Tag: new year

New-year escape: A walking and meditation trip to the Lake District


I tried to make a more healthy start to 2015.

That’s why I headed off to Cumbria on New Year’s Day, bombing up the M6 while everyone else was still busily nursing hangovers.

The reason? To join a walking group [pictured above, just outside Loweswater] and test drive a new Mindfulness in the Mountains package from Ramblers Countrywide Holidays.

The story is out today in the Independent and here’s an extract:

Back on the banks of Loweswater, meanwhile, the afternoon sun was starting to fade like the gentle ebbing of a new-year hangover.

A pint of the local Sneck Lifter ale at The Fish Inn in Buttermere would spur me on for the final few miles and a supper of beef-stew dumplings and plums in vanilla custard would be slow cooking back at Hassness.

Most of all, I had found a few days of walking and mindfulness offered me a fresh perspective on new year.

I had come to know closeness to Cumbrian nature that inspired the Romantic poets, such as Wordsworth and Coleridge; the meditative power of simply putting one foot in front of another over the fells; and the sheer carpe-diem joy of just loosing yourself in the moment.

Read the full story, Sole searching.

The rocking horse


New year makes me nostalgic.

Not for new years gone by – I’ve not had a stand-out new year’s eve for years now.

Indeed, the last couple of years of have done little to inspire new-year cheer. I’m relieved in many ways, frankly, that 2013 has shuffled out the door at last.

But, as I take down the decorations and put out the detritus of the holidays for recycling, a nostalgia for childhood still brings a warm glow.

It’s a yearning, I guess, for a time when life was less complicated and new year was a time of purely innocent expectation.

The horsey in the playground at Rossett (pictured above), North Wales, still brings me that nostalgic glow.

I was back there again over the holidays with Maya and Olivia, working off some toddler energy after lunch in a nearby pub by pin-balling between the slide, the swings and the rocking horse.

I’m pretty sure this is the very same horse I used to clamber upon as a child when we lived nearby and used to visit the village for lunch with my granddad.

It looks, after all heavily weathered and probably hasn’t seen a lick of paint since the mid Seventies.

These days, my horse has become the preferred rocking horse for Maya and Olivia.

On a dark winter’s day, seeking signs of light as I gather my resources to square up to another year, something about passing on the innocent joy of Rossett’s stoic stallion still brings me a sense of comfort.

Times change but the horsey rides on.

How do you feel at the start of a new year? Post below.

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