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Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you, but we’ve had a quiet and relatively relaxing break – just what we needed. My beloved jetted off yesterday with a spring in his step and his batteries recharged. I meanwhile breathed a deep sigh of relief. It’s been lovely having him home for almost three weeks. There’s no one I’d rather spend time with, but three weeks!

Nice, bad weather

Unfortunately, we endured one of the wettest festive periods on record. Or, at least since we’ve lived here. This rather dented our ambitions to ride every day. Still we managed to keep ourselves occupied. My beloved even did a spot of DIY. Of course, it’s not finished, nor did he put everything back where it belongs. Our plans to visit a few friends also fizzled out in the dank conditions.

In truth, we didn’t feel too sociable. Largely because of my Dad’s ailing ill-health. He’s often remarked in recent years that old age feels like you’re in the waiting room. I used to riposte “Be thankful you’re not in the departure lounge!” An illness which he’s been harbouring for sometime erupted in early November occasioning three almost successive stays in hospital. Finally, he was sent home just before Christmas and sadly he’s now in the departure lounge. We just don’t know when his plane will take off. It’s safe to say, he’s seen his last Christmas.

My sister has once more come to the rescue, mobilised a posse of carers and nurses, and moved in for the duration. I paid them one of my famous flying visits just before Christmas, whipped up a few delights to tempt my Dad’s failing appetite and departed. Both of my sisters kept him company, and his spirits high, over the festive period. I’m sure he enjoyed being spoilt. I get daily bulletins on his progress but, in truth, there is no real progress, nor any way back. But my Dad’s had a great life and will shortly be joining my Mum. I can’t be too sad, even though it won’t the end his daughters wished for him.

Despite the appalling weather conditions, which were of course much less severe than those endured by many around the globe, I still managed to ride over 500km between Christmas and New Year. Since then the weather’s taken another nose dive and I’ve even had to press-gang the mountain bike into service and go for a run (okay, jog) along the sea front. There’s something rather primal about running while the waves are lashing the shoreline. Typically we exercise each day to keep at bay the yule-tide calorie creep. But, with the quiet life, has come far fewer calories and a real sense of well-being. Maybe that’s all we need to face 2014.

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