By hazelh

Oh, two hundred

So here it is, my 200th blip. I have taken no chances this time around and present a photograph that is entirely legal - unlike my first attempt at a blip number 100.

Since then I have been incredibly busy at work, sometimes wondering if things will ever improve as the message on the Meadows predicted on 20th June 2012. However, there are compensations to the craziness of academia, including meeting one of my heroes in person, as well the more traditional rewards of celebrating student achievements. My "home" life has been pretty frantic too over the past couple of months with 25th wedding anniversary celebrations at the end of June. I'm hoping that life will become a little less hectic for me soon since Mr hazelh made his big decision. I am looking forward to being looked after by a stay-at-home-self-unemployed house spouse as of September 2012.

As well as the detail of my own life coming through the "narrative" of my journal since April, it's interesting to see how my blips reflect what's going on in the wider world. Like many others I managed to blip the Olympic torch, first in Edinburgh, and then ten days later in Manchester. I have shared everyone's despair at the "summer" weather, but I have to admit that I am grateful that it gave me the opportunity to post a great shot of the reflooded Nor Loch in Edinburgh on 7th July 2012.

Another aspect of community life on Blip is its value for learning. I've always enjoyed photographing flowers, but not always known their names. Enter the fabulous ClarissaFox to tell me that I have Pentaglottis sempervirens in my back garden, and rat helped identify the beautiful astrantia in the Botanic gardens.

Another lesson learnt along the way is that to do something (in fact just about anything) well, you need to invest time. I have found that the more care and attention that I have been able to put into composing my shots, the better they are. This certainly applies to my pictures of Milly the border terrier and the leopard, both of which are the best of two series of shots.

I'm really pleased to have the company of fellow blippers as I attempt to improve my photography practice. Special thanks to ClarissaFox, Theboysmum (great insights into the history of Manchester and very funny jokes), selinaandbrock (I love that wee dog), snapper (highland and island tales that have me weeping with laughter), and NickyH.

I'm not sure that I have yet forgiven ClarissaFox for claiming exclusivity of the amazing shot of the deer on Uig Sands when we were on holiday together in June. However, the picture I posted the same day was also very popular. It was almost Blip War, but not quite. I realise that I need to improve my ammunition for the next battle, but I think she'll have until Christmas at least to continue to reign supreme.

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