The Year of The Pig

It would be just another new year if we didn’t have Chinese Zodiac calendar ๐Ÿ™‚

The year of The Dog is fading away as the year of The Pig starts in February and marks the end of the Twelve years Cycle.

Was 2018 “a good dog” for you? What were some of the highlights?

Here I share some pictures taken in 2018. It was (and still is) a very challenging year, but I cannot tell it has been unlucky for me.

The year started with a lazy snowfall that continued into the end of February. Then a mighty storm hit the island – you can see all the pictures in my previous blog post.

The snow melted in the first few days in March.

I didn’t see much of St. Patrick’s Day parade this year, but I liked this actor and took some pictures.

Spraoi monsters looked completely out of place at the St. Patrick’s Parade. I don’t think it was a great idea to include them. Yet, I posted this picture for a reason since I want to tell you a few words about monsters.

I discoveredย ย Jean Lee’s Worldย ย blogย in 2015. After reading one article, I went back through the archives and read almost everything. I was stunned. A quick check on Amazon showed no books. No books?! Later I learned that Jean Lee did work on a novel, but there were many obstacles she had to overcome – you can read her story as she tells it herself in her blog.ย 

In June this year, Jean Lee published the first book of the short fiction seriesย Tales Of the River Vine. The other five books followed, introducing the characters of her first YA fantasy novel Fallen Princeborn: Stolen, Book 1, parts 1 – 2,ย available on Amazon. An intelligent, captivating, very well written book will take you and the courageous, strong-willed teenage heroine to the fae world of darkness, and, hopefully, back. I look forward to reading Book 2 in March 2019. I am so very happy for you, Friend! You did it! Your books are as wonderful and unique as everything else you do.ย 

Please visit Jean Lee’sย amazing blog, and read her books.ย 


The days went by. In the end of May I got my life back, but in a complicated form. The world is still beautiful, though.

A Chaffinch still sings his little heart out…

… and his cute lady looks pleased.

Puffin here is just being gorgeous.

In the end of July I returned to blogging, and visited a few more places.

I went to the Cunnigar. I didn’t do the crossing, just walked to the end and back, watched the birds and insects. Usually I see one heron at a time, but there were seven. They took off when I came closer.

This scared fledgling was sitting in the middle of the boggy area on the Anne River trail. Hope his parents came to his rescue before a predator got there first.

I also went to the Comeraghs. Taking pictures of sheep never seems boring.

Then I came across a lone black pig. I later learned that this is her daily walking route.

Finally, there was a long flight, and many different birds and animals.

I guess my life was spared once again. We landed in Dublin in the eye of the storm Ali to learn that some 80 flights have already been cancelled or diverted, and a RyanAir plane had been forced to abort landing. Only two hero crews – Philadelphia and our JFK – landed their planes that morning. The landing was a nightmare, but it was performed splendidly regardless of violent swaying. The plane was still rocking and shaking in the gusts when we finally approached the terminal, and the passengers were instructed to watch their foot when stepping onto the jet bridge, as it might get detached. Two days later, a delivery man handed me my luggage and said ‘You guys are lucky to be alive’.

And then came the Autumn. It went through the different stages, until it was safe to call it Winter.

The young year of The Pig begins with hopes and dreams.

Who can tell what it will grow into?

Just be a good human in the year of The Pig, and everything will work out for your good.

Everything will definitely work out in the end.

ย May the New Year be wondrous!


  1. Love your parade photos but also your animal photos, which shows you definitely are an animal lover.

    Last year wasn’t too bad although I applied for renewal of my visa in July last year – 7 months and still waiting. Technically, I’m not supposed to leave Italy as I may not be allowed back in…I’m allowed an emergency “direct flight to Australia only”. If such an animal exists, let me know! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Happy belated New Year, Inese! The year of the pig is officially underway and I wish you a spectacular 2019 xo It was wonderful to look through your photos over the year within this post and to think what memories you will create moving forward. Love always to you and family.

  3. It is the Year of the Pig soon. As Randall said, if January doesn’t go too well, you can do a take two of starting the year again when the Lunar New Year rolls around. 2018 sounded challenging for you, but good that you are up once again. Lovely street shots and nature photography. Hope you will get to travel more in the upcoming year, and enjoy more photography ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I love this ~ and the beauty of the Chinese New Year for me, is if the calendar New Year does not get off to a great start – there is always the start of CNY to begin again ๐Ÿ™‚ It looks like the Year of the Pig is going to bring you many opportunities of happiness and of course photography. Wishing you well.

    1. Thank you so much, Randall! I am following the CNY calendar since I was young, and always find great tips that work ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree with you about the beauty of the second start ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you have a fantastic new year too.

  5. Gorgeous photos as always. The only time I have ever seen a Puffin was in one of your other posts. They are so beautiful.

    Hoping your new year has started off well. May your and yours have a wonderful 2019 full of sunshine, smiles, and love.

  6. The year of the delicious pig. Hehe no! I hope yours is a wonderful one, Inese. I don’t know much about constellations and Zodiacs; here the most important is the Southern Cross that some call Chakana and that’s all. From the Northern hemisphere instead the stories are so rich in them. I have a kindle and I got one kindle edition from Jean Lee, is beautiful to have access from what persons around the world create. Thank you for the recommendations and for sharing such an impactacting year (I am glad the adventure with the plane ended well!)

    1. Thank you Francis! Pig is one of the most useful farm animals – no part of pig is wasted ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope we won’t waste anything of what the new year offers to us ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Ah, the lovely animals have come out to say Happy Year of the Pig! Beautiful photos and wonderful post about Jean. Your generous heart sings praises for all. Blessings now and always, darling Inese! xo

    1. Thank you so much, Rose! Hope all is well and your New Year is off to a great start. I look forward to meeting the sweet Pig ๐Ÿ™‚ Many blessings to you, dear friend. May there be love and happiness in the year of the Pig for you xxxxxxxxxx

    1. Michele, if it is your sign then it is going to be a good year, however it will take much effort. No chilling ๐Ÿ™‚ So was with me and then with my daughter, and it is what the book says too. At least nothing bad will happen in the year of your animal, which is itself a good promise ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I loved every one of those pictures, Inese. It shows how life balances challenges with way to cope with them. Truly beautiful. You understand the animal world so well and it shows in your work. Thank you for taking me on the journey with you. Here’s to 2019 and all that it has to offer us!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and good wishes, Cheryl! You and Basil have been a source of knowledge about the lands I will never see with my own eyes. Thank you for all the trips and ‘wows’ ๐Ÿ™‚ Wishing you a happy year filled with adventure and good luck! xx

      1. Awww! You’re really kind and your words of encouragement mean so much to us. Thanks for making my day! Just what I needed to bring some warmth in a cold January. ๐Ÿ™‚
        You never know though. Maybe you’d travel to those faraway places someday. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to read what you’d have to say. xoxo

  9. I’m wishing you a healthy new year, and that your challenges may be fewer this year.
    As always, I enjoy your beautiful and interesting photos. That’s some pig at the top!

    I will check out Jean Lee’s blog too.

  10. I love your photos, Inese. They always make me pause for a moment to absorb the beauty or wonder. I guess even the big toothy pigs love ear rubs – something to remember for the new year! Wishing you a 2019 full of more beauty and wonder. โค

  11. Those pictures have an out-of-the-worldly aura about them, but the same is true of your writing as you remember the year gone by, fraught with untold accounts chilly and sinister, loaded with promise of life fresh and fragile as dew. You make me drunk with your posts.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Uma, and for ‘reading’ my pictures. Happy New Year to you and yours! They say it is a year of countless opportunities. Cheers to the opportunities! Vivat 2019 ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. The year of the dog has seen some changes with me. It started chaotically for me selling all my possessions and flying out east to take care of my mother and averting her to going into a care facility. Events back east saw me put a label on things and once I identified that label within me something lifted quickly and I began to feel amazing. The amazing feeling is not constant but is there for the most part. I am truly lucky to feel this way. It has been almost 3 years that I have been feeling heavy within and now that is gone.
    I love pigs and look forward to them starting the Chinese new year off. Love all your photos as per usual. The mime looking person was mesmerizing in the photo. Am following Jean Lee’s blog. I have so much to read I don’t know when I will be able to get there. I did follow though.
    I am pleased you are doing better. Sending you healing and comfort. Hugs.

    1. Thank you Joseph! I am delighted to hear that it was a year of good changes for you, and things started falling in place, finally. Your new home is something amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ You will be pleasantly busy in summer, and I look forward to reading about your projects. Happy New Year, friend. Hugs.

  13. Hello Inese, thank you for sharing this wonderful series! And what a lovely tribute to the pig ๐Ÿ™‚ Like many folks, 2018 was a challenging year, but (gratefully) there were some good moments too. My husband & I are looking forward to 2019. Wishing you a very Happy New Year โค โค

    1. Thank you so much, Takami! It was a challenging year indeed, and for some countries it was tragic as they had the earthquakes, fires and floods. Hope for a happier New Year for all. My best wishes to you for the New 2019! โค

  14. Year of the Dog:
    No complaints, but no great strides, yet. There were things begun, and they could come to fruition in the Year of the Pig, and flourish in the Year of the Rat . Here, I refer mostly to the Art Gowns.
    This year was like a stalemate, but the game was long and glorious.
    Like a dog with a bone, I couldn’t pry the bone away. However, the same is said of me, I held a bone, but it wasn’t for the dog to attain. I suppose that attests to certain stubbornness in my nature.

    ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ’ฅHAPPY NEW YEAR ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ’ฅ

    1. Resa, the year of the Pig has so much to offer. Endless opportunities! The year of the Dog didn’t want to share His bone much, but the Pig doesn’t stash anything. Just take it when you see it ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy New Year! xxxxxxxx

  15. When you look back at the severe weather of 2018 you do have to wonder what’s ahead, but there’s no avoiding it. The only way is forward, with as much kindness to each other as we can manage. Happy 2019! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Enjoyed you photo timeline, Inese. You came close to death and survived for another day of giving and receiving. May the gods be blessed!

    I didn’t do so well in the Year of the Dog and only time will tell what the Year of the Pig brings my way. I join you in wishing that “[e]verything will definitely work out in the end” for you and for me โค

    1. Thank you Rosaliene! So you too didn’t do well this year? Lets hope it will stay behind, and only the good things will accompany us to the New Year. Wishing you all the best for 2019! โค

  17. It wasn’t a bad dog year for me personally but it was traumatic to see what’s happening in my country. Your pictures are always so magical. Thank you for sharing your unique gift. Happy 2019.

  18. Amazing post, Inese, so full of hope and the beauties of the world all around us for those who take the time to see and enjoy it! As always love your beautiful photos of both animals and landscapes for which you both have such an incredible eye. May this be a wonderful and good New Year for all of us! Much love! ๐Ÿ˜Š xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  19. I always ๐Ÿ’– and treasure your thoughts and gorgeous photographs, Inese. I am stopping by to wish you continued (12th night. . .โญ) happy holidays. Blessings of Christ’s birth and most wonderful good health and peace of mind in 2019. Hugs, Robin ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿ•Š๏ธโญ

  20. What a walk through a year and even more beautiful images for me to look at. Inese, the best to you and may any trouble you have ben one you find your way out of xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  21. Thanks for the recap, and for the New Year well wishes. I trust it will be a good year. For sure trips planned to Bangladesh and Italy! Looking forward to your 2019 blog posts.

    1. Thank you so much! Delighted you have such exciting trips planned. Looking forward to your photographic diary of the trips ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy New Year!

  22. A year described in well-chosen pictures, far more interesting than the BBC New’s take on 2018 I found myself watching a short time ago. Ireland seems to beg to be photographed and you are correct, Inese we really should take that ship out of Fishguard across the Irish Sea. Have the lovliest 2019.

    1. Mike just found your comment, unanswered. Thank you so much, and check out them boats from Fishguard. Visiting Ireland would be a fine reply to Brexit ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy New Year.

      1. My thanks, Inese. I am in despair at the quirks of WP. Since my return half the comments ‘thing’ right hand of screen aren’t showing up, plus at least 60% of the blogs I follow are not appearing on my reader. What a todo! Never mind, at least I found this one when scrolling through my own posts. Happy New Year, young lady.

  23. I like to read the year end summary. I used to receive a card from a long time and long distance friend that always have brief summary of his life for the past year. It was wonderful. On the other hand, I am not good at writing to tell what went on last year. It seems the past dog year has some fangs here and there. I guess, it would be a wolf kind of year.

    1. Oh I have to agree with you. It was not a ‘good dog’ for me either – with the exception that we safely landed and didn’t perish on that flight ๐Ÿ™‚ Otherwise, the year was quite challenging. Hope the year of the pig doesn’t have fangs and looks rather like that little happy piglet ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a happy New year!

  24. Great photographs. The birds in flight great example. Pigs are 7th in the intelligent list of all animals. I only recently discovered that fact? ~George

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