2008 - Looking Back
w/e 04 January 2009
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
Who knows what the New Year holds in store? Where
will we get to? What will we see? Which events will we cover?
Those questions will be answered in the fullness of time but
we'll begin this year of 2009 with a look back at each of the
previous twelve months and see a few of the images that didn't
feature first time round in 2008.
topic of conversation of course for many an Englishman or woman
is the weather and although there have been some lovely days,
2008 as a whole will not go down as a vintage year. In January
we made what is fast becoming an annual pilgrimage with a walk
around Wollaton Park (right) on a bitterly cold and overcast
day and on another day in the same month we got drenched whilst
capturing the images for the final two parts of the Historic Nottingham series. The month ended
with the start of a Sentimental Journey to Cossall on another
dull day - not a very auspicious beginning to the new year!
February did show some improvement in the weather and the whole
of the month's latest images all came from several more excursions
to Cossall and Trowell as we added more parts to two Sentimental
Journeys. On one of the outings, we returned home after a bright
crisp morning walk to Cossall via the area known as Cossall Marsh
midway between Ilkeston and Awsworth.
In March the blossom began to make its presence felt along with
the spring flowers which were also putting in an appearance.
By the third week the population of the town turned out in force
too to welcome back the Mercian Regiment from a tour of duty
in Afghanistan and the following week with Easter falling early,
another large body of people celebrated with the annual Good
Friday Walk of Witness.
one from Australia and another from Manchester, from former residents
of the area prompted another couple of Sentimental Journeys in
April. One concerned a walk home from school along the old Nottingham
Canal at Trowell whilst the other also brought back memories
of schooldays on Cavendish Road in Ilkeston. The rest of the
month the "Latest Images" featured a three part series
looking at the village and park (right) at Darley Abbey near
Derby. Overall the weather wasn't too bad during April but I
suppose at best it could be described as changeable.
was a much better and more colourful month with some glorious
blooms putting on a wonderful display all over the local area.
There was pink blossom still on the trees and of course it was
the season of bluebells too. There was nothing better than a
walk in the countryside like the one we enjoyed at Mapperley
under a warm sun or a pleasant stroll through Bramcote Hills
Park to sit a while among the flowers in the Holocaust Memorial
Garden (left). Was this the prelude to a hot summer season? Unfortunately
not as it turned out to be one of the wettest in recent years.
We began the second half of the year with a return visit to Wollaton
Park hoping to capture the rhododendrons bushes in flower but
I don't know whether we were too early or too late as the displays
were few and far between and not as plentiful as I had hoped
for. A selection of "shapes" - crescents, squares,
circles and a triangle - took care of another week but a visit
to Ripley for the unveiling of the Well Dressing was again tinged
with disappointment as wet weather marred the opening ceremony.
I couldn't have wished for better weather though early in the
month when I took a solo walk across Shipley Common (above).
Ilkeston was blessed with a fine day and a bumper turnout for
the Annual Carnival in the middle of the month and it was also
very pleasant as we wandered through the Cathedral Quarter of
we took advantage of some fine days to explore some quiet corners
of the district with a couple of visits first to the Langley
Mill Canal Basin and then to see the olde worlde charm of Risley
(left). Busy main roads run close to both of these places but
it is surprising just what lies but a few steps from all the
traffic. There was a fair amount of cloud about during the third
week of July but this did not detract from the summer plants
on display to the public in Ilkeston and by the fourth week,
the skies had cleared by the time we started our monthly visits
to Stapleford for the latest in the Village Trails series.
In the August of 2007 I had spent a lot of time in the garden
resting an injured ankle and I remember the weather being warm
and sunny. There were far fewer days like this in 2008's August
which was much cooler and wetter. There were some good days though
like the one when we went to Derby (above) and it was probably
one of the hottest days of the year when we were in Heanor's
Memorial Park. But on the other hand a fine drizzle and a cool
breeze were not the best conditions for the owl display at the
Erewash Museum and the images for the second part of the Stapleford
walk were captured under some threatening clouds. Clouds were
also the predominant weather feature for one of our Days
Out to Mount St. Bernard Abbey at the end of the month.
For a variety of reasons, we didn't go away on holiday in 2008
but we did pull in a number of days out like the one to Mount
St. Bernard. Another one we undertook in September was to the
Tuesday markets at Melton Mowbray when it rained, in fact it
poured! It wasn't all bad news in September for we chose a fine
day for our second look at Ashfield's Hidden Valleys with a visit
to Annesley; the first visit had been to Bagthorpe in early August.
But one of the highlights of September, and probably of 2008
as a whole, was the Erewash and Amber Valley's Autumn Footprints
walking festival from whence came the above image taken near
Kirk Hallam lake.
festival ran for fifteen days and the first seven were blessed
with some glorious weather. The second week was cooler and mainly
dry but ideal for walking. I featured pictures from a dozen of
the walks taken during the festival at the beginning of October
on the Latest Images page and the third week saw Ilkeston's Annual
Charter Fair taking centre stage. The Fair too enjoyed good weather
throughout its four day stint and blue skies were well to the
fore for October's instalment from Stapleford. It was raining
again though when I captured a few shots on the Rutland Recreation
Ground (left) of the autumn colours.
has been said that the wet summer was responsible for the prolonged
and vibrant autumn colours and these were visible right through
November as evidenced by another day out to Rufford Abbey Country
Park near the end of the month as well as a fleeting visit to
Attenborough Nature Reserve (right) earlier. Earlier still another
set of images had come from Ogston Reservoir on a bitterly cold
day but it was much milder when the statue of Brian Clough was
unveiled in Nottingham. In another week in November I captured
several "Men at Work" in Ilkeston in varying weather
The first snow of the winter arrived at the beginning of December
but it melted quickly along with any dreams of a white Christmas
as the weather turned relatively mild for the time of year. There
was a sting in the tail though when New Year's Eve meant 2008
finished with a day of freezing fog. In between we had seen protests
on the Market Place, Santa arriving at the Co-op and also how
Mansfield had decorated for the festive season before ending
both the month and the year with the sixth part of the Stapleford
So to answer those questions at the top of this page, no-one
really knows what the New Year holds in store or where we will
get to or what we'll see. As to the events we will cover, well
I plan to complete the series from Stapleford later this month
and hopefully be at the regular events throughout the year such
as the Carnival and the Fair but beyond that I suppose it will
be pretty much the same as before. There will be good days and
others not so good but this time next year I hope to look back
on 2009 with more memories of the former rather than the latter.
At times it is good to look back and revive some of the memories
of times past but it has been said that we don't really remember
days at all - only moments. Looking back at the images from 2008
has revived many of those "moments" for me but I also
realise that those moments are gone forever and I can do nothing
about them. Today I can also look forward to another new year
but for all my plans, hopes and aspirations for 2009 I can only
do the best I can with each day as it comes and until each day
comes, that's all they are. I haven't made a New Year's resolution
but if I did, it would probably be to get the most out of every
day - whatever the weather!
Then have no care for tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of
itself. Take the trouble of the day as it comes.
To see more of the places referred to on this page see the
Pick A Picture
page for 2008.