My 2019

My 2019

Happy New Year 2020! We enter a new year and a new decade. May it be a good one!

As I reviewed my photos from 2019 I realised just how eventful the year has been. I’ve just read the piece I wrote back as we entered the year and I prophesied that “2019 will be a splendid year. I can feel it”. I can’t really describe it as splendid because of a particular event, which I will discuss below, but the year certainly had its enjoyable moments.

As per usual I cycled a lot this year. Excluding all the miles I cycled on hire bicycles in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and other cities as well as the few miles on my tandem, the 2019 tally as recorded by my Garmin was 2,343 miles. Below is a graph showing what I cycled each month; there is a dip in June when I was in the aforementioned cities quite a bit and then it goes downhill after July 20th. I will explain.

Total cycled 2019

The following briefly describes my year in a chronological and a sometimes thematic order interspersed with photos. Or photos with words, rather. It is better to look rather than solely listen as some comments are as brief as “Tom came to visit me in Wellingborough.  As 2019 drew to a close, I have been going through all my photo albums and taking the most memorable photo. I have tried to take one from each album. Tried.  Inevitably I will forgot events and I will go into too much detail or include too many photos for others but all in all, I hope that in years to come this enables me to recall 2019 with great vividness.

At the beginning of the year, as per usual I looked and saw quite an empty wall planner. My Mum’s funeral was only a month before. I had been off work for quite a bit while she was ill and didn’t know what I wanted to do.  Before I could blink the year starting moving.

I started a group for cycling for my local area where I live. I decided that I was going to set up a group to encourage cycling as I massively enjoy it and thought I could help others get into it.
Wilby Way group cycle

Tom came to visit

I was asked by a friend’s family to take some photos. I jumped at the chance. I thank them for letting me document a few important events they had. I have a Canon and love photography so it gave me a chance to hone my skills.

At the end of January me and my friend went down to London to watch Prime Minister’s Questions and then watched a committee. Very engaged in whatever was being said.

In parliament

Family came over to visit from the Netherlands

Seb came down to Northampton. After a meal, we went out to The Boston.

Seb came down to Northampton

My cousin Amie got engaged to Stuart.

Amie and Stuart got engaged

Another Wilby Way group cycle photo

My Dad’s Birthday meal in February.

Dad's Birthday meal

I saw this car at parked outside at work. I have a different eye to most so cars just generally blur but I may say, I think I want this car. All cars shouldn’t be much bigger than this. Now there are monsters on the road and they are so dangerous.

Tiny car

Talking about the size of cars, the damage they do to roads is enormous. More so this year than ever I have reported many potholes and got them filled. I won’t upload photos here but all in all this year I have increased my, what I call, civic duties. I have been emailing about traffic calming measures, traffic orders and placing the request to get new pedestrian crossings and new pathways. This year I appointed myself as my town’s Walking and Cycling champion. It is an uphill battle but I will try.
I joined UNISON in 2019. One of the first events I attended was up in Nottingham and was the Young Members’ Forum.

I went out with Seb in Leicester. It was hot.
Me and Seb went out in Leicester

I went up to Nottingham to have a mini sociology reunion with Emily, Emily, Abby and Glenn. It was so lovely catching up.

Emily, Emily, Abby, Glenn and me in Nottingham

Met Abby and Jess in Birmingham

Whilst Abby shopped, Jess and I tried on hats

Me, Sam, Tiff and Kris went bowling

Looking dapper

At the #onewayanyage campaign launch

Pic with Rebecca Long Bailey

Protest whilst we were watching

Met Gabby in Leicester

Met up with Tom

Photo at work, looking hot

Went to London with Brice

Me and Tiff got "Live every moment" from the Cynthia Spencer Hospice

Meal with Tiff, Kris and Vish

Went up to Loughborough to see Brice

Went out in Northampton. Space for my bicycle


A few days after my discharge, and with it being over two weeks from my last time cycling desperation was starting to creep in.  I asked my friend Vishal to come and watch me as I tried to cycle for the first time since my brain haemorrhage and stroke.  It was such a surreal feeling.  My right side was so weak.  I recall my leg kept coming off the pedal and just didn’t link up to my brain properly.  As soon as someone approached I had to stop as I couldn’t concentrate on both balancing and another visual stimuli.  Here’s the video:


As you can see after only a few photos I ran out of the effort required to type a brief description about each one and instead opted to briefly verbally free flow describe each one in a podcast.  There were so many photos and I tried to rattle through them all.  I should have selected a brief few to talk about.  You learn from your mistakes.

This will remind me what I got up to in 2019.  What a year!  Let’s make 2020 one to remember.

Thank you,

Happy New Year!


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