Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Farewell 2014 - reflections on the year and my final photo-a-day images

Oh, 2014. You have been a memorable year. A year of excitement, adventure, change, challenge and reward. A year, in short, of living life to the full. I started it in the city I grew up in, working with people I'd known for years, and filling weekends with familiar sights and people. I am ending it in a new country, with a new job that was not known 12 months ago, learning new cultural references and visiting new places.

As with all years (all things), there have been downs as well as ups, but I wouldn't change a thing.

2014 in pictures - 365 of them

As with previous years, I set some goals for 2014. I like looking back at this time of year and considering how my intentions panned out. The eight I had for 2014 were...

1. Do pilates at least monthly.
This has gone better than in previous years, mostly, I think, because I set such a modest goal! Having abandoned my focus on doing a full session (an hour) a week, I found I could do 20-30 minutes of pilates weekly without difficulty. I'm quite sure my back and hips have benefited.

2. Play the piano / keyboard at least monthly.
In the first few months of the year, Mr Bite's keyboard was easily accessible and so this went rather well. Then we packed it up, and then we moved, and now it is in storage. So, a mixed outcome.

3. Practice photography at least monthly.
My photo-a-day challenge means I nailed this one. My December photos are below, and I've included a collage with all 365 above. You can't see the images in detail, but there really are 365 of them.

4. Try a new dinner recipe at least fortnightly.
On average, this has happened. However, there are still extended periods when I forget about my cookbooks and online bookmarks and just rotate through familiar meals. 

5. Run a half marathon in England.
I ran one in England...and another in Wales!

6. Exceed 5 vegetable serves per day.
Out of curiousity, I tallied my vegetable serves for a while in late 2013. Not counting legumes, I averaged around 4 or 4.5 serves per day. Simply focusing on my intake resulted in an increase, and most of the time, 5+ serves is standard now. Having dinner leftovers for lunch makes a huge difference; if I don't get 1-2 serves of vegetables in at lunch time, it's really quite hard to hit 5 in total.

7. (Try to) embrace change.
If moving countries and loving it counts, then I can tick this one off with aplomb.

8. De-clutter and reduce material possessions.
We did quite well with de-cluttering pre-move, and then lived with very little for our first 3 months in London. In some ways it was a shame when our shipment arrived and we went back to having 'stuff'. We are still operating with fewer possessions than a year ago though, and I'm focused on keeping it that way.

Christmas scenes from central London

I have fewer goals for 2015, and I shall share them in another post. For now, I'll finish off the year with my final month of photos - December scenes.

1st: Frost / 2nd: Light / 3rd: Don't cross / 4th: Distant St Paul's / 5th: Sparkle

6th: Christmas tree / 7th: Dangling / 8th: Colourful Paddington / 9th: Wintry Westminster / 10th: Oxford Street at Christmas

11th: Lost leaves / 12th: Heavy frost / 13th: Winter woodlands / 14th: Green view / 15th: Horse hello

16th: Morning sunlight / 17th: Christmas preparation / 18th: Kendal town / 19th: Peaking through / 20th: 4.30pm sunset

21st: Ruins / 22nd: Lost / 23rd: Decisions / 24th: Highland walking / 25th: Christmas peace

26th: Windermere / 27th: Snow capped views / 28th: Widescreen / 29th: All out lighting / 30th: Still

31st: Farewell

Happy New Year dear readers - and very best wishes for 2015.

12 comments:

  1. Happy new year kari - it has been quite a year for you and I am really glad you have kept up blogging with all the upheaval as it has been fascinating to follow your adventures. Love your photos - interesting that so many are outside at this time of year. I wish I could have seen the paddington statues. No 3 intrigues me for looking both sci fi (I thought dalek) and ordinary (I assume it is the tube). I love so many of your landscapes - 15, 24, 26 and 30 among them. Hope you have a wonderful 2015 - will be interesting to see what it brings for you. I hope there will be joy and surprises and resilience!

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    1. Thanks so much Johanna!

      I love that my picture inspired dalek thoughts, not least because as I type Mr Bite is watching something on science fiction and dalek noises are coming quiet loudly from the screen ;) It was taken while waiting for a train, but with some colour enhancing to make the yellow line more vivid. On reflection, it does seem strange I have so many outdoor shots - we'll see if that continues into January!

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  2. Congrats on achieving so much in 2014. Love your 365 photos. Decluttering is a goal of mine this year. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw :) Decluttering is harder than it ought to be, but worth it I think! I need to keep at it myself ;)

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  3. Great achievements! I can't even remember my 2014 goals, ha! I think they're on my blog somewhere :P Yur photos are lovely and I'm always so envious of how beautiful your surroundings have been this year! Happy new year!

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    1. Writing goals in a blog post is definitely necessary for me to remember mine ;) Happy new year and I hope your 2015 brings plenty of beautiful surroundings of your own xo

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  4. You've pretty much achieved all your 2014 goals, pretty impressive! I'm glad you've had such an exciting year! Love your 365 pics

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  5. Great intentions for the year!! We wish you a bigger, brighter and better year ahead!

    Thank you for being part of our Blogging Friends! Happy New Year!!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

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    1. Wishing you a big, bright and wonderful year in return :-)

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  6. Happy New Year Kari! And congratulations on doing so well with your goals. I'm not usually so specific with mine which is probably why they're not always met...I'm taking a leaf out of your book this year.
    Gorgeous photos again for December. Where is that Paddington? I've seen a few around and about near me but think it would be fun to do a trail! All the best for '15 :D

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    1. I would love to do a Paddington trail too :-) The one I photographed was somewhere between New Bond Street and Regent Street I think...but I saw one in Covent Garden last week that was then gone on a repeat visit so I don't know if they move them! Happy New Year to you as well :)

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