Thursday, 7 January 2010

Winter Wonderland

Waking up to the radio alarm telling you there is no way to get to work is the best way to wake on the 12th day of Christmas! Snuggle back under, try not to think about all the marking and preparation.
I have to head outside, so Paul and I make our crunchy way to Strawberry Hill, St Werburgh's. It looks like a winter wonderland, tangled branches heavy with snow and kids hurtling down the hills.
We come across an 8 foot snowman, and watch crazy youths throwing themselves off the edge of a steep drop, and slide around a bit ourselves. The most impressive thing we witnessed though, was a family building an igloo. The kids filled recycling bins with snow and packed it down to form bricks, and dad set about sticking it all together. It was as high as me and as large as a small bedroom. Productive snow day!
I've never seen so much snow in the UK before, it was like a ski resort.
Lots of fun was had, and with a prediction for -10 tonight, we might be lucky enough to get a second snow day tomorrow, leaving me plenty of time for marking!
January's not so bad after all. Pretty confident of a lie-in tomorrow, I crack open a bottle of wine.
Here's to a white Christmas!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Walking the Welsh Wey

Left the house at 9am on the last day of the Christmas holidays and immediately found myself sprawled on the pavement - icy!
A couple of friends and I drove across the bridge to Chepstow, Wales, intending to join the Ramblers, only to realise upon arrival that we'd got the wrong Sunday! Undeterred, we headed to Tourist Information where the apricot haired assistant did her best to put us off any sort of dangerous walking activity. Despite the beautiful sunshine and crisp cold air, she was convinced that if the detour didn't confuse us, the snow would trap us, and failing that the bus driver might not feel like dropping us back once we reached our destination. Besides, it was already 11am so there was hardly any point in walking as the day was nearly over! We headed off to Tintern.
The views were stunning, best at Eagle Pass, where you can see the river below (possibly named Wey as this is the Wey Valley), cliffs around and River Severn beyond, and England! It looked almost as though the Severn, shining silver in the sun, were suspended above everything else. A magical moment. Crunching across frozen grassy fields and paddling through rivers we made it successfully to Tintern, with its impressive abbey, and had time for lunch before catching the bus back to Chepstow.
An 8 mile walk with friends is a great way to take your mind off the return to work!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Swan Lake

New Years Day 2010, and the skies are blue above Bristol.
My night did not go as planned. I had a good time with great people but couldn't help feeling a bit let down by non-events and non-enthusiasm of my 2009. I like to give a lot and get a lot back, and feel drained by passivity.
So, determined not to start the year looking down, I headed off for a walk. To Eastville Park with positive Paul, and to my surprise and delight the lake was frozen over! I'd never seen a frozen lake before, and found the sight of swans and ducks on, not in the water, incredible, in the true sense of the word.
Today I walked a peace mile and witnessed birds walking on water.
2010 will be a great year.