A walking retrospective


You probably think you’re seeing double!  This is the opening photo for my most recent walk, Boxing Day Blues.  It’s hard to select favourites but my criteria is often that a photo takes you back to a moment in time. For me this was a clear, bright, quite unparalleled December day.


Would you believe that this one was taken in August, but how could I leave out such a winning smile? Gargrave in the rain was one of the most joyful moments of my past year.  A wedding anniversary weekend!


By contrast, Autumn this year was a riot of colour, and I can still feel that warm November sun on my back as I stood in the churchyard, surveying the magnificent ruins of Flamboyant Autumn at Easby Abbey.


October was a time of great sadness for me.  I never could have guessed that, as I looked up at this church in Alternative Ayamonte, my Dad had only hours to live.  I was abroad in my beautiful Algarve, but my heart really wasn’t in it.


How could it only have been a couple of weeks before that I was so joyfully walking the Water of Leith, excited to meet for the first time with my lovely friend Jude?  A landmark event!


Can’t help but share a moment of north eastern pride with the celebrated Tall Ships Regatta at Blyth in August.  How proud Dad would have been of the Polish ships taking part.  He was always a patriot.


Which transports me back to July, when I met a lady with a fabulous smile in the City of Birmingham.  It was my first time in the city and I loved it. Thanks, Gilly!  I know I made a friend for life.

It was a water lily Summer.  They were everywhere!  I visited many beautiful gardens, such as Newby Hall, in June.  Funny how so many of you were more interested in the cake than the flowers!


I spent two wonderful weeks in Poland to coincide with the May Bank Holiday.  My cousin Adam is a baker but always manages a few days off that weekend for his birthday.  It was Dad’s favourite time to go, and I was so happy that I got to spend this precious time with him.  Naughtily though, I did manage to escape, into the arms of another friend for life- Meeting Meg!


In that early part of the year I was leading a charmed life.  My visit to Poland was sandwiched with trips to the Algarve and many walking excursions. A day at Mertola in the Alentejo was particularly memorable.



April, always the time for lambs, I threw one little chap into total panic as I held a gate open for him. Lambkins and Bikes– a winning combination?


I was delighted to have my lovely daughter home for Easter, in March.  The highlight of that weekend was the Butterfly Trail in nearby Preston Park. They are incredible creatures, and almost as exotic as my daughter.


February in the Algarve is synonymous with Amendoeira– Almond Blossom.  And, of course, Carnival, but that’s an entirely different story.

IMG_2245 And so we find ourselves in January, and Saltburn in Winter.  It’s a lovely seaside town on the North Yorkshire coast, a place I like to stroll at any time of year.

What a year of highs and lows it’s been.  I have Paula to thank for leading me back through the months. Thursday’s Special this week is Retrospective.  Don’t miss it!











  1. What a great reminder of all your fabulous walks, Jo. I know it was a tough year for you, as you and your dad were so close. I know you will always carry the sadness of his loss with you, along with the happy memories. You also had many wonderful times with Mick and your daughter, and meeting Jude and Gilly. What a great retrospective, and some beautiful pictures. 🙂


  2. Beautiful post, Jo. My friend Carol, the Eternal Traveller talks about you constantly. I’m here visiting with her and thought I’d better give you a visit. 🙂 Have a happy New Year.


  3. great review…I’ve been contempating whether to do a review of 2016 or a two-year review because I’m am just about two years old in my blog!! happy new year!


    1. Aw! You’re just a toddler! I’m a big girl now- I’m 5 🙂 I don’t always enjoy round ups and was very tempted to just ‘let it go’ but here it is anyway. Thanks for the blessing of your company and happy 2017 🙂


      1. I know…such a newbie! Wish I’d have started five years ago. I never thought of doing a review/retro piece, but then read a couple recently, thought it was a cool idea, but then, never got around to it. I’m still pondering…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sending lots of hugs this New Year . . . and hope your return to the Algarve on Monday doesn’t bring back too many sad memories of your last trip here. Your reflective post is just beautiful, he would be so proud of you and I am just so happy that this year you squeezed in that extra long trip in Poland with him. What happy times xx


    1. I have to admit to a flutter of anxiety over what might happen when I’m away again. James is at a bit of a critical stage career wise and I do think our timing is poor but you can’t second guess everything! In so many ways it was a great year. Thank you for being such a lovely friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It sounds and looks like a really great year, Jo. Although a touch of sadness too, you have enjoyed some momentous experiences and met some wonderful people who enriched your life. May 2017 be filled with everything your heart desires on your journey through life. Love and blessings ♥♥♥


  6. What a wonderful review of the year! The opening photo is absolutely stunning, and I love the sheep and lambs. Wishing you all the best in 2017, and may you dad’s soul rest in peace.


  7. You have taken us on some memorable walks and I thank you as I know that I wouldn’t see them otherwise. Wishing you and your family all the best in the New Year.


  8. I so enjoy this beautiful gallery, Jo! Thank you for taking to many beautiful places.
    Hard to pick my favorite one here, I love all of them. 🙂


  9. Dear Jo, Life has a way of blending the joy, peace and tribulations, but you have shared your year beautifully in photos and prose. I know I have disappeared, but just wanted to say “hello” and a very happy new year to you, full of new discoveries. Hugs, Lynne.


    1. Thank you for joining me, Lynne. It’s much appreciated 🙂 I still miss your lovely posts but I do understand that blogging’s not for everyone. It’s not the real world, is it? Dare I say that? Smiling and sending hugs and very best wishes to you and Ron for 2017 🙂


  10. This is such a good exercise to review the year, even for those of us not blogging about it. Reminders of how much joy and heartache there can be and how blessed we are if it sometimes balances out. Loved the anniversary photo beside the canal in the rain.


    1. It shouldn’t really have been there (the anniversary photo 🙂 ) because I’ve exceeded my 12 photos, but I won’t tell if you don’t 🙂 🙂 Why are you no longer blogging? I have nowhere to go to wish you the joys of the season 🙂


      1. Of course the anniversary photo should have been there – won’t say a word! I don’t blog as often it’s true but occasionally I have things to say, even if they’re not profound, as you just found out;-)

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautiful selection, jo. A bitter-sweet year, I know, but with plenty of happy memories. Onwards into 2017 for us all! We might not be able to do much ourselves about events on the world stage but I hope you and all my blogging friends have good things coming to you personally. Happy new year!


    1. Thank you, Anabel! The Christmas tree twinkles on for another day or 3. Our son has returned to Leeds so we have a joyous freedom for a little while. Job anxieties loom for him but for us the Algarve beckons. Hoping it all comes out right in the end! Thank you for your loyal company and wishing you joy, good health and more adventures in 2017.

      Liked by 1 person

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