It has been a long and in some ways 'lean' year. A year that began with floods, through which I waded with camera and wellies. I returned to Paris in April and South Devon in August, with a halcyon re-visit of the Purbeck Isle and Turlin Moor in Dorset. October saw me finally reach Northern Ireland and caught me marvelling at the tip of the Giants Causeway, with Lancashire hard on its heels - Jack Scout and Jenny Brown's Point both revealing their wild beauty as I passed through.
I have been blessed with a dynamic mentor relationship this year courtesy of Oxfordshire Youth Arts Partnership and 'Stepping Up' their creative young leaders programme. My first mentee Rebecca has flourished and thrived, met challenges with an impressive alacrity and listening to her recant her adventures and travels this past year I couldn't help but feel I was doing something wrong and she'll soon be mentoring me! To take on a new mentee was a daunting prospect but Zaylie Dawn turned out to be a power house of determination and talent, who had simply overlooked her own bushel in appreciating and valueing everyone elses, she has also awed me with her travels and adventures this year but its good to see a generation of young creatives reaching out to an international arts scene. Culture is boundary crossing, it's heartwarming to see the various cohorts of OYAP's programme embracing this.
I have been set a challenge by Becca to get to Rome this year, I aim to give it my best shot after a short week in the Swiss Alps on a return journey to Haute Nendaz as the snow melts. Last year I said that 'the more I travel the more lost I become' perhaps we must become 'lost' in order to be able to travel more freely?
Since 2007, I have been a passionate social media freak/geek/maven but I stepped back in 2014 both with @artsmonkey1 and @cultureactive, I intend to step away frequently in 2015 too and thus remain more rooted in my own work instead of feeding other peoples quite as much. Fine words - I hope I stick to that!
I do love to keep up with my twitter friends; @rachaelphillips sent an email today about her new plan to found a support group that helps each other not to diet back to feeling good but to find themselves and good health through better lifestyles and emotional wellbeing which sounds great and @LloydDavis has got an intreaguing social--art-community-shop adventure going on in Kent which I dont fully grasp yet and as for @escapetocreate well I haven't seen Catriona nearly enough this past year so I need to do something about that in 2015. So many of my twitter friends who I've come to know over the past seven years are also starting to fade away, I suspect we are beginning to move from twitter infancy to a more distanced second age of social media. Then of course here in the UK we've an election coming up - how can I campaign 'en masse' if I step too far away from twitter! And then there's @DebraKidd and her Love Learning blog https://debrakidd.wordpress.com/ and Maurice A. Barry's tales of life https://duckstarfish23.wordpress.com/ and e-learning http://mauriceabarry.wordpress.com/ in Newfoundland which never disappoints. Plus all the British Library Crime Club reprints I haven't yet read...
I must end with an apology to the editor who made an enquiry about some pictures of mine that she'd come across via Pinterest - I killed my laptop this year and an external hard-drive with some really precious photo's on it, I should have replied to her reply I am not usually so rude but at that point I was heartbroken and griefstricken - that was when I realised that technology had become too invasive. I am going to take more film shots in 2015, spend less time huddled over my keyboard staring at a screen and get out there and take more portraits of people. If you're interested...?
Whoever you are and wherever you are reading this, I wish you safe journeying in the year ahead.