A New Year, portents, traditions and looking forward

I’ve never been impressed by the hype of the ‘New Year’, never regarded it as a portent or a time to make ephemeral resolutions to change bad habits, never felt the urge to stand around with arms crossed, holding hands singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ with emotional inebriates who I have never met before and will never meet again.  At midnight I was soaking in a hot bath listening to the fireworks going off outside and muttering ‘Bah Humbug’ once more.  A glass of Metaxa (Greek brandy) before bed was my nod to tradition.

Monday 1 January 2013 was much the same as 31 December 2012 except I had to remember to put a new year on any cheques I might sign (which I didn’t), turn to the front of my perpetual diary to record the day’s activities, and, for once true to forecast, there was cloudless blue sky from the outset.  Perfect for walking up the ridge from the house to meet up with my son for a pub lunch at the Goose and Cuckoo, the only pub in the area to have evaded the zeal of the campaigning teetotaller Lady Llanover in the mid 19th Century.  The walk and the meet is in danger of becoming a New Year’s Day tradition.

The walk was into a strong, cold northerly wind but was great.  As were the bean soup and the leisurely opportunity to chew the fat.  Walked many times the ridge still affords new photo opportunities.

New Year's Day and the sun  set fire to the cloudless sky as it came up over the ridge

New Year’s Day and as the sun came up over the ridge it set fire to the cloudless sky

The walk began alongside the Monmouthshire  and Brecon Canal in reflective mode

The walk began alongside the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in reflective mode

High on the windswept moorland ridge

High on the windswept moorland ridge

The Goose and Cuckoo, archetypal country pub has eluded many trying to locate it.

The Goose and Cuckoo, archetypal country pub, has eluded many attempts to locate it.

But the sunshine was no portent of the days or the year to come.  Since then the weather has been dominated by grey cloud and general clag on the mountains.  A brief two or three minutes of brilliant cloud-illuminating sunrise was spectacular on Wednesday before the gloom and drizzle settled in for the rest of the day and the grey cloud lowered for the rest of the week.

For barely two minutes the clouds went blood-red

For barely two minutes the clouds went blood-red

... and then bands of gold appeared

… and then bands of gold appeared

With temperatures pegged at around 10oC day and night for days past and forecast for days to come I’m becoming focused on the fact that in a week’s time I’ll be in Canada with a couple of days in Calgary before moving on to Banff for two weeks and then Whistler and Vancouver.  Proper winter at last!  Something solid to look forward to, no wishful thinking.

It’s about time I started to focus on getting my stuff together and packing.  Where did I put my thermals?

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This entry was posted in Grumpy Old Men, Monmouthshire, Mountains, Pontypool, Reflections, Wales, Winter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A New Year, portents, traditions and looking forward

  1. sarahsquall says:

    Lovely pics as usual. Your skies are amazing, and I love the moorland photo. I love moorlands.
    Have a great time in Canada.

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