Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! Unlike those unenviable friends who have already returned to work, we are still in holiday season at Castle Beastie. I would happily continue hibernating until, ooh, about mid-February (wake me up for Valentine’s Day, OK?). Actually the schools go back on Monday, but I am not thinking about that today. Nope. I am sitting by the fire being lazy.
We stirred ourselves for a family walk this morning. As it continues mild and wet, we thought there was no point heading up a hill as we would normally do on New Year’s Day: the hills are shrouded in grey cloud. Instead we went down to the river. After weeks of rain, the ground is saturated and the river is running very high, so we kept dogs and children under unusually strict control.
Eventually we turned off into the woods, where we were able to give them all free rein. The wood here is a mixture of larch and Scots pine, which gives a pleasingly austere effect.
Every so often, however, the clean lines are interrupted by a much older and more scraggly deciduous tree, like an ink blot on a neat page.
These old trees are mostly oak and sweet chestnut, although my younger son calls them ‘whomping willows’ after the malevolent tree in the Harry Potter stories. I certainly don’t feel much temptation to get any closer to them.
At the end of our walk we took refuge in the fishing hut, for a picnic lunch of peppered mackerel, soda bread, apples and good Cheshire cheese. Rich Christmas fare makes one appreciate simple tastes afresh.
Back home again by the fire, I suppose I should now be planning my new year’s resolutions. But I can’t. You see, I am much too busy hibernating.
You might enjoy Hogmanay and after.