Review of 2021 in Pictures

Although 2021 didn’t turn out to be my best year, and inevitably the ongoing pandemic kept me close to home throughout, I see looking back through my blog posts over the last twelve months that I still managed regularly to capture some beauty in the world around me. I’ve chosen one image I particularly liked from each month of the year to showcase here, as a kind of pictorial representation or personal review of 2021.

Apart from going to work and occasionally seeing my family when possible, I effectively spent most of last year either relaxing in my garden or going out for a walk locally, and I can see my necessarily constrained photographic subjects accurately represent my reality. I can’t help but wonder what 2022 will have in store for me… Will I venture further afield, or will this year simply be more of the same? No doubt I’ll find out as I go along! 🙂

Ben Wyvis

We were walking across the Greig Street foot-bridge the other day, where my husband stopped half way along to capture a softly snow-capped Ben Wyvis with only one narrow ribbon of afternoon sunshine lifting the view.

Ben Wyvis is about 35 miles north of Inverness so is not always visible from the city – I really love the way everything looks dull blue-grey in this image apart from the highlighted mountain range itself 🙂

Skyline

An atmospheric city skyline across the River Ness in Inverness, looking from Bridge Street over towards Huntly Street, taken tonight on my way home from the hospital after visiting dad.

There had been a beautiful orange sunset, and this moody, darkening pink and purple sky was all that remained by the time I reached the river 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Skyline

Early Morning Inverness

At this time of year it can still be slightly dark when I walk to work – this was taken the other morning on the footbridge crossing the River Ness. I love the semi-silhouette of the skyline, the greys and whites of the sky and water, and the different blacks of the buildings. Even in full colour there’s a calming monochrome quality to the view…

So I’m going to cheat and use my post for both today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday and this week’s Cee’s B&W Challenge 🙂

My Weekly Smile: Raigmore Hospital

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in the Weekly Smile, and yeah I know, a boring, un-beautiful hospital building doesn’t seem much to smile about, but I have some very fond memories of this place.

Although this particular building isn’t actually that old – it was built in the late 1980s – there had been another Raigmore Hospital on a different part of the site long before this one. The original Raigmore Hospital was a wartime construction made up of several individual one-storey brick-built ward blocks that were still actually in use when I gave birth to my three children in the early 1980s, all born there in the original maternity block not too far away.

Looking around now I’m not quite sure exactly where the original ward blocks were sited – under the present staff accommodation perhaps, or underneath the new ambulance base, or under the extension to the car park, all behind where I’m standing to take this shot (at the bus stop, waiting for my bus home)? To be honest the surrounding landscape has all changed so much (and been built on) since then I can’t really get my bearings any more…

Anyway, suffice to say I’ve visited this particular hospital building many times over the last 30 years – visiting at various times my maternal grandmother, my mum, and of course my dad – and I’ve been both an inpatient and an outpatient here myself, including most recently having my hip X-Ray in the radiology department last Friday.

I also worked here too, as a physiotherapy assistant a good 20 years ago – I loved that job, there was a real family atmosphere in the workplace. Being back in the familiar wards visiting dad over this past week or so has brought back a lot of memories of the wonderful camaraderie between the staff and has definitely made me smile – plus I know dad is being well looked after.

And best of all, all six of my grandchildren were born here in this hospital – although actually the new maternity unit is just out of shot to the left. Twice this week I’ve seen beaming new parents carefully leaving the hospital with their precious newborns, and it’s reminded me how all of life passes through the doors of our hospitals, our National Health Service taking good care of us free at the point of need, cradle to grave…

My last smile for today’s post comes in the shape of a stained glass window and access door combination sited in the main hospital corridor – it’s called The Four Seasons and sits at the top of the T-junction between the Outpatient Departments and the Inpatient Wards… so bright and cheerfully lit up by the daylight coming in from the courtyard behind it 🙂

Sunrise, Sunset

The last image on my camera’s SD card for October was the sunrise over the rooftops taken from my back door on October 31st. Although we did change all the clocks in the house, my body clock chose to ignore the offer of an extra hour in bed so I got up to make myself a cup of tea and was rewarded with this lovely sight…

The last image on my camera phone is actually the sunset on 29th October over Craig Phadraig Hill (in the centre of the shot) taken while walking home in Inverness after visiting my dad in hospital… Seems quite fitting that my last two images turn out to be both a sunrise and a sunset! 🙂

Last on the Card

Into the Sun

My phone takes perfectly decent photographs for general use – I mean, I know my camera takes technically ‘better’ pictures, bigger sensor, bigger lens, better light intake, more pixels. So usually for ‘proper’ photographs I prefer to use my ‘proper’ camera.

But sometimes, to my surprise, I actually prefer the less than perfect images produced by my phone, especially when looking into the sun. The limited light coming in to the limited sensor can create a much darker, moody image than the more visually balanced ‘correct’ version made by my camera, and I really like the way the increased highlights and low-lights give an altogether more dramatic effect that captures far more accurately how I’m feeling at the time.

So sometimes, from a creative perspective, I find that art trumps science and photographically less really is more… 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Starts with My