Richard Perry

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Instagram Digest Nov-Dec 2013 George's Second Year

2013 Year in Review

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Happy New Year all! As seems to be customary for blog writers, I thought I would do a bit of a year in review for 2013, so here it is.


At the start of the year, I officially became a student once again (although I started the course in November last year) as part of the 20Twenty Leadership for Construction programme run by Cardiff Metropolitan University. I was somehow stitched up with this through work :wink: . The course consisted of numerous 2 day blocks of teaching across the year, three essays and culminated in a Strategic Growth Project. I completed it at the beginning of November with good marks in all my assignments. I have not yet been given the overall final grade, but I have definitely passed so I now have a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Leadership (Construction) :smile: .

At the end of December 2012, George stopped walking whilst he was ill, but by February there was no stopping him and now he walks, runs, jumps (almost) and climbs on everything. He is great fun. In February, after 5 months of baby signing classes, George signed his first word, ‘food’ :smile: . By the summer he was signing a  small number of things, but from the middle of September, he really started to progress quickly and now he can sign 56 words! He is also now saying 8 words clearly :grinning: . Also,  the last of George’s baby teeth came through in the first week of December so hopefully that’s the end of teething :smile: . He’s growing up so quick!

In April, I made a potentially stupid mistake and signed up for my second half marathon, the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon in October. I put in a lot of training to make sure I could actually achieve it, I even joined a running club in September (Caerleon Running Club). When the day arrived, I completed the race and beat my previous time by 17 minutes finishing in a time of 1:48:10 :grinning: . After joining the running club, I got more involved in the local running community and ran my first Parkrun at the end of November in a time of 22:01. With all the half marathon training and club running I managed to complete 500 miles running in 2013. Maybe I’ll aim for 550 miles this year :wink: .

2013 also seemed to be the year for DIY. In May, we finally decided to decorate the walls and beds in the back garden and put up a fence along the side, and across the drive to pen George in during the summer. So, one weekend, with the help of Rosie and my dad, we set out and installed a low close board fence. It was great fun, but we didn’t have enough timber to finish the gate. As such it still isn’t finished :disappointed: . June saw us building a new barbecue next to our garage with some waste materials from work and in August we built a wall at the end of the steps to finish off the top of the patio. Inside the house, we decided to brighten the place up with some vinyl stickers and we’re looking forward to doing some more extensive work this year.


At the end of January we had our traditional Christmas Ham for the Perry Family Christmas which George has managed to see twice already! Then in February George completed his first full revolution of the sun. We had a selection of party’s for family and friends (mainly for us, but George seemed to enjoy himself too :wink: ) as well as for Rosie’s birthday so she didn’t feel left out :wink:

My birthday, once again, coincided with Gilwell Reunion so we tacked on an extra day to visit Drayton Manor and Thomas Land. It was another great birthday, and George loved Thomas Land!

We spent Easter in France with friends where we visited Disneyland and the sights of Paris. It was a brilliant couple of days, but we tried to fit too much in so it was a bit hectic.

Christmas this year was a little unusual because both sets of our parents were around on the big day :grinning: . We started the holiday by visiting Rosie’s Grandparents on the Isle of Wight. We then headed to Basingstoke to visit my sister with my parents and Gran. We had Christmas at home with my parents visiting in the morning, Rosie’s parents arriving in the afternoon and all of them joining us for the evening. It was a brilliant day, and although we’ve all got stinking colds now, we wouldn’t change it for the world!

Days Out

After Rosie & George recovered from their late 2012 tummy bug, we began the year by taking George for a walk to the top of the Sugar Loaf in the Black Mountains. We were joined by Mark for this great start to the year.

At the end of January we were able to officially introduce George to snow, and he loved it. We also picked up National Trust memberships to encourage us to go on more days out. It was obviously a good incentive as we have been out and about a lot this year. In August, we got involved with the hunt for Gromit across Bristol giving us several days out visiting parts of Bristol we may never have gone to otherwise. Here’s a small selection of photos from our adventures :smile: .


I also decided to take up a new hobby early in the year and joined Torfaen Freerunning Academy to learn all about Freerunning & Parkour. The club met weekly at a gym in New Inn so it was great, although they stopped running at the beginning of August. I had a lot of fun with this gymnastic sport, managing to get a handle on the backflip in April :smile: . I will continue with the freerunning on my own for now, but I have a feeling my progress will be a little slower until the club restarts or I find another one :disappointed: .

However, 2013 wasn’t all good. In February we discovered that George has a nut allergy, not a major allergy, but an allergy all the same meaning he has to miss out on some of the best food around!

We also made the tough decision to leave FreeSpirit ESU (the Explorer Scout Unit where we were leaders) after 10 years. It has been a huge part of our lives for so long, but we felt it was time to move on to spend more time with George.

I may not have improved my Chinese at all since the end of my challenge, but I’ve had a good year and I’m looking forward to what 2014 brings :smile: .

Below are links to my WordPress Year in Blogging, Facebook Year in Review and Google+ Photo/Video montage of the year. All of these have been provided automatically by each company with the use of my published data.

WordPess 2013 Year in Blogging

Facebook Year in Review

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