My 2010 in 10 Photos

Okay, so I have totally stolen this idea from someone else but his is cool so I wanted to copy him.  Someone posted a link to his blog post on Twitter and I liked it so decided to nick the idea, but I’m so rude I also forgot who posted the link and where the blog post was.  If someone would like to remind me I will give full credit, but in the mean time – here is my year in 10 photos. 

First off I would like to say that although this sounds like a great idea, its actually a really hard thing to do!  Especially when (a) you take as many photos as I do and (b) your husband says you’re allowed a maximum of 2 of your beloved baby Owen around whom your life revolves.  I was tempted to cheat and use photos of things to do with Owen but not of Owen (ie his report card from nursery the day he took his first unaided steps there) but I knew that was cheating so I have tried not to do that.  Although I’m not promising his name won’t appear in my reasons for choosing certain photos, but this is my blog and I’ll bend the rules if I want to!  I was going to do the photos in chronological order but I think as I’ve just used the O word several times we’ll start with him and take it from there!

That's me that is

Photo 1 – Owen!  Yes this year my life revolved very much around this little chap.  I had the first 6 months off work on maternity leave to look after him and try and work out this being a Mum thing.  I’ve had an amazing time watching him grow and develop: from the first tooth, to the first time he stood up clutching at the coffee table, to his first toddle.  He started nursery in June and loves it, he started solid food in March and loves it even more!  He can now give hugs and kisses, put things in the bin, stroke the cats nicely, say a few words, shake/nod his head meaning no/yes, say “uh-oh” when he does something naughty (so hard to keep a straight face) and he loves books.  He sleeps well most of the time, smiles a lot and is generally amazing and wonderful.  Everyone told me that a baby changes your life and that idea used to scare me but I’m glad I came round to it as the love you have for your own wee person is just phenomenal, and the resulting deeper love you have for the man that made it possible and is there by your side through it all is just about as fantastic.  I think the other important “parenting” lesson I’ve learnt is that there is no right way.  Every baby and parent and situation is different and once you accept that life gets a lot easier.  Online social networking sites are great in this as well, I met some fab Mums when Owen and I were on maternity leave and able to go to things like Kids & Co and Mainly Music groups at the church but once I went back to work I didn’t have the chance to do these things.  However I had added several of the Mums as friends on Facebookand now I can keep in touch with all the lovely ladies, and get advice on things from time to time from them or other parents I’ve met online.  So hurrah for all my Twitter and Facebook buddies – thank you!

I picked this particular photo as it was an idea I nicked (yes I do that a lot, sorry!) from a free PixiFotophoto shoot at Mothercare, so as well as being of the wee man it signifies all the free stuff you can get when you have a baby: from the benefits the government give you, to the things like Bounty packs of “useful items” they hope you’ll then buy lots of (well done Petit Filous, that worked with us!).  Also the building blocks were borrowed from Lucas, Ray and Nicole’s little boy.  Borrowing his stuff is also something we do a lot, and something we really appreciate.  Babies grow out of clothes and toys so quickly so being able to use someone else’s is a wonderful thing.  Lucas lends us lots of his things and its wonderful to have access to his “cast offs”!  We are also very lucky in having fab friends and neighbours who pass us lots of toys and clothes as well, save us a fortune!  And once we’ve finished with them we can pass them onto one of our friends with a smaller baby and save them money too.

Anyway, enough about Owen, there must be more to life…?!

Dad catches a guinea pig for Owen to see

Photo 2 – my parents, the proud Grandparents!  This photo was taken in February when Owen (oops did I mention him again?!) and I went and spent a week with my parents.  We had a lovely holiday: going to Auchingarrich Wildlife Park and stroking various animals, going to Loch Katrine for a walk, going to a local fete so Mum could show off her grandson to the locals, just chilling out and smiling at Owen!  The best bit was that my parents weren’t working, they were able to just enjoy themselves and our company.  So nice to see them out the house doing “normal” things.

As for the guinea pig, well a certain young man loves animals and points whenever we are out for a walk and see a dog.  He can make a Woof noise and the other day was looking at a pig picture and Oinked!  Bless him! 

But yes, grandparents.  Mine will only have one grandchild as I am an only child and so will Owen be, so it was predicted they might be a bit doting, which they seem to be fulfilling nicely!  Bryan’s Mum unfortunately died at Easter due to a brain tumour, so Owen only met her once before going to her funeral and sadly won’t remember her.  Although he does see photos of her regularly so won’t forget her any more than the rest of us.  Bryan’s Dad and his wife Sasina see Owen fairly regularly and every time he seems to get a present as well as lots of cuddles – so obviously Reg hasn’t tired of grandchildren even though Owen is his fifth!

Cinnamon toast I requested this morning

Photo 3 – food!  As anyone who follows my flickr page knows, I occasionally photograph nice food before I eat it.  This is partly due to my intense love of food and partly due to participating in an online group collecting photos of food (good excuse I thought!).  Anyway I chose this photo to represent the ones I’ve taken in the past year as it was tasty, pretty, and made by my own pet chef Bryan!  This year he has made some yummy things (I particularly liked when he went through a phase of trying to make the perfect chocolate cake) and his kitchen talents have grown somewhat.  I am happily taste testing anything he passes in my direction. 

So that takes me to another hidden meaning behind a photo – its ironic given Bryan’s developing cooking skills that 2010 should be the year that I finally make it down under 10 stone.  I think I’ve hated my weight since my early teens and had several issues to go with that along the way.  Today I’m not toying with making a New Year Resolution to myself to loose weight, for the first time in a long time.  Its such a lovely feeling.  As is standing on the scales any morning I want and them not hitting double figures.  As to how I managed this, well, I’m not sure!  I’d got down to 10 stone 4 before getting pregnant with Owen and I lost most of the pregnancy weight through birth and breastfeeding, as you do with first babies.  Then I think its been a combination of trying to juggle work, housework and mothering – just carrying around a 2 stone little boy is good exercise never mind the fact you are always on the go.  Think the main thing was some of the germs he brought me home from nursery though – one week I had a sickness bug, two weeks later diarrhea and then three weeks after that we all had the winter vomiting virus.  Just the last one made me loose 3 pounds overnight!!  Anyway, however it happened I love it – just need to get sale shopping for some new clothes as my size 14 wardrobe just hangs off me now  *cheesy grin*!  The day of the AGM at work I realised my trousers were actually indecent so I had to run to M&S at lunchtime and buy some size 12 trousers ready for the meeting that evening!

THe Hillside Posse and resulting kiddies

Photo 4 – friends!  This group is the majority of the Hillside Posse who we lived with in Edinburgh when we went to visit in May, Ray and Nicole being the other couple that came out of that flat share.  We miss all our friends from Edinburgh now we live in Aberdeen and we didn’t manage to see these ones much in 2010 unfortunately.  We did however have a lovely weekend with them at Creagan in November when my parents went on holiday and asked us to house-sit.  Nice getting to use a hotel as self catering!  And Bryan had quite a fun time in the big kitchen too – we had a lovely 3 course dinner on the Friday night!  During the weekend we also found out that Iain and Laura were giving Rose a new brother or sister in June (ish).  Lovely news!  We’re obviously “that age”, most of our friends have or are having babies and a few joined the crowd in 2010 – including two sets of twins, one to my cousin Dave and his wife Bec and the other set to my friend Tony and his wife.  Unfortunately I still haven’t met either set but I have seen lots of photos!

Evening ride

Photo 5 – Brighton carousel!  In June I had to go back to work after maternity leave.  I managed to organise it that my first day back at work I was actually at a conference in Brighton.  The downside was that after spending all my time with Owen I was going to be away from him for several days, the upside was that I have several Twitter friends and they were lovely enough to agree to having a night out on the Saturday night as my conference finished at lunchtime.  It meant staying away from Owen an extra night, but I knew he’d be fine with Daddy!  It was actually a good way of going “cold turkey” from him ready to go to work the following week, leaving him at nursery for eight hours was nothing!  The conference was also shock treatment to get my brain working again ready for thinking of Society matters rather than mushy banana and dirty nappies!  The night out with Twitter folks was great fun and proved that it is possible to meet some lovely people online, some of them I’d been speaking to for over a year so I was quite sure I knew them well enough to know they weren’t the stereotypical axe wielding maniacs your Dad warned you about meeting online!

Oh, and I went on the carousel on Brighton beach with Law Librarian friends during the day and Twitter folks in the evening.  I do love carousels after all!

T in the Park 2010 - Mumford and Sons

Photo 6 – T in the Park / Mumford and Sons!  Being a terrible mother, obviously, I left Owen with his Dad for another weekend in July and went to my beloved T in the Park music festival with my chum Lydia.  We had perfect accommodation as my poor cousin hadn’t sold her flat and was kind enough to let us use it so we had showers and a kettle – much better than the campsite in the muddy field with all the drunken folks!  It was the only concert I attended in 2010 which is a big weird for me (I’ve got 3 tickets so far for 2011 so don’t cry for me) but it was fab.  Especially Mumford and Sons, as shown, think Bryan and I have almost worn out their CD as we listen to it so much.

Pristine white

Photo 7 – abandoned stuff!  Again, if you follow my flickr pages you will have seen various pictures of random abandoned items.  You may have thought “what is she up to?”.  Or you may be @sianz or @special_noodles and know that I am just trying to be a bit creative and have been inspired by your work!  It’s amazing seeing what people leave lying around - and what they throw out, and sometimes these things can make quite cool photos, nice change from fluffy kittens and chubby babies anyway.  Also, it makes you walk around with your eyes wide open, you never know where you might see the next thing for the collection – makes walking to work far more interesting!

Away oot!

Photo 8 – weekend with Jennie!  Ah yes, so I left Owen with Daddy – again!  This time I had a weekend in Edinburgh with my chum Jennie.  Saturday was shopping all day – with a lunch break to meet up with our friends Lorna and David…and then a pub break to meet up with Kieron and Lyndsay (from photo 4!)..and then back to the shops again.  Then we took Lorna home, got her dolled up and went back to Jennie’s and we got dolled up before we hit George Street (for a while anyway, shopping is tiring!).  Was nice to just chill out and be girly. 

Jennie and I made a pact when we left Edinburgh that we would try to see each other every 3 months, obviously that’s not always possible but we do what we can!  She was in Brighton for the night out as well and we spent the Sunday together afterwards, but usually we take it in turns to visit each other.  Poor lass, one time she was up she ended up hoovering my entire house for me and another I was ill so she ended up just sending me back to bed every time I surfaced.  Hopefully in 2011 I can be as fabby a friend to her as she has been to me in 2010..if she dares see me again that is!

I am outnumbered by mens!

Photo 9 – my lovely Robertson boys!  Okay so Benson and the one who’s name starts with O whom I’m not to mention too much aren’t in this photo but my year has been very much about this lot of chaps.  Obviously Bryan is my hubby and I love him very much and I think this has grown somewhat over the past year watching him with our son.  George and Benson have been our cats for almost 4 years now and are very much part of the family, they are ace with Owen and very accepting of all they have to put up with from him.  Lee has always been Bryan’s brother (obviously!) but the last couple of months he’s been staying with us and we’ve been enjoying having him around and having the chance to get to know him better.  I also love it when he brings my nieces and nephews to visit – they were one of the main reasons we moved up here after all, we’re just hopeless at arranging to go visiting ourselves so this way we can be our usual lazy selves but still get to see them all!  Boxing Day was lovely as Lee and the kids were here, as were Reg and Sasina, and we all swapped gifts and then played with all the toys all afternoon – just what Christmas is about!

Growing up in a hotel I feel more comfortable with a fully loaded sofa, and when its with such lovely chaps one can’t help but thank one’s lucky stars.

And so to my last photo of 2010, which just has to be of…

Sun rise on Boxing Day

Photo 10 – snow!  Yes 2010 has definitely been the year for snow, I think we had it up to March and then it came back in November and stayed.  I don’t know anyone who was left “dreaming of a white Christmas” and I think I was one of the only ones that was genuinely sad when it thawed.  I almost got upset about it when it looked like I wouldn’t see my parents for Christmas but then Dad phoned and said they could come to us as we couldn’t risk being stuck in a snow drift with a baby in the car, so they came up on 23rd and spent Christmas Eve with Owen and I.  We did our present giving in the morning before Bryan went to work so it meant we got pressies early too – woohoo!! 

This photo was taken from the house on Boxing Day morning as the sun was rising in gorgeous colours.  Aberdeen gets some gorgeous sun rises it must be said, another reason why I love it.  I also love the area where we live, happy surburban life so this photo signifies that as well.

So that’s it, my 2010 in 10 photos (with apologies if I mentioned Owen too often…oops, I just did it again didn’t I…?!).  I kinda feel there should have been a photo of my beloved iPhone4, without which my 2010 would not have contained as much photography or social networking, and it would have been a sad, sad place…

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