Happy New year!

The Year of The Pig

It would be just another new year if we didn’t have Chinese Zodiac calendar ūüôā

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 discovered¬†¬†Jean Lee’s World¬†¬†blog¬†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.¬†

In June this year, Jean Lee published the first book of the short fiction series 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 Р2, 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. 

Please visit Jean Lee’s¬†amazing blog, and read her books.¬†

 


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.

 May the New Year be wondrous!

Year of The Dog

Not exactly now, but soon in February the world will enter the Year of the Dog. Earlier this year I visited the Deise Animal Sanctuary in Ballymacarbry, Co Waterford to take some pictures for this blog post. Here is a link to their Facebook page.  The page is active, and a phone number is also available on the page for those who want to come over or donate.

This is Patricia Edwards. Pat. She and her partner Rob came to Ireland from the UK 20 years ago. Pat and Rob have a small holding in the Comeragh mountains where they established The Deise Animal Sanctuary about decade ago. Pat used to work as an Animal Health Trading Standards inspector in Wales, and she is familiar with the matters related to animal welfare. It is certainly very useful, but the greatest thing about Pat is her big heart and unconditional love towards all creatures.

Many kinds of abused, neglected and abandoned animals and birds found their way to this happy place. I am a cat person, so I asked about cats and learned that there were fifty cats at the moment, most of them sleeping in the barn till the evening meal. Some day I will come back and write a proper blog about all the residents, but this is just a short Dog Post from a Cat person who wishes some happiness in the Yang Earth Dog Year as anyone else does.

The dogs have plenty of space to run and play in the afternoon. When I came to the Sanctuary, most of the dogs were locked in their enclosure, and started barking as I approached. There were probably twenty or more dogs inside, and some more dogs followed me from the gate. Pat told me to open the enclosure and get in to take photographs. As I went in, all the dogs, big and small, came closer and instead of taking pictures I was patting their backs and rubbing their heads for another half and hour. I was in tears. I could see the signs of abuse and mistreat, and Pat also told me some horror stories about how some dogs were rescued and what they had been through, and it just broke my heart to see the trust and love to a stranger these dogs expressed. I felt so ashamed for my species.

After all the interested got their share of cuddling and ear and head rubbing, I walked around and took some pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of dogs were locked – quarantine?

And this young pup was also locked. I don’t know what he went through, but I didn’t see any trust in his eyes. He probably needs some time to forgive.

On my way home I was thinking about all these lucky survivors who ended up in the Dog Paradise here in Comeraghs, and about those unlucky ones who died of neglect and abuse, or were euthanized because they had injuries not compatible with life. The legislation related to the animal welfare in Ireland has to be revised as cruelty to animals is on the rise.

They say that a Year of The Dog is generally an eventful year of good changes in mentality and lifestyle. A step up for humanity. Let’s hope that 2018 won’t be any different and all the changes we face are positive and beneficial to us. Please, 2018, be a good dog! ūüėČ

Happy New Year to all my fellow bloggers! ‚̧

PS For the next six months I am planning to blog every second week.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great New Year party! ūüôā

Looking back – and forward

I always pay attention to what Chinese Lunar Calendar says in general: year of Rooster Рcheck. Fire, gold and red Рcheck. 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 ūüėČ

1957

The Treaty of Rome was signed by six countries establishing European Economic Community Рthe 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%

1969

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.

1981

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).

1993

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.

2005

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 ūüôā

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 РI 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 ūüôā 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!

rooster

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/

www.inesemjphotography.com

Look back. Smile back.

new year

Another Christmas slipped away. ¬†The last week of the year is that nebulous time we are not sure about – ¬†either we want it to last longer, or jump straight into the New Year. ¬†Some people spend this time frantically trying to tie up loose ends; some are adding¬†fresh illusions to their New Year’s resolution lists; some just enjoy these unstructured, lazy days.

It is not uncommon for people to look back at the year that was.

Did anything extraordinary happen to you in 2015? The most extraordinary thing I can think about is that I have seen the Blood Moon twice  Рfirst in April in the USA, and then in September in Ireland.

moon usa

moon eire

My daughter and her family have¬†been¬†¬†a source of joy, ¬†as always. My friends were always there for me too. ¬†I cannot recall any major disappointment that would take¬†me¬†by surprise. ¬†The older I get the less surprised I am about anything. Don’t get me wrong – I am in awe of the world around me – it is not a surprise that the world ¬†is awesome.

Chicago

I have met amazing people…

…and¬†have got¬†new experiences.

I do¬†appreciate friendship…

…¬†but I can go solo if need¬†be. This year was a great challenge.

Christmas is about family and home.¬†New Year¬†is about our global family. If you ever stood in the city square during the New Year’s Eve countdown, you know what I mean.

Look¬†back, and smile¬†back – you have had happy moments, you have overcome adversity, you have been appreciated. Look ahead and don’t be afraid. ¬†Another 366 (!) days of photography, writing, painting, ¬†studying, traveling, reading and pondering.¬†¬†You will find exactly what you are looking for. Living is the¬†best opportunity for¬†being victorious.

Happy, prosperous, safe, healthy, amazing New Year to you all!

With much love

Inese