Unlike Janus, at this time of year I don't really go in for a great deal of looking backwards and looking forwards; I just go with the present, hoping good things turn up. But when I decided, as I did at this time last year, to use some of the huge number of photos I've taken but not shown here, I saw that there's an arc to the year. It probably mirrors the arc of growing, then fading light, the feeling of moving into the outside world, then retreating into the domestic world. I suppose each of my years have a similar trejectory, but this is never planned.
One of the best opening sentences to a novel is that of A Tale of Two Cities. While this year the world has seen some pretty awful times, there have been some good times, too. On a personal level the latter are what I choose to write about here; I'd be lying if I said there hadn't been some of the bad (not worst, though) times over the last seven years of blogging, but these are not what propel me to write.
So here are the best of times for 2011.
[January, fuzzy magnolia bud, reassuring the world that spring will come.]
[February, Valentine's message, taken during research trip for cake app which unfortunately didn't happen, despite Simon's best efforts to eat his way round London's best cakeries.]
[March, colourful houses in Kentish Town looking like Mexican/Luis Barragan buildings, thus saving me a fortune in fares to see the real thing.]
[April, home tulip festival - plenty more where these came from in the April archives.]
[May, holiday in windy Dungeness, marvelling at the hardiness of those who live and garden there.]
[June, the Queen Mary Rose Garden in Regent's Park had spectacular roses and posh designer deckchairs, and an awful lot of rain.]
[July, New York's spectacular newest skyscraper which undulates and sparkles and almost causes temporary blindness. Balanced by a visit - my first - to low-rise, brown Brooklyn.]
[August, mother-of-pearl evening sky in Spain, accompanied by the sounds of donkey, pigs, hens, teenagers, and beer bottles being opened.]
[September, new school year, new university year, old-fashioned cake.]
[October, on the way to a very cold exhibition of Antarctic photos, struck by the contrast in scale between these enormous trees in St James's Park and the apparently minute children beneath them, chasing one another.]
[November, knitting inspiration to tempt me while I write about other subjects this year.]
[December, everyone at home, Tom's first iPad drawing. Five reclining bodies out of shot]
Thank you for reading in 2011.
Let's hope there are plenty of the best, not the worst, times in 2012.