So this is the sixth year that I’ve done Susannah Conway‘s December Reflections. They are a lovely way to consider what the past year has been and consider what next year can bring. They were some of my first blog posts back in 2017, and they led me to sharing my monthly Photo a Day collections. So as we approach the end of 2021, another year that was not what any of us hoped for, it is time for more reflection.
Day 1 – My Smile
Not a great deal to say, but I try to smile as often as I can and try to make it reach my eyes.
Day 2 – Gold
Ok, yes these are gold vertebrae. A few years ago one of the spinal models at the Clerkenwell Clinic fell apart, and I immediately thought they would make great Christmas decorations (yes, I am an anatomy fan) it took a bit of convincing, but I think they look great.
Day 3 – Best day of 2021
I have been fortunate to have a number of fabulous days this year amongst the lockdowns. From glorious visits to Kew Gardens, to visiting Bletchley Park, the Henry Moore Foundation, seeing Fascinating Aida perform, but the one I chose was the first day of my holiday in Guernsey.
I know I don’t look extremely happy in this photo, but the sun was really bright and I couldn’t really see what I was doing, but it was sunny and warm (I was wearing shorts and t-shirt at the end of September!)
Day 4 – Reindeer
When I had to do this prompt, my Christmas decorations were still in the attic, so I had to dip into the archive to find this lovely minimalist reindeer that I saw at the British Museum’s Arctic Exhibition in 2020.
Day 5 – Sacred space
I don’t have a sacred space set aside in my own home, but I had the privilege of attending an evensong at Westminster Abbey when my SO was a member of the guest choir. I have done this a couple of times and hearing choral music sung in a space that has echoed to it for centuries is quite amazing.
Day 6 – Best book of 2021
Oh, such a difficult choice. I have read over 40 books this year, and nearly 50. For the first time ever, I’m reading some Agatha Christie (Miss Marple novels) and really enjoying them. I also read the latest volume of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive (Rhythm of War is volume 4 of a ten part) and Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff, which is volume one of his new trilogy. Both were fantastic, but the one that stuck in my mind more was “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab.
Day 7 – Leaves
Day 8 – 5 things about me
Day 9 – Fave photo of 2021
Taken back in February, when we had snow in London. This happy fox is one of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken.
Day 10 – Socks
The daily choice.
Day 11 – New discovery
I finally ventured into buying plants online, and this Drosera (Sun dew) was one of my most recent purchases. I have grown insect eaters for many years, but have only had sarracenias.
Day 12 – Best decision in 2021
I really couldn’t think of anything, but ultimately decided that the best decision I made was to accept the scientific evidence and get my Covid Vaccine and booster.
Day 13 – Share a recipe
The biscuits from this recipe have been a staple of my family since I was about 4 (or maybe before).
These have been made every year, decorated and hung on the tree. They are edible, but actually need to be left to hang and soften to become truly scrumptious. They start off hard and crispy, but perfume the room with spiciness as they soften to a more cake like consistency (about 4-5 days).
Day 14 – Proud of myself for…
Day 15 – Fave film of 2021
Day 17 – Artsy photo of scissors
Day 18 – Feathers
On a Seasonally appropriate bird. One of my favourite photos from the year, taken at the Walthamstow Wetlands.
Day 19 – I said goodbye to…
Day 20 – Look up
Day 21 – Brings me joy
I get great joy from many things, but couldn’t think of much that day. But, one of my orchids was sending up a lovely flower spike, and getting my orchids to flower does bring me joy.
Day 22 – Sunset
Sunset over Poole Harbour, as I was there in late September on my way to the Ferry to Guernsey
Day 23 – Delicious
The Honeycake Christmas tree biscuits that I shared the recipe for (see above) are delicious, and this is this year’s batch.
Day 24 – One year ago
I was ready for Christmas, and due to the Covid 19 restrictions we were at home. We had planned it that way as in 2020 we knew that it was better to not see each other.
Day 25 – Love is…
The Law, according to the wonderful mosaic by Maud Milton at Walthamstow Central, or is it St James’ Street stations.
Day 26 – Real life
The walk home from work, not that I was anywhere near that on Boxing Day.
Day 27 – 2021 taught me
2021 taught me… Many things… but that nature is awesome and somewhere that I visited many times as a child can be so different. This was a bluebell wood that I had no idea existed, but managed to see this year. Spectacular.
Day 28 – A wish for 2022
I really hope that we can all start to talk to each other, to not jump down people’s throats if they don’t agree with what we’re saying, that a basic respect for each other can exist.
Day 29 – Home
Was rather a tip, so this was the tidiest view.
Day 30 – Thank you for…
Day 31 – My word for 2021…
After a year of POWER in 2017 that whisked me through so many amazing challenges and learning experience, but which left me exhausted, I needed the integration of WEAVE in 2018 that ultimately left me feeling flat. The FLOURISH of 2019 was a welcome change that allowed subtle growth. With hindsight the STRENGTH (supported with Inspire, Explore and Space) of 2020 was perfect for that challenging year, and so last year I moved to CULTIVATE (with support from Nourish, Strength and Growth) for 2021, and that has gently helped me grow in a steady way.
The word for this year is COURAGE, with support from two previous words Strength, Cultivate and Nourish.
I feel like I need some courage for this year, and unusually for me this word appeared to me in a flash (in the shower naturally) and I knew it was right for next year. There will continue to be challenges in the year ahead, but I will face them. I will be supported by the strength I have inside, will continue to Cultivate my options and surroundings, but will continue to remember to Nourish myself.
So that’s the month of December Reflections for 2021. 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 particularly enjoyed her Photography course and her blogging course.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope I’ve not shared too much information with you.
UPCOMING IN 2021
Not entirely sure, but do keep an eye out.