My creation

As has become a yearly tradition I created a calendar for Mr C for one of his Christmas presents. I choose one photograph from each month of the year. This year however, rather than printing it off at home I used the services of Moonpig, after being impressed with the 2017 calendar that I ordered for myself in the January sales.

During 2017 we were lucky to have several short breaks, the first was a visit to family in Lenham, Kent. Whilst there, we had a guided tour of the quaint medieval town and also visited Leeds Castle on what was an unexpectedly sunny day for the time of year. We were only able to stay for a short while because we had to get back to entertain two mothers with a special meal for Mother’s Day.

For Easter we returned to Stoberry House in Wells, with my mum, so that we could attend the Easter morning Eucharist service. At one point in the service, just as the choir responded to the beginning of the Eucharistic prayer, I noticed that, high up in the Cathedral, the figure of Christ on the Cross was fully illuminated by bright rays of fanned sunlight streaming through a window and across the scissor arches where the figure of Christ is situated. During that Easter break we visited the Bookbarn for lunch, Wells Cathedral, Montacute House, Kilver Court Gardens, The Bishop’s Palace, enjoyed a leisurely drive through the Cheddar Gorge ending up in Wookey Hole and, finally, SS Great Britain on our journey home.

For our Anniversary in June we took a short break in Colwall Park, Malvern. We had enjoyed our previous visit there but on this occasion it did not quite live up to our expectation. However we still had an enjoyable time. The barman recognised us from our previous visit and when he realised it was our anniversary that weekend he presented us with a free bottle of Prosecco. Whilst we were there we visited the Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery which houses the Worcester Yeomanry display and we were privileged to have a spontanious personal guided tour by one of the curators. We also visited Worcester Cathedral, Hop Pocket Shopping Village, Hampton Court Castle and Gardens, Little Malvern Court and Gardens, Croome Court, RAF Defford Museum and the village of Broadway. On our journey home we stopped off at Leominster which didn’t quite fit our mood so continued on to Ludlow to enjoy a picnic lunch in the sunshine underneath the castle walls.

Over the August bank holiday weekend we stayed (with my mum) in a little village called Hurley so that we could meet up with one of my nephews in Windsor. We arrived in Windsor a little later than intended due to the bank holiday traffic but managed to quickly link up with my nephew and his lovely girlfriend. This led to a late lunch in a delightful patisserie called Madame Posh before taking a walk over the bridge to see Eton College. On our way to check into to the place we were staying, Ye Olde Bell, we detoured so that my nephew could show us the house where he lives.  Ye Olde Bell is a lovely old coaching inn but also did not live up to our expectation. We returned to Windsor for an evening meal where we sat outside in an open top conservatory with large, open windows. The roof was slowly rolled shut in stages as the sun went down. It was a perfect setting for a warm summer’s evening.

During the rest of our stay we visited; The Savill Garden, the Magna Carta Memorial at Runnymede, Dorney Court, parish Church of St James the Less (situated just behind the house), Hurley Church, Henley-on-Thames and Stonor.

Our main holiday for the year got pushed back from September to October due to various commitments, including a special surprise silver wedding anniversary party for two of our friends.

Our holiday in  Ravello, Italy was worth the wait. We stopped overnight in Manchester we needed to get up at 3am in the morning to catch our flight. Everything ran according to plan including our private transfer from Naples airport to Ravello. We were treated to breathtaking views as we travelled the direct route along mountain roads. Ravello was quiet and relaxing with many fine dining establishments. We visited many interesting places in Ravello; hotels with views over the Amalfi Bay, delightful churches, the Cathedral (Duomo) and the spectacular gardens of Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone.

We ventured further afield to Amalfi to visit the Cathedral (Duomo) with its relics of St Andrew, Salerno where we visited the Cathedral (Duomo di Salerno), Capri’s monastery Certosa of San Giacomo and the Cathedral of Santo Stefano (where I almost found myself taking part in a service that was due to start).

Our stay allowed us to enjoy exquisite and sometimes ‘interesting’ cuisine, including a Michelin starred restaurant and yet another free bottle of Prosecco. We also endured the terror ride up and down the hillside from from Ravello to Amalfi and back. The leisurely boat rides to Salerno and Capris were much more enjoyable.

Our final weekend break of the year was in Cambridge for my birthday and, once again, the hotel did not quite live up to expectations. Whilst on two of our previous vacations in 2017 we received free bubbly on this occasion the pre-ordered bubbly did not arrive without us prompting. The empties were never removed from the room and to add insult to injury the hotel tried to charge us for it twice! During our visit; we explored Cambridge, The University Press bookshop, G. David’s antiquarian bookshop plus another excellent bookshop, Fitzbillies, the Cam river bank, King’s College Chapel, St Bene’t’s church. On our journey home we visited some sites of the Battle of Naseby including the delightful town of Market Harborough.

The weather has not been perfect for day trips this year, although we managed a few; The National Ironworks centre (twice, in January and December both times with Christmas decorations), Banbury for a family lunch time gathering, Powis Castle for the opening ceremony of the East front stairs (it rained), Harvington Hall, David Austin Roses, Manchester, Attingham Park, Broughton Castle, Buildwas Abbey, Moseley Old Hall, a London rooftop restaurant to celebrate a young lady’s graduation.

On a  less happy note early in the year we had a saga with the fitting of a new back door. The fitting was appalling and it took many phone calls to get it fixed. Also during my Ravello holiday my camera failed and proved not to be cost effective to repair. After some research to find the right replacement, Mr C treated me to a new camera for my Birthday and Christmas present :-)

Back on a more positive note, I had the opportunity of taking early retirement, leaving my place of work after 39 years. I had hoped for many sunny days to spend in the garden and on day trips, however the weather had other ideas which led me to catching up on a backlog of reading. And later in the year a perfect opportunity arose that enabled me to trade in my car for a new one that is a joy to drive.

As 2017 came to a close we were treated to an unexpected downfall of snow, making it feel like Christmas. At this time we also visited Attingham Hall with its rooms decked out for a 1940s Christmas and also had an impromptu visit to Lichfield Cathedral all decked out for the Christmas season.

I wonder what 2018 will bring…

Click on the photo for links to the original size photographs.

18 Comments CherryPie on Jan 6th 2018

18 Responses to “A Reflection on 2017”

  1. The Yum List says:

    That’s a beautiful selection of photos for your calendar and I love the constant presence of greenery.

  2. Debbie says:

    this is a great time of year to reflect on all of our blessing. your pictures are so pretty and reflect a beautiful year!! best wishes for 2018!!

  3. Ayush says:

    i think it is a thoughtful idea to do the photo calendar, CP. I tried it myself for several years with a local vendor and the calendars were well received. i think your images will bring much cheer to the recipient. and looking forward to more from you in 2018!

  4. lisl says:

    These personal calendars are such a good idea – I have done it in the past for my sons

  5. Ginnie says:

    What a great idea, Cherry. Now you’ve given me an idea to do one for us one year!

  6. You have had some super breaks/holidays this year and have picked a lovely selection of photos. My son and I often give each other personal calendars.

  7. Just got back from Birmingham yesterday. :)
    Went to Shrewsbury (again), Coventry (again) and Leamington Spa (1st time).

  8. shabana says:

    what a wonderful detail of your break trips my friend!
    so happy that you were able to enjoy time in your favorite spots with your hubby!

    i am again happy to hear that you are taking early retirement ,this must be so exciting for you and i can imagine your longing for sunny days spending in your beautiful garden and enjoying fav hobbies .

    wishing you a new ,happy ,healthy and serene year

    • CherryPie says:

      Thank Shabana :-)

      We have just booked our first break of the year and are planning one for later in the year. I haven’t got my day trip plans organised yet.

  9. Anne says:

    Hello CherryPie , First of all Happy New Year and thank you for your lovely comment on my blog and Congratulations to you too Happy Blogiversary. You have been amazing keeping up with all you do. And where has the time gone? Yikes.

    Love the photos you chose for your husbands calendar , I did one for my mum, she said “I didn’t realize you did photography” She has never looked at my blog..but the thought was there.

    Wow 39 years in one job ..that is amazing and now you are retired too, Congratulations, How wonderful that you got to go the Italy , my favourite country , would go all the time, but we do have to see different places.
    Take care Anne .

    • CherryPie says:

      I wonder where all the time has gone too, it only seems like yesterday both blogging and starting work all those years ago…

      What a shame your mum didn’t realise that you were a photographer. I hope she enjoys your calendar :-)

      I wish you happy travels for 2018