While starting to look ahead to 2019 I also took a wee look back at 2018 which despite happenings in the wider world, was a pretty exciting one for me. I kicked off the year with the second of my Night Circus portraits. Where Poppet looks to the future, Widget works with memory, reading the past.
In February James and I headed off to visit the Isle of Arran and experienced true island living when the beast from the east shut down the ferries and we [tragically] had to spend another day on the lovely island.
Throughout the year I continued my visits to the Granton Castle Walled Garden a truly special place growing plants and community in North Edinburgh. I feel privileged to be helping tell the story of this next chapter in its life and was thrilled to have some of my images included in the Edinburgh Shoreline Exhibition at the Royal Botanic Garden over the summer.
To celebrate my 35th birthday my friend Aurelia and I hopped on bikes and toured around the Kintyre Peninsula and inner Hebrides. The highlight for me was visiting Finlaggen, historic seat of the Lord of the Isles.
August brought adventure of a very different kind as I headed off to Malmo, Sweden to present at the International Degrowth Conference hosted in Malmo’s famous Folkets parks. My presentation was a success but I left with even more questions than I started off with!
With that challenge accomplished it was time for some holiday, destination: North. I’ve wanted to visit Orkney and Shetland for over a decade and while we wouldn’t be going all the way to Shetland on this trip there was a wee cottage in Stromness with our name on it. After just over a week of battling the fierce winds on our bikes, touring the hear of neolithic Scotland and curling up watching £1 DVDs from the charity shop down the lane it was off home again.
And straight into photographing for the Beltane Fire Society’s autumn festival of Samhuinn.
Beltane and Samhuinn, the two major festivals put on by the society are both strong draws for me. While the society has to manage the balance between professional production and community ritual and celebration I feel the latter still wins out. To me they are a reminder and celebration of the cycles of nature, something we need more than ever as humankind struggles to rebalance itself within our habitat’s natural boundaries. Photographing for the festival was a challenge and it was not without huge amounts of stress and frustration but I have come out the other side a more skilled photographer for it.
Come November it was counting the days until Christmas and trip to see the family in the Sussex countryside with time for reflection and planning ahead.