So here we are again at the start of a new year. I hope if you are reading this that this year will be a better one for you all.
This year so far – Resolutions made and broken. No surprise there as I’m still in procrastination mode and chasing my latest shiny new idea.
It never ceases to amaze me just how easily distracted I can be. I’m beginning to wonder if I was a cat in a previous life.
Anyway, my current stack of projects includes:
- Learning Welsh
- Finishing Open University level 1 study
Learning Welsh – The move to online learning is certainly helping with my attendance at Welsh class. As someone who suffers from chronic illness, I have found attending face to face classes regularly to be problematic at best and at worst – downright impossible. So the move to online has been a positive one for me despite the problems with broadband in rural Wales.
I really do hope that learnwelsh.cymru will keep an online option for all levels of their courses once things return to some semblance of normal rather than restricting the opportunity to learn Welsh to those who can attend a physical classroom.
Art/Writing – I’m spending a lot of time sorting through my photography archive. I’m hoping that some of my older images will provide a suitable basis for my mixed media work. I’m also intending to use some of my photography/poetry in the creation of mixed media artists books.
Open University – Just finishing level 1 study this year. French this time. I have no idea why I am so obsessed with it as I was just supposed to be taking a couple of standalone courses, but what can you do.
So overall on paper 2021 looks like being a busy year on the study/ creative side if things go to plan. However I have found that very few things ever go exactly as planned. Life gets in the way and I can be extreme in guilt tripping myself when things go wrong.
So, for 2021 most of all I am hoping not to dwell on what goes wrong, especially things that are outside my control.
I love the eye-level pentaprism SLR viewfinder on the Nikon 7500. The camera itself is going to take a bit of getting used to after the Lumix GX8, but it’s going to be well worth the effort, and it will all come right with a bit of time and practise.
The Nikon 7500 is a camera that I can use not only with the normal photochromic light adaptive lens (transitions) that I have to wear on a daily basis, but it can also be used with my darker prescription sunglasses. The Lumix had become a complete pain to use when wearing transitions and was simply impossible to use with sunglasses. So the Lumix has gone. I traded in the camera and all its kit for the Nikon and I don’t regret it.
Of course there is more to my move back to photography than simply learning to use a new camera system. I will also have to work harder to gauge the quality and play of light given that I hid from it behind glasses all the time. I do sometimes wonder why someone so light sensitive wants to spend their time taking photographs, but then I remember just how happy my dad was when he was out and about with his camera and I suspect that deep down this is the real reason why I still enjoy photography.
And this is one of the test shots taken to check how well I could see with the sunglasses on. It just had to be of a mini Shetland pony which was part of a fun point and shoot session.
I do enjoying living in Wales surrounded by countryside. The lambs are beginning to fill the fields around the town and snowdrops are blossoming in the front garden, and with the sun shining over the fields even the llamas seem to be enjoying themselves.
The initial stages of my PhD research seem to be going reasonably well. I have located all my sources and I’m in the process of transcribing and translating them ready for further analysis. I have managed to restrain myself from going to overboard at this stage and I have limited myself to works written in Anglo-Norman and Middle English.
The only times I really miss London is when it comes to buses – we nearly lost our bus route just before Christmas – and when something wonderful happens at one of the London museums. Which takes me to the breakfast news this morning and to the segment on the Viking exhibition at the British Museum. It looks like it’s going to be a wonderful exhibit.
As with just about every medieval history undergraduate I too had a great time researching the Vikings, reading the sagas and having heated discussions over the mix of creativity and violence so it’s good to see the Vikings being portrayed ‘in the round’ so to speak and it’s an exhibition I hope to get time to see in the flesh if only for the jewellery and the ship.
If any of you do get to see it before me then let me know what you think of it.
To go with the exhibition the BM is also showing two films at selected cinemas across the UK – one general and one aimed at children. So at the very least I will get tickets for that.
For more info on the Vikings in the BM click here.
And here is a llama photo to finish with.