2015 In Review With Photos

2015 was my first full year living in the US and the first full year of my blog and I thought it would be nice to do a review of the year with plenty of photos to break up the monotony of my writing!

I spent December and the first half of January moaning that there was no snow and then my wishes were answered in spectacular fashion. Boston had the most snowy winter ever (trust my luck) with over 110 inches of the white stuff. Far from throwing snowballs with pleasant strangers in the park and retiring to the safety of somewhere warm for hot chocolate I spent most of the winter fucking shoveling. Nobody warned me about shoveling for an hour after work every day and slipping over and falling into the most solid objects available (usually fire hydrants) every time I tried to walk somewhere. I never want to see a snowstorm again! You can read about my winter tribulations here.

Clearing this much snow is good for the arm muscles and bad for the back!
A plow tries to keep up with the snowfall

From my first winter I learned that if you are just wearing 2 levels of clothing like an idiot while walking to the station at 7am you will regret it when parts of your body feel like they want to fall off. I also learned that Bostonians are really, really protective of their parking spaces when it snows and will use everything from traffic cones to old toilets (yes really) to save their spots. If you move the space saver your car will have significantly fewer inflated tires and less paintwork when you return.

Saving your space with unwanted household furniture is a tradition after snow storms. Image source http://www.wbur.org

Also in March I had a milestone birthday (I’m going to claim that it was 21 but it wasn’t) and made my first friend that I hadn’t met through my wife. This might not sound like a big deal but when you are as awkward and shy as I am it was a major achievement.

When the snow finally melted (and I’m not joking it was April) I was able to actually get out and do some exploring. I spent a lovely weekend on Cape Cod with my wife for her birthday and visited some of the local towns. In May I went back to England for two weeks and saw my family and some of my friends and discovered that I had really really missed Marmite and Chocolate Hob Nobs. I also went whale watching off Cape Cod and discovered that when whales poo it makes a brown film on the surface. Don’t say that I never provide any facts in my blog! Whale photos are here.

Cape Cod is beautiful.
Whale 1
I’m a little proud of this picture of a humpback whale surfacing, its the first time I’ve got a head shot.
I spent two weeks home in England.

Summer meant a lot of weekends spent on the beach and I embarked on a quest to find the dodgiest beach in the Boston area. I discovered that there are a lot of contenders for worst beach but luckily Cape Cod is just an hour away so all is not lost. I spent lots of time exploring the area around Boston and started to know the area for the first time. I spent Labor Day with my wife’s family in the White Mountains and my wife and I foolishly decided to climb a mountain in 30 Celsius heat which in hindsight was not the best decision of the year but there was a nice view from the top!

The White Mountains, NH.

Another foolish thing I did in summer was try yoga for the first time, having been convinced by two of my coworkers that it would be a good idea. The foolish part was the fact that it was yoga in the park so the whole of Boston could witness me hopping around while trying to stand still in the tree pose. Needless to say it wasn’t pretty but I did actually enjoy it and ended up going every week until it ended. I didn’t injure myself either although after the first time I couldn’t walk properly for two days! You can read about my yoga adventures here.

I had a number of firsts this autumn, including my first time dressing up for Halloween at work. It was a fun day although I must admit that I got a lot of strange looks dressed up as Richard the Lionheart on the train home! The next day I went to Salem for Halloween (along with the rest of Massachusetts apparently) and discovered that not only is it a lot of fun, it is also really manic. The costumes were fantastic and I gained a new appreciation of how important Halloween is in America.

Salem at Halloween is crazy!
Autumn in New England is beautiful.

Another first this autumn was the first time I attempted NaNoWriMo. I surprised myself (and probably everyone) by winning with five days to spare. If you want to read some awful rushed prose then have a look at my posts from November and you will see how not to write a novel! I am rather proud with myself though because writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days is really not an easy task. My next task is to actually write something that someone else will want to read past the first paragraph!

There was also a new addition to the family this autumn: Sergeant Squeaks the hamster. She has yet to be eaten by the cat so that is working out well. I spent Christmas with my wife and my family in England before coming back to Boston in time for the New Year.

Meet Sergeant Squeaks!
I was back in England for Christmas.

2015 was an eventful year, with many fun adventures and new experiences but also some major homesickness and low points. I’ve written about some of the low points here and found my fellow bloggers to be hugely supportive. I have made some great new friends despite my general awkwardness and I am hoping that 2016 will be a little more stable.

I would like to wish all of my readers a happy New Year! All of the best for 2016, you are fantastic. Thank you for following me and thanks for all your support and friendship. Over and out.


20 thoughts on “2015 In Review With Photos

  1. A.PROMPTreply

    A year full of new adventures……well done to you, Tom, for all your accomplishments. I look forward to sharing the next year with you on here!

  2. Aakansha

    As I was sifting through this blog post and taking another happy glance at the photos, I was struck with a cheerful thought that I have in fact, through your wonderful blog virtually lived a year in the U.S. through your set of keen eyes! … And a camera. 😀

    This is exactly why blogging is such a brilliant connectivity tool.
    Thank you and I wish you a very Happy New Year!

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