And so January passes

Here we are in the middle / end of January, and at least one of my resolutions has already been scuppered. Perhaps I should make February 1st the starter for my resolutions?

One of my resolutions was to post to my blog at least every other week – as you may be able to tell by my blogging silence, that hasn’t really happened. Hopefully this post will make up for the silence, but you may have to put up with a fair bit of waffle before we get to the end. Stick with me if you can, but if you give up at least there are some pictures to look at on the way to the comments section.

Christmas was lovely, we went and sung our socks off in a local church on Christmas Eve, washed down by a creamy, tasty hot chocolate from the local Wawa. Seb enjoyed it for the most part, but did ask his Daddy not to try the singing at home. Christmas morning was not as relaxed as previous ones, but we still managed an 8 o’clock lie-in before the present unwrapping carnage began.

We were joined for the feast by two other expat families and fell back on the established tradition of a table for the grown-ups and one for the children. It worked well – we had conversation, drunk too much and played games while the kids run riot and ate goodness-knows-what.

Between Christmas and New Year we went to New Jersey to see my cousin and her family – and had an adults only night out in NYC. I think that the city is one of the ultimate places to see over Christmas. When we first went there at Christmas time, last year, it all seemed a very disorganised place, and I felt as if we were just stumbling across Christmas by luck. However, the whole city is now taking shape in my mind and the place feels a lot less random. The Rockefeller centre and Skating Rink were all shiny and beautifully decked out in their Christmas finery, with everyone amiably vying for the best picture opportunities. The shop windows were beautiful too – Macy’s, Lord and Taylor and most of 5th Avenue. I could have walked around all night taking it in. The crowds were a bit crazy though, but you could feel an air of excitement growing as Times Square was being set-up for New Years Eve. A meal, washed down with very more-ish cocktails followed by a Broadway show (The Follies) made for a fun night in the city.

New Years Eve was spent with good friends too – we had a night out at a local sea-food place, and as before Garnet and James made quite an impression in their kilts!

We had a gathering for my birthday – it was such a lovely day that we were able to sit out on the deck, drinking champers. How often can you do that in early January?

One of the joys over the festive period and into January has been realising how many good friends we have made in our time here.

Deer hunters and carcasses currently abound in the grounds around the house, which makes walking the dog fairly hazardous. He does like to increase his chances of ticks and intestinal worms by close investigation of the gruesome pickings. He has got the hang of sitting and watching the (live) deer now – not doing a Fenton impression. This only adds insult to the injury of being told that he hassles the deer. Still only a week left of hunting season before he can run freely around the grounds again.

Speaking of running freely, my ability to do so has been serverely curtailed by my bothersome foot, which is still not healing properly, despite the pain of steroid injections and super-strength pain-killers. The plan at the moment is to do more swimming and cycling to try and regain some level of fitness. Compared to running through the trails though both activities seem particularly meaningless and monotonous. I long for the feeling of flying through the woods that you get on a really good trail run – especially the downhills. I also miss the pure indulgence of plugging myself into my music or just listening to the sounds around me. Running outdoors is one of the times when I live truly in the moment and am able to clear my head of the daily noise that is normally in there. Maybe that is one of the reasons I am stubbornly resisting getting involved in other exercise as seriously?

My other resolutions involve a couple of interests I finally managed to pursue last year: photography and writing. I have had some photos of mine on a friends cafe wall this month, which is pleasing and certainly gives me growing confidence in my pictures. I am also starting journalism training. I am definitely excited to see where these interests will take me this year!

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