2015 .... you can do one !! And that's me being polite !
As the 1st Jan flicked over on the nations calendars I already knew it was going to be quite a year of change as I would be leaving my job to follow my passion for photography. After months (and months) of discussions we had a plan. For starters a 2 year plan. I wonder how many folks had a plan mapped out only for life to kinda change things up.
The original plan was to leave in March, however less than 2 weeks into the year and our lives changed forever with the news of my dads situation. Dark, dark days throughout the first 4 months of year followed. Thankfully dad, despite the long term situation of his paralysis, has once again shown us his great inner strength. I know he's finding this situation tough, never more so when one of his Christmas presents this year was a framed image of both him and mum together from a previous Christmas. You could tell he wanted nothing more than those days back again. He, however, continues to look towards the positives. He hasn't given up on walking again. We are starting to get him back outside in his chair. First stop, McDonalds for a burger. A man of simple pleases that make him happy. A good rule for me, actually all of us, to follow.
So the situation with my dad delayed my exit from Schlumberger with this finally happening on 1st June. So, back to that plan we had at the start of the year. Slightly modified to accommodate more frequent visits back home. Ok, let's do this. The Plan. Yup, that dam Plan !
Oh, what's that life ... more changes you say?
Less than a month later my wife, who has in the past suffered bouts of both depression and health anxiety issues, started to go through probably one of her darkest periods. No doubt that the change in my circumstances didn't help, but as the weeks rolled into months we both knew that this illness needed some dedicated time and effort to start to resolve. It was then in October that I raised the option of potentially moving again. In the summer we had toyed with the idea of moving to the Peak District to allow me to continue to cover football as part of my sporting photography work. Trouble is, the Peak District, as nice as it is, held no real affinity with either of us, so that idea soon dissipated.
This time however I factored in the situation with my dad, as well as trying to balance both Nicola's condition and my own growing concerns over what I was supposed to be doing with my own path now that I had stepped away from the gravy train. I won't sugar coat it. Since leaving there have been so many other things going on, combined with, at times, my own struggles, that it has been difficult to see any real progress. And so within 5 weeks of first floating the idea we were signing up to rent a property on the North Coast of Northern Ireland.
First and foremost this move is for the most important things in life. Family, health and happiness. That will be paramount and will be our focus over the coming months. I am however looking forward to a change of scene, which I'm hoping will help to re-light those creative fires in my photography mind which had dampened over the past 12 months. Cambridgeshire, especially from a landscape photography point of view, can be challenging. Of course the uniqueness of this area can bring forth some beautiful images and I hope perhaps that by stepping away I can perhaps upon a return learn to love it again. We will see.
I'm also looking forward to getting back my running mojo, and where better place to do it than over miles and miles of some of the most spectacular coastal scenery the UK (neh the World) has to offer.
And so, without further rambling from me, some of the images which tell the story of my year. Looking back I realise I have an absolute huge backlog of processing to complete. Hopefully catch up on that in the new year.
A very Happy New Year folks ... I hope you all find health and happiness in the year ahead.