2016 – the ones that nearly got away

30 years at the University of Glasgow
30 years at the University of Glasgow

A Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2017 will be good to us all. I’m trying to polish off 2016 by clearing out old photos and ideas for blog posts. Some will get an entry to themselves; this is a catch-up for the rest – the ones that nearly got away.


You’ll all be familiar with John, my partner in life and photographer-in-chief. He had a big birthday this year – can you guess which one from the pictures below? Not hard! He also had a presentation to mark 30 years of service at the University of Glasgow (top image), which means we’ve lived 30 years in Glasgow as we moved up from Yorkshire when he got his lectureship. That’s over half my life – in the first half I lived in 9 different towns or cities, so I think I can now call myself settled.


The other big family milestone last year was my Mum’s 90th birthday which I’ve already written about (here). Earlier in the year, she and I paid a visit to the village she grew up in, Kilmacolm. We’ve been before, many times, but this time we took some photographs where her home used to stand. The name of the building was Low Shells – now, there is only a grassy area and some benches but the name lives on.

Dams to Darnley

Dams to Darnley is a newish country park which sits between Barrhead, Darnley and Newton Mearns to the south of Glasgow. We found it almost by accident when we were looking for somewhere else and enjoyed a pleasant Sunday afternoon stroll there. Centred on a series of reservoirs and bisected by a railway, it’s not particularly spectacular but I’ve included it because I’m impressed that two councils (it falls between Glasgow City and East Renfrewshire) have co-operated to make the most of limited green space and not build all over it.


Palacerigg is another minor country park within half an hour of Glasgow. Again, the local council, North Lanarkshire this time, has made a big effort to introduce nature trails, birds and animals, particularly with children in mind. This was July, but I see I am wearing winter clothes. The joys of a Scottish summer!

Loch Leven

In December we had a couple of nights in Perth. I’ve started some posts about that, but I don’t think I’ll get round to writing about the lovely walk at Loch Leven we did on the way home. Here’s a slide-show of some of the best images. It was a stunningly crisp morning as you can see.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2016 Stats

Finally, speaking of the ones that got away, whatever has happened to WordPress’s stats helper monkeys? You know, the ones that send you a report with fireworks that tells you how your blog did that year? Or is it just me they’ve decided not to visit? *Sulks*. Anyway, being a resourceful type, I’ve looked at the 2016 stats all by myself. They’re up by over 50% compared to 2015, which is lovely, and of the ten most read posts nine were about Scotland (one of my Yellowstone posts just scraped in at number ten). I guess you like reading about my home country! There will be much more of the same this year so I hope you will keep visiting. I’m grateful to everyone who has read, liked, commented or all three. As a TV series of my youth used to end “Thank you for coming to my little show. I love you all!” (Brownie points if you can identify which one….)


70 thoughts on “2016 – the ones that nearly got away

  1. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor January 5, 2017 / 10:40

    I love reading your Glasgow posts. I can see why they’re popular. Wonderful pictures of Loch Leven. Makes me want to go back there. Of course all of your posts of places I’ve been to do that 🙂


  2. Denzil January 5, 2017 / 10:42

    Is that the lady at the end of the Morecambe and Wise shows? Or am I completely off target? Have another great and healthy and happy year Anabel and John.


  3. Blue Sky Scotland January 5, 2017 / 12:03

    Happy New Year. Ditto. My top posts by a long long way are all about the run down council estate where I grew up and even the most spectacular mountain posts fall far behind them page visits wise. Many folk just love to see their own area, especially if they grew up there as children and I can understand that.
    Kilmacolm must have seemed much more of a village then for your mum growing up before widespread car use came in. I had no idea houses used to stand there on that spot.


    • Anabel Marsh January 5, 2017 / 12:16

      It’s never predictable what will be popular! Happy New Year.


  4. Suzanne et Pierre January 5, 2017 / 14:10

    Best wishes for the new year and nice recap of the past year. Looking forward to seeing & reading your 2017 posts…(Suzanne)


  5. TanGental January 5, 2017 / 15:44

    Happy New Year to you and John and here’s to a lot more walking!


  6. Helen C January 5, 2017 / 17:20

    Good morning, Anabel. Beautiful photos. Loch Leven is on my bucket list now! 😉 John is 55?
    Have a wonderful day! And Happy New Year!


    • Anabel Marsh January 5, 2017 / 17:34

      You are just a few years out! Happy New Year to you too.


  7. Amy Parmeter January 5, 2017 / 17:21

    If it cheers you up, I didn’t get any year-end stats either! But I sure enjoy reading about your family and travels – looking forward to 2017!


  8. Liesbet January 5, 2017 / 18:32

    Loch Leven looks so pretty and serene. I enjoy reading about Glasgow, but the Yellowstone blogs were very inspiring and fantastic as well, especially all the eye candy! 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh January 5, 2017 / 20:19

      Thanks – glad you enjoy both kinds of posts. I’m still working my way through Scottish stuff from the end of the year, then I must get back to the post-Yellowstone road-trip. Looking forward to finding out what you get up to!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. clicksclan January 5, 2017 / 20:08

    Happy New Year!

    I think Palacerigg looks lovely. I love those carved animals. And I had to chuckle at your winter weather clothes in July. I don’t even think I have any designated summer clothes left, I’m happy if I can remove a layer of clothing at some point during the year!


    • Anabel Marsh January 5, 2017 / 20:27

      The carved animals were cute! Yes, I think I’m the same – I wear the same stuff summer and winter, just piling more on as necessary. Hope all goes well for you this year.


  10. dormousetidings January 5, 2017 / 20:56

    Just confirming for you, I love your posts on your home country! I particularly like your walking posts. One day I am hoping to see it first hand, but in the meantime, I thank you for taking me there with your enticing narratives and beautiful photographs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Su Leslie January 5, 2017 / 22:32

    Happy New Year to you and John. I’m looking forward to sharing more walks with you in 2017. Virtual walking in Scotland is pretty much ideal for me at the moment; I’ve damaged my knee and neither walking nor flying (to get to Scotland) are on my agenda for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. prior.. January 5, 2017 / 23:02

    Glad these did not get away –
    And J with his mug shows shows something sweet about him – congrats to 30 years – wow
    And cheers to 2017
    Here is to Scotland – Yellowstone and more family pics that don’t get away!
    🌈happy new year


  13. Heyjude January 6, 2017 / 00:19

    I enjoy learning about Glasgow and Scotland, you make a fabulous guide 🙂
    And no stats from the WP monkeys this year for me either. Guess they have given up on all that. I only hope this comment doesn’t vanish in to thin air like many have these past two days. Sometimes I think I am just talking to myself.
    Happy New Year Anabel, and chief photographer, I look forward to journeying with you again this year. I don’t expect to ever live 30 years in the same place!


    • Anabel Marsh January 6, 2017 / 07:42

      Thanks, Jude. Hearing you loud and clear, you have not disappeared into thin air. I can’t imagine living anywhere else now. If I have my mum’s longevity I could be here another 30 years! Occasionally I have fantasies about moving (most recently in Perth) but mostly to places that are perfectly accessible from Glasgow so why bother with the upheaval, I reason? I’m a city girl and always will be.


      • Heyjude January 6, 2017 / 12:44

        I agree. Moving is such a nightmare and so expensive these days. You seem to manage to get into the countryside often from where you live so you probably have the balance right.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy January 6, 2017 / 00:50

    I noticed they didn’t send it, too! I was disappointed, because it always had interesting comparisons. I don’t get those from just the stats page.


  15. Donna January 6, 2017 / 05:27

    Being new to WordPress this year, I didn’t realize that they previously had a “little helper monkey….with fireworks”! I would have enjoyed that feature!!
    Congratulations on your successful stats.
    Thanks for another great post — so glad that you did not let these photos “get away”!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh January 6, 2017 / 07:54

      Thanks Donna! The fireworks report was quite entertaining but I guess the stats monkeys went on strike this year. Looking forward to connecting further in 2017.


    • Anabel Marsh January 7, 2017 / 15:04

      Just tried to comment on your latest post and apparently I am blocked as a suspected bot!


  16. hilarymb January 6, 2017 / 07:53

    Hi Annabel – good to see the pics – and congratulations to John and your Ma on their ‘big’ birthdays … love the photos one and all … and the news … Happy New Year to one and all – cheers Hilary


  17. Elaine - I used to be indecisive January 6, 2017 / 16:44

    Palacerigg! I had forgotten all about that place, it’s so long since I visited it! Other familiar names in your post are Loch Leven and Glasgow University (not that I attended, but friends and family members do/did, and it is such a huge part of the city that it is hard not to be affected by it).
    The stat helper monkeys didn’t visit me either – I was just thinking about that today and was searching for my 2016 info.


  18. nomad, interrupted January 6, 2017 / 21:13

    I wish I could have come along on your lovely walk at Loch Leven, Anabel. It looks like just my cup of tea. Happy birthday to John and your Mum in 2016 (and I’m sure you had a birthday in there yourself somewhere!). Who knows what happened to those year-end stat monkeys. I never got them either; maybe they’ve discontinued them. I noticed when I started to post my first post in 2017, we no longer have the option to post using the old format. I am disappointed about that, because I found the old format perfectly fine! Thanks for sharing your mish-mash. This is the kind of stuff I usually share on my cocktail hours – things that don’t seem to fit anywhere else! 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh January 7, 2017 / 00:55

      I think there’ll be a few more mish-mashes before I’m done! Yes, I had a birthday too but my big one ending in 0 is not till next year. I’m fairly sure the option to go back to the old format is till there, they’ve just hidden the WP Admin link more cunningly (unless it’s changed today, I was there yesterday). I don’t like the newer format either.


      • nomad, interrupted January 8, 2017 / 15:36

        Lucky you, not to have hit your -0 birthday yet; I passed into the -1 in October! After you mentioned it, I found the old version in the WP Admin link near the bottom. I had failed to scroll down before. I’m glad it’s still there!


        • Anabel Marsh January 8, 2017 / 17:11

          Yes, I’m sure WP admin will disappear altogether eventually and they’ll force us into the new version. The more people keep using the old one the better if it means they keep it it clinging on.


  19. Kathleen Jennette January 7, 2017 / 16:41

    I’ve had so much to do these past couple years building a new house and I’m really glad I’m back. In particular I like coming back to your blog. It takes me away and I find myself making a list of travels. When this house is done… I’m taking your blog traveling. Happy birthday to your guy!


    • Anabel Marsh January 7, 2017 / 17:06

      Thanks, Kathleen. Building a new house – wow! I can see how that might have taken up a little of your time………

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Ann Coleman January 8, 2017 / 00:07

    I didn’t get a year-end stat update either, so maybe they just aren’t doing it anymore. But it sounds as if your blog is doing very well and growing quickly (no surprise there) and I’m so glad for you! I look forward to reading about your trip to Perth!


    • Anabel Marsh January 8, 2017 / 08:52

      Yes, the stats monkeys seem to have gone AWOL this year. It’s a minor irritation but still an irritation – on a par with going to the supermarket to buy X and finding that they have inexplicably stopped stocking it. I know, I’m a grumpy old woman! It’s the one time of year I like to look at the stats though, and I liked my wee “fireworks show”.


  21. Susan at FindingNYC January 8, 2017 / 04:02

    It sounds like you had a great year! Happy new year – wishing you many wonderful adventures in the coming year


    • Anabel Marsh January 8, 2017 / 08:58

      Thank you Susan, and the same to you. I enjoy experiencing NYC through your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. the eternal traveller January 8, 2017 / 06:30

    I didn’t get a 2016 review either and I was so disappointed. It’s fun reading all the good news. I’m looking forward to reading more about Scotland this year.


  23. restlessjo January 9, 2017 / 08:37

    Nice round off to the year, Anabel. Congrats to John and those are magnificent photos of Loch Leven. 🙂


  24. Birgit January 10, 2017 / 03:34

    So, late as norm but loving these pictures and your mom looks really good! You look like your mom. Congrats to John as well. I believe the New Year will be a year of change…however one will interpret this but I guess, time will tell.


    • Anabel Marsh January 10, 2017 / 07:50

      Thanks Birgit! I do look like my Mum and my sister is like my father’s side.


  25. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) January 11, 2017 / 16:18

    I was wondering the same thing about the “stats helper monkeys” the other day, when I noticed that a bunch of people had done year in review posts, and I realised I never got a stats report for 2016. So you weren’t the only one, if that makes you feel any better!


    • Anabel Marsh January 11, 2017 / 17:11

      It seems nobody got them going by the comments on here. I missed the little monkeys!

      Liked by 1 person

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