Fotomatikus

By hazelh

After eight years of blipping

Today's blip is the one that I should have really thought about and composed last Thursday. Since it is now well and truly after my 8th blip birthday, I thought that an After Eight mint would be a good blip subject. I'm afraid that the mint itself is a bit battered. This is because I carried it back from Ridgeback13's house yesterday in my handbag, having taken the full box of mints to our (raucous) book group meeting.

It's just over a whole year since my last blipfoto milestone, so it's taken me some time to work my way through twelve months of blips to identify my favourite pictures and reflect on the records I make of my daily life in my journal.

The aftermath of my father's death on 7th December 2018 has dominated my personal life this past year as my sisters and I do all we can to support our grieving mother. She's a very depressed new widow. She did enjoy her 80th birthday party on 14th September 2019, however!

Work-wise, there have been no major changes in the past 12 months. Amongst the references to meetings, supervisions, classroom teaching, email mountains, writing and project work, the best news is that several of my PhD students have recently completed their studies. Both Frances and Alicja have now graduated; Lyndsey and Leo have passed their vivas; and Iris has submitted her thesis.

Despite suffering a significant reduction in time to myself (largely because Mummy hazelh spends so much time with us these days, but also because we host so many visitors and I work crazy hours for somebody on a part-time contract), I still manage to fit in my favourite activities: charity shop shopping; cooking (especially soup making); board game playing; cycling; dancing at Chil gigs; blipping; reading (often along with my fabulous book group pals); visiting exhibitions; and travelling on holiday with Mr hazelh (especially by bike to the Outer Hebrides, although we also managed trips to Naples and Provence in 2019). I have also engaged in two 'secret' activities in the past year. Some evidence of this can be found in my journal, but you would need to know where to look in order to find it ;-)

My read-through of a year's worth of blips in one go also makes me wonder if I should stop complaining about insomnia, colds, and aching limbs!

My favourite photographs of my past blip year are:

Feline railing interloper - 18th March 2019
Alnwick Castle dark skies and daffodils - 31st March 2019
Raindrop in a puddle - 4th April 2019
Skeletons at Herculaneum - 18th April 2019
Holiday day 7: around Baile-na-Cille (1) (highland cow and calf) - 30th May 2019
Holiday day 9: around Baile-na-Cille (3) (bridge) - 1st June 2019
Holiday day 15: around Scarista (3) (huge waves) - 7th June 2019
Coloured hens' eggs - 13th July 2019
Orange poppy meadow - 15th July 2019
Happy 1st birthday - 27th July 2019
Fire(work) starter - 26th August 2019
Beautiful autumn morning on the Meadows - 27th September 2019
Autumn morning Bruntsfield Links - 17th October 2019
Still autumn day - 23rd October 2019
Commuting in Edinburgh - 30th October 2019 **my most favourite**
Otters at the Scottish deer centre - 2nd November 2019
Autumn cherry trees - 13th November 2019
Durham cathedral at the Lumière Festival 2019 - 16th November 2019
Last light on the canal - 20th December 2019

The main event today has been to install Paddy and Caitlin in their new flat. They left Edinburgh for the long drive down to Sussex in a hired van at 07:00 yesterday morning to collect all their belongings from my middle sister's house. They returned to Edinburgh at 14:45 this afternoon. Mr hazelh and I helped them carry everything from the van up to their new first floor flat (as did one of their very friendly new neighbours). This task took 45 minutes. Then Paddy raced down to Leith via the petrol station to return the fully-fuelled van to the hire company by the 16:00 deadline. Soon after Paddy's return we walked back to our flat so that Paddy and Caitlin could pack up all the belongings that they have kept here over the past couple of weeks while they have been staying with us. They are sleeping on a mattress on the floor in their new place tonight.

Our flat feels quite empty without our young housemates and all their bits and pieces, but it's nice to have a bit more space again. We'll  have the whole place back to ourselves when Mummy hazelh leaves on Tuesday.

Exercise today: sit-ups, weights and stretches; 1 hour on the exercise bike; lifting and carrying; small amount of walking (8,114 steps).

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