Looking back – and forward

I always pay attention to what Chinese Lunar Calendar says in general: year of Rooster – check. Fire, gold and red – check. As to the details, they are sometimes contradicting each other, so they have to be approached critically. Like, in some sources I have read that the year of Rooster is always the worst of all the years of the Cycle, with which I totally disagree.

(I thought about roosters and cycles when walking the streets of Waterford during Winterval festival)

Lets go back and see what the years of Rooster were like. I will start from 1957, for a particular reason 😉


The Treaty of Rome was signed by six countries establishing European Economic Community – the future EU.  Yay for that. Soviet Union sent a dog Laika into Space. Federal Troops were sent to Arkansas to enforce anti-segregation laws. Yearly Inflation Rate USA 3.34%; UK 3.3%


Richard Nixon was inaugurated. Apollo 11 astronauts took first walk on the Moon. The US had the greatest number of troops in Vietnam. To compare with turbulent 1968,  1969 seems to be quieter, but the same problems remained.


Ronald Reagan was inaugurated. First flight of Space Shuttle Columbia.  Yearly Inflation Rate USA 10.35%; UK 11.9%. Margaret Thatcher’s Government began privatisation of nationalised industries that revived economy ( I think it worked).


Bill Clinton was inaugurated. Islamic Fundamentalists bombed World Trade Center. Earthquakes and floods happened all over the world. The US and Soviet Union signed Start II Treaty ( bilateral reduction of nuclear warheads). The World Wide Web was born.


Hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes all over the world. London bombing, terrorist attacks in India and Egypt. Natural disasters and terrorist attacks are typical features of the past decade, not only of 2005.

So, in general, the years of Rooster most definitely were not the worst years ( not the best either…) For me personally, 1981 and 1993 were both tragic, but 2005 was all right, so I see a trend of improvement 🙂

I think that we sometimes have to get off the carousel, sit back and contemplate for a minute. It helps put things into perspective and illuminate priorities. We might even re-evaluate our ‘bad years’ after all.

This Christmas tree is a part of a charity project.  It was displayed during the Winterval festival in Waterford. Soft toys remind me of a furry friend whom we lost this December.

I took this picture in May. In July my daughter wrote me that Grishnak was dying, and all family members spent some time with him saying goodbye.  Yet, he miraculously recovered after a few days, and I saw him again in August. He lived to welcome another baby in the family, but after that his health started to deteriorate again, and on December 11 he was gone.

This picture was taken in September. Now the empty box symbolises the emptiness he left behind. I didn’t realise that it would be my last picture of him.

This year I lost a relative and several former schoolmates. It was a sad year of losses for all of us as we said goodbye to David Bowie, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, Carrie Fisher (dang it, I had to edit this sentence twice before posting this blog! What a horrible year!)  and many others who were part of our life. The last, and the most painful loss that still hurts so much, is the death of beloved blogger friend, the finest Poet and amazing Human, Cynthia Jobin. Here is a link to her last poem she posted just a week before she left us. I keep coming to her blog, like an orphan – I just cannot move on.

Soon we will leave this sad year behind, and I look forward to the New Year’s arrival and the start of a new calendar. I don’t know what this year will bring, I just hope I will do my part and bring something good myself, regardless. The year of Red and Gold Fire Rooster – it will be spectacular if nothing else 🙂 But I do hope it is also kind and gentle on all of us – please, no rooster fights!

Happy New Year to all!

Thank you for your friendship, and for your wonderful blogs that made my 2016 a better year!


There are links from my previous Christmas – New Year posts:

https://inesemjphotography.com/category/happy-new-year/ https://inesemjphotography.com/2014/12/13/year-is-running-out/ https://inesemjphotography.com/2014/12/06/christmas-story/ https://inesemjphotography.com/category/christmas/



  1. I think there is a tendency to highlight the worse and the sad. As horoscopes were made by cultures in the Northern Hemisphere i don’t pay attention to them as our stars are different. I hope you can are having a great year, Inese. : )

  2. Such a shame we are all getting older….my school class lost more this year also, and it wasn’t the ones addicted to the drink that left us…or even the politicians.

    In our local Chinese restaurant, they proudly display calendars all over the walls proclaiming the Year of “the cock” for 2017. So far no students have added addendums to those calendars….

    Here, deep in the New World, the peasants have selected a banty Rooster themselves, so we shall certainly see some strutting and fussing in the yard, particularly with the other roosters. it should make for interesting drama if nothing else…

    Here’s hoping your Year of The Rooster is a grand one!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! You are so right about getting older. It hurts when you learn that boys and girls from your class are no more.
      I too worry about your rooster, and the only thing I can tell to comfort you is that everything shall pass.
      Have a great 2017!

  3. So sorry to hear about you losing your furry friend, relativesa, and school mates. And your blogging friend, I hadn’t come across her blog before. Overall 2016 was a pretty wretched year and I am glad to see the back of it. All the best to you and yours for 2017. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Marje! Hope 2017 is kind to us all. I agree that 2016 was one of those years one cannot wait to see going.
      Best wishes for 2017!

  4. Happy New Year, Inese. What a beautiful post. An interesting look back, for sure. Here’s to a wonderful 2017. Your photos are beautiful and your writing touches my heart. I am so very sorry to hear of your loss of little Grishnak.

    1. Thank you so much, Linda! I am missing this remarkable cat, and I am grateful that he gave me the last opportunity to see and serve him.
      Have a healthy and happy New Year, wonderful in all aspects! xxxx

  5. Grishnak joins so many amazing souls that have left this world in 2016. The vibrant light of your photos reminds me of the impact we all can make while still on this wonderful Earth.

    Let’s shine our heart in the dark places that need warmth and hope. There are even the smallest of corners that would do well with a tiny flame. A smile to a stranger can make a world of difference to someone going through pain.

    Thank you for your lovely blog, Inese. Your joyful heart leaves me with a sense of peace and comfort. Much love. xo

    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful words, Rose! Whatever happens in the world, it doesn’t give us neither a right nor a reason to add to the negativity. Those tiny flames must spread light and warmth, always 🙂
      Love and best wishes to you ❤

  6. Inese, This is an excellent New Year’s post. You’ve given us both the world to remember [without a lot of pain] and a year to look forward to [if we open our hearts and our eyes] and allow the joys to enter into our existence.
    Your blogs are becoming both so visually appealing, as always, but your philosophical enhancement is such an enrichment.

  7. The pics from the festival are just stunning! And I love your thoughts about the rooster years (having been born in one myself 😉). And I agree, there have been far too many losses the past year, both worldwide and personal 😦
    In human and geological history there’s almost always happening something good after devastation and destruction. Let’s hope this year will proof it right and will surprise us all with something beautiful. xxxxxxxx

  8. Sorry about Grishnak. 😦
    We too lost our Miao Dzedong old cat.
    A happy New Year to you and to all your family.
    (Lots of good health above all)

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