Winter roses

As promised last Friday, when I hit 730 blips, here are my reflections on 2 years of blipping. Enjoy!

It’s exactly two years since I took the photo that became my first ever blip.

The last time I composed an entry like this one was back in May when I posted my 500th entry. In the seven months that have passed since then a lot has happened.

First of all, we enjoyed the best UK summer for years with beautiful weather (apart from this day) and a British men’s Wimbledon champion (at last), which Mr hazelh and I celebrated at a fellow blipper’s 50th birthday barbecue.

The 50th birthday celebrations continued into the autumn when my own beloved Mr hazelh hit his half century just a few days ahead of one of our best friends. I daringly took a whole week off work in the middle of term-time to ensure that both significant birthdays were marked appropriately. K had such a good time with us over her birthday weekend that she returned to Edinburgh for another party in December. As a result I posted what must be technically the worst photograph that I have ever blipped, but I love it for what it represents. Indeed I like it so much that it is currently my Facebook profile photograph. The fact that one of my favourite blips in this period is such a terrible photo highlights how Blipfoto as a platform is so much more than a photo sharing site. What the photographs represent, and the words that accompany them, are just as important. My entry entitled "A blog about blipping" on 2nd October 2013 falls into the same category.

Someone else who celebrated his 50th birthday in this period was Dr Who. Edinburgh yarn bombers made sure the everyone was aware of this by dressing up our local tardis.

My blips continue to reflect two other aspects of my life: work and exercise. Here you find passing references to my default work setting, and fuller accounts of the demanding environment in which UK academics work, including “ordinary” working days such as 29th October 2013. October and November 2013 were particularly hard months for many of us due to an impending national deadline. Here you see how this encroached on what would normally have been Saturday lie-in, and my relief when my part in the whole exercise was finally over.

I have managed to keep up my cycling (at least over the summer) and running since May, with a recent personal best for one of my running routes. Unfortunately there have periods when my routine has lapsed. This has largely been due to circumstances beyond my control such as my catching a cold (I suffered three in a row between August and September) or my trainer injuring himself. Something new since last May is that on 16th June 2013 I started recording my exercise in my journal. I'm really pleased that I do this as part of my everyday routine. The shame of not presenting a record of some form of exercise each day is part of what motivates me to get up at 06:00am on weekdays for my early morning runs.

My favourite shots since my 500th blip are:

Plate glass sunrise - 6th January 2014
Fireworks over Calton Hill – 1st January 2014
Meadows pink sunrise cloud – 19th December 2013
Sunset from H floor – 14th November 2013
Calton Hill – 17th September 2013
Britain's most remote outdoor tennis court? - 10th August 2013
The escapee – 3rd June 2013

This shot of summer flowers in the machair on the Isle of Lewis on 9th August 2013 attracted a lot of hits in the week that I posted it to my journal.

I was also pleased to hear that one of my early blips won second prize at a show on September 14th 2013.

I’d like to thank everyone who enlivens my journal entries with their comments. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t hear from friedaquilter, yeeeed and Tigger101. I also look forward to regular interactions with the other blipfriends that I have never met: 09panda67, KJD, Gallopinggran, keibr, Paladian, rower2012, Rummy, snapper, and theboysmum.

Over the past couple of years I have been really pleased to get to know some fellow blippers in person including acronymphomania, ArcLight, selinaandbrock, shandonner, and walkingmarj. Then there are the friends that I knew pre-Blipfoto, and who drop into my journal from time to time: cracajile (a school friend who I’ve known since I was 11), ClarissaFox (another school friend), ReliantRobin, and SianLambert.

If you have read this far, congratulations! I have written similar reflections for my other milestone entries at 100, 200, 300, 365, 500 blips. If you, like me, are fascinated by our practice as blippers, you may be interested in some academic research that we are undertaking on Blipfoto within my research group at Edinburgh Napier University. Follow the link to read about the project and an invitation to become involved in it.

Exercise today: Leith run in 48’57” – better than last time, but still a long way off my PB of 46’06” on June 30th 2013.

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