Pragmatism in the real world

2021 in Pictures

2021 is over! A very strange year where I have been vaccinated against COVID-19, with an additional booster, yet I caught it and took months to recover.

Fortunately, I continued to take a photo every day though my Project 365 which allows me to appreciate what happened during this year of my life.


January started out quietly with a hint of snow. I did a lot of walking, presented at The Online & my son interviewed for his year in industry placement. I also attended the funeral of my aunt Linda and while it was lovely to see my family as meeting up was very much discouraged, this wasn’t the way I would have chosen.

FlowersReady to present


As lockdown continued, we celebrated my wife’s birthday and I continued to walk around the local area, usually in the early morning. I also had my fist COVID-19 vaccination.

Birthday cakeFootsteps in the light snow1st jab of COVID 19 Vaccination


More lockdown in March. Worked in my office, went for walks around the neighbourhood & enjoyed tea in the garden!

Sun through the treesTea in the sunshine


In April, I ventured out and took some photos of trains. I also met up with Stu Herbert for a walk on the Malverns. I also had my second COVID-19 vaccination.

2999 Lady of Legend coasts down Eardington Bank

813 leads 7714 towards Victoria Bridge

Walking with Stuart on the Malvern Hills


May is birthday month in our household! Although things are opening up a little in the UK, I continued my daily walking exercise as it had turned into a habit. I also photographed the Seven Valley Railway a few times and we visited my mother-in-law for the first time since the pandemic started. In an effort to stop spending all my leisure time in front of the computer, I started building a model railway.

Admiring the gardenGluing track


June was warm enough for ice cream and I visited friends that I hadn’t seen since February 2020. Other than that, this was yet another quiet month.

Ice cream weather  stillVisting friendsHot air balloonMuddy path through the trees


One highlight of July was visiting Cardiff and catching up with Gary. There were elephant statues in Worcester, that needed photographing too! We also visited my family for a very delayed Christmas and celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary!

Enjoying a drink with GarySundown Stroll elephantChristmas lunch


In August we spent a week on the North Kent coast as we weren’t going to go to Spain this year.

Sunset at Minnis Bay Strawberry milkshakeEldest


In September, my family gathered for lunch and to celebrate my aunt’s life. My mum has been doing a sponsored walk the distance from Lands End to John O’Groats and completed the last 10 metres when we were all together. My cousins arranged for cake to celebrate! I also went on a railway photography trip to the North of England, visiting James, Lorna & Kevin while there.

Cutting the cake while being photographedPlaying SmiteCake to celebrate mum s walk


October was a month of visiting universities with my younger son. I also spoke at ScotlandPHP – my first in-person conference since PHPUK in February 2020. Work started on replacing our kitchen this month too.

Coventry CathedralOn a train to EdinburghPauline speaking on gitJames speaking on legacy projects


On the last day of October, my new 14″ MacBook Pro arrived, so I set it up in November. It’s been a long time since my computer was not an Intel! I spoke at the first in-person PHPSW event since the pandemic started which felt fitting as I was the last speaker at the final one before it started. Our kitchen was essentially completed this month and at the very end, we popped down to see my parents.

PHPSW is backPHPSW is backChatting in the kitchenPutting up lights for Grandma  Granddad


In the last month of this year, I caught up with my oldest friend. My youngest has been learning to drive, so I took him out for practice and we celebrated Christmas.

We have wineFirst driving practice with meMaking mince piesPresents under the tree

2021 was another strange year. It felt like very little happened in the first half as I didn’t go anywhere other than to my local railway. Outdoors, taking photos with nobody else around did wonders for my mental health.

I noted last year that mid-to-late 2021 couldn’t come soon enough for me so that I could see friends and family. This turned out to be true and in the second half of this year, I was very happy to be able to see my family and friends.

Here’s to 2022!