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. A fascinating review of past Years of the Rooster, Inese, and beautiful photos that seem to symbolize the glowing eternal circle of life despite the many losses of the passing year. I send blessings of peace and joy and thank you for transporting me to so many wondrous places through your exquisite photography. ❤

  2. Dear Inese, this is what I wrote on Cynthia’s blog, but my comment probably won’t display as it’s waiting for someone to moderate it. …

    “So sad. I’ve read this poem a year after Cynthia is no longer here. But how beautiful that others are still mentioning it, which is why I’m here because another blogger has just remembered her in a post https://inesemjphotography.com/2016/12/30/looking-back-and-forward/. This is the wonder of the web, that someone can write something so amazing and their words are there forever. It’s a form of immortality”.

    I love that picture of the roosters. That was very interesting, you listing the happenings in past Years of the Roosters. I was born in the Year of the Snake, It would be interesting to check out what happened in those years.

    We must hope and pray that those “roosters” behave themselves this year!

    Wishing you peace, happiness, and joy in 2017.

    Sarah x

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! Almost every day I open Cynthia’s blog, but I cannot explain what I expect to see there – I just don’t know. I thought about writing a blog about her, but I am not a writer, I won’t find the right words. I know someone of her friends will do it, and I hope to see her poetry published. Thank you again for your kind words. Have a wonderful year, have your dreams fulfilled! xx

      1. That would be wonderful, if Cynthia’s poetry was published. Meanwhile, Inese, I’m sure you could find the words to express what you wanted to say about her in a blog post. Just let it come from heart. You write beautifully about all sort of things, which makes you a writer, doesn’t it? Ditto … you have a wonderful year and your dreams fulfilled. xox

  3. Wishing you a Happy New Year with good things to come! I always feel hopeful when a New Year begins – sometimes it works out great, roosters or not!

  4. Such a heartfelt post, Inese, and beautifully expressed. I didn’t realise that the year of the Rooster was regarded as the worst in the Chinese zodiac, but last year (year of the Monkey?) couldn’t have been much worse for many individuals I know. There were also many tragedies and wars worldwide.
    The losses of so many well-loved ‘celebrities’ (for want of a better word) are hard to take in. They seemed to have started with David Bowie last January and continued at intervals throughout the year. The last three deaths, all in one week, was so very sad. I’m also sorry to hear of the death of your blogging friend, Inese, although I didn’t know Cynthia myself. She will obviously be very missed by family and friends.
    We’re now into 2017 and must look forward to a better year, bearing in mind that the year of the Rooster isn’t always really bad, as your useful notes show. Let’s all hope for world peace and a better understanding of each other.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Millie! Yes, 2016 took away many people that have been a part of our lives. It was also a year of wars and preparation to new wars, but I do hope for a better new year, with less tragedies and more positive news from around the world. xx

  5. Hugs, hope, and faith to you, Dear Friend. Such absences…damn, they just hurt.
    But I maintain hope.
    Christmases with my mother had been painful the last few years because of the loss of my father. She would literally tune us out for hours, sitting in a chair and staring at nothing.
    This year, she was alive again, talking and laughing. As the kids opened presents, she made an announcement to my brothers and I: she had started dating again.
    I hugged her tight, and told her I was happy for her. I know my brothers were a bit in shock, but I had seen how widowhood had impacted Bo’s father in his last five years of life. I didn’t want my mother to fall into that same trap of isolation and depression. And I know Dad sure as Heaven wouldn’t want that,either.
    So yeah, 2016 was a God-awful year. But there’s got to be hope found, too. I’m hoping to maintain a better relationship with my cousins, and I hope Mom’s new relationship is long-lasting. All flowers return to the soil from which they grew to help new ones grow again. I’m hoping this year can be like that. xxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Jean, thank you for your good wishes. I have to visit your blog – I haven’t been there since Christmas, being caught in life and swallowed alive 🙂 I am so glad for your mother because it is better for you all – and I see it as a sign of happiness and peace sprouting and ready to bloom in your family. I am sure that step by step everything will work out, and this year is going to be happy and fulfilling. Happy New Year, happy writing! Thank you for being a wonderful friend! ❤

  6. I was sorry to hear about the personal losses you had in 2016, Inese. As for the year of the rooster, I didn’t know it was supposed to be the worst of all years in the Chinese Zodiac, but I think your approach is a good one. The year 1981 was an awful one for me because it involved math lessons, but the years of the dog, monkey, goat, pig and so on all around it were equally bad, so I don’t think it’d be fair to single out the rooster. Let’s hope 2017 is a wonderful year for all of us.

    1. I too was very surprised to read the bad news about the year of Rooster. I was actually looking for some splendid news, because it is my year. Well, with no support from The Year I guess my happiness is in my own hands only. And let’s hope for the best for all of us 🙂

      1. I’m a sheep myself. I can’t help wishing I’d got a cooler animal, like a dragon. I suppose we should both just feel grateful we’re not Year of the Slug or something. 🙂

  7. Well …….. Cock-a-doodle-doo,
    Happy 2017 to you!
    Interestingly enough, the Year of the Rooster seems quite diplomatic to me.
    Is there a better animal to be the awakener of us all into a new year, new day, a new morn?
    It’s a song. Cock-a-doodle-doo!

  8. Aww, there was much loss and some tragic political choices this year in Europe and the United States.
    I liked the way you covered so much here, Inese.
    Hope we all can move forward, for the sake who are young and look up to us, for our strength is what they count on.
    The world still holds loving, caring and involved people. I believe over 90% of the world is worth their weight in gold.
    Inese, I am so glad you featured different aspects of the year of the rooster, as well as what were sad parts of 2016. Very meaningful and nicely expressed post, dear friend! ❤

    1. Thank you so much, Robin! It is my year and here I read that is isn’t a great year at all! I wasn’t happy, so I did a research and now I know it is going to be a year of good changes for all, and as always, our happiness remains in our own hands 🙂

      1. Well, you didn’t hear me saying it would be less than nice or special! xo So glad you researched and confirmed a more positive future, Inese. ❤

  9. I try not to read too much into these predictions, as some astrologers seem to make self-fulfilling prophesies. I really believe in keeping an optimistic mindset and making our own destinies.
    It was a year that definitely had its ups and downs. Sorry to hear about your losses, Inese.
    For me, this year held a lot of valuable lessons, and I feel like it has been a good year even though I didn’t get all or most of my wishes. I hope 2017 will be happier for all of us 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Carolee! All predictions have 50 % chance 🙂 Healthy sense of humor and hard work do miracles. I too hope it will be a better year for all, with no wars, no violence against life. Peace for all.

  10. Bring on the rooster! 😀 Love the light pics… Nice! Cat pics are fab 😊 The tree idea is my favourite. Blessed 2017 Inese. 🙂

  11. Happy New Year, Inese!! I’m sorry to hear of your losses this year – it’s always difficult to lose a loved one, human or furry! Thank you for your wonderful posts this past year, your gorgeous pictures and your beautiful posts!! I look forward to many more!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment! Unfortunately I don’t have much time for blogging, but I will do my best to post and to visit other blogs. Thank you for being a great blogger friend! Have a wonderful New Year, and may all your projects be successful! xxxx

  12. This is such a special post ~ from the incredible opening shot (so crisp and full of life), and explanation of the Year of the Rooster which will be my go-to guide when the Chinese New Year is upon us, to more wonderful stories and personal photographs. The photo of Grishnak and the new baby in the family is simply precious…lucky cat and lucky family. Wishing you a wonderful 2017 Inese, and look forward to more inspiration, life and happiness through your posts. Take care.

    1. Thank you so much Randall! The rooster picture was taken with a bridge camera at least 10 years ago, but I still keep and love it 🙂 Young roosters were rambling around the Bunratty Castle village crowing with adolescent voices, keeping close together.
      Wishing you an amazing year, inspired projects, peace and happiness. xx

  13. This is such a good post and I also hope for a better year in all ways. 2015 was my personal worst year, 2016 was globally awful—I think we’re due a good one. Happy New Year to you!

  14. Thanks for a lovely post for reflections Inese. I am hoping 2017 will be a good year for you and your loved ones. I would say year of the Rooster is a good one since I was born in one of them:)

    1. Oh that is so fun that I already know six Rooster bloggers who revealed themselves after this post. Me including 🙂 Happy 2017 to us Roosters 🙂

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