At the beginning of 2018, I made a list of resolutions. I sat in Nathan’s childhood living room, my lap weighed down by the head of a sleeping, brindle whippet, my feet warming by the log burner in their new Christmas socks, and I tried to think of all the things I’d like to do in 2018.
Of the 9 I committed to paper, I completed just 5.
A year on, I’m revisiting the list; reflecting on my achievements and squaring up to the things that fell off the wagon. With a whole year ahead of me, I’m also excited to introduce new items to the list, to plan new adventures, seek new experiences and underline those checkboxes still without a tick.
My appreciation for spending time in the great outdoors flourished in 2017 and 2018, so much that I promised I’d dedicate more time to hiking the British countryside. Exploring the UK on foot became one of my most cherished weekend activities in 2018 but I wasn’t able to spend as much time rambling the Lakes or Welsh mountains as I hoped I might.
I was able to complete many great hikes and long distance walks over the months though. My favourites included fell-running Scafell Pike on my 24th birthday, a sunset hike up The Old Man of Coniston, reinstalling a research station on top of Ben Nevis and walking the Yorkshire 3 Peaks.
When I first began climbing outdoors on the wind beaten edges of the Yorkshire Dales, the mystical grade of f7a winked flirtatiously from the distant realm of ‘not for you’. “7a could be achievable”, I reasoned, “You just have to find the right one”. So, in October, Nathan and I did just that. We drove out to a problem called ‘Whisky Galore’ on a blustery Saturday morning and spent some time working out the moves, putting them together and finally, pulling over the top. For how short those moments spent sitting on the top seemed, climbing ‘Whiskey Galore’ is one of my favourite memories of the year and I hope to have many more 7a’s under my belt come December 2019.
Focus on film
Perhaps one of the best things about New Year’s Resolutions is how well they reflect growth and changes in focus. Last year, I worked on developing a personal style in film, building narrative and creating engaging, memorable stories through video. I threw myself into projects at work, began sharing my films online and sought to improve my technical understanding of my gear. Whereas last year my focus shifted to video, this year, my passion for photography developed in interesting ways too. Towards the end of the summer, I found myself reaching for my photography camera more and entering the New Year, I’m itching to take it up into the hills of the Peak District and beyond to capture more of my life and the experiences that make it richer.
Read 40 books and write more.
For much of my childhood, books were my sharpest tool and greatest teacher. I jumped into the worlds they created for me with gusto, and dreamed of one day writing my own tales of exploration and adventure. Always on my list of things to achieve in the year ahead is ‘read more’ and ‘write more’. I’m excited to see how much this blog will play a part in that, and if you have any reading recommendations for me to add to my growing list, do let me know!
I’ve always liked the feeling of a new year; the reflective nostalgia in the closing days of December and the hopeful anticipation of starting afresh on January 1st. I don’t know where this year will take me, but I hope it will be a great, wild adventure; one that I can documenting here in the words, videos and photographs I’ll be posting to this website.
Happy New Year guys, Hannah