Looking back – 2021

Another year has drawn to a close and it’s time for me to look back on some of the things which have featured in my life and on this blog over the last twelve months, though in some ways 2021 has been rather an uneventful year so this time I’m concentrating more on the places I’ve been to.
The beginning of January brought just enough snow to make things look pretty and my first walk of the year gave me the sighting of a heron at the hidden lake in the grounds of Smithills Hall and the llamas at the nearby open farm. More snow fell later in the month and during a walk through a local quarry and fields not far from home I was drenched from head to foot in a wave of slushy snow and water when a 4 x 4 driver deliberately drove at speed through a huge puddle at the side of the road. Only a mile from home I could quite easily have gone back to get changed but I decided to carry on and the climb up through the quarry and brisk walk through the fields stopped me from getting cold.
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Early February brought a couple more light overnight snow falls and the 9th was the first anniversary of losing sweet little Sophie so in her memory I took the dogs for a snowy walk round the Belmont area, a walk which Sophie had done with me several times over the years. In one of the fields I met a sheep with extremely curly horns and found that the Blue Lake was almost completely frozen over with ice and snow. The following day I took a walk round the Jumbles Reservoir and got some more lovely snowy photos.
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Early March saw me making two visits to a reservoir which, although fairly local, is in the middle of nowhere and too far to walk from home. The first visit failed however as the traffic and parking situation was a nightmare and after an hour and twenty minutes without ever getting out of the van I ended up right back where I’d started from, at my own front gate. The second visit was much more successful though and I had a lovely walk round the reservoir where I found much of the south side looking more open after the felling of quite a lot of trees. Also that month I made three visits to Manchester and on each occasion came back with a whole host of street art photos.
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Early April saw me seemingly being inundated with chocolate. On the spur of the moment Michael bought me two bars of white chocolate from the corner shop, his girlfriend sent me a lovely bunch of flowers and some chocolates and I won a pack of Cadbury’s creme eggs in an online Easter competition. Later that month I had a ridiculous conversation with Michael when he couldn’t think whether that particular day was Wednesday or Thursday and only a week later I had almost the same conversation with the boss’s son at work when he couldn’t remember if the day was Wednesday or Thursday. As well as local walks with the dogs I also made another two trips to Manchester and made a spring revisit to Corporation Park in Blackburn.
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Early May was blighted by a fair amount of cloud and rain so there were no trips out and local walks were kept to a minimum. Another couple of photography trips to Manchester were made and when the weather came nice later in the month I got some lovely colorful shots of different shrubs and trees in various gardens which I passed on one of my walks with Snowy and Poppie.

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The Manchester Flower Show was held in lovely weather during the first week of June and I made two trips to find and photograph the many floral displays and installations situated in various locations around the city centre. Also that month I discovered the delightful area of the Castlefield Basin where the Rochdale Canal and Bridgewater Canal meet and I was lucky enough to see the Castlefield Goslings who commute between the canal basin and the streets at the other side of Deansgate, taking their lives in their webbed feet by crossing the extremely busy main road. It beats me how they haven’t been squashed but traffic does seem to stop for them. 

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The highlight of July was my 10-day holiday in the Lake District, and though it started with a sore foot, a fault with the tent, a leaky loo and a swollen arm all four problems were soon resolved and with mainly good weather I went on to have a lovely time away. During the ten days I went to the delightful little village of Caldbeck, met up with blogging friend Jayne who took me on a lovely walk round Ravenglass, visited the Lake District wildlife Park and discovered several new-to-me places including Harrington harbour.

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August was the month when Michael and I twice went for a curry meal at a local pub/restaurant and each time there was something missing from our order. The first time the mango chutney was missing so was substituted with mint yogurt, then the second time there was no mango chutney, no mint yogurt and no rice so we ended up with chips instead. Luckily we both saw the funny side of it and assumed that the lack of some foods was caused by various disruptions in the supply chain at the time. During the bank holiday weekend I had a nice walk along a section of the Lancaster Canal at Hest Bank, a place I’d never been to before, and also visited Arnside and Jenny Brown’s Point near Silverdale, then the following day went to Morecambe.

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The middle Sunday of September was the start of my second 10-day Lake District holiday and though the first couple of days were grey and cloudy the weather came good and I was able to revisit some places I’d previously been to and explore others which I hadn’t, including Workington harbour, Bowness-on-Solway and Port Carlisle. I also walked by Bassenthwaite Lake and climbed Latrigg Fell the hard way (almost vertically) when the path ran out due to a large area of trees being felled, but it was worth the effort as the views from the top were fabulous. The highlight of the holiday though was without a doubt my visit to Ennerdale Water which offered fabulous views and gave me lots of great photos. The 25th of the month was Snowy’s first anniversary, a full year since she came to live in my little family at the age of 8 months.

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October was very wet for most of the month but a break in the weather late on saw me going down to North Wales for a 2-night mini camping break and to make a long overdue visit to Eileen, a special blogging friend. During the weekend I met Eileen’s new little dog Tilly, and visited Flint Castle, Rhuddlan Castle and the oddly-named Horton’s Nose nature reserve at the mouth of the River Clwyd.

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November for the most part was another rainy month when dog walking was kept to the local avenues or just the back garden if it was really bad but a couple of days of nice weather in the middle of the month gave me the opportunity to have a walk round Rivington Gardens to catch the remains of any autumn colours. Also that month I took the 25-minute train journey to Blackburn to see the Knife Angel, a 27ft tall sculpture made up of over 100,000 knives.
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Early December was cold but dry and a lovely sunny day saw me taking the dogs on a local walk round Smithills Hall and through nearby woodlands and fields, then the week before Christmas I made my last visit of the year to Manchester, a late afternoon/early evening one to photograph the light sculptures in the city centre. To round off the year, just four days ago I made an impromptu spur-of-the-moment short trip to North Wales, staying at a new-to-me camp site and also visiting Eileen again. I only got back home late afternoon yesterday so it will be a while before details and photos appear on here. 

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So there you have it, some of the highlights of my year. All that remains now is to welcome any recent new readers to my blog and thank everyone for visiting and leaving comments; if it wasn’t for my readers there wouldn’t be a blog, so I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year – have a good one!

26 thoughts on “Looking back – 2021

  1. Happy New Year Eunice, my very special friend! It’s nice looking back over your year. I will look forward to seeing your photos and the places you visit in 2022 xxx


    1. A mini camping break and meeting up with a very special friend was a great way to end the old year, hopefully I can do it all again before too long. I wonder what I’ll find next time? 🙂 🙂


  2. You’ve visited some lovely places, Eunice, and I recognise several of them myself. I’m looking forward to reading more of your adventures during the next twelve months.
    Happy New Year! X


    1. Happy New Year to you too Jules 🙂 I’m looking forward to having more adventures this year, my recent mini break has fired me with enthusiasm, ideas and possibilities for the coming months 🙂


  3. Happy New Year to you too Cathy. The middle day of my break was mainly wet and very windy but it didn’t stop me from getting out and about, and I was living in the van rather than the tent so I was lovely and cosy once I was in there with the door closed and the heater on 🙂


    1. Happy New Year to you also 🙂 Thinking about last year it felt like I hadn’t done much but looking through all the photos I took while out and about makes me realise I’d done more than I thought so yes, it was quite a busy year.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a fabulous write-up. I am struck by how much sunshine and blue sky there is in your photos.

    Thanks for mentioning our day at Ravenglass, it was certainly one of the highlights of my year. xxx


  5. I couldn’t do the write-up without including Ravenglass, it was a perfect day in more ways than one 🙂

    I thought you may have sussed it by now, I only take photos when there’s sunshine and blue sky 🙂 🙂 Not strictly true though, most of the shots I took over my recent three days in North Wales unfortunately show everywhere very cloudy and grey 😦


  6. It was good to catch up on your posts from earlier in the year before I came to the Mouse House Eunice. Even though you probably thought that 2021 was a lean year for travelling around, you’ve still managed to get to some lovely places. Even the Castlefield Basin looked a lot nicer than I remember it – and there certainly weren’t any goslings around then.

    Anyway, I’ve enjoyed reading about your trips and your smashing photographs that accompany them. I hope you and your loved ones have a great year ahead – and let’s hope that we have more opportunities than we’ve had over the last couple of years. Happy New Year!


  7. It was good to discover your blog too Malc and I have a lot more of it to explore yet. Last year for me didn’t really feature any particularly newsworthy events but looking through all my photos makes me realise that I actually did more than I first thought in terms of visiting various places. The Castlefield Basin really surprised me with how nice it is so that’s one for a revisit this year and no doubt I’ll be making many more street art visits to the Northern Quarter. I’ve already got some ideas in my head so I’m looking forward to the coming months.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the goslings, Eunice. I remember most of your trips out and it wasn’t such a bad year. Maybe we’ve just learned to live with the virus. Here’s wishing you plenty of gallivanting in ’22, and stay healthy!


    1. The goslings were really cute and I was thrilled to see them as it was so unexpected – now I’m looking forward to seeing a new family at Castlefield later this year. The pandemic hasn’t affected me much in any way so it wasn’t really a bad year at all and I’m already making plans for this year 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I think having a couple of days away last week has really given me a boost, now I’m really looking forward to getting out and about again this year – who knows where my van will take me? 🙂


  10. What a lovely round up of your year and some smashing photos, you’ve visited some very beautiful places. I always enjoy seeing Poppie and Snowy in your posts, and we’ve got Eileen’s Tilly too in this one. I just have to say how cute Poppie and Snowy are in their Christmas jumpers in your last post, awww. Wishing you a happy, healthy and peaceful 2022.


  11. I wish the same for you too Jo. I don’t do New Year resolutions but if I did it would be to try and include Snowy and Poppie in more of my posts – I’m working on it 🙂 🙂


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