Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

I'm hoping it'll start feeling a bit happier for me soon, once I've got over this wretched lurgy! The Doctor's doing a grand job of looking after me, and it is good to be at home and in my own bed, but I'm still feeling pretty bleh :-( Apologies if I owe you an email or blog visit - I sincerely hope to be well enough to catch up with you all soon!


I don't make resolutions for the new year, but it does feel like a good opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and to think ahead to that to come. It's a chance to think about plans that we've made or that we'd like to make, trips and holidays, the next step for The Children, our hopes and dreams for the months ahead.

This year we're planning several trips. In particular, I'm looking forward to meeting up with some old friends, to spending a weekend in Rome with The Doctor, and to going to France as a family with some friends of ours. There's a chance that we may be able to go to America at some point, which will be wonderful if it happens but not a problem if it doesn't. And very soon now I should be meeting up with one of you - thank you for living so conveniently close to friends we were already planning to visit!

Workwise, this will be a good year for The Doctor, as he's been given a sabbatical from his teaching in order to concentrate on his research and writing. He'll need to take several research trips (hence our weekend in Rome, a fortunate side-effect!) but he'll also be able to work from home much more than usual. Without the teaching, he should find that his job is much less stressful, though no less busy. He hopes to write most of his next book over the year, and as the sabbatical extends into 2012 he should be able to finish it completely before he goes back to the teaching part of his role.

As for me, I'm hoping that the budget cuts won't affect my teaching hours, but I'll have to wait and see about that. For the time being at least, my job is secure. The one-to-one tuition funding is in place until the end of the academic year, though we already know that it will end after that time. My papercrafts class also looks set to continue for now. At some point I may need to give some serious thought to my career plans - till that's forced upon me, though, I shall keep doing what I'm doing, and hope that I can continue to do so for as long as possible!

It's a big year for The Boy; in September he'll start secondary school, and we'll find out in March which school that will be. He also has the SATs to face in the summer term. We hope that his interest in his tenor horn will continue, as will his commitment to Scouts, and that he'll make the most of the opportunities each give him. The Girl has no such big moments to look forward to or to fear, but we want to look into piano lessons for her, and hope she continues to enjoy going to Brownies and to work hard at school.

And as you know, I always need to have some sort of project! I completed Project 365 and love that I have snapshots of all the moments through 2010. We have much clearer memories of the little things as well as the big. I can't now imagine NOT having my camera with me and taking photos each day! So I plan to continue Project 365 into 2011. In 2010, it was very much a blog project, and this meant that I didn't take many photos of people or of distinctive locations. This time round I'll do it a little differently - I may share some (or most) of the photos, but I'll try to include more people in my shots and I won't deliberately avoid details that give away where we are.

2010 was also the year of food photos. It was an interesting challenge for me to try to make every single shot different, and it did make me think more about what I was eating. I wanted to have an extra element to my 365 this year, too, but didn't want to do 'food' again. I've been mulling this over from about September onwards, really!

The thought came to me fairly gradually in the end. I'd read about the idea of 'One Little Word' on Ali Edwards' blog last year, but didn't really 'get' it, and certainly didn't feel that it was something for me at that time. Towards the end of 2010, though, I started to feel that I wanted 2011 to be a year of details. I want to focus on the details of my photography, to get to grips with my new camera, to understand the different settings, and to learn to use it properly. I want my layouts to include the details of the story by developing my journaling, building on all I learnt in the True Stories class, so that I am actually preserving our memories in my pages. I want to make sure I enjoy and remember the details of all we do this year. So my One Little Word for 2011 is details.

This will manifest in my Project 365 in that in addition to the daily photos, I plan to take a 'detail' shot from our day. This is in part inspired by the beautiful photography on Elflyn's blog, and particularly on her 365 blog. I was fortunate enough to win a print of one of her beautiful photographs, along with some handmade stitch markers, during Blogtoberfest last year :-) I love her interesting angles and close-ups, and that's a direction I want to take my photography, too. I hope that over this year I can see as much improvement in my photography technically and artistically as I did during 2010.


Cheri said...

Love your word "details" Mel - what a great photography project that one will make! Can't wait to see what you do with it. Happy New Year and GET WELL SOON girl!

helena said...

details is a great idea for the 2nd string to 365 project. Look forward to seeing progress during the year.

I didn't take a photo today - seems strange.

Rhona said...

I like the idea of "details" being your word for 2011 and I'm sure you'll do it justice!
Happy New Year to you and your family and I hope you're feeling better soon xx

Sian said...

You have a lot to look forward too - it's going to be a great year! Very much looking forward to the end of January myself :)

scrappyjacky said...

Hope you're feeling better soon,Mel....but glad you have a good 'doctor'!!
'Details' is a great word for your photography intentions.

Sandra said...

Take it easy, and I hope you get better soon.

I'm really looking forward to seeing your photos this year - I've loved your "food" photos, as well as your creative projects.

Clair said...

And I'll be looking forward to sharing the details with you as soon as you're feeling a little better x

Amy said...

Mel, you have an exciting year ahead and your chosen word presents many opprtunities ... I think it is well suited to you!

I really hope you start to feel a lot better soon ..... please, don't share too many 'details' of the lurgy though ;-)

Maria Ontiveros said...

My hat's off to you continuing the 365, and I love the idea of details for a word/additional photo post. Looking forward to them.
If you do get to california, definitely let me know!

Anonymous said...

"Details" is such a great word, Mel. Kudos for finishing the Project 365. It's something I've tried twice, but never completed. I'm doing Project 52 this year; that I'm sure I can keep up with. It sounds like your family has a lot to look forward to in 2011. Hope you're feeling better, and best wishes for Good Health, and Happiness in the New Year.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Great One Word. Sounds like a fun project!

Rachel Brett said...

Great idea Mel! I'm am keeping up with my 365 this year too, I am going to try and get more pictures of where I live :)

Rachel Brett said...

Ooh I forgot to say happy new year to you all :)