01 January 2009

Looking back but moving on...

So, here we go again! It’s New Year and that means new starts. There are new gigs to attend, new bands to see. New lists to start, new birds to find. New targets to aim for, more miles to cycle. Looking forward it all sounds exciting stuff - in reality, it’s just another year like any other! Nothing much changes, does it?

Santa's been!

Christmas 2008... see my Blog posts for 2005, 2006 and 2007 for a full re-cap, it was exactly the same this year! And that means it was a great Christmas - we like it to be a quiet time in this house. We ate lots (though not too much), we drank a fair amount (though not to excess) and we played the Jive Bunny Christmas CD whilst we opened our presents, and drank Buck’s Fizz, on Christmas morning. We have our traditions here, and we like to stick to them! Tradition has it that Lynda must drink Sherry whilst preparing Christmas lunch, it also dictates that I have a rather large malt whisky to accompany her. After eating a delicious lunch of turkey (what else?) with all the extras we then settled down in front of the TV and didn’t really move again for the rest of the day - apart from topping up the food and alcohol levels that is.

Lynda makes a great Christmas cake!

A 3 mile walk on Boxing Day and then a 20 mile cycle ride on Sunday will, hopefully, have burnt off a few of the calories that came gift wrapped in all the food and drink I’ve enjoyed over the festive period. If not then I’m going to have to make sure I up the pace a little on the daily commute to and from work next week. If nothing else it will have got a few miles under my belt as I attempt to cycle a minimum of 2,500 miles in 2009.

New Year’s Eve and we did the usual. We stayed home; we ate way too much food and drank plenty too. The fireworks kicked off all around us at mid-night but this year we stayed in front of the TV and watched the firework display from the London Eye instead of standing in the bedroom window watching fireworks here. It may not be the most exciting way to spend New Year but at least it means we don’t have to fight the crowds to get a drink in a pub or get ripped off for a taxi fare home. Staying home also means we don’t have to face some drunken Muppet who wants to take on the world come mid-night. It’s also easier to stagger to bed when you don’t have too far to go!

Today Lynda & I managed to revive another of our traditions, that the weather put a stop to last year, we went for our New Year’s Day walk. We covered just over 6 miles along the roads and footpaths around our local area. It’s not the most scenic of walks at times but at least it means we get some exercise and fresh air without having to get the car out. Driving on New Year’s Day may not be too good for our driving licences either! “No oshifer I’s not been drinkin’, onisht!”.

Feeding the local wildlife.

Icicles by the River Derwent.

Although today’s walk wasn’t a birding outing - I didn’t even take my binoculars - I did make a note of everything we saw and by the time we returned home I already had 31 species recorded for my new 2009 “10-Mile List”. Once again, birds seen within 10 miles of home will be the main focus of my birding over the next 12 months. Last year I set myself a benchmark by recording 136 species within my chosen zone. This year, I’d love to better that total but it will take a rather special run of birds to help me do it.


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