Hello hello…would you believe, we’re two weeks into the new year already. I’m in the midst of a big sort-through of the dusty old items that have lain in cupboards, drawers and wardrobes, attracting moths and wedging themselves against doors so that nothing…would…close.
Clearing out the cobwebs feels gooood. Right now we have four bin liner-sized bags in our bedroom, some ready to be given away in a charity collection, some to be taken to H&M to swap for vouchers. And, at the same time, we’ve been trying to enjoy the great chilly outdoors a bit more, so that cobwebs of another sort – the ones caused by central heating and too much Christmas pudding – can also be whisked away.
We spent Christmas with D’s parents, in Harrogate. It wasn’t hit by as much snow as further south in Yorkshire, but luckily we were greeted by a festive sprinkling on Boxing Day.
I can’t say that Austin and Gwen spent hours playing in the snow – it was very cold, and there were new toys waiting indoors – but the following day we had enough time in the open air for our toes to turn numb. We met up with old friends (and their children) at Knaresborough, a place I was previously completely ignorant of, but which turned out to be a beautiful, granite-hued market town complete with a castle and stunning aqueduct. Perfect for a Christmas visit.
After a stomach-popping lunch at Drake’s, the fish and chip shop on Silver Street (verdict? Fish and chips – magnificent. Veggie alternative, a blue cheese crumble – awful), we took the children up to the castle, where our four teamed up with about ten others to roam around, battering on locked doors, and chasing imaginary ghosts around the battlements.
Back home in London, the school run has driven us out into the elements every day, trotting along the roadside to get to the gates before the morning bell rings; or dawdling with friends in the park – our preferred route home, which is longer but less fumey than walking alongside the traffic.
And, of course, there’s Austin’s new bike. He’s still learning to balance and pedal, so D and I have
been subjected to enjoyed shuffling round, bent double like coal-bearers from the Victorian era, to stop his bike from toppling over. Still, chilblains aside, it’s a good excuse to get out under the skies, whether they’re grey or blue, and put in some groundwork for a family cycling holiday, to be taken at some unspecified time in the future.
Have you been out and about in the great outdoors? Or do you prefer to hibernate inside, with a hot toddy?