Sunday, 1 January 2012

Theme Day: Happy New Year, and a retrospective.

Traditionally on Jan 1, City Daily Photo Bloggers choose one photo which, to them, is their photo of the year. Well, because I'm a rebel, I'm not sticking to one. I could have 'cheated' and made a collage, but haven't. Each of the photos I've chosen has personal meaning and significance. They're not all great photos, but meaningful to me. Each expresses an aspect of my life and personality.

Click on the date for each description and visit the original posting.

And to see how everyone else's year went - Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

31 Jan : 2011 was the year our gorgeous son finished school. The role of a parent is to nurture your young until they have the confidence and capacity to take on the world. The end of formal schooling is one milestone in life's adventure, an important step...but so many more doors are now there to be opened. Onwards and upwards, Ben; we're enormously proud of you!

This was a composite of his first day of school in 1999, aged 5, and the first day of his last year of school, and his final day.

and here's a collage to bring it up to date: Ben on his first day of school, Ben on his last day of school, with his dad, and in the kitchen of a cafe....he is embarking on an apprenticeship as a chef starting this month.

28 Jan : Stepping back a couple of days (but I wanted the first picture above to show in the thumbnails...). My love of swimming, both in the sea, and chlorinated pools. No retrospective would be complete without a swimming shot. An afternoon swim at North Narrabeen ocean pool topped off a fabulous day out with a dear friend from England, someone with whom I shared some good times. She also fell in love with one of my favourite TV series of all times, Sea Change!

12 April: A dear friend whom I love very much once reminded me of the old John Denver song Some days are diamonds (some days are stone). Indeed they are. This shot was taken on one of those 'glad to be alive days', not 10 metres from my front door. A rainbow lorikeet greedily feeding on the blooms of this street planting bottlebrush tree. It's important to notice such moments and be grateful for what you have, no matter what sadnesses and tribulations there are in your life.

30 May: Contrast the picture and thoughts above, with those people who are so desperate they see no way out. I find these signs at The Gap in Sydney especially poignant. I hope they help someone who is contemplating the most desperate ending. I know suicide is about choice, but it is so often tragically avoidable, if only there were help. Other times it is a rational and well thought out plan for someone with no light available to them. I respect that too. It's hard.

5 June: Comrades. This is what it's all about. A passion for what you believe in, taking action for what you believe in, and overcoming the things that divide, in order to unite for common purpose.  Too many people base decisions on personality rather than ability, perception and mythology rather than striving to work together, exclusion rather than inclusion. Fionie and Henry, Comrades.

16 June: The wonderment, and sheer enjoyment of kids. Is there anything to match it? I like to think occasionally we can all recapture the kid inside ourself. I love this pic because I just snapped it in an instant.

20 June: Gustavo and Ian, student and teacher, apprentice and master. A TAFE teacher and his protege, an entrant in the World Skills competition. Passing on knowledge, skill and wisdom from one generation to the next. A teacher who remains passionate about his job, and his pupils. As Michael, a colleague said "public education is a promise one generation makes to the next." Gustavo and Ian are exemplars of the power of public education.

7 July: This year I thought a lot about whether to continue with Sydney DP. I started on 19 April, 2006. I was researching an upcoming trip to Paris at that time, and came across Paris Daily Photo run by the wonderful Eric Tenin. One thing led to another, and through photography, blogging, combining the two, a love of France, and open hearts in the photoblogging community, I have met some wonderful people, including two special friends, Jilly in Menton and Nathalie in Avignon (formerly Sydney).

This year I was in Paris again, and finally got to meet Eric.  A late afternoon cocktail in a lovely bar in Paris. Eric is every inch the "friendly Parisian" he bills himself! Here's to many more travels and lots more photos.  

31 July (unpublished) : This year I was also lucky enough to travel to Cape Town. It was overwhelming. I never thought, growing up amidst apartheid demonstrations and bitter debates, that I would ever go to South Africa! That the actions of people working together can change circumstances so dramatically and strive for justice is powerfully uplifting.    

9 Oct: Laneway art. I've had some fabulous times this year with my wonderful friend Sue. We love going on little adventures, exploring our city together...architecture walks, arty things, and on this day, Laneway Art. Humans love finding the beauty in things, and no matter where you look, beauty can be found. On 30 Dec Sue and I saw the most magical film, Bill Cunningham New York, which once again reinforced the idea that we need art, culture, fashion, in short beauty to stimulate our senses and inspire our humanity. Oh, and by the way, I'm pretty proud of this photo!

18 Oct: Bill Cunningham rides around New York City, as a photographer for the New York Times. He photographs fashion as he sees it worn on the streets. He has a very singular way of seeing. I have been trying to develop that 'noticing of things' since I have had this blog. Here's something I noticed on the way to work, and had to double back to photograph. I can't believe the juxtaposition of these ads was accidental, and it offended me.

19 Nov: I look forward to Sculpture By The Sea every year. It is accessible art for the people, free, in  a world where so often there is pretension and exclusivity. I love to go at dawn, and hope to be doing so for many years.

11 Dec: An old friend, and a new friend. We've all had our trials and tribulations this year (you too, dear reader!). But we've seen each other through. Companionship, empathy, laughter, discussion, bouncing off each others' thoughts and interests...that's real friendship. It's reciprocal. A friendship dies when it's one-sided. Old friendships can burn bright when there is care and understanding; new friendships flourish when the right spark is ignited. And sometimes you neeed to forgive yourself, and others as well.

15 Dec: Work is an extremely important part of who I am. It probably takes up the majority of my waking time. I enjoy my work, get a lot of satisfaction from it, am told I do a good job. I'm one part of a team, and that's important to me. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, as demanding on myself as on others. But, I have a sign on my desk, given to me by my gorgeous sister: LOL. I try to laugh out loud EVERY DAY!

LOL was not published in 2011 - it now makes its 2012 debut......


  1. It's a good life, as this post proves.
    That's a very nice boy you have, Sally.
    Wishing you more new and exciting things in 2012

  2. Thanks so much Dina - returns to you!

  3. great photos, the train shot is perfect. Happy New Year from Beirut

  4. | wonderful collection. Can't believe Ben has finished school, where has the time gone. Have a wonderful 2012 Sally. Happy New Year.

  5. I'm glad you bent the rules and posted more than one photo because it let me discover your blog. After I posted my 1/1 photo I started looking at some of the others and there you were. I will be back to visit often. Here is wishing you and Ben the best of luck.

  6. Oh my goodness, Ben is all growed up! A lovely set of photos. As I said before, lucky you to have met up with Eric in Paris. Happy New Year, dear Sally xxx

  7. We'll let you off, you little rule breaker you.... ;-)

    Happy New Year, to you and yours.

  8. Nice post. I remember the photo of your son. And that guy from Paris!

    Happy New Year.

  9. Super choices! I'm especially drawn to the one of your son...this year I am going down the same oldest will graduate high school...I even mentioned it in my post today!

  10. It seems you have experienced an epiphany which in turn has brought out a wonderful philosophy. Ben's schooling 'beginning and end' is only one small part of his life but also all of us continue to have beginnings and ends. That's the great adventure and purpose of life.