March: Shopping Independently

I don’t mean “independent” as in going to the shops all by myself — I’ve been doing that for quite a while now along with dressing myself and packing my own bags when I travel.

Edinburgh is blessed with a multitude of fantastic independent shops; the city is fortunate to have them. Like a lot of people, I think I’m guilty of overlooking them in the name of convenience a little too often.

This month, I’ll not be giving my custom to any chain shops or supermarkets.

First week down

So it’s Friday evening, my daughter is asleep (and will remain so for the next 14 hours on her current run of form), and it’s been a pretty full-on week at work. Usually I’d have already had a beer at my desk before leaving the office and would now be enjoying a glass of wine, gin and tonic or a Negroni. But tonight, nothing.

I don’t drink all that much — let me rephrase; all that frequently — these days. Most evenings are spent without any alcohol. Going a month won’t be any real hardship to be honest.

Last month I purchased a Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor, mainly out of curiosity rather than concern. I wasn’t too surprised though to find that my blood pressure was on the higher side of normal.

I’ll be interested to see if this period of abstinence makes any difference.

February: No Alcohol

Somewhat inevitably, one of my monthly challenges for 2016 was always going to be a period of sobriety. Also inevitably, I was always going to choose the shortest month in which to tackle this particular instalment. Annoyingly, this is a leap year and February will have 29 days so I’ll be dry for an extra 24 hours but at least it’s still two days shorter than all of those brave Dryathletes have just had to endure.


Happy birthday to me!

That’s me now officially in my 40th year but I have 365 days or so to organise the big birthday party. That should be a long enough time but time doesn’t seem to last as long as it once did; I’m going to do my best to not leave it until the last minute.

January: A Photo a Day

Happy New Year, welcome to 2016!

The first of my monthly challenges is to post a photo every day in January. Who knows, maybe I’ll keep going for the rest of the year but, going on past performance, there’s a chance that it will become more sporadic as the year progresses. I have toyed with the idea before but didn’t really think that I could deal with the commitment. Read into that what you will.

You may not be aware of it but there is an Edinburgh-based social network that was developed specifically for this kind of thing. Unfortunately, Blipfoto didn’t exactly have a great 2015 and its future remains uncertain to say the least — although there is a crowd funded rescue effort in play at the time of writing.

Consequently, I’ve (finally) signed up for Instagram. Much as I’d love to stick up for the start up, stability and ongoing development potential has won this one for me.

I’ve long-disliked the addition of filters to photos; I think it’s deceptive and puerile. Ultimately though, something that gets acquired for a billion dollars (yes, b — sickening, isn’t it?) is likely to be around for a bit.