Happy New Year!

Large golden Pampas flowers against a clear blue sky

Happy New Year everyone! As 2018 has slipped away and 2019 begins, I have found myself doing the traditional New Year things. I gave up making formal resolutions many years ago – who wants to start a fresh new year by setting unrealistic goals, destined for failure? However, I am as susceptible as anyone else to the promise of a whole new year beckoning with all its pristine newness, just waiting for me to make my mark on it. Will this be the year I reconnect with my body and remember what it is to be fit? Will it be the year that we start reducing the amount of plastic we use in the garden? Will it be the year that I start to make a viable living from my business? Only time will tell but I plan to enjoy the year finding out, celebrating our triumphs and learning from the things which don’t go to plan without regret or guilt.

I have already learned a lot. I have learned that HIIT interval training is not for me, at least not at this time. However I have surprised myself by enjoying the Couch to 5K running programme. So far, most of it is walking and I am happy if I never reach 5k – I am outside, feeling the fresh air on my face and feeling energised by the stretch in my muscles, remembering how it good feels to be moving. I have also learned that it is easy to replace plastic garden ties with proper garden twine but if we want new seed propagators for the greenhouse that are readily available, we will need to buy plastic and just make them as hard-wearing as possible so that we can get many years’ use from them.

We spent New Year’s Eve with friends in the village. It had everything you might want on New Year’s Eve – good company, laughter, great food and fireworks on the TV at midnight. We reconnected with people we knew and met some new folk too. To anyone who was there who may be reading this – fear not, your secrets are safe with me!

On New Year’s Day, D and I went for a walk, enjoying the crisp, sunny winter’s day. I also took a stroll through the garden and was struck by the sunshine lighting up the Pampas grass flowers. We have had more flowers than ever this year, which I am sure the birds will take full advantage of for nesting material once the spring arrives.

Stone bridge over a river with birds on the water on a sunny day
Bridge at Wetherby on New Year’s Day
Spiky thistle seedheads against a blue sky
The seedheads here caught my eye, standing tall against the sky
Metal scultpure of 2 leaping salmon next to a river
This salmon sculpture sits at the edge of the river in Wetherby
Straw reeds rising from the river and glowing in the sunshine
Reeds in the river in Wetherby

Of course for the cats, New Year feels much like any other time. The little ones enjoyed their first Christmas, with all the wrapping paper to chase, their first taste of real chicken and new toys to kill. For the Calamity Cat, it is all old news – Christmas comes and goes, but she did enjoy a few minutes with her new toy when she thought nobody else was looking. She will turn 15 this month so a few minutes was more than enough but she defended the toy with vigour when Daisy tried to play with it, so it was clearly a hit.

However you spent Christmas and New Year and whatever your plans for the year ahead, we wish you peace and happiness and a great 2019!



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