Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Years Day 2013...

The crawl towards spring seemed more like a sprint today, the day dawned clear, with bright sunshine by mid-morning. My New Year revelry was such that I awoke with a totally clear head - possibly the best nights sleep I've had over the entire festive season. As the sun streamed in through the open window I decided a bike ride would be the right start for 2013 - plus it is my youngest daughters birthday tomorrow - I needed to drop off her birthday card .... and money.

I set off accompanied by the most exquisite light; soft and buttery and holding some warmth. I sought shelter along the hedgerows from the strong breeze pushing across the hollow of farmland to my left. Long shadows stretch out from the birch trees and I find myself riding along and lifting my face to the sun. No one can be euphoric with the days so short, but on a clear winter's day, with the sun shining and the shadows so long, I take a considered pleasure in the moment, knowing it can't last long.

Like all creatures we have our requirements for surviving short days and cold temperatures. We find the warmth we need in centrally heated homes, or as migrants flying south to where the sun's angle is loftier. But the "symptoms" we experience in a northern winter – a stronger appetite, an unwillingness to get out of bed – seem to me good strategies for survival, and sufficiently rehearsed across the centuries to become second nature. But not today - the first day of the year.

After visiting my daughter and heading back, many pounds lighter, I became tangled up with various 'walkers' out enjoying the sun and clearing their heads from last nights celebrations. Couples, families, push-chairs, dogs - all variations were covered and the lane from Snarestone to Shackerstone has never been busier. Quite a few cyclists out too. I arrived back having covered just over 25 miles - an ideal start to the new year.

For those interested in such things - my total bike mileage for 2012 was 3,152 - Not good enough!

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