I know 2011 is not over yet but I want to send out an email before Christmas and rather than including a load of detail I will just point to this blog entry.
No really big changes for me this year. I am still living in the same house with the same lodger and doing much the same sort of work. I suppose the biggest change is that after a couple of years of searching and false starts I finally bought some woodland in Hertfordshire – if you are interested in that then you can check out my new blog called Ware Park Wood.
I will just mention a few other highlights of my year. I started 2011 in Wales where I climbed Cadair Idris on New Year’s Day – and again on Jan 2nd! In March I travelled to Riga with my parents and sister. In April I provided the soundsystem at London 420 in Hyde Park and in June I experienced my first Glastonbury Festival, working with Bicycology in The Green Fields. In July I went to my uncle’s Golden Wedding Anniversary in Devon then stayed on a boat in Exeter and went for a sail to the Mewstone with my friend Al, stopping for the night in Brixham and then Torquay. Finally in September I stayed a couple of days in the Kielder Forest and did some mountain biking. After Christmas I will be going up to the Lake District and joining a large group for some energetic hill walking. I plan to maintain my tradition of climbing a mountain on New Year’s Day.
In terms of work I am still self-employed and basically doing odd jobs (dog walking, gardening, tree work, occasional house sitting) but I probably spend more time doing unpaid than paid work. I am still a member of Bicycology but I have been getting more involved in local cycle campaigning too, both with the Welwyn Hatfield Cycling Forum and a new all-Hertfordshire organisation called CycleHerts. I am also now a member of the Hertfordshire Local Access Forum. Veolia has finally, and in the face of intense local opposition, submitted its planning application for a giant waste incinerator in Hatfield. I have been helping Hatfield Against Incineration by delivering leaflets to local residents and I used my mobile soundsystem on a couple of protests. I was also invited to take the soundsystem along to a festival in Letchworth.
I had big crop of apples this year and made numerous apple crumbles. I also picked a lot of wild plums to make jam and my grape vine yielded about 10 litres of juice which I have frozen in plastic bottles for the summer. Out at the front I planted a Heavenly Blue morning glory which flowered spectacularly for many weeks.
That is probably more than enough information for now. As well as this blog you can also find me on Facebook and Google+ (and a lot of other places if you look hard enough). I hope you have had a good year and best wishes for 2012.