2009 - Reflections On The Year
w/e 03 January 2010
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

As we embark on another year, it's a time to be looking forward and firming up some of those plans and ambitions we have for the next twelve months but it's also a time when we can reflect on the joys and sorrows of 2009. With constant references being made to climate change and the global recession plus the Afghanistan situation, many would agree that 2009 was not a vintage year but that year has now gone and it wasn't all bad news. In fact locally there were highlights throughout the year and the following images bring back memories for me of just a few of them.

A January Walk

We began the year with the first update for Ilkeston Cam being a review of 2008 but early in the month we had taken a walk along the Nutbrook Trail by the partially frozen Manner Floods (above). We followed this with an addition to the Sentimental Journey series, the ninth and to date the last in the series but as this is open ended, there could be more to follow. Another series that reached a conclusion in January 2009 was the town walk around Stapleford but we began a new series under the title of "First Impressions". The idea of this series is to follow all the main routes into Ilkeston from the town boundary to the town centre and is really a fill in for when there is nothing else of interest happening. By April we had, in four parts, reached the end of Millership Way and the series has temporarily stalled there but we will be picking it up again from there soon.
Snow In February

In the previous December we had experienced a light covering of snow which quickly disappeared but as we entered February, heavier falls turned the town and Victoria Park in particular into a winter wonderland. The weather caused schools to be closed and public transport services to be cancelled but once again, the inclement weather did not last long and we were soon back to normal. It was in February too that we enjoyed a trip to the National Space Centre at Leicester with the grandchildren and closer to home, started a monthly visit that would run through to September to neighbouring Eastwood for an investigation into the D. H. Lawrence connection.

March MarketMarch was a five week month and as well as adding parts to the "First Impressions" and "Bert's Town" series, there was time to begin another new series following the route of the Erewash Canal as it passed to the east of Ilkeston. This series "Lock To Lock" ran for seven parts and concluded at the beginning of November but the other two weeks in March saw us "Up Shipley Hill" and "Near The Crossroads" at West Hallam where we saw lots of spring flowers at both locations. Colourful blooms were also plentiful and much in evidence in Ilkeston on market days (left).
April Flowers

Easter fell in April in 2009 and it was the Silent Procession on Good Friday that completed the month's updates as the other three weeks were filled with the aforementioned series. It was also at Easter that I captured the above image of more flowers in this beautiful display in St Mary's Church on Easter Sunday.

In May the fine weather enabled us to get out and about and we enjoyed walks in Wollaton Park (Nottingham) and another along the Cromford Canal near Matlock in Derbyshire. We also got plenty of exercise closer to home by taking my son's dog out so let me introduce you to Jewl. She's a cross between a pedigree Labrador and a Labradoodle (Labrador/Poodle cross) so she's mainly Labrador. Whatever her breeding, I'm sure there is some Greyhound in her blood-line as she has only two speeds - fast and run! I was surprised when reviewing the photos from the year just how much she has grown since last May as she is now about twice this size.

A Busy Bee In JuneAs we entered June, events were coming at us thick and fast with Carnivals being held both in Ilkeston and Long Eaton on consecutive Saturdays. Our visit to Eastwood for the fifth part of "Bert's Town" meant we spent a very interesting hour or so in the Birthplace Museum - one of the highlights of the series for me and a place I would heartily recommend. One of the quieter walks during the month took us for an evening stroll around the Straw's Bridge Nature Reserve at West Hallam and I observed more of nature in our garden with a series of images of a bee working around the foxgloves (right).
The July Wedding

July was a month of festivals with a Well Dressing in Derby, an Arts Festival in Ilkeston and a Flower Festival in Long Eaton. There was another Well Dressing Festival at West Hallam where we covered the inaugural Scarecrow Trail for this site and in the middle of the month I took over a hundred and fifty photos at the wedding of my godson Andrew to Charlotte (Charlie to her friends) although this is the first I've added to the site. I did wonder though how many photos I appeared on whilst I was taking this one as I think I was the only person to be standing behind the happy couple at the time.

A Stinger In AugustIn August we had "A Day At The Coast" but had to travel no further than Nottingham to enjoy it as the Old Market Square had been transformed with an artificial beach and a large paddling pool along with many other attractions to replicate a seaside resort. At the end of the month we enjoyed a walk in Elvaston Country Park (near Derby) and in between observed a demonstration (right) at the Ilkeston Police Station Open Day of a device to stop stolen vehicles. If you count the bee in July, this is the second stinger to feature on this page! It was also in August that we began another short series looking at the "Trees of Victoria Park".
September Wheels

We began September with a look at several events that were taking place locally and later we were out nearly every day for a fortnight participating in the Autumn Footprints Walking Festival in Erewash and Amber Valley. Images from the walks didn't get uploaded until the beginning of October, but the festival was not only one of the highlights of September but also a contender for the highlight of the walking year. On the way to one of the walks we broke our journey in Derby for the Farmers' Market and found a selection of wheels on vans, bicycles and the huge observation wheel in the Market Place. Our new series about the city's heritage due to begin later this month will start in the Market Place.
Chaos In October

As well as the Autumn Footprints images, October also saw the third part of the Victoria Park trees added and we couldn't let October pass without a few images from the Annual Charter Fair. This one above of the Chaos ride overlooked by St Mary's Church reminds of the chaos on Stanton Road too as road works and traffic light replacement commenced just as the fair vehicles were rolling into town. As we enter 2010 the work is still ongoing but why it has taken so long is beyond me.

Remebering NovemberNovember was another five week month and the "Lock To Lock" and "Trees of Victoria Park" series both came to an end leaving the remaining three weeks for us to look at the preparations for Christmas. Not only did we observe the decorations going up in Ilkeston's town centre (right) along with some of the shop window displays, we also witnessed the switching on of the Christmas lights towards the end of the month and then visited Nottingham to view the decorations that adorned the city centre there together with the temporary outdoor ice rink and the German Market.
December Frenzy

It was Christmas all the way in December with visits to a Food and Gift Fayre at the Denby Pottery Visitor Centre, a walk through Derby's city centre streets, another look at Ilkeston's decorations as darkness fell and concluding the year with a selection of images from Christmas week. I often reflect at this time of year on all the frenzied activity that takes place in the lead up to Christmas when in the blink of an eye, it's all over and done with and we are into another year. This image above tries to capture some of that frenzy with shoppers hurrying about their business or queuing at the cash machines at the bank seemingly oblivious to Ilkeston Brass playing a musical backdrop of carols. Hopefully the real meaning and message of Christmas will not bypass them all and they will realise the Christ of Christmas is there throughout the year. And throughout the year of 2010 Ilkeston Cam will attempt to capture more images from this part of the world - hope you'll join us each week.

The series mentioned on this page are linked to the appropriate pages and other pages from the year can be easily accessed from the Favourites page for 2009.

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