To end the year I thought I’d challenge myself to pick my 12 favourite moments from 2016, as let’s face it it’s been a pretty mad year where it’s difficult to remember the good things that have happened. Plus, I think it’s good to review the year and remind myself what I’ve done and achieved, even if at times it may feel like I haven’t got much further with progressing towards completing ‘The Thesis’.
Last year I retold my PhD year through internet memes, and to be honest the story has been much the same this year. So this time instead I thought I would pick 12 of my favourite photos from the year, one for each month, and share them with you all.
Whilst 2016 has been a truly bizarre year where I have wanted to press the restart button multiple times, it’s comforting to know that I’ve had a lot of fun this year despite some of the ups and downs that have happened.
Ok, so I’m cheating here. This photo is definitely personal rather than fish/PhD related. BUT in my defence I took hardly any photos in January because I was writing my literature review the whole time. The only exciting thing that happened was a family holiday to Austria skiing, which was a welcome relief from writing and a good chance to get away for a bit!
Another somewhat quiet month of writing and putting together the beginnings of my interviews for my social fieldwork. February is one of my favourite months mostly because it has pancake day, i.e the best day of the year after birthday and christmas. This year I tried a marine themed pancake, which worked out great/badly depending on your perspective…
March saw me return to the Cefas Endeavour for another research survey in the western English channel. I had a great time and it was fab to get out of the office after months of desk work. I discovered a new fish species I had never heard about before, which instantly made it into my top 3 favourite fish – the Couch’s bream. I took far too many photos on this trip and had a tough time deciding on one for this month. But I think this had to be it – the time I sang to a cod we’d just caught.
A return to the office and lots of data analysis generated a yearning for sea life again. As such, my officemates obliged in some office fishing to help pass the time. Shout out to my office pals who always help to put a smile on my face.
This month was a bit manic as I recall, with two training courses (GIS and social science methods), a workshop which I helped to organise, and a conference! No surprise I didn’t spend much time in Exeter. 10 of those days I was in Brest, France attending an ICES course and conference, where I got to meet some great people and hear some fantastic science, which all made it a very special week.
June was spent mostly catching up with work and also trying to plan my trip to Brazil, which I found out I had been accepted to attend in late May. I did however manage to fit in a short weekend away to Ireland with some old school friends, where I had the chance to meet a very large fish.
July saw me hitting the data analysis hard in an attempt to wrap some things up before heading to Brazil at the end of the month. I also got the opportunity to go out mackerel fishing (using handlines) with Aaron who is also part of the Sole of Discretion cooperative that I’ve been involved with. It was a great day and lovely to see such a sustainable fishery in operation.
So this month has to be the best month of year. I got to go to the No.1 place on my bucket list – Brazil! A whole month traveling, meeting amazing people and seeing amazing places, topped off with a great summer school full of fisheries science at the end. Choosing one photo is far too hard!
Back to reality this month, attempting to finish off my modelling work and catch up with work. A productive month however and also the chance to attend two fish festivals – FishStock in Brixham and the mussel festival in Exmouth. Both very yummy events!
This month also saw me confined mostly to the office and to be honest, getting a bit stressed – pressure was on to complete analysis for my thesis chapter and get out interviewing! The weather was also lovely this month so I managed to go for a few cycle rides in the evening after work with friends to help recharge the batteries.
Amidst the panic of thinking ‘where has this year gone?!’ I got out interviewing and had some trips to Brixham to start the next few chapters of my PhD. I love this part of my project and making it more ‘real world’ focused, so I’m excited for the months ahead. I also went to the lovely Clovelly herring festival, which was just as quaint and olde-worldy as you could imagine.
Wow, another year over! What a year. I’ve pinched myself on multiple occasions when I think about the cool stuff I got to do and the truly amazing and inspiring people I have met along the way. The last month saw me go to the British Ecological Society’s annual meeting, which never ceases to stop putting a smile on my face. Plus, I got to meet Daniel Pauly which was pretty awesome!
So, that’s 2016 wrapped up! I’m excited for what 2017 will bring!