That old chestnut

Well 2019 rolled around and with it, I feel the need to push out another “these are my goals for 2019”. Except this year for me is a bit special, it’s the year I turn 40 whilst still feeling like I’m in my mid-20s. So I tried to come up with a list of 40 things I’d like to achieve within the next 12 months, some with a 40-theme, but mostly just fun things I want to do in the next year. By committing to paper/internet I’m hoping it will help me stay focused to commit the funds required in order to do said fun things.  I’ll be honest, I don’t get hung up by ‘resolutions’ I didn’t achieve – in fact a couple of those from last year are repeated this year – this year I have firmer plans to implement. However for the most part, I just love setting goals such as ‘reading 40 books in 2019’ but the catch is they have to be 40 books I already own, as of 1st January 2019. Because I am a bugger for buying a ton of books (both new and from second hand shops, my kryptonite) whilst my TBR pile extends over 2 free-standing bookshelves worth!

Learning to knit continental style is something I really, really want to do (I’m a crocheter btw). Through my knitting group I’ve met some amazing people who can knit at the speed of light, all of them knit continental style so this may appease my impatience at making things.

Another goal is to travel 1st class – I’ve left that open ended, because unless I win some sort of competition I am fairly certain it wont be by air, but by train because I don’t think a few extra inches of legroom and a couple of glasses of wine warrant triple the price.

A few other goals revolve around my Brewdog EFP membership – they run a ‘Beer Visa’ scheme where you get various rewards for having your beer passport stamped in the 50+ bars. It’s a good motivator for beer trips (although who knows, with Brexit maybe having your passport stamped won’t be so much fun!) and I’ve already got a Sweden trip to encompass 3 bars in 1 weekend planned!


But for the most part quite a few of my goals are just for the purpose of focusing my energy – on things I want to do, but never quite get around to or put off because I’m too scared (see submitting work to photo or print competitions!)

Anyway, I still have 3 more goals to add to my list, so welcoming suggestions in the comments. What have you chosen to tackle over the next 12 months?


Back in the game

pile of books on a table

Or trying to be. I realised today, that it’s February. Not that I only just realised what month it was, but that my usual new years resolution of writing and blogging more often still had not gone beyond the draft stages. Such is my proclivity for procrastination, that I’ve done nothing more than make lists of what I should be doing and reading articles on why people fail at keeping resolutions, smugly thinking “that’s not me”!

I also have more drafts that posts, because I spend so much time self editing, that the posts become past their sell by date. So a challenge for myself is to throw caution to the wind and try to just throw down some words on the paper/keyboard and hope that something good spills out. Hopefully I’ll find my writing style in the process and perhaps my mojo which I think I lost down the back of the sofa midway through 2015.

So maybe, just maybe by throwing my challenges out in the open, will make me more inclined to stick to them.

  1. To post at least once per week ie maybe some weeks I’ll post twice and not another week – as long as I end up with 52 posts by February 2017.
  2. Aim to post about events within 5 days of said event, it seems pointless to me to say, post a review raving about an exhibition I think people should see, if it’s already closed by the time i post about it.
  3. To not overly edit or fret. Just spill my guts onto the page, metaphorically speaking.
  4. To get better at saying what I mean. I read a lot, and I always fail at book reviews other than saying ‘I think it’s awesome’
  5. To blog from my phone/tablet. One of my main excuses internally for not posting very often is that I dont have time once I sit in front of my PC. I think posting from a tablet/phone may also improve 3. as editing too much on a small device is tedious.

Au revoir!


Resolutley resolved…

… to have a better year than the last. Although most people I know say this, 2011 seemed to be a pretty depressing year all round (more recession, riots, even more crappy weather). I managed to start the year with a bang of the wrong sort, my hard drive that stores my photos went kaput and I lost about 6 months of photos that weren’t backed up – there’s a slither of a chance that a professional company can retrieve the data, but it will be costly.

So resolution 1.  to do a back up on a weekly basis – a new back up system that creates and stores 2 copies of everything on separate drives is on it’s way and an important lesson learned the very hard way.

2. Print more often and master my craft

Adana Press

Last year one of my resolutions was to spend more time in the print studio, I went on a letter press course, took part in a book fair and the 20:20 print exchange. Taking part in the print exchange introduced me to several print techniques I’d not tried before, so I’m hoping that Hot Bed Press will be re-running their solar plate etch course as well as experimenting more freely.

3. Read more often


This is one that crops up year after year, mainly as I always feel like I never have enough time to read, always buy new books (a couple a month at least, every month) and have ever growing piles. Also we haven’t had a ‘beach’ holiday for a couple of years and that seems to be the only time I make a dent in the bag log. Towards the end of 2011, I set a challenge to read a selection of books before the end of the year, and whilst I didn’t finish all of them, I read more than I would have normally. So in 2012 I’m going to aim to read 2 books a month, picking each 2 at the start.

4. Get back into film photography

Lomo Store

My film photography took a sharp nose dive this past year, in part to a my batch of B&W processing chemicals going off, which I haven’t had time/money to replace and with LCE in Manchester closing their labs making colour processing, especially medium format a suddenly pricier hobby. However Lomo have opened a store in Manchester, and although I probably wont be buying equipment from there, I’m hoping there will be an increase in demand for fairly priced processing that doesn’t involve posting across the Pennine’s (although how anyone will beat LCE’s £3 per film dev only, I don’t know). In addition to that, I also want to get back into printing – there’s a studio in Salford near Hot Bed Press that has a darkroom for hire, when I can get a satisfactory amount of photos to print hopefully I’ll be able to get in there.

5. Knitting & crafting

Knit One

about 18 months ago I taught myself how to knit and joined a knitting & crafting club with some friends, however I got more interested in my cross stitching than knitting and so I never got further than a scarf. This year I hope to progress to something involving a pattern and a few different stitches.

6. Finally, regular & prompt blogging. So often I start a blog post, get distracted, or hung up on .. stuff that I end up finishing blog posts weeks after an event I’m writing about, or end up getting bored of it. So I’m setting myself a target to do my write ups within 2 days of an event, as the information be fresh in my mind and I also really enjoyed the October wordpress post a day challenge that aims to get people writing regularly and concentrating on quantity over quality (odd concept but it works).