Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Tuesday, 29 December 2009


I'm very behind with my photos. This was a walk before Christmas on Mam Tor - I started off with the best of intentions to walk for a good long way but the weather came in and I turned back early. Thank goodness I did - the last 20 minutes of the walk were into a driving icy rain. I was soaked and freezing. If I hadn't turned when I did it would have been terrible!
This is the view into the Edale valley.

The amazing flying Minty!

View towards Sparrowpit and Rushup Edge. The weather still fine at this stage but very cold.

The path to the summit. It is such a busy walk that the Peak Park has built these york stone paths or erosion would have ruined the land by now.

Edale and Kinder Scout.

Me and the dogs on top.

For once I met a competent photographer - normally they cut half of me off in these circumstances!

The Great Ridge looking from Mam Tor towards Hollins Cross and Lose Hill

Well, I had a lovely Christmas with my family. We were over in Lincolnshire at Mum and Dad's (or rather, Nana and Grandad's as I came to call them). There was my sister's family of 6 plus 2 gorgeous golden retrievers and the boyfriend of her eldest daughter and my brother's family of 3 minus my brother himself over from Canada. Poor old Graham is stuck out on an oilrig in Canada as is Diarmuid (although different rigs).

So, nearly the full family complement. It was chaotic but good fun. My sister in law Hadi is a marvellous cook of the south-east asian persuasion so she did the catering pre-Christmas and I did the Christmas day lunch (very traditional turkey and all the trimmings). My sister was very tired and a bit under the weather so did the breakfasts and we had plenty of teenagers to tidy up (when nagged) and help out where required.

My father loved it; all his family around him, going to the pub, to church, for walks with the dog and playing games and telling stories. It was lovely. I enjoyed it more than I have in the past, perhaps because the kids are older now - the youngest is nearly 14 - so they were less demanding and more entertaining.


  • Walking all 4 dogs by myself on a freezing foggy and snowy Christmas day morning at 8.30am. My sister's 2 golden retrievers merging into the fog and my 2 girls sticking close to guard me from the big boys! I felt like the only person out and about and it was just magical - time to breathe before the chaos of the day started.
  • Going to the pub with all the girls on Christmas Eve and then onto Midnight Mass in the church where my sister and I were both married. It was full and beautifully decorated and my nieces and my sister and I sang the alto and descant parts to all the hymns. The nieces all sing in choirs and hearing their 4 voices soaring up to those top notes while Hilary and I tried to remember the alto parts was brilliant. Probably a bit show-offy but my Dad loved it and loads of people have commented to him about the girls' voices in the pub since then so he is bursting with pride. Very special.
  • Shopping on Christmas Eve in Lincoln - such a nice shopping town - not to big, not too small, pretty and practical.
  • Seeing my mum happy and relaxed. She is in the early stages of Alzheimers but she was very much herself over Christmas so, although she can't do all the stuff she used to do, she is still happy and when you get her on old stories, very amusing.

Anyway, I'm back home now and have a week off before going back to work on Monday. It is great. I'm concentrating on exercise and sensible eating and am determined to drop the Christmas pud and make a good start on getting back to where I was this summer. January is going to be a month of austerity and exercise for me and I'm very excited about it.

I started the regime yesterday with a monster mountain bike ride with my friend Vicky. Trouble is, the side roads and tracks round her are still pretty snowy and icy in places. I'm a bit braver about that stuff than Vicky so only took one tumble on sheet ice but Vicky lost her confidence so was falling off rather a lot. Felt a bit guilty! It was beautiful though.

Today was a big walk (6 miles) around the Chatsworth estate - Baslow - Pilsley - Edensor - Chatsworth. It was rather murky but still bracing and pretty. I found myself on tracks I've never been on which I enjoy and a couple of the views were spectacular. Vicky is calling round at 6.30 to take me to the gym too so there is no escape! We arranged it yesterday and both of us feel that an appointment will keep us on the straight and narrow. There is no way I would have made it to the gym this evening if I was not meeting her so I think we were right to make the date!

I'm also going to dig out my book of notes from the TV programme and remind myelf about the things I did this summer which worked so well. One thing is definitely getting back to daily weigh-ins and marking my progress on a big chart so I have nowhere to hide!! That is tomorrow's chore though.

Anyway, I've waffled on for long enough now so have better get back to my jobs. Hope you're having a good break (if you're off work) and that the Christmas poundage is not too daunting!


beth said...

A six-mile walk _and_ the gym? That's hard core -- well done. So... about that crazy triathlon idea...?

Peridot said...

Typical Lesley to be excited about "a month of austerity" - your enthusiasm and sheer joie de vivre is so admirable and endearing.

Sounds like a wonderful Christmas - and I love that picture of Minty.

Thanks for your comment on my blog - it was really helpful. And I LOVE being called 'sugarpuff', it's accurate (full of sugar and therefore, er, puffed out) but sweet too (no pun intended!).

Peridot x