(As spoken from New Year’s Eve when I wrote this)
So the Christmas season is coming to an end and the hopes of a new year are imminent.
I’m all but spent really. My Christmas days this year have been a fast paced balancing act of trying to ‘fit it all in’ whilst still attempting to uphold some level of normality! Keeping a clean home (well that didn’t happen), doing those workouts that your ever so expanding waistline is screaming at you to do (yeah right), or simply trying to act and behave like a normal human being (pass!!) All those precious moments with family and friends have spilled over into the next until all that merriment and disorderly has simply ripped at its seams and bust out into an explosion of tears, hysterics and general psychotic behaviour! (well okay maybe not totally psychotic but certainly tipping towards that side of the scale!)
Go on you can admit, you do it too don’t you…
I mean it’s all lovely really. I love Christmas, it’s one of my favourite times of the year and getting to spend time with family and friends makes it completely worth it… but ultimately, and let’s be honest, it’s knackering! It leaves you with nary enough time for a single breath or a moments thought (yes I used the word ‘nary’… and yes I’ve probably used it wrong… but, well… I’m a die hard trier!)
So what’s the solution?
Oh well you know me… it’s time to grab my walking boots and head out into the elements. Time to blow some very unwelcome cobwebs away and hopefully blast a little bit of ‘the girl that once was’ back into play. (I know she’s in there somewhere… even under my annual layer of Christmas fog there is still the distant memory of a girl without a drink in hand, mince pie in gob, or the despaired owner of a newly donned multi-coloured floor made entirely from the remnants of non-step gorging of Quality Street).
It wasn’t a particularly long walk and really, for this year, it wasn’t so much about that. It was more just to get a bit of head space. I was recommended Avebury. It’s a beautiful area by all accounts, and at only 12 miles away through some beautiful countryside it’s not too far of a drive to get to. I parked up at the Red Lion pub…
… The blasted parking meter was sent to test my patience though I think…
… “please enter your car registration”…
I don’t know my stupid car registration… so back I walked.
“Thank you for entering your car registration. Please now enter the duration you wish to park.”
I punched the number in…
“I’m sorry but this parking meter is out of order please use our online method of payment!”
Gah!! There is nothing more irritating in this world than modern day technologies that don’t bloody work!!
No Jenni… you are here to find your calm and to distress. Just do what you need to do, pay via the stupid online method of payment, and then be on your way.
And so of course, that’s what I did.
Ah… it did feel nice. There is nothing more freeing than walking into an outstretched landscape, one foot in front of the other. I’m not even usually bothered about what that landscape is… as long as it’s empty and quiet and with as little amount of human impact as possible. I mean there have been places that I’ve favoured… hiking around in the Himalayas does take some beating, but generally I just love the emptiness.
I started thinking of my walk last year (I realise I still haven’t actually written about that yet… it’s still pending. I’ve had a busy year… don’t judge) and even though at times it really did hurt, all I remember now is that freedom of knowing I didn’t have to turn back. I could just keep walking and walking. I passed through random fields and villages and woodlands. I saw sheep and horse and rivers and streams. I got to see all of those little bits inbetween that we never ever really get to see…
…and I love that.
I decided there and then that I was going to make it a tradition to do some kind of walk each year around my birthday. I did it in 2016 (Everest Base Camp), I did it 2018 (Witney to Sarratt) – so let’s just make this a thing.
For the life of me I have no idea what I did for my birthday in 2017?? Does anyone remember?
So off I went to have a little wander around Avebury. I tried to walk in the direction that other people weren’t. It was lovely. I walked by some ancient roman stones and across a field, until eventually I stumbled across this really cool looking hill….
‘Totally want to climb that hill’ – I muttered.
So I started my beeline towards this random steep looking hill.
So off I went… laa dee daa on my way to walk up a random steep hill…
Turns out… not just a hill….
So clearly I need to start watching a little more ‘Time Team’ to better understand the difference between a hill and a man-made pre-historic structure!
Still, though it was pretty cool and I love seeing little snippets into history (or pre-historic history in this case)…
I wandered around for a little longer across the fields and past the old roman stones before finally ending back at the pub.
To be honest I might try and make this my annual New Year’s Eve tradition. It can be a bit trickier to guarantee a walk on New Year’s Day… especially if like me this year you were basically having to hold on to the sides of the sofa most of the day simply to save your head from falling off. Nurofen and water was sadly not enough for the first half of my first day of 2019! Which basically means that A) I am getting too old for this shi… sorry, for these shinnanigans; B) After all these years I’ve finally made myself immune to nurofen; or C) all of the above. To be honest I’d be happy if it was just ‘A’… I really am too old for this Shit! I pulled out a new grey hair from my head this very morning! – I mean I don’t usually make it a habit of overindulging on New Year’s Eve (hush it you lot back home!) but let’s face it… even with all the best intentions in the world it can be a bit of a hazardous side affect of previous night antics. So why not start New Year’s Eve with a brisk walk and then you are free and outside of guilt to indulge in the ultimate of duvet days on the first day of the year!
Happy 2019 Folks!