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I’ve struggled to get back into the swing of things since my summer break. Returning to work has been tough which isn’t normal for me and somewhat concerning. I respect not everyone gets a holiday and I’m lucky to have a good job. This post is partly me giving myself a good talking to, to snap out of it.

I think a lot of folk, in the public sector especially, are going through big changes and waiting for clarity following May elections which is perhaps unnerving. Others are interpreting changes and what it all means and comparing thoughts.

I use experiences from my travels to think about things differently and then apply it to my home and work situations. I usually share it. Recent examples here and here. This year was no different but I couldn’t find an appropriate peg to hang it on.

So I’ve been looking for something to get me motivated. That sometimes comes from work, sometimes elsewhere, and is why I have this blog; to better understand the personal/professional relationship.

I came across #blimage – a challenge to write blog posts on learning, inspired by particular images. You can read more about the challenge from Steve Wheeler in his post Blimey, it’s #blimage.

It fits perfectly with this year’s holiday realisation that I’ve moved from seeing where I go not so much as places but more in terms of how people choose to interact or be in those places. I suppose it’s more about understanding the human scale. I also got a new camera earlier in the year which has helped in capturing these images.

Put this all together and it’s the peg and motivation I needed.

Images tell stories and that’s what I’ve been capturing. After this trip I’m more aware that we can interpret them in different ways – the judging a book by its cover chestnut which we all do to some extent or another.

The place I went this year was Opatija in northern Croatia. It has a particular history of change having been Austrian, Italian, Yugoslavian and now Croatian. That history is reflected in the architecture and cultural offer. It also plays a part in who visits, demonstrated by many people from a wide range of nations. Opatija also understands it needs to provide activities that make people want to be there and return. I took many images, particularly of sculpture, to capture the holiday and to help explore the history of who had been there and why.

There is a history of people wanting to be seen in Opatija and of documenting who has been there. This is reflected in many places, in museums, sculpture and is specifically captured in the wall of fame. Interestingly the wall portrays images of 15 people; 11 white male, one white female.

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The images I took of people interacting with places are ideal content for #Blimage. What did I perceive of those people by how they presented and interacted? Are my perceptions indicative of what those people are really like? More importantly, and in relation to the learning aspect, to what extent do first impressions of others really say more about our standards and values than of those people featured?

The following images tell stories. Clearly I saw them in real life and in more than the snapshot you are getting. I had my initial interpretations, some of which have changed. What are yours?

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