Where the hell’s 2019 gone? In fact, where’s the decade gone? The last few days have seen me in an introspective mood, looking back at all the things that have happened in the past 10 years – both good and bad. But, on balance, the good’s far outweighed the bad. In one respect I’m lucky in that – as a photographer – I have the photographic evidence that documents events as proof!

There’s no doubt that the 2020’s are going to be ‘interesting times’ to live in as the old Chinese curse mentions. Thankfully, I’m in a position to weather what’s coming far better than many people which leaves me with mixed feelings of sadness and hope.

What I’m looking forward to is being able to refocus on what’s important. So, expect to see me make huge inroads on the stack of old slides I have that have never made it onto my Zenfolio website. I’m also looking at writing up some of my old diaries as a travel story. Back in 1991-92 I travelled overland through Asia from India as far as Australia. In those days there was no internet or mobile phones. Backpackers were that, not ‘flashpackers’. You travelled overland, not just dipped in and out of places by hopping around on a series of domestic flights. A lot’s changed since those days but I think it’s a story worth telling as the world’s changed so much.

Of course I’m still going to be adding all the old railway pictures too – and new ones of course. Britain’s railways are changing at an ever increasing rate and this next year will see construction of the new HS2 high-speed rail line begin in earnest. I’m also looking forward to getting stuck into a lot more writing not just taking pictures. Later in 2020 I’ll be off on my round Britain trip for RAIL magazine which will see the biggest changes since I started writing the series back in 2004. I’ve lots of ideas for other things to write about too.

No doubt there’ll still be a few blogs containing wry observations on the state of British politics but they’ll be very much be from the side-lines. Brexit supporters have ‘won’, which means they can no longer pass the buck for their failures and the fact Unicorns don’t exist. Now they’ve no-one else to blame. Us ‘remoaners’ have been vanquished (for now), so we can sit back with the popcorn and watch as they try and deliver on their impossible promises – and downright lies! Right now my sympathies are reserved for my EU friends in the UK and my UK friends in the EU, many of whom face a completely unknown future.

Back In the here and now Dawn and I have opted for a quiet New Year at home, doing one of the things we both love doing – cooking. Admittedly, we nipped out for a ‘quick one’ at the ‘Big 6’ (our local pub) but not before preparing most of a repast for tonight. We’re going veggie more and more nowadays, although the current term seems to be ‘plant based’. Earlier the two of us were busy in the kitchen putting together a nut roast. But this is no ordinary nut roast – this is a super-duper pistachio and cranberry nut roast!

Before the year and the decade ends (OK, not for you Lisa in New Zealand and other friends further East, you’re already way past your bedtime!) I’d just like to thank you all for continuing to pop in to read my ramblings. I hope I’ve been able to both entertain and inform over the past year, and that you’ll find my future scribblings as interesting.

All the best for the new year and the new decade.

Paul x