Sorry. Buzzfeed-style titles are just so inspirational.
Yes, it’s been a while – my longest break since I started this blog way back in the noughties. But there’s a new year to embrace and explore, so let’s take a whirlwind tour of 2013 through my lens and we can all move on, eh? Stop 1: January.
Stirring the memory-beast that is ZombieLab is dangerous. It devoured 12,000 souls, and grew so large it almost became a victim of its own success. It spawned a BBC appearance for me (with a new job title), dragged the public into peer-reviewed research, and turned January into a dark, demented blur of a month. Let’s move on swiftly. February.
This year, I’ve been learning Wing Chun kung fu at the Jeffrey Alexander School of Martial Arts. On a freezing, rainy Chinese New Year afternoon, the team took to the stage in Leicester Square. Martial arts are a total departure from the freestyle sports I’ve spent most of my life pursuing, with a strong structure, long history and strict training environment. I’m loving the challenge.
Not much else sticks in my mind from February. It was a short, cold month, and I was having the mother of all work-hangovers. I was prepared to plunge into powder, so let’s move on to March.
I’ve had more dreams about Meribel than anywhere else I’ve visited (link goes to video of the trip). I couldn’t contain my sense of awe as we rode up the gondola on the first day, emerging from the tree-line to a breathtaking panorama of the snow-covered Meribel valley in the French Alps. Six days of good conditions, great company and a sport that has saturated my mind with a desire for more…
Before I get trapped in endless daydreams, we’ll scurry on to April.
My job at the Science Museum is more than just zombie-herding. In April, I invited scientists studying space weather in to the Museum to show off their work. They brought the Antarctic camping kit they’d lived in for their field trials. Cool.
The year’s been a really positive one at the Museum. I’ve created live events of all shapes and sizes, developed gallery updates, produced films about state of the art 3D printing, and so much more. It’s a ridiculously diverse role and I’m lucky to work with a brilliant bunch. Long May it continue.
Ah, yes. That happened. While I didn’t win a dream job in Queensland, I did get to run around London for two days with a crocodile and kangaroo, and met an array of people I’d never otherwise have crossed paths with. But it was an exhausting and intimidating two weeks, not least because I was also helping assemble a new display about brain mapping at work.
Later in the month I took off for a deep breath of fresh Italian air, finding some invaluable head-space with a trip to the Puglia region. A day exploring Monte Sant’Angelo was just magic. One word to describe the contrast between bouncing through Trafalgar Square in a Park Ranger costume and sitting alone in the sun-drenched backstreets of an Italian mountain village: stark.
Let’s wrap this instalment with June.
Portland. The limestone one, not the hipster one. It was the first place in England that genuinely shocked me with its natural beauty. The second day of June was crisp, stunning and blue, and I experienced my first outdoor lead climbing on white cliffs overlooking the glassy Atlantic. Lead climbing still holds mental demons for me, and I plan to wrestle with them more in the coming year. Next time, it’ll be me doing battle with the flake line in the picture.
The summer of 2013 was, frankly, ridiculous. If I’ve tallied it correctly, I stayed in London for a grand total of 3 full weekend days between May and October; everything else was spent exploring England and Europe. So keep your antennae tuned for part 2 of my 2013 wrap. Expect stories of German caves, Brimham boulders, Eclectic games, Santorini sunsets, punting, castles, French forests and flooded Devon streets…
Pro Tip: If you click on the images in this post, you’ll get to see a secret bonus image from each month. Some are related to what I’ve talked about; others are just, well, things. Go on then. You know you want to.