a New Year

The Ring of BrodgarIts been an odd and occasionally stressful 2015.  The lows were my mum, Christine Brown admitted to hospital and having to have an operation to remove her gaul bladder.  There was also my father-in-law Alan Turner having to spend time in hospital having a couple of operations starting with his new knee which has left him far less mobile this year.

With all of this we still managed to accomplish a few goals.  Photography was very light, a few working shoots; weddings and studio work, and we also finally finished the end room.

At the start of 2015 we stripped the end room down to bare plaster and the concrete floor.  We then re-plastered, re-decorated and finished the room with book cases and our piano plus hi-fi.  This end room captures the sun and has french doors out to the garden so is a lovely room to relax in.  This is now our ‘sun room’, music room, library and has the space to be my studio.

We also had solar panels fitted to the house so my goal to be energy independent within ten years is on track.  The final step is to get battery storage sorted and a replacement to our oil fired boiler but that will not be for a few years.

The highlight of the year was our second honeymoon on the Orkney Islands, with my wonderful wife.  This year was our tenth anniversary and we took the opportunity to re-visit these lovely Islands.

Orkney Sea Scape

For 2016 the plans are for a lot more photography, I did very little wildlife or landscape so I intend to get out there at least once a month.

I shot a couple of rolls of film in 2015 and want to increase that, also develop more myself.

On a fitness note, we cancelled the gym to give us more time and certainly my shoulders are telling me I got a good strength workout this last week with all the gardening we did but we do need to do more cardio.  Last year we went for a few walks on some of the Orkney Islands but not much else, so we must do better.  So far in the last week we did a 6.5 mile hike along the stretch of the Viking Way and on Sunday did our first bike ride in over a year.  In 2014 we commuted to work in the summer twice a week but in 2015 did not go on the bikes at all.  This year we also intend to correct that.

Around the house and garden the next projects are to put up all new garden fences round the property and also get rid of some of the more thorny bushes we have growing and replace them with climbing roses, blackberry bushes and clematis.  In the house the main project will be to decorate the kitchen.

Here is wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

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