? when someone likes what we've written or shared, whether on a blog, Twitter or Instagram. I don't think I'm any different to anyone else like that - I like taking pictures, I like people liking my pictures. I still take hundreds now just don't always share them as much. But I would like to keep this blog and share things on here occasionally and if anyone else wants to read it, then that's great. Theres might be one reader at least - hello mum :-) 

And the blogging world has changed I feel - not that I could ever claim to be any sort of authority on blogging - but it seems like *lots of people* don't post as much any more, or maybe there's just as many blog posts it's just that the "tribe" (for want of a better word) of internet friends I followed when I started this blog have grown older and moved on. Perhaps there's still an amazingly active blog scene but it's all filled with people 10-15 years younger blogging about skin care and fashion hauls. Although I'm aware that sounds very cliched and apologies to anyone I've made a massive generalisation about.

And the world's changed you know? Without wanting to get too political, Brexit is a bad idea, a lot of what the Tories do are bad ideas and people around, certainly in my area of England just seem to be that little bit less tolerant of others. Pre-COVID I spent a lot of time in our local town going to various children's groups, taking in tea & cake at Costa or browsing charity shops and you overhear things and I don't know, people just don't seem to be as "nice" as they were anymore. And I'm sure there's always been nice and non-nice people and my judgement is probably off completely. Just like everyone at the moment (and over the last few years), I suppose it's just the whole concept of being tired. Or older. Or something. 

And COVID obviously hasn't really helped with that for anyone. I'm aware of how fortunate our situation has been though - I've been able to work from home for a year (and for the foreseeable future) and Andrew was furloughed from April to July meaning he was able to spend time at home with both Lily and me. We had picnics outside, rebuilt our veggie patch and grew lots of things and that was nice. We were also very lucky in having two holidays last year - one in August and one in early September, both to Scotland. We were incredibly conscious of not wanting to play any part in helping spread the virus so we planned a trip where we cooked our own food for breakfast and dinner and just occassionally collected a takeaway. We bought a Remoska cooker from Lakeland which was expensive but absolutely worth the money. Our activies involved mostly being outside (not near people) and driving around to see the sights (in our own car). The only indoor activity we did was a visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh becuse someone Andrew works with very kindly gifted us tickets as his mum works there. It felt safer in Scotland, it was noticeable people wearing masks more frequently and generally being more social distancing-conscious than in England. Which again, might just be my perception and people who live in Scotland could quite legitimately tell me it's not like that but that was just what it felt like to us. 

Down here in England, I've only been inside 4 shops since 13th March 2020 and all in December - once to buy flowers which couldn't be bought online (for a present for one of Lily's kids club teachers); two charity shops because we forgot her coat on a day trip to Weymouth and needed to buy a new one; and a visit to Home Bargains on the same day with a huge shopping list of things we needed for Christmas. We've tried to do or see hardly anyone - my mum was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in June 2019 so we've tried to keep ourselves "clean" so to speak to we can still visit her (which is allowed within the current regulations where we are - as providing care and assistance to a vulnerable person). 

I don't know what to feel about 2021 - on one hand it feels brighter because the vaccines are doing something, even if it's not quite as good as the government are trying to make out but on the other hand, you only have to gesture wildly at the corruption, cronyism and culture wars rampant in Westminster and think, hmm I'm not so sure. 

I'm aware this whole post may have come across very pessamistic - and I'm not, I promise. I tend to err on the side of being positive but realistic. And I'm naturally someone who doesn't hugely enjoy socialising or large crowds (my MBTI group is INTJ after all) so lockdown has been a gift really. We grew vegetables, I taught myself how to make clothes and I've been lucky to work from home throughout it all. 

Photo an hour is still going on each month and I've been taking part in that now since 2013. I have lots of pictures to share from all the photo an hour days so for the sake of completeness I'm going to try and post the missing years, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Don't worry though, I'm not going to do 36-ish posts, instead I thought I'd try and cram each year into one post. I don't expect anyone to read them, I'm only doing it for my own mind, if I don't post them, they'll just be "unfinished business!" 

As I usually do when I finish one of these "blog return" posts, I'll ask "what's new with you?" It's kind of a rhetorical question, feel free to answer it if you want, but I really won't be offended if there's no replies! :-) 

PS. A special mention must go to one person from the "tribe" of bloggers I followed and chatted with years ago - Sarah Rooftops - we actually met in person back in summer 2019 in Aberdeen and I can confirm she is absolutely lovely and friendly in real life! xx
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