HelenaGwyn you shouldn't need to create a separate app for each year.
^(.*)$ means "match the entire URI path", meaning the part after the domain.
$1 inserts that matched value into the destination URL for the redirect.
If the original blog at helenagwyn.com/blog/ used the same permalink format then the redirect that you have ought to be working.
Feel free to contact support via email if you need us to take a closer look. Thanks!