And so we arrive at the last few days of 2013 - and writing this blog post has been a good opportunity to look back over the year that has past and look forward with anticipation to the year ahead and its new opportunities, new horizons, new places to explore and the spark of new or renewed passions.
Whereas 2012 seemed to be focused around family - with a marriage, a funeral, elderly members moving into a new phase in their lives and the blessed welcome to a new addition to our family; in 2013 there were of course family events, joys and concerns, and life to get on with, but also new ventures and travel within our State, interstate and overseas.
Please click on "read more" to keeping reading and seeing more pics from 2013
In January I joined the Photography Group of Bunbury. On their first competition night in January I submitted the photo you see below and was awarded a "silver". Very exciting - but what a start to try to live up to for the rest of the year!
I took this image along the little jetty on the Denmark waterfront in front of our hotel when we visited my Aunt in January. Some slight processing in "Radlab" and this was the result.
The photography group provides inspiration to strive for better images, the opportunity to learn from others and to have ones work critiqued by professional photographers.
I also decided it was time to put my camera on manual settings and to learn more about the technicalities of digital photography - something that I seemed to have missed out along the way. So to this end I enrolled in a 8 week beginners Digital Photography Course at the South West Institute of Technology. The lecturer was Sam Harris - a photographer of note internationally and now residing in the South West.
I really enjoyed the course and learnt a LOT about manual settings and have never photographed in automatic since! Thanks Sam.
I know I still have a LOT to learn.
I was awarded "gold" for this image in the "minimalist" catagory at the group's March meeting.
Still on photography - I was amazed and excited that the image below was awarded the the "Viewer's Choice" image at the "60 shots @ 6" photography exhibition and competition at the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery in April. A huge thank you to my wonderful family, friends and supporters who voted for my image - Purnululu sunset.
My writing has continued and I am very grateful for the friendship, support and input from the members of South Side Quills writing group in Bunbury.
Below is one of my travel articles written about our trip along the Holland Track south of the Coolgardie goldfields in April which was published in the August-September issue of Go Camping & 4WD Adventures Australia magazine - including the cover image!
You can click on the link to read more - Following the path of the prospectors on the Holland Track
This was actually my second cover image for the year - and my third ever cover shot.
Below is the other cover shot from this year - taking along the Great Central Road - definitely a case of seeing the shot, taking the pic, and then being at the other end of the email when the editor called out for a cover shot! Please click on the link to learn more about - Free camping on the Great Central Road, Australia
I also sold several images to the Bruce Rock Shire for their website, to Getty images, and recently to Hema maps - more on that in 2014 when the book is published.
Bruce Rock in the central Western Australian wheatbelt is a place we visit often as it is the home of my sister and her family who own a large a cropping property. Last visit the boys had a great time playing on the "drums" at the farm tip on the rock at the back of the farm house.
We also managed a weekend getaway south of Margaret River at delightful Harmony Forest - a perfect place to relax and unwind. You can see more by clicking on the link here - Time out weekend at Harmony Forest
In July we had a week in Singapore with our sons and my eldest son's family. Below is our view from our balcony at The Swissotel The Stamford - spectacular eh!
You can see more of our trip by clicking here -
High Life at the Raffles, Singapore
The breaktaking world of Gardens by the Bay
Take me under the sea - world's largest aquarium
Also in July we remembered my Mum on the anniversary of her passing by visiting her resting place in the central wheatbelt.
Then in September we took off for a camping trip around South Australia - our first trip across the Nullarbor and our first to South Australia - 10,318 kms and 5 weeks 4 days..... Perhaps you have seen some of it on my blog - you can click on the link here to see more - I have finished bringing it all to you yet - but I will - here is the intro link - On the road through South Australia
Between all this I have continued with my Spanish dance classes with Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company - and performed at my first public performance at the Bunbury multicultural festival in March, and was part of the group that won 1st place for the "25 Years and Over Open Theatrical Style Dance Troupe" at the WA Performing Arts Eisteddfod at the Bunbury Entertainment Centre in June. Here is a photo of me (on the left) with my beautiful daughter-in-law who started Spanish dancing 8 or 9 years ago and was happy to have me join last year.
Whilst I still have a LOT to learn I sincerely thank our teachers Nicole and Susie, my daughter-in-law and the other members of Sol y Sombra for their support, patience and encouragement.
Spanish dancing is not easy to learn and is great for fitness, balance and memory! I also have the opportunity to take photos from time to time. This mirror reflection is one of my favourites -
I have been a follower of my friend Jo Castro's travel and lifestyle Zigazag blog for a few years, and I was excited to hear she was starting a new blog in July - Lifestyle 50 - for fun, feisty, funky women over 50. I was also thrilled to be one of her first guest posters - you can see my contribution here - Life after 50 seemed so far away in 1973
I also won a fabulous giveaway in August from WLane and Airlfex shoes through Betts in Bunbury - Funky new look for spring
And while you are there check out Jo's fabulous blog - Lifestyle 50
The year finished on a high - I was reunited with a long lost overseas friend through the power of social media, and we received news of the joyous occasion of the engagement of a young friend. A true gift indeed at Christmas.
And I had 11 of my campsite reports published in the latest edition of On The Road magazine Free Campsites 2014-2015. On The Road Magazine
It is interesting to look back over the year - and to see in retrospect that 2013 has been very good to me. I continue to work four days a week in paid employment, spending my Mondays concentrating on my writing and photography. I am grateful for beautiful family who support me in this.
This year my mantra has been Ruth Tearle's quote - "Be true to yourself and the world will come to you". Her little card with this quote that came with her book "Blackboard Wisdom" has been sitting on my mantlepiece all year.
I thank all my family, friends, fellow bloggers, blog readers and supporters for encouraging and supporting me throughout 2013 and helping me continue to "step into the light",
I am looking forward to some exciting projects coming up in 2014 so I hope you will stay tuned!
Have you looked back over the past year? Do you have new projects to look forward to in 2014?
Thanks for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you.
I am linking up to Mosaic Monday, Travel Photos Monday, Our World Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, Travel Photo Thursday, What's It Wednesday, and Oh the Places I've Been. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Travel Photo Mondays
Our World Tuesday
Wednesday Around the World
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday
Oh The Places I've Been