As I sit here on the 1 January 2017 I have time to reflect on some of the important events of the last year:-
- The sad passing of my father in law after a series of serious illnesses, but it was lovely to see the significant turn out from his friends and colleagues at the funeral service.
- I have finally withdrawn from any paid work and settled into a leisurely retirement where I can continue to indulge myself in my enthusiasm for photography.
- The several occasions that I have been fortunate enough to photograph the Flying Scotsman steam train, in the sheds at Bury in its black livery, to its fully restored green colour when it pulled into Pickering station in North Yorkshire.
- A wonderful performance of La Boheme in Vilnius by the Lithuanian National Opera Company, the sets for the opera were absolutely stunning.
- Two excellent photographic “outings” with my friends Antanas and Renata on my two visits to Lithuania this year, one to see the old scythe factory and the second a tour of “soviet brutalist / realist” architecture.
- Being invited by my friend Finn Petersen to give a seminar to a group of HR professionals at the Danish Chamber of Commerce in Vilnius, my topic was “Why does everyone have so little respect for the HR function in organisations?”……….needless to say it provoked some very interesting debates.
- Discovering on YouTube the Saint Andreu Jazz Orchestra (Barcelona) and being amazed at the playing of children as young as seven years of age, check out Elsa Armengou, her sister Alba and the prodigious talents of Andrea Motis, Eva Fernandez, Magali Datzira, Rita Pays and the many other stars of the band. Not to mention the coach and mentor of the orchestra, the dynamic and charismatic Joan Chammoro.
- The resumption of our Friday “business meetings” after my friend Mikes operation earlier in the year and our commitment to the economic support of Falshaws Farm Shop (Bury), who do a wonderful “full English” and supply some wonderful Lancashire cheese (which I then smuggle back across the border into West Yorkshire).
- Taking my Grandson Seb on numerous visits to Dunham Park where his enthusiasm for non-stop activity is only matched by his capacity to eat a huge ice lolly and drink my cappuccino at the same time in the café.
- My numerous visits to the wonder that is the Yorkshire Sculpture Park at West Bretton, which, provided me with wonderful photographic opportunities (particularly the Kaws exhibition) as well as much needed exercise!
- Watching the David Attenborough Planet Earth series, the racing snakes sequence is possibly the TV moment of 2016, and the stunning music for the series by Hans Zimmer.
- Watching the apoplectic response of the smug “remainers” in the EU vote, the incredible bias of the BBC and the particularly charmless Nicky Campbell holding phone in after phone in about “what went wrong”……..which, in itself, tells you all you need to know about the BBC!
- I decided to choose a photograph of the year and deliberated long and hard about this, would it be the iconic Flying Scotsman, a panoramic shot of the wonderful countryside in West Yorkshire? Finally, I chose the one posted above taken outside York Minster, I have no idea who the young lady was or what she was doing, and I had seconds to frame and take the shot. Not the best photograph I have ever taken technically, but it conveys a message……………….
So here is to a peaceful new year………….I look forward to 2017.