So this is the third year that I’ve done Susannah Conway‘s December Reflections.  They were some of my first blog posts with this newly revamped website, and they are part of the reason I’ve been sharing the my monthly Photo a Day collections.  So I thought I would return with more of these December Reflections, though I may not split them into four separate posts, but instead just the one, we shall see.

Day 1 – Morning light

The day before we had the most glorious sunrise, however the first day of Christmas was grey and rather dull.  In the spirit of the December Reflections, I decided to go with what happened on the day.

Day 2 – Favourite photo of 2018

I took a wildlife photography course this year and so I have taken a lot more.  This photo of a blue tit is a favourite from this year as the colours are lovely and he’s so cocky looking. 

I took it at the Garlic Farm, on the Isle of Wight back in April.

Day 3 – Orange

I saw this on a poster in Berlin, and I have a thing for foxes, so I took a photo and it’s a glorious orange.

Day 4 – Best decision

The best decision I made this year (one of many) was signing up for the one day Wildlife Photography course at the Walthamstow Wetlands, which I shared on this blog

Why was it such a good decision?  After my year of MFR UK Diploma, followed 2 years of Yoga Teacher Training, I decided I should have a year off courses*.  That was not a great decision for my mind as it likes to learn all the time and I ended up in a bit of a funk, which this course really helped lift.  I’ve also taken lots of lovely wildlife photos, like this one, and also been to the Wetlands a lot more.

Day 5 – 5 things about me

In no particular order:

  1. I love Doctor Who, always have done since late in Tim Baker’s tenure and I’m thoroughly, enjoying the current incarnation.
  2. I have made two Christmas cakes this year (the second one made without nuts, pictured) and will be making biscuits to hang on the tree and possibly Stollen…
  3. I read The Lord of the Rings before I was 10 years old (approximately, it was a looong time ago). I am overdue a re-read of the books, and a re-watch of the films (Extended cuts obviously)
  4. I am a course junkie. I love to learn new things, and my brain hates it if I don’t have anything planned, which explains why I have things in the pipeline through to November next year…
  5. I have to have a book “on-the-go” and I need to read before bed… I have work books that I read on my commute, but I always need a fiction (preferably Fantasy) to read before bed…

Day 6 – Best book

I read both texts for work as an Integrated Myofascial Therapist, and Yoga Teacher, but also for pleasure. The book that has stayed with me most is “The body keeps the score” by BesselnVander Kolk. A book about the way our body deals with trauma (and what might be happening when it doesn’t, and ideas on helping complete the process). I wrote about it on my blog here.

From a less dense side a couple of ‘fun’ books I thoroughly enjoyed were NK Jemisin’s “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms”, Jay Kristoff’s “Nevernight” and Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer (which I noticed I started in 2017, but finished it’s 1,200+ pages in 2018).

Day 7 – Home

I have lived in this house for just over 18 years now and I’m oh so fortunate.  This year we were in a place where we could make some modifications, and it has been a bit of a mission:

  1. We replaced the kitchen laminate flooring with reclaimed solid wood flooring.
  2. We had new windows in the kitchen and bathroom (yay for double glazed sash windows)
  3. We had a new kitchen installed (lovely)
  4. We started to paint the kitchen walls, but finishing won’t happen until 2019.
  5. We replaced the upstairs bathroom (getting rid of the bath we only have a shower now)
  6. We blocked up an unused door to the garden and installed a downstairs loo.

So here’s a view to the kitchen, looking passed the new loo.

Biggest surprise of 2018

This year hasn’t been that full of surprises, but a delightful discovery was Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs films, and there was an exhibition involving many of the awesome sets and models.  Stumbling across this was a delightful surpise

Day 9 – Shadows

This is taken in the New Guardroom (Neue Wache) in Berlin.  It is now a memorial to the dead of World War Two, there is an unknown soldier and an unknown concentration camp victim buried here.  

The statue is Mother and Dead Son by Kathe Kollwitz. 

This was a chance discovery and very moving.

Day 8 – Biggest Challenge

I have been very fortunate that there have not been many physical struggles and challenges, but I have spent the year keeping the smile going whilst my brain has been struggling with Imposter Sydrome.

I have been going through sudden whirlwinds of thoughts where I lose all self-confidence in my self, my knowledge and can not believe why anyone would want to learn from me or have a treatment by me or even want to know me.

I have been told that this is Imposter syndrome and is very common and if I don’t have it then that would be when to worry, but in the midst of the thought storm it’s so hard to believe it…

The smile sometimes has felt very false and thin, but it has stayed on in front of clients, and comes off when it can. I want to thank those who have been there for me. 

Day 11 – Blue

Strings of lights, blue at the time, that you walk through at the Christmas at Kew light show

Day 12 – Best meal of 2018

I have had some lovely meals over the year, this one stands out because of the location and the fun we had that weekend celebrating a dear friend’s 30th birthday…

We helped to set up and decorate the cottage, gazebo and table.  Someone else cooked (amazing food) and we partied the night away, and it was in the midst of the hot summer so we were able to stay outside for most of the evening.

Day 13 – Comfort

Comfort in my own skin is what I am looking for with so much of what I am doing, whether it be putting my face in front of a camera; or moving with an appropriate amount of effort in my life with my Yoga; releasing unhelpful tension with Myofascial Release and the yoga…
… Not quite there yet, but I’m a work in progress…

Day 14 – 2018 taught me

…that I can write and regularly post on my blog with very little effort. It is nothing like you might expect based upon my job, but it is me, I’m still finding my voice, but it’s there. Photography plays a large part and that keeps it fresh and available for me. Some of the first posts are based on last year’s December Reflections.
…I have learnt that my mind really needs me to feed it new information and to constantly learn new things, and they don’t have to have anything to do with work.
…That my knowledge of anatomy and physiology is not bad at all, as I managed to keep up with the majority of the Fascia Research Congress last month.


Day 15 – Yellow

Not that many things in my house now that I’ve painted out the yellow of the kitchen.  However, I was delighted to see this yellow winter jasmine in flower in my little garden.

Day 16 – Best day of 2018

Like a lot of people in the UK in the early 1980s, I was obsessed about the raising of the Mary Rose from the water’s of the Solent.  This year, I finally managed to get myself organised to go and actually see it, now that it has been preserved and opened up to the general public.  It has been visible for sometime, and so it was embarrassing that I hadn’t done it before.  
It was totally worth the wait and I will admit to getting quite emotional on seeing it for the first time, as well as almost sobbing at the end where they pay tribute to the two lead archaeologists. 


Day 17 – Sparkle

Lights reflecting from a wet pavement, in Broadgate

Day 18 – I said hello to

I said hello to lots of lovely new clients, new students (both yoga and MFR colleagues), but I don’t have any photos of them.  However, my SO gave this wonderful Stained glass Stormtrooper to me for my birthday… It was created specifically for me by Stained Glass Geek and I’ve finally worked out how I’m going to display it.

Day 19 – Tasty

Lunch today was tasty (brie and cranberry baguette), but I do not really enjoy photographing food.

Day 20 – A secret

I’ve long thought about sharing this secret: that I occasionally consult Tarot cards to get some clarity.  I will say that I don’t believe that they have special powers, but rather they help me to reflect on my thoughts and give me insight into how my head is thinking.  However, sometimes the messages I read in them can be scarily accurate with how things turn out, go figure.

This deck is the Linestrider Tarot, and is one of my current favourites, and I have way too many decks (they have some amazing art).

Day 21 – Paper

and pen, all set to work out what next year’s word will be.

Day 22 – I said goodbye to…

…this kitchen, which I have “lived with” for the last 18 years (yep, I’ve lived in this house for that long).  I also said goodbye to the bathroom (and bath) which was also over 18 years old.

I have also been fortunate enough to not have lost any family or friends this year, and I hope that that continues.

Day 23 – Late

Herb, as in dried and died…

I just can’t keep thyme… So late in that pun too…

Day 24 – Traditions

We do have a couple of ones around Christmas, and most are at my parents:

– This peg doll crib (nearly 40 years old)
– the same angel and straw stars on the tree
– honeycake biscuits hanging on the tree,
– everyone helping cook dinner and wash up,

and the most important: NO television on Christmas day, which is delightful and so relaxing.

Day 25 – Today is…

A day for family, food and fun… This is Christmas cake No. 2 revealed…

Day 26 – Remembering

Royal Copenhagen Christmas plates my parents bought back in the day, brings back good memories…

Day 27 – My wish for 2019 is…

Is that plans and ideas come to fruition…

Is for health, wealth and happiness for me, my friends, my colleagues and especially my clients…

Is for me to continue learning and growing and developing…

Day 28 – New book

Well, actually a pile of new books…  I love getting books and this year was a reasonable haul of things to read: “Mythos” & “Heroes” by Stephen Fry, “Fall of Gondolin” by JRR Tolkien (illustrated by Alan Lee) and “Fire and Blood” by George RR Martin….

I also gave The Complete Earthea and The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula le Guin to my Other Half, so they’re new too…

Day 29 – My smile

it’s really hard to get a genuine smile in a selfie (well it is for me) so this is the best I can do.

Day 30 – Thank you for…

So many things: A roof over our my head; food in my belly; a family and SO who love and care for me; a job I love and wonderful clients to work with; and a love of cooking and baking star shaped cookies…

Day 31 – My word for 2019…

…Is Flourish (with support from Nourish)

After a year of POWER in 2017, I needed the integration of WEAVE in 2018 (not that I completely enjoyed the process) and now feel ready to expand and FLOURISH in 2019. However, I am learning from the exhaustion of 2017, so I need NOURISH as a support word so I look after myself to promote the growth.

This money tree (jade plant) was rescued from barely surviving outside my mother-in-law’s kitchen in Maidstone, Kent and has thrived and grown and now flowers on an annual basis. A perfect representation of flourish.

So that’s the month of Reflections, and I decided to gather them all into one (partly because I ran out of time to publish them in smaller groups.  I hope you like them and if you want to join in next year than I suggest following Susannah Conway on Facebook or Instagram and see what other wonderful things she does.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope I’ve not shared too much information with you.