New Year: sales, contrasts and looking ahead.

Christmas with the family and New Year with friends were good and Father Christmas brought me everything that I wanted.  But now it’s past: left-over food eaten; wrapping paper in the bin; house tidied up; shops returning to normal before they put Easter on display; facing the year ahead.

I guess I’m not the only person to suffer from retail-fatigue after Christmas. I can’t even bring myself to look at what’s on offer in the sales.  Two main reasons for that.  First is that I would inevitably find that the post-Christmas discounts are bigger than the pre-Christmas ones and it would irritate me to know the details of how much I might have saved had I bought Christmas presents after rather than before Christmas Day. Not that I would buy Christmas presents after the event I hasten to add.  Second, having a ‘make-do-and-mend’ philosophy deeply ingrained in my psyche (I’m actually an honorary ‘Cardi’, a hard-won accolade which makes even Yorkshire folk seem like spendthrifts) I know that I don’t really need anything at the moment so can’t even be bothered to look.  Meantime the rest of the world seems to be rushing headlong towards the sales and greater indebtedness.

So, Christmas over, no sales to visit, plenty of time to get up into the mountains.  Not so.  The weather and the conditions have inhibited rather than fired the enthusiasm.  Though temperatures have been unusually warm throughout November and December the inevitable concomitant has been rain and low cloud which seem to have been around for weeks.

We have always done something active on New Year’s Day so despite the weather I went out for a walk yesterday.  The cloud had lifted to just above the mountain top but it was raining most of the time.  However, what really took the gloss off it was the ground conditions, wetter, muddier, stickier than I can remember.  I couldn’t help but draw comparisons with New Year’s Day for the last two years.

New Year's Day 2010: on top of the ridge behind the house

New Year's Day 2010: the path down from the ridge

New Year's Day 2011: view across the frozen Bow River in the Rockies

New Year's Day 2011: even when it clouded over the view of Mount Rundle from the top of Tunnel Mountain was dramatic

New Year's Day 2012: on the ridge behind the house, surrounded by low cloud and rain

New Year's Day 2012: there is a pair of feet in there somewhere

I would love to go back to Canada but having looked into it post-Christmas, and being a card-carrying Cardi, cost is the sticking point. Being a lone traveller is expensive and it’s a simple equation: 2 weeks skiing = 4 weeks in Greece.  So, as Grey Britain has got greyer I’ve tried to put Canada out of my mind and my thoughts have turned more and more to going back to Greece.  I need to find a way to square the circle.

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