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October 2018: Five years on! Still working, still mothering, still trying to figure out what else I want from life. And whatever that is, the river features. I’ve always been drawn to water, and swimming is something for me, something quasi-spiritual and distant from the relentless hard-edged practicality of commuting and work and school and home. Realising I’d slipped into a habit of taking a photo and writing myself a post swim note, I’ve found myself back here as a place to put them.

October 2013: One year update. Hard to believe I'm writing this already – the time has flown! I started this project to document a year of my life whilst I effortlessly discovered previously untapped photographic talent. Unfortunately I effortlessly discovered that I'm a rubbish photographer. I don't have a good eye and I get self-conscious. And I found it cumbersome carrying a camera around. And then I got it robbed anyway.

But I did it: I took a photo a day, even if along the way my project veered into being a written diary with crappy photographic illustrations, rather than the exercise in developing a new form of expression that I'd imagined it might be. Not altogether surprising – I've always found words easier than pictures. But I think I do see beauty more readily now than I used to, and I certainly look for it more. Psychologically I found the gentle discipline of having a daily project helpful amongst the new baby carnage, and I already appreciate having it to look back on. And one thing I didn't expect was that I'd get to 'know' and like real people in the process. JB is now used to me referencing “...my made-up friend in Walthamstow...in Cambridge...in the Good Life...in Germany” And the list goes on. The humour and warmth and support of people on here has been a consistent pleasure. Thank you!

Keeping a record like this ostensibly for oneself yet in a social forum is not without risk, even when maintaining an (admittedly pretty shoddy) veneer of anonymity. The temptation to rose-tint one's life for external consumption, and/or to overshare, and/or to appraise oneself by reference to 'popularity', however superficial, is very real. And as L gets more active, and my maternity leave draws to a close, I'm finding it harder to find the time either for my own project or to engage with others. I'm going to try and continue to the New Year, so as to have a full record both of my first year with L and of a full calendar year, and then we'll see. I'm easing myself back into work as slowly as humanly possible, but will be full time again from February 2014 when I suspect a world of pain awaits, so I think that will be crunch time.

October 2012

Hello. I'm a 35 yr old Londoner who currently doesn't know one end of a camera from the other. I'm off on maternity leave shortly, and thought learning a bit about photography might be a productive thing to do with all that free time I'm going to have (!) and that a record of the year ahead might be cool to look back on.

I don't habitually take enough time to appreciate, or even just to see, the beauty in my life. And sometimes I don't feel sure whether I actually like something or not. I guess I don't entirely trust my own judgement. But I'm about to be responsible for moulding a young mind - I need to sort this shit out...

So maybe I will actually learn something about photography in the coming months. Maybe I won't. Maybe I'll end up filling an album with baby photos of devastating banality to all but me. But whatever, my hope is that this exercise will help me get better at recognising and acknowledging those things that *I* think are beautiful.