“Today, given a 35mm camera and a built-in exposure-meter, anyone can be an expert photographer, but it was not so easy fifty-years ago…. Clicking the shutter even once was a serious business that had to be carefully thought out beforehand.”
Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl
I’m eavesdropping on a table of paint-spattered construction workers in my local cafe. As they hungrily devour their ‘full English’ they are cross-examining one another’s attempts so far at keeping to their new year resolutions.
Have you made some new years resolutions? After examining my own year in photos, the mantra, ‘get back into my photography’, seems to ring out boldly and would appear on my list if I had one. I have long neglected my photography and sadly my big Nikon and expensive lenses have spent a shameful amount of time in the spare cupboard. The curse of the iPhone – so very small and convenient – sadly the results are somewhat disappointing. Bear with my poor efforts as I take you through my year in pictures:
We saw the new year in (2014/2015) with a group of special friends in a cottage on the cold Yorkshire moors doing a murder mystery dinner – in full costume and character. “Such fun!” (Miranda voice).
Leaving the cold and dark of the UK behind, I headed to Matjiesfontein in the Karoo (South Africa) for a cousin’s wedding. What a lovely dose of fun and family. A much needed remedy for the winter blues.
In May Hubby and I went to Holland on business and also played around with the panoramic function on my iPhone camera. We stayed on in Holland for the bank holiday weekend in a quiet sanctuary called Loon which was delightfully peaceful and beautiful – bicycle rides a plenty. Last, but not least, nyamazela.com was launched with much excitement.
June was restful in it’s own way, with a lull between family visits and longer, warmer days to enjoy. Our terrace-building debacle finally drew to an end and we began the exciting process of furnishing it. There was a birthday, an invite to the launch of a sparkling wine and a boat trip down the Thames. Hospital visits and tests were also the order of the month and the silver lining on this issue was that my dear school friend, Birdie, re-entered my world and for this I am ever so grateful.
For the month of July I happily became a tourist when my brother and family came all the way from Zambia. We did bus tours, went to Wales, did the museums, BBQ’d on the terrace, rode scooters, saw shows, ate ice creams, watched films, read Horrible Histories, learnt fun facts about ravens, saw the Magna Carta and I found myself in stocks in Salisbury. We shopped at car boot sales, clambered over castle ruins, got caught in the rain, sipped tea and ate digestives, saw deer in Richmond park, went down a mine, looked for wild strawberries … among other things – living the adventures of the Secret Seven.
There are 3 things I can say about August: a) Hubby’s craft beer making was a resounding success. b) A masterclass in bowling from our good friends in Bracknell turned out to be a highlight. c) A visit from my dear Canadian cousin and a game of croquet with Pimms brought the English summer to a happy close.
The Mazibukos came to stay and we enjoyed a late harvest of rather tiny carrots which, amazingly, actually tasted exactly like carrots, however diminutive – Hubby was very proud and the rest of us laughed with him, not at him.
October was an extremely busy month of travel, meetings and courses. We did business in Stockholm and were amazed by the Vasa ship; we enjoyed a chilly late Autumn weekend – pumpkin soup, bratwurst and apples with special friends in Mainz, Germany; got ‘selfie-crashed’ by a teenager on a fairground ride; visited beloved Liverpool for a charity meeting; and together Hubby and I expand our culinary skills thanks to my parents-in-law at the Lieths cooking school in Shepherds Bush – a treat!
November was a devastating month for world news and was ever so busy at work…it flew by without my taking much notice.
December began with a birthday and an anniversary celebration at Sushi Samba and then quickly rolled on into the festive season. Hubby and I had a seriously indulgent 3 week holiday in December. I will not bore you with the details of either our trip to South Africa or to St Petersburg which you can read by following the links.
Needless to say, we returned to London well rested and ready to tackle 2016.
Boy: Tales of Childhood and the sequel Going Solo are two of my favourite Roald Dahl books. I love almost every word he wrote so that’s high praise. If you’re in the mood for a funny, easy reading, this totally absorbing autobiography is an absolute MUST.