It has been, as you may have noticed, a few years since I last did a round-up of the year here on Creative Splurges. In fact as far as I can tell the last one was in 2016, so you might be wondering why, in a year containing virtually no posts at all (save for my traditional anniversary post), that I have decided to do one for 2019.
In short, 2019 has been a monumentally bad year for me, and whilst I’m reluctant to use the word ‘excuses’ I wanted to mark on record just how terrible the year was and its effect on this site and my hobby. 2019 has left me with emotional and physical scars that I will probably carry with me forever.
The year started out positively enough, albeit stressfully, when we upped sticks and moved to a new area, something I covered briefly in that anniversary post in January. Alongside all of the expected stress of a house move, the room that would become the study where my desk and computer end up was full of boxes and borderline inaccessible for several weeks.
By February, things were beginning to take shape, but a mysterious pain in my foot (which I have since attributed to adjusting to different, somehow less comfortable trains) left me unable to walk properly for couple of days, stopping all progress.
At the start of March, whilst putting up some shelves, I wrenched my back, which took me out for almost a week.
Just as I was recovering from the back, I developed what seemed at the time to be a mild case of indigestion. But within a day that had turned into stomach cramps, which eventually became severe enough that we had to call the NHS helpline and attend an out-of-hours clinic, who looked me over and diagnosed appendicitis and sent me to A&E. An intravenous dose of morphine and antibiotics later, I was in an ambulance to another hospital, where I waited for over two days without food for surgery to remove my nastily infected appendix. All told I was in hospital for four days, and off work for three more weeks convalescing. Between that and my back I only spent three days at work in the month of March.
In June, we went on what is becoming an annual trip to Cornwall for a holiday. Whilst there, I was involved in a minor traffic accident when, whilst I was stationary, a motorbike failed to stop, and crashed into me, doing enough damage that my insurance company insisted I no longer drive it and picked it up from Cornwall. We all had to squeeze into my mother-in-law’s car for the trip home.
Getting the car fixed took the best part of a month, in part because the towing company managed to damage it whilst transporting it back to a nearby garage for repairs, which required a whole separate complaint to be raised in order to get the extra damage repaired.
In September I was back at the doctors with fresh health concerns, which although currently seeming to be nothing to worry about, they certainly weren’t then. The stress of it all meant that in early October I developed shingles, which for the uninitiated is the chicken pox virus, lying dormant from when I was a year old, resurfacing for a fresh swing at me.
And then the cherry on the turd pie that has been 2019. Whilst still recovering from shingles, my dad collapsed and was rushed to intensive care with sepsis. After a month of battling as best he could he eventually succumbed.
All of the comments I made on my post about family photos, written in the months following the passing of my father-in-law, were ringing loud and true as it once again befell me to compile photographs of my dad for the wake, on top of putting together the order of service and writing the eulogy with my family.
Apparently taking lasting, funeral-friendly photos of people is a knack of mine, as it was once again one of my pictures used on the order of service.
Dad was a photographer. Without a doubt he is the reason I have photography as a hobby. He put a 35mm Pentax point-and-shoot in my hand as a kid on holiday. Later on, he bought me my first digital SLR for Christmas, which would ultimately rekindle my love of photography and lead to me setting up this site. I loved using this place to show him my own photos, even though he was so protective of his own images he’d never put them online anywhere. When I start posting again I’ll definitely feel the lack of one audience member.
Despite the lack of posts, I’ve still been shooting, albeit not a huge amount. I’ve had a few minor photography trips and a holiday, although I’ve not actually edited many of those images yet. Where I have been active is Instagram, where I’ve been posting relatively regularly. My top nine images of 2019 are probably a fair reflection of my photographic year.
I am absolutely intending to get back into good habits in 2020. Going out more, eating better, taking more photos are top of my list, as well as actually editing and posting photos here. The later won’t be instant, as I was to build up a surplus of posts before finally returning to publishing regularly.
All that remains is to wish you and yours a happy new year, on behalf of me and mine. Happy 2020 – I doubt it could possibly be as bad as 2019.