A Strange Year In Photos

One of the online communities I’m part of started a ‘your year in 4 photos’ thread (1 per quarter), whilst selecting mine I realised I’d like to compile a year in more than 4, as only 4 meant leaving out so many favourites. As a photographer and huge music fan, this year has been extra strange. In 2019, in part because I celebrated a special birthday we did trips to Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Cyprus and our annual Iceland Airwaves trip. This year we had plans to go to Berlin for a concert in April which obviously got postponed, along with several other gigs we had around the UK across March – May. we had vague plans for a Summer holiday in mind along with a potential weekend break in Helsinki & Tallin. We then watched as gigs seemingly far in the future got postponed, then rescheduled gigs get cancelled and refunded and any plans for travel abroad dashed. I also didn’t use my DSLR after a trip to London in January, that’s probably the least amount of use of a DSLR/SLR in 20 years. Anyway on with the photos:

January 2020, I realised that the Olafur Elliasson exhibition at Tate Modern was closing, so hurriedly planned a trip to London, there was also a gallery dedicated to Ed Ruscha I hadnt seen before. I also sold a couple of prints at an exhibition I co-organised with my photography group at our exhibition in Wolfson College.

February 2020

Started with a gig at the Wheatsheaf seeing semi-local band Peaness (the guitarist is from Kidlington and got a lot of cheers). The Drunken Knitwits continued to grow – usually we’re busy January as people take up new years resolutions and it tails off, but we were frequently getting 20-25 people every week which made scheduling the weekly meet ups a fine art. I also gave my second talk about my photography as part of our exhibition in Wolfson College, got my prints made for our exhibition in May (Iam NEVER this organised), slipped in a baby sitting trip to Manchester which also meant visiting Cloudwater taproom on their 5th birthday. Eventually we finished the very busy month with another gig – seeing DJ Shadow in London, little did we know at the time – in hindsight I was pleased we’d taken the unual option to stay in a kinda fancy hotel in London instead of scrimping.

March 2020

This month started with the Knitwits fundraiser for the Aussie Wildfires, we’d made cuddly Koalas, got prizes from local businesses and came up with some pretty interactive rounds all whilst raising money for a chairty. I also went to a couple of author talks at Blackwell’s, and spent International Women’s Day at Tap Social where Phillipa James’ amazing exhibition ‘100 Women of Oxford’ was on display. Lockdown started officially about a week later, I began working from home so my lunchtime walks shifted from the city centre and port meadow to my local park.

April 2020 – this month we should’ve been spending my husband’s birthday and our wedding anniversary in Berlin for a gig. Instead I did lots of walks around the park. Ordered quite a lot of beer online from the fairly local Cotswold Brewing Company. local bottle shop Kaygees, Wild Beer Co, Tiny Rebel and Brew By Numbers. By this point Knitwits moved online and we were doing our weekly Wednesday over Zoom along with a Sunday session with only a handful of us. I made a hanging basket to hold one of my now many houseplants, and started my mini project of photographing lost and discarded items. Oxfordshire Artweeks moved to an online format once it became clear that physical exhibitions wouldn’t be able to go ahead in any useful format. So I hastily helped assemble some online stuff for our exhibition whilst my prints lingered back in my office.

May 2020 – Yes, more walks in the park along with walks to Summertown for shopping as our local shop closed for a couple of weeks due to Covid in the family. Did some house rearranging after buying furniture and general nesting along with new garden furniture – prepared for a Summer spend mostly in the garden. Discovered a hole in our bedroom curtain made a camera obscura on the ceiling, dyed my hair blue (I had dyed the top half pink during April but it faded fast), did an online beer and cheese pairing with Wild Beer Co.

June 2020 – Lots more cycling, finally replaced a broken toilet seat and decided we needed cheering up, cue a unicorn vomiting a rainbow. I finished making a shawl for my mum, ordered more beer online – this time from Swannay Brewery in Orkney and Siren over the border in Berkshire. Lockdown eased slightly meaning we could meet in small groups outside, socially distanced, so we had a couple of Knitwits outdoors on the weeks that the weather was dry. For my birthday we ordered food from one of our favourite restaurants – Le Kesh who had just started operating online (I think June was also the month Deliveroo finally decided to branch out as far as our postcode) and had a lounge picnic. A strawberry plant that I had left for dead over the winter fruited, giving me a handful of very small strawberries, I call this a success.

At this point I’m choosing to put the last 6 months in a new post….

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