The year that is now ending has been a special year for me, I would think for all of us. It is the first pandemic year I could say, because we all entered it with this pandemic which, paradoxically, united us all no matter what continent or country we live in. I don't think that so far in the history of mankind there has been something that has been present everywhere. Of course, it's not joy and I hope this situation ends as soon as possible but the common effort to stop this pandemic and the sense of global community seems to be a good thing.
Because I said community, I also came to our community of Photography Lovers, one of the most populated in Hive. Rightly so, aren't we all photographers?
Photography Lovers proposes an interesting and generous contest, Photography Lovers End of Year Contest Announcement, generous for the freedom we have in choosing the photos and interesting because it can be a retrospective of 2021. A very personal retrospective. We will be able to share the most important things that have marked our year through the photos and, above all, through the story of each one.
I participate with great pleasure in this contest, a pleasure that comes from the joy of searching through the photo archive for the most relevant photos, for me, that remind me of events, actions, places in 2021. They are not my best photos but I hope they convey my feelings about the events that took place that I am referring to.
I've been thinking a lot about what kind of format I'm going to choose for this post because I have a lot of photos and I thought I'd choose to post a photo from each month of the year that is now going out. Then I gave up, it would look too much like a new year calendar and this could be the theme of another competition. Just a suggestion.
I've chosen to share just a few events of the year that were special to me and put even more photos for each, I hope it's not a rule-breaker. It doesn't feel like it to me. Now it's time to start...
This is a photo of a solar lamp in my backyard. The place is very important to me because this is where I spend most of the year, in the house and in the yard which is also a small garden at the same time. I like the effect given by this globe because this is my world, my universe. This year was the year of the house.
Year of the house and garden. With advancing age comes a growing passion for gardening, I've noticed that most retirees are drawn to gardening. I love flowers, especially flowers specific to the Mediterranean climate. Passionflower is one of my favorites and this is the first one to bloom in my garden.
Equally important were the surroundings. The street I live on. They were traversed daily on short walks. Fortunately, they are flower-filled streets with little traffic, I love them and I consider them an extension of my backyard. Because when I walk these streets I feel at home.
My son and his daughter, my granddaughter. A person so significant in my life that she could not be missing from this retrospective.
Fortunately, the kids live very close to me and the neighborhood park. A great place for my granddaughter to play.
Nothing compares to a child's smile, especially if it's yours (the child).
After family, and often before them, come friends. We have been fortunate to have wonderful friends and although some have been lost to time, a few friendships are more than thirty years old.
Meeting friends has always been a great joy. This year when many have been banned we have enjoyed dining together, sharing stories, and reminiscing especially about holidays spent together. We would spend a whole day together and... we would stay longer. Moments that must be kept in our photographic memory.
An empty chair at the table. What to do, someone has to immortalize these moments!
An important place in our lives as citizens is occupied by parks. Nature is close to us. The place where we escape for a few hours from traffic, cars, pollution, noise, concrete, and glass.
I love birds but I find it hard to get to them where they live, in the forests and on the lakes. But something extraordinary has happened, I am amazed by this phenomenon. All the parks that have a lake have been invaded by birds. Of course, there are explanations, probably the main one is related to the food supply, but I still find it unbelievable. They are not birds brought in to populate these parks, they are wild birds that probably flew over these parks, flew down to the lake, and stayed there.
A great joy for us city dwellers. From children to old people come to the park every day to admire the birds, to feed them. To photograph them!
I live on the outskirts of a big city. I have almost everything I need close to home. Because of this and because we don't go to work anymore, we rarely go to the city center. We mostly go to theatre performances or concerts. The pandemic has also taken this pleasure away from us, almost all shows have been suspended.
In the summer we caught a moment when theatres resumed performances. It was an event. Memories of the old days when I used to come here often, to the National Theatre in Bucharest. We used to come long before the show started to watch the show from outside the theatre, the people, and the monument in front of the theatre.
The approach of the start of the show, the entrance to the hall has always been highly anticipated and exciting moments.
Entering the theatre was when the day was king and exiting when night already covered the city. I loved this, we could admire the theatre building both day and night. The TNB building is one of the most beautiful in the city.
In front of the theatre, there is a statue group called the Straw Wagon, dedicated to the traveling actors. In the foreground is the statue of Ion Luca Caragiale, Romania's most famous playwright.
We are theatre lovers and love this place very much. It's our favorite part of town. The fact that we were able to come again for a show and a walk in this place meant a lot to us. It reminded us of the times when there were no bans and we could go wherever we wanted. Now we're sorry we didn't do it more often.
The remarkable part of this year was that we managed to travel quite long distances, three times in fact.
Nearly 500 km, fortunately quite a large part of these trips were on the highway and this made the driving easier and less time-consuming.
The first trip was to my wife's relatives in Transylvania (you know Transylvania, the one with Count Dracula), in northern Romania.
I love photographing during my travels, especially when I capture scenes that are unique to me, such as flocks of sheep in the field when it rains.
This trip was not a pleasant one. It was a funeral. The cemetery in the field must be the quietest cemetery I've seen, full of grass and greenery. It perfectly illustrates the priest's saying about the dead person going to a place full of greenery.
The second trip was also in the north of the country, but in the northeast (the other was in the northwest).
A trip to my childhood village, to the house where I lived with my grandmother. I make this trip every year but I didn't think I would make it this last year because of the pandemic.
My childhood home remains a landmark in my life and a symbol of carefree living.
It's a place where I eat red cherries and recharge my batteries.
Last but not least, the trip to the sea.
A trip to the sea and a seaside holiday is the highlight of every summer. I've gone every year except 2020 and I feared I wouldn't go in 2021 either. Fortunately, that was not the case!
A long time ago I saw an image in a film that I liked enormously. A sloping road to the sea was filmed in such a way that the sky is not visible. The image was terrifying, the sea seemed higher than the land. In the film "The French Lieutenant's Wife". I've been looking for this image in real life ever since when I'm at sea. I didn't find it, but I came close. Here in Balchik, a town on the Black Sea.
The sea is my passion and luckily I managed to get to the seaside this year too. I considered this a victory against the pandemic and hope that in the new year we will escape this misfortune. I love the Black Sea in Bulgaria. Here again in Balchik, which is my favorite city and where I can get to quite easily.
I can't stop, more and more photos with more and more stories. I won't be able to post them all. But preparing for this post, for the end of the year contest, made me review many of the photos I took this year. So I realized that this year was much more complex than I thought, much more eventful than I remembered.