A look back at 2016 & hopes for 2017

2016 has been one of those weird years full of changes and challenges – both personal and more broadly.  I pondered last night whether I should write this post in the bubble of my blog world or whether I should comment on the sense of unease which seems to be pervading the world at large.  I’ve never felt a need to comment on wider issues when I do my annual review post before and generally I keep my views, political or otherwise, to myself as this isn’t in my opinion the right forum.

However, it just feels wrong this year not to comment on the rise of the populist voice causing huge shift changes in the political picture of the UK and USA in particular with commentators wondering if there will be similar experiences in Europe as various countries vote in elections.  Then there are the issues in the Middle East with unease about Russia and Turkey’s roles.  I have encountered some people in the last week that feel that 2017 will be exciting due to all the changes that are happening; exciting is fine as long as it’s for the right reason.  Personally, I would like 2017 to be a quiet year and I am hoping that the ceasefire and peace negotiations which have just been announced today in Syria are more successful than previous cease fires and all the people affected are given a chance to rebuild their lives

2016, whilst challenging from a work perspective, on reflection has been a good year.  I have seen some amazing places particularly during my trip to Japan in November. However, many of my favourite memories are closer to home and relate to events I have attended with my sons. In April we went to the inaugural Bromsgrove Festival of Speed which was a huge amount of fun and that month we also spent an evening on top of the Malvern Hills witnessing the lighting of the beacon to commemorate the Queen’s 90th Birthday. Gardens, unsurprisingly have featured in my memories of 2016. June was a particularly floriferous month due to a trip to Essex and North Suffolk with the Hardy Plant Society where we visited so many wonderful gardens that it was hard to decide which image to choose to represent them. Horticultural shows have also featured most of them local but also the RHS Chelsea Show where I was lucky enough to attend on the Monday as an RHS Committee member. My photos of 2016 start and end with the Malvern Hills which have taken on a new significance in my life as I have discovered a love of exploring them.

For 2017, as I said in my last post, I am hoping that my job will settle down but in the meantime I have already put a number of activities and events in my diary which reflect my broader range of interests some of them garden related, some embroidery, some family and some travel; many of them will I hope involve meeting up with friends.
I am linking this post to the Discover WordPress Challenge – Retrospective

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Cathy says:

    Looking at your photos you can see just what a diverse year you have had – life is just a big adventure really, albeit a bit scarey at times

  2. FlowerAlley says:

    Lovely photos and a thoughtful post.
    I appreciate both. Bless you friend.

  3. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Thanks Helen for your lovely trips and journeys. Gardening in particular keeps ones mind off some of the awful things going on in our world. Nature a great healer for me, clouds, blue sky/sea a new bloom just popped out. It is so easy to get upset and frustrated with the stupidity of man but when I concentrate on all the nice people can be happy. I am hoping 2017 for me won’t involve so many hospital visits for sick family and friends dying – although their time had come. xx

  4. It looks like you have had a wonderful year, I too hope desperately that the ceasefire will hold and a peaceful solution can be found for the people of Syria. Here’s to a quiet 2017 indeed.

  5. Happy new year, Helen, and here’s to a peaceful 2017 full of gardens and flowers!

  6. Steve says:

    Great post summarising your year. The picture matrix idea works very well. are you doing an end of the month view for December?

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Steve
      No I don’t think I will do an end of month view for December as I have hated the meme this year. I will start again in January possibly focusing on the front garden or just a general look around. I am hoping to feel a bit more enthused by then.
      Best wishes
      Helen

    2. Steve says:

      I hope so too, in the meanwhile here is a link to mine https://glebehouse.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/end-of-the-month-view-december-2016/

      Happy New Year

    3. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Steve
      I have relented having seen your post and taken some pics and will do a end of month post later today. Thank you for the nudge

  7. I would love 207 to be quiet, too. Or at the very least, not too hectic…

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