2011 has got off to a great start I'm pleased to say. I think I've packed quite a lot into it and I'm happy with my level of productivity and the balance I have with time off, which isn't so much about quantity but quality.
At the start of the year when the binmen in Birmingham were refusing to collect the refuse I was called upon to do a BBC Midlands Today LIVE Interview in the lunch time bulletin. This was my first live TV and I tried not to think too much about that part. Ben Godfrey was the interviewer and we had a chance to do a couple of rehearsals thank goodness. I was an 'angry resident' complaining about the state of the rubbish that was piling up. It was an eyesore and a health hazard, oh yes! I'm kicking myself I didn't record it, but it was all such a rush, I forgot. I did manage to get a snap with Ben though.
The Birmingham Post used a photo of mine on their website in an article about John Lewis.
I took this photo in September 08, and it was used in the print paper at the time. Seeing this image brought back a lot of memories. I remember taking the photo and the challenge of getting a steady shot on a longer shutter speed to capture the movement of people without a tripod!
I absolutely loved my 6 months work experience at the Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail. I learnt a lot, and very quickly. I was very sad when I had to make the decision to leave to free up some time to concentrate on work.
Seeing this image gave me pause to reflect, in the 2.5 years since took that photograph, so much has happened! I've had some amazing experiences, worked harder than I ever have but loved every minute of it. Sometimes it hard to see the bigger picture on a day to day basis, but looking back I am so proud of everything I have done and achieved. None of that would have happened if I had just sat back waiting for opportunities. You have to MAKE things happen and put the wheels in motion.
My first post on this blog - New Year, New Blog, Here's the plan - has been written on other blogs.
Fiona Cullinan wrote about it on her post for Firehead's blog "Six Devious Tricks For New Year Career Success"
Fellow Hyperlocal blogger Jamie Summerfield says my blog post really got him thinking about his year ahead and he's written about his 2011 plans.
Media Student and uber sports fanatic Rachel Simmo has put her exciting plans and goals for 2011 in writing too!
A bit less of Karen!
I'm still on my weight loss journey that began in August last year, and I'm about 37lbs light. I've met, and exceeded my weight loss goal of 5lbs for January with a 6lb loss. You can read more about my weight loss progress here.
I've lost another 7lbs since the photo on the right was taken.
I'm going to Prague with BMI Baby, baby!
bmibaby have invited me to Prague for a weekend in March! I'm so looking forward to this, and it will be my first mini holiday of the year and I suspect I will be ready for it. I've been to Prague before for a couple of days and it's beautiful, so I am looking forward to getting more acquainted with the city. Of course I'll be blogging all about it, so you won't miss a thing!
In 2009 myself and Birmingham blogger Nicky Getgood went to Belfast with bmibaby for a weekend. It was good stuff. You can read about that belfast trip here.
Here comes the bride!
I've had my first wedding photography booking for this year! I said I wanted to introduce wedding photography in 2011 so it's wonderful to get my first booking so early on in the year. I'll be announcing my wedding photography packages soon and am just working out the details and the price. As an added bonus I received another wedding photography by email today!
So, if you or anyone you know is at the stage of thinking about booking a wedding photographer, get in touch!
I'm still hitting the roads and clocking up the miles. It's been a great experience overall and I'm learning a lot about what I can and can't do and trying not to get too carried away and listen to my body. I ran 35.5 miles in January. I can't quite believe it. My longest run (non stop!) was 4.5miles. I'm aiming to beat 35.5 for February. You can read all about my running and see some charts, graps and some gps 'art' here. I've also taken up hula hooping and I am really enjoying it! I've ordered my own hula hoop now which will be customized in my favourite colours, red/silver/black!
I'm Talking About Local
I'm really, really enjoying my work with Talk About Local and the team (and I'm not just saying that because they might read this!). I've written my first blog post about new experiences hyperlocal blogging can bring if you fancy a read.
I'm really proud to be working with such a inspiring company. It just goes to show what a small, dedicated team with passion can do. I'm very glad I listened to my instincts when I saw the job advertised when I was away in New York and followed through with my application. I'm learning a lot, and hopefully I'm making a good contribution to their work too.
Rest and play
I'm sticking to my goal of having a more of a social life and more chill out time.
I had a brilliant night at Nicky and Sas's joint birthday party, and had an equally fabulous night at Ben's 40th 1940's themed birthday bash. I got daring with a green dress, which makes a big change from my usual black/red combo.
I wasn't the only lady rocking a green frock that night!
Love this pic - we can do it!
Sorry about shoddy pic quality - taken with iPhone in the dark. I need to get my hands on a very compact handy handbag sized camera that I can take anywhere and not worry about too much.
I'm sticking to having a day off a week, and taking time out to do nothing much, maybe catching up on a film or two. I do feel the benefit to just chilling out which is something I didn't make much time for last year.
BBC Radio 4 - The secret history of social networking
Apathy deflection device - I think we could all do with one of these from time to time! :D
Made by Lush Cosmetics for the most depressing day of the year, Jan 24th, this video has lots of feel good factor.
Us Now. 'A film project about the power of mass collaboration, government and the internet' Admittedly I've got to watch all of it, but I've liked what I've seen so far.
Most popular blog posts in January.
1. New year, new blog, here's the plan
2. When should you work for free? Some thoughts on speculative work
3. Weekly weight loss report - week 1
My favourite post
A chat with my mum - home and family life in rural Donegal
A chat with my mum - home and family life in rural Donegal
So, that's January in a (big) nutshell. Hows was your January? Here's to a great Feb! :)