There was not a great deal of travel in 2010. One visit to the UK and one to Adelaide to finalise matters there, were our only real trips away. A short duration trip to Melbourne in May (AFL oriented) was also very pleasant
WEATHERAfter about 8 dry years (2007 wasn't too bad) the monsoon arrived this year. At El Rancho I have recorded 1005mm for the year: more than double last years total and a 63% increase on the three year average. Nearly every month has been well over our previous experience for that period.
JOBSWhat is this concept? I have finally decided that I have had enough of trying to persuade people to do things the correct (ie my) way. So to save the world some money and my blood pressure a couple of digits I have quit the workforce (unless of course something really interesting comes along).
MATTERS ARTISTICFrances has continued to be a voluntary guide at the National Gallery of Australia. The highlight to this year was the opening of the new additions to the Gallery, which are truly spectacular. We also enjoyed the staff/guides opening event!
Art – broadly defined to include architecture – was a focus of our trip to the UK. The real artistic highlight of the year was our visit to Yorkshire Sculpture Park. This should be on anyone's agenda if visiting the UK!!
BIRDINGMy list for the year is 271 species from 3 countries: Australia 165 (pathetic); UK 116, excellent including 13 lifers (and 44 additions to my UK list); and UAE (from the airport in Dubai) 2 - that I could identify through the jetlag and heat haze.
My life list is now at 1832 species. Where can I get another168 species?
PLANTSWe continue to be active members of the ANPS Wednesday Walkers and Martin has become particularly interested in orchids and (when they are flowering) native grasses. There are posts about these families (and others) scattered all through my home blog and particularly in a second blog devoted to revegetation activities around our place .
I suspect it is against taxonomy (but it is always good to stick it to taxonomists) to include Fungi under the heading plants, but that is where I regard them as falling. It was a spectacular year for fungi, mainly due to the prevailing dampness.
Frances has more general interests in herbaceous matters and is becoming very keen on using a new camera as a learning guide. This is excellent for learning what we have around our place.
RUNNING and other ExerciseFor the first 9 months of the year that was somewhat of a challenge due mainly to a BAD BACK. Sloth was a lesser, but probably still significant, factor. I sort of managed to fix the back, if not the sloth, well enough to waddle a Half Marathon in May but after returning from the UK in July managed to aggravate my back again and took until November for it to really come good. The really coming good was indicated by getting a second place in an ACT Veteran Athletics Monthly Handicap. Without any efforts at burglary or bushranging!
In total I have run 653km, cycled 712 (aerobically equivalent to 112km of running) and walked 1220km (equivalent to 407km running). This totals to 1172 running equivalent kms and shows a massive increase of 60km running km equivalents (5%!!!!!) compared to last year.
The overall report card on this topic is must do better in future.
INTERNETI am spending a fair bit of time on the net! In part this is due to writing posts for blogs, which serves as a sort of diary and photo album.. My main blog is now up to 424 posts of which 214 have been added this year.
The image below is a sample from Google Analytics of page hits by country for a day (in this case 28/11/2010). It is pretty representative of the haul in recent times.
In terms of visits per day excluding my own editing etc, the site has been receiving an average of close to 15 for the last few months. This is a considerable increase from 'about 5' earlier in the year. The total got a pretty good boost from my posts about the flooding in Queanbeyan which seemed to bring in about 300 hits.
I have been tracking the countries from which hits are delivered both by Google Analytics and Sitemeter. It is interesting that they quite often differ: presumably this reflects the various ways in which the country of origin could be measured (eg actual physical location of sending computer vs location of the server on which the ISP is located). Applying a bit of judgment I find that my posts have been visited from 54 countries and I have received emails (not counting spam 'cos I filter, and don't read, that) from 34 countries. I also use Sitemeter to identify which States of the US I have received hits from: thus far I have been visited from 34 of the 50 (and some just appear as "United States".)
So, onwards to 2011. Hopefully upwards in every respect except for 'JOBS'!
Best wishes for the New Year to everyone.