2014: the best bits

Another good year! And yet – other years, a post of annual highlights has poured out of me, but this year I’m not sure what to write. Could it be because I’m blogging much more and I’ve already said it all? I’ve almost tripled the number of posts (89 as opposed to 32 in 2013) and, gratifyingly, page views have gone up by almost the same factor. I have one thing to thank for that: The A to Z Challenge, which encourages you to blog every day (except Sundays) in April and meet other bloggers doing the same thing. It certainly got me into the habit of writing more (last January, I had a queue of post ideas from 2013 still waiting to be written; this year I have only one.) I also made some good blogging friends whose posts I still follow and who still appear to read mine occasionally too!

Anyway, writing that paragraph and looking at my 89 posts has focused my thoughts and I now know what my two stars of the year are. Ta da! The first is – the weather! The sun has shone on us when it mattered this year (does that make us righteous?), even unseasonably when we didn’t expect it – Bruges (March/April) and Cornwall (September/October). This is not something I could say every year. The blob of pink in the first photo is me enjoying an al fresco lunch in Bruges, while on the right John enjoys coffee on the roof terrace of Tate St Ives.

My second star is Scotland. We had a momentous year politically, with the independence referendum decided in an exemplary display of democracy and with an unprecedented level of political engagement which shows no sign of going away. However, that’s not the main reason for my choice. I was amazed to find that, despite writing about lots of exotic places, particularly during the Challenge, my 5 most read posts of the year were all Scottish! They were:

  1. Jupiter Artland
  2. Great Tapestry of Scotland
  3. Kinneil and Bo’ness
  4. Costumes and quilts at Dalgarven Mill
  5. Celtic Connections 2014

By W. L. Tarbert (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By W. L. Tarbert (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Many of my blog visitors come from outwith Scotland and if it makes even one of them think about visiting the country I’ll be well-pleased. In the same vein, I also found myself listed as “the serial traveller” on Wow 24/7’s list of 10 essential Glasgow blogs, so hopefully that should reach a few more potential visitors too.

So what of 2015? I mean to keep up-to-date with current travels and carry on with the original purpose of this blog, to write a retrospective travel diary (for my own satisfaction) back to 1999! The A to Z Challenge helped a lot with that in 2014, so I have fewer gaps to fill in. I definitely intend to take part in the Challenge again – my theme is picked out and I’ve started collecting thoughts and pictures. And I hope to keep the friends I made in 2014 and maybe make some new ones.

So, finally, thanks to everyone who visited last year, to read or comment, or just to look at the pictures. I hope 2015 is good for you all – happy travelling!


  1. Oh I just love, love, love your blog! I pretend I am travelling with you (except for heights:)) My niece was in Scotland and she made a calendar of her travels for me and my hubby. I loved Cornwall as we are avid Doc Martin fans and it reminded me of that village even though you were not there where they filmed it. Bruges is simply beautiful and all the neat pictures you took. Welcome to 2015 and have a great New Year!


  2. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but I think I’ll give the A to Z Challenge another try! Writing ahead is a great idea (hmm… maybe I should start thinking about that…)

    Thanks for sharing these highlights of the year!

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  3. Anabel, Yes! It was great meeting through the A-Z challenge, but unlike you I’m not up for it this year…way too exhausting! I loved all your posts from Virginia to Scotland…keep it up in 2015.


    • Thanks Corinne! I plan to write all my posts in February / March – if that doesn’t work out, it might not be my year either. I’ve not been very good at blog reading or writing in December but I still keep an eye on yours so hope to keep in touch in 2015. Happy New Year!