Saturday, December 27, 2014

Looking back on 2014

Well as we come to the end of the year it's only natural that we look back on the preceding 12 months and have a quick 'stock take', for me it's been a year that I find in general satisfying, I feel fortunate for the experiences the time has given me, to list my reasons to be cheerful I note the following (along with the great blessing of acquaintances, friends and family who often are far more patient and indulgent of me and my distractions than I should expect or deserve),

Health

The good news is that apart from a cold and a few aches my health has been good, I did have a visit to the Doctors for  a check of Cholesterol and the like which of course was 'borderline', suggestions are more fruit and vegetables and less of the meat and high fat foods.
I also had an eye test which does not show any great deterioration in my vision but again the suggestion from the optician was 'more fruit' which may slow the ageing process around ones vision.


Photography

Well after getting pictures in the local paper (10 I think this year)  I have really tried to improve the pictures I take, as well as visiting exhibitions I have completed a couple of courses (OPEN Ealing digital photography and City Lit Business of Photography)   I even got the chance to exhibit in a small way and passed on prints  of a couple of pictures I had taken and invoiced for the use of another.

As well as taking pictures as 'the whim' took me I did help the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea taking some photographs at the famous Portobello Market on a voluntary basis for particular purposes (a challenge in itself).






Travel

In 2013 we did not  travel much but in  2014 we did take  trips to Glasgow (in June) and Rhodes (September) both were good trips and I realise how different Scotland is from England and what an important place Rhodes has been through history including the very famous Colossus of Rhodes).
Glasgow's famous  Burrell collection


A view over the temple at Lindos Rhodes









Art 

I continued to make regular visits to the National and National Portrait Galleries as well as the two London Tates but for me the most exciting Art event of 2014 was Marina's 512 hours - perhaps it shouldn't have been -the Richard Hamilton retrospective deserves a mention too - he was a great and diverse pioneer  of contemporary art in the UK.
A ground breaking work by Richard Hamilton

I took a City Lit course visiting London galleries to see contemporary works, a nice way to see some challenging work and meet a great bunch of people also seeking to push their appreciation.

It's also worth mentioning the exhibitions at the PM gallery Ealing and the excellent showcasing of Artists at For Art Sake in Bond Street W5.





Philosophy
Still much to learn

I got even further involved in Philosophy described half jokingly as an 'Affliction' by the wryly amusing course leader Mr Scott Biagi, anyway  thanks to him for his two excellent courses at City Lit and aided by sources on the Internet particularly Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time ((BBC Radio 4) I am now thoroughly hooked.







The allotment
An addition to plot 202

Well apart from the joys of the cerebral I have spent time digging growing and harvesting all good things to do - people on the allotment are invariably (in my experience) supportive and often actually complementary - it was great to have Debbie's help adding a Greenhouse to our plot and to enjoy good harvest of Cucumbers and Sweetcorn.



Helping others (and myself) in a voluntary way

The year has seen me continue to help Samaritans and the Hammersmith and Fulham  Citizens Advice Bureau.
I have also been assessed as a Voluntary Tour guide for London's Design Museum and even started conducting tours there.

Fancy a tour?

So all in all I can say I'm lucky and I can only hope that 2015 is up to this level of engagement for me..


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