Wow, wow, wow! It’s really been 6 whole years of this amazing project, the Wish You Were Here project! And through dodgy wifi and difficult countries, international moves and sickness I’ve kept posting and sharing to our log of a picture a week of life where ever we are. And I absolutely love that I have that record to always look back on.
In the words of the Queen this was a bit of a bumpy year, a rollercoaster of highs and lows, with lots of emotions in between, so before sharing the photos that made up our 52 weeks here’s a small summary of some of the year of the Larmour Family:
- Travels the length and breadth of India – from Kerala to Kashmir to Kolkata (twice) we have experienced so much of this beautful country. Travelling overland by train or road I’m proud to say we haven’t taken a single domestic flight in doing so.
- Which takes me to Climate Strikes – it was the year my kids found their eco voices, and stood wth a friend or more every Friday to support Greta Thunburg and her global “Fridays for Future” movement. And I couldn’t be more proud of them for speaking up for our planet and it’s future when so many seem complacent or ignorant or lazy about making change.
- We lived another 6 months in our “little house in the jungle”. A small corner of Goan paradise to call home, nurtured by our wonderful landlady and with a community of friends around who became so dear to us.
- We purchased our Vera the van – a Volkswagon who is now our home and has carried us for the last 6 months from Mumbai to Kashmir to Goa and across to Kolkata again – she’s been mostly reliable, but those of you who follow us on instagram will know that she did have one major breakdown which left us stranded on a roadside while out of wifi and phone coverage – it all adds to the adventure!!
- We’ve visited Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong and Singapore and connected with old homes and very dear old friends in some of our favourite places.
- In doing so I closed down a chapter and shut down my Abu Dhabi photography business as we really don’t think we’ll be returning to live there again 🙁 we will of course be back for visits!!
- My beautiful friends and fellow Wish You Were Here members Deb Schwedhelm and Rowe Timson came to Goa to help me run a workshop which was amazing. We were joined by some incredible ladies who came ready to grow their photography and for an Indian adventure. It was truly a balm for the soul and I can’t believe it’s almost a year ago already.
- Our Wish You Were Here collective had an exhibition in Paris!!! Thanks to our founder Nicola and to Chloe who worked so hard to pull it together. I was delighted that it included one of my photos along with so many of our other beautiful contributors from the last 6 years. I’ll post my picture lower down – it’s a favourite from a few years ago on a train through China! And we all know how much I love train travel so that was super special.
- We had several visitors to Goa including my parents and we loved sharing our little jungle paradise with them.
- I lost a dear friend and it kicked me in the gut in a way I never imagined.
- My work was published by National Geographic, and in print in Dear Photographer magazine. And featured on the Clickin Moms blog and several other industry publications; I had picture of the week on the ClickPro Daily project twice, and these honours gave me a boost and a much needed virtual hug when I was frankly going through a creative low.
- I was featured in 3 published books, and on the cover of one of them!! My first book cover – hurrah!!! And my e-book “Photography on the Fly” continued to sell well through a new platform.
- We spent a lot of time debating future plans – a LOT of time because international moves take a LOT of logistics, especially with tw/teens who (rightly) have their own opinions. Finances, social logistics, family, curriculum, jobs, language and accessibility to educational resources all come into account – not to mention the unknown implications of the implementation of Brexit to our multinational family. Ugh, it all hurts my head, a LOT!!
- I continued to support my family through photography and teaching in various forms which makes me immensely proud especially as we raise 2 strong girls who watch everything and learn so much from their Mama. My husband continued to do the school run, grocery shopping and laundry but I’ll be happy for him to go back to work before too long!! 😉
- The girls, we reached the teenage years as they turned 13 and 11 and continued to dance and sing and do drama. They hung out at the beach a lot, and now do their schooling online while we travel. They are hard working, passionate and opinionated and I frankly love that they’re finding their voices and speak up. Even when it’s me they’re calling out or disagreeing with.
- Boris. No, not that one. A parasite, so called because he was uninvited, created havoc and left a trail of chaos behind him. Yes, Indy and I contracted a parasite – one that’s common in the USA or Europe, that’s usually relatively harmless, maybe leading to a week or 2 of “toilet trouble” and one that most people don’t even know they have. But we sure got it bad and it ravaged our insides doing intestinal damage before moving on to impact other organs. Multiple hospital visits, numerous tests and pills, 5 months and 15 kg lighter (that’s just me, it’s 20kg cumulatively) we are finally starting to recover. It’s been physically and emotionally exhausting. I look like a different person, my skinny (slight muffin top) jeans are now baggy and I’ve had to buy new underwear that doesn’t slide off, not to mention that I have considerably less hair and my skin feels quite reptilian. But we are rebuilding our muscles and immune systems and finding new ways of eating and actually feeling significantly better.
- The people of India – we’ve experienced the most amazing hospitality and kindness. We’ve learnt about this beautiful place we’ve called home for 2 years and yet we feel we’ll never understand it or know enough about how it functions. The food, the colours, the richness and the diversity – we fall deeper in love with it every day – except for the days when we fall completely out of love with it and bang our heads on brick walls with frustration – and then we fall in love with it again and all is forgiven!
- Our Poppy dog. He made the first picture of the year and wormed his way into our hearts. He belonged to our landlady really, but we loved him as our own. And his old wobbly hips gave out and eventually his heart. There were a lot of tears at the loss of this beloved pet.
- I’ve been lucky enough to mentor some amazing ladies and hold their hands on their photography journeys. Whilst I’ve had to put future mentoring on hold for now after being so ill it is always such an honour to watch others grow and achieve their goals – including 3 who have made ClickPro this year!
- Kolkata – our new favourite Indian city. After 2 weeks there this summer we went back for Christmas and loved it just as much the second time – it’s alive, and it’s humble, and it’s welcoming and we loved that.
- Being together all the time – exploring, adventuring, seeing, experiencing, cooperating, talking, getting by, singing, cooking, learning, dancing, capturing. It can be hard. It can be wonderful. I wouldn’t have it any other way right now.
Well gosh, that wasn’t exactly short in the end was it? It’s been a full year. A hard year. A beautiful year. A year of learning. A year of growth. A year I’m happy to say goodbye to. A year I’m grateful to.
And here are the 52 pictures that tell it’s story:
And here is the image that was in the Wish You Were Here Paris exhibition – and a pic of it on display. How lovely is that? And what testament to the beautiful longevity of the project.
Photo taken by Becky Venteicher
So, here we go for Year 7 of Wish You Were Here, and for me having a record of a picture a week to look back on. Let the adventures continue, big love and thanks for following along in 2019, Kirsty xx