The new year is in full swing now, Christmas is well and truly over and the decorations are packed safely away in the loft. (Is it ok to feel a little bit relieved about the new found space and the ability to hoover absolutely everywhere again?)
I was sorely tempted to keep this little fella out.
However, Mr C says he definitely counts as a Christmas decoration so he’s got to go. I will miss his warm glow, and the starry pattern he makes when he has a candle lit inside him.
I can see why the January Blues exist-the festivities are over and everything seems so ‘ordinary’ now. (I know, it wouldn’t seem special if we had them up all year!) It reminded me of a Charlie and Lola book ‘Snow is my favourite and my best’, where Charlie persuades Lola that snow would not be as fun if we had it all of the time. (I’ve read this quite a few times in the last couple of weeks as my daughter told me it was a ‘Christmas’ book.) The darkness seems even more pronounced now we don’t have the extra lights, and driving to and from work in the dark makes me feel a bit like a vampire. Thank goodness for playground duty, it may be bitterly cold but the light and fresh air are very welcome.
In order to banish our family January blues (and take the kids out so Mr C could sleep as he was on a run of night shifts) I thought a trip to Belton House would be nice. A long walk around the grounds to tire out the children for a good night’s sleep before school started, and a chance to appreciate all that nature has to offer at this time of year seemed like such a marvellous plan. We located wellies, coats, gloves and an all in one suit for my daughter. The children helped prepare a packed lunch and we loaded the car with what felt like a fortnight’s worth of supplies. We had a fairly pleasant drive (given how much I dislike driving Mr C’s car) and found a parking space in spite of the slightly confusing signs. It was busy enough there with other people making the best of the last day or two of the holidays. We got a map from the kiosk and set off on our walk, taking the pushchair as I thought 3 miles was a bit ambitious for Little Miss and I didn’t fancy getting half way round and having to carry her.
Before we had even reached the start of the trail, my 2 year old daughter had fallen over, grazed under her chin and bitten her tongue. This was not a good start to cheering ourselves up! We cleaned her up (her big brother certainly steps into his role when his sister needs rescuing), and set off. She actually brightened up temporarily and they both posed for photos on top of a log and explored the woodland, looking out for deer too. Just as we approached the bottom of the hill she decided that she needed to go in the pushchair. The combination of her weight and rough terrain meant I got a thorough workout! At the top of the hill she began to cry (probably because she was cold and fed up after her fall). I looked and the map and determined that we were about half way around so getting back to the car was no easy task. We decided to carry on to finish the trail, with an attempt at top speed walking. There was little time for enjoying the walk, and I’m sure the golfers on the adjoining course were probably grateful for our speedy walking as her crying was ‘high pitched’ (new eardrums required). Eventually we reached the River Witham, though sadly we didn’t have time to take in the views as all of my attempts to placate Madam had failed (this mainly involved giving her bits of the packed lunch).
Eventually we arrived back at the car, feeling cold but not particularly refreshed or less blue! She fell asleep in the car, and my son ate his packed lunch in peace. I just wanted a cup of tea, but first I had to wrestle the muddy pushchair into the car boot without getting everything else dirty. There were some lovely parts of the day, such as them playing together before she fell over, although it has put me off taking them both out on my own for a little while.
Before it all went pear shaped, my son and I took this photo of the January sky, with the pale, watery sunlight barely breaking through the clouds. Somehow it still looks beautiful, maybe because there’s still the hope of spring on the horizon. It feels terribly far away, perhaps I’ll make the most of these dark days and keep on crocheting!
How do you banish the January blue? Are you missing the decorations?