New Year, new start

Welcome back, dear Reader!

Last year was a ‘photo’ post each week, which challenged me to improve my photography skills. Which worked… to some extent. In fact, I even considered challenging myself further and committing to a years’ worth of “selfie” posts (because those ones are like, a zillion times worse than actual photos. Well, for those of us who remember a time before the internet was even invented. Am I right?)

But no. Perhaps next year. But I’ll still attempt to include a photo with each post this year. Let’s see how we go with that, huh?

But today’s post is still about challenges. Specifically, the Goodreads challenge I set myself last year. 3 books per week. That’s 156 books in the year. Which seems a lot.

And I made it!!! So proud of me 🙂

Admittedly, numbers of those were the picture books which I ended up reading to my classes after being made redundant mid-year and being blessed enough to get Teacher Librarian work in July. But still 🙂

So. Goodreads challenge this year. 208 again – because I can! and it’s only 4 per week. right? – but the aim this year is to have only one picture book per month. Perhaps two. But no more than 24 of those 156 will be picture books. Because, well, why not? 🙂

How about you, dear Reader? Are you planning on reading books this year? How many? And if you’re also on Goodreads, want to connect?

Oh! And I almost forgot. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

– KRidwyn


So I finally decided: the iPhone X(R). The first night, I fully charged it before switching to flight mode (with one brother in New York and the other in London, if I don’t use flight mode each night, I sleep with the risk of Viber pings waking me). But I didn’t leave it charging. The following morning, it was on 99%! If I’d left my 6S off charge for that long (6 hours-ish) it’d be as dead as a doornail.

But the new phone is taking a while to get used to. Lucky I have Master9 on my lock screen to keep me cheerful as I navigate this similar-yet-different phone ownership experience…

Have a cheerful week yourself, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

How tough are you?

8482383303_d7900da0bb_mI like to think of myself as tough. Mentally. I know that I have me a pretty strong willpower. Physically? Not so much. Emotionally? Nah – I’m kinda a marshmallow, really, when I’m honest with myself…! But mentally? I know I’ve got “grit and determination” in spades. So when I first heard about ‘Tough Mudder’ I thought ‘Wow! That would be FANTASTIC!!!’

In their own words, “Tough Mudder events are hardcore 18-20 km obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie” and some more: “To get through mud, fire, ice-water, and 10,000 volts of electricity you’ll need teammates to pick you up when your spirits dip. To get over 3 m walls and through underground mud tunnels, you’ll need teammates to give you a boost and a push. Tough Mudders are team players who make sure no one gets left behind. To that end, all Mudders℠ are expected to uphold our ideals and exhibit teamwork and camaraderie both on the course and off it.” (Find out more here)

My opinions haven’t changed, even though I’ve looked into it quite a bit more. It’s tough. It’s muddy (remember Emu Gully, Jo?) and it’s a challenge-and-a-half. So I’m up for it. Circumstances have prevented me from forming a team for this year’s Sunshine Coast challenge in August, but apparently they’ve signed up for a 5 year contract, so I’m planning to be one of the first to register for the 2014 event.

Bring it on!!!!!

CC image courtesy DVIDSHUB at


If you follow me on twitter, then over the last week you may have noticed some #photochallenge tweets I’ve sent. I’ve decided to bite the bullet and ‘just do it’ (Nike would be proud, maybe?) and just see how far I get. My reasoning:
Number 1. I hate selfies. As in, the photos you take of yourself with your own camera. I’m not comfortable in front of a camera; and so it’s difficult for me to actively *make* myself do something that I really, really, really, really hate doing.
Number 2. People who complete year-long challenges inspire me. Recently one of my Facebook friends has just finished a 365 day “Gratitude” challenge, and it was with a sense of true sadness that we who had been following her journey, sharing it with her day by day, read her final update. I’ve never done one. Not a 365 day one, anyway. Heck, even #blogJune these last two years has been difficult!! But I’ll start; and see how I go…
Number 3. I blogged yesterday about Facebook Bootcamp last Tuesday. Well the final speaker for the day, the absolutely incredible Sue Henry, asked everyone to raise their hand I the owned a smartphone. About 99% of the audience did; but only 4 or 5 people kept their hands raised she asked ‘who has taken video for their business on their smartphone and uploaded it to YouTube?’ So that was her challenge; and one that I doubt I could take up due to my hatred of the camera. Hence the challenge I have set myself. 365 days worth of selfies, to get used to the idea of being in front of the camera, photos with the idea that I’ll work my way up to video.
So yes, if you follow me on twitter, hopefully you’ll see 365 #photochallenge tweets. Well, that’s the aim, anyway. Maybe by the end they won’t still be tagged with #hateselfies !!!

Today’s, taken after a morning working in the garden…