In which I take a photo every day that I'm 50, and post it here on this blog, with a bit of related blurb.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Day 365 - The Last Post

thank you, and goodnight

Well, here we are...I'm glad you're with me dear reader, here at the end of all things...or the end of this blog, at any rate.

It's been quite a journey over the last 365 days, and it wouldn't have been the same without you along for the ride.

Quite the rollercoaster, it's been - lots of exciting peaks, and a few deep troughs...but my life, it seems, has a backdrop that is cool green (outdoors) and warm red (indoors), usually contains one Anna, and is otherwise filled with friends and relations, dogs and cats, and a smorgasbord of flora and fauna...

Animal antics are ever present...

These are usually stories or incidents involving my boyz Jazz, Bluez and The Boy Wonder, or my girlz, Loz and Maisie...but often events concerning characters such as Frankie, or The intruder, or Cat on a Post, or local sheep...

And with equal frequency, the surprisingly diverse species of wildlife that share their habitat with us...trees and mammals, and birds and flowers, and insects and molluscs, and fungi, and shrubs and spiders can all be found liberally scattered amongst these pages...

Adventures and challenges have also been high on the agenda...

I've ridden a horse on the beach, and climbed a dramatic multi-pitch route in the Lake District...I've slept in a tent (ok. it was a yurt, definitely glamping...but hey, grab those ticks where you can!), and driven a single seater racing car...I've learned to slackline a little, and skateboarded down the lane for the first time in 35 years or so...I've sport climbed in Spain and bouldered in France - in both cases to a higher standard than I've climbed before...I've learned Tai Chi, and picked up some basic photography skills.

And I completed my 50@50 Challenge - to solo 50 rock climbs in a day...of which I'm quite proud, despite its relative triviality in the greater scheme of things.

So last night a few friends joined me to celebrate all of this, and the ending of this blog, exactly one year after it all started.

Anna, Christina and Caroline decorated the place, including these cool ceiling decorations (which now poke me in the eye as I walk around the house...)...


shapes and shadows

There was just about enough room in the lounge, as long as you weren't too fussy about sitting on the floor...of course, Matt hogged the sofa...


matt'll tell ya summat else!
Jezz couldn't resist the photo-bombing opportunity - a trait that is well documented in this series of blogs...

the bomb

Similarly, Kim can't resist pulling a face for the camera at any opportunity...

Or maybe it's the forced smile of trying to remain polite after having read 364 consecutive blog posts written by your dad?!


face punch

I was delighted that Top Commenter Andy decided at the last minute to cycle ten miles through the dark, frosty night to join in the celebrations...

jazzy boy! oh, and me and andy

And I was doubly delighted that as a gift, he'd produced this amazing oil painting, which completely captures the essence of my boy Jazzy B...thanks Andy, I love it!  It's definitely going up somewhere in the lounge...

Mainly, as I mentioned last night, it was my chance to hold sway over a captive audience...mwahahah!

hear me now

True to the emergent style of 5oh1aday, when it came time for me to speak, I was completely unprepared...so spent half an hour or so rambling incoherently about fings wot I have learnt from this 'ere blog...and much fun was had by all...

By which of course I mean, much fun was had by me!  ;-p

Now those photos from last night are all well and good, but I need a photo from today...I'm not going to break my rule on the very last post!

Early afternoon, we took Robin for a long walk around a circuit we only do once or twice a year.

It's a couple of miles or so, nothing major, but takes in a lot more woods and a small, picturesque lake...

eyup

There were many ducks on the water, including these three pairs of mallards...nice to include a taste of wildlife on this post. 

Whilst up in the woods, Anna had the brilliant idea of grabbing a final challenge tick of the year (other than the take a photo every day challenge, which morphed into the 5oh1aday blog before I knew what was happening)...she suggested I climb a tree.
  
Seizing the potential for a sneaky extra tick, and one last handy blog fodder to boot, I looked for a potential tree, and quickly found this one...
 
slabby

It had a slabby start, requiring delicate balance on small foot holds, with nothing much for hands to hold on to.   I really enjoy this sort of climbing challenge, but it's fair to say that wellies covered in thick mud, on a green, damp tree trunk do not appropriate climbing footwear make!

Robin initially wanted to join me, but quickly saw the pointlessness of it...


nothing for feet

Once I'd fallen off a couple of times (through feet slipping off at critical moments), I concurred with his canine wisdom and went looking for alternative options.

Before long I found a suitable candidate...not the tallest of trees, nor the most challenging of climbing - but tricky enough, in the aforementioned wellingtons and damp conditions.


solid hands

Handholds were a bit better on this tree, although it involved some high steps for feet...something that definitely doesn't fall within the scope of my climbing strengths...but using a little technique and a smidgeon of experience, I was soon working my way upwards...


high steps

The Boy Wonder was perplexed with my strange behaviour, and was torn between closely watching, and running back to Anna for reassurance...(it will be interesting to see how he responds to us climbing rock...).

In truth, I didn't get all that high up the tree... 


half a tick

But in mitigation, may I again present as evidence muddy wellies, and mossy, damp, slippery bark?

On balance, I think I can claim at least a solid half a tick, in the Climb a Tree Challenge.

Finally, I just have to thank Anna, without whom I couldn't have completed this epic challenge...as well as providing extensive blog fodder (see labels on the right), she has shown remarkable patience throughout the year, given the level of time and attention it's demanded of me...

Here is the lovely Anna, with The Boy Wonder, next to a huge, ancient tree trunk we discovered on our walk today...

anna and the boy

Thanks babe, I love you...  :-*

As a last little parting shot...

For the full effect, click on the video below (no need to watch, just let it play as you read) before reading the final paragraph of this final entry, The Last Post, in the 5oh1aday Blog.





So this is it...we really are about done here...

It's been a deeply personal and profound experience, these 365 posts...A Year in the Life of Me...

I'm sincerely grateful to all those of you who have read, commented, participated or otherwise been part of this blog, or indeed my life, over this last year - you're all amazing and I feel honoured to have shared it with you.

Perhaps as you go about your lives, now and then you may remember some little story from this blog...a random fact about evolution, or ecology, or climbing...you might recognise a bird, or maybe you'll notice a little more of the wildlife around you...maybe you'll simply marvel at how liberating it is to have back all those minutes you used to spend reading 5oh1aday!

Should that come to pass, then my time here will not have been in vain...

Now all that is to be said has been said (please!), and all that remains is for me to bid you good night for the last time...

It's been emotional...

Peace, out.

2 comments:

  1. Awesome! Let's carry on this adventure together :-) love you loads xx

    ReplyDelete