New Year's Day is made for a cold, wet walk.

For several years now I have had a large family party on New Year's Day. It made sense, it was a good time for everybody to get together without stressing about work and school and I knew that it would keep me sensible on New Year's Eve, because cooking with a hangover is not sensible.

This year I fiddled with the schedule and held the party on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year, so New Year's Day was free.
It took us until 3pm to breakfast, lunch and dress ready to go out, so we actually set off knowing that the early dusk would curtail any adventures.

We went to Otterspool Promenade. Living half a mile from one of Liverpool's big parks (Calderstones) we don't usually drive anywhere else, but the muddy park experience we had on Monday meant we were searching for a proper pavement to stroll along so we drove the 3 miles to the river Mersey and wallowed in 8 degree temperatures lowered a good 3 or 4 degrees by the wind chill factor. Wind chill makes a big difference next to the mighty Mersey. It was cold. I wish I had a good hat. Must put one on my list.

But Otterspool is a lovely walk. We must have walked a good couple of miles without noticing it. The sky kept us occupied. Some days are just sky days, aren't they? The combination of wind, cloud and setting sun made for an ever changing display.

 See the sun rays streaming through the slits? I think of them as 'God Rays', the legacy of a childhood spent with a Nanna who loved the big Biblical Epics- Ben Hur, The Robe and The  Greatest Story Ever Told.

The children loved it, running around, climbing up and down the slope and desperate to go and see a statue, called Sitting Bull. I was expecting a Red Indian, but got this instead.

 And the lads, mad Redwall fans, were chuffed to see the bit of wall that inspired Brian Jacques to write his series of books.

We walked back from the end of the prom in the deepening dusk.

 At 4pm the sun was almost down so we didn't stop at the Otter Cafe or take a chance on Active Adventures maze (we came here to visit the Man himself before Christmas) but we will be back. I'm planning summer picnics after school already. See the cake and ginger ale? Egg sandwiches? Fresh crispy apples? Yesterday we needed hot soup and toasty cheese sandwiches to warm up!


  1. Looks like you all had lots of fun. I love to get out and about, but I was only saying yesterday that we've been very lazy over Christmas and New Year. The weather hasn't encouraged me to want to walk anywhere, though we have still been walking Archie, of course, just nowhere exciting.

  2. The sky does look beautiful.
    Cold but beautiful!
    After school picnics are a great idea, lets hope the weather is kinder to us this year for more outdoor things.
    Lisa x

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  4. We sat still a lot over Christmas. It was really lovely to get out, even in the wind! I'm hoping for a sensible weather year; snow (just enough for a couple of snow days but not too much) in January, spring showers and warmer sun in April, a glorious midsummer with long days and longer nights outside leading into a display of autumn colours and sharp winter weather just in time for next Christmas!

  5. What a lovely walk, though it does look a bit nippy! Interestingly,I have grown up being told that those 'god rays' that you mention are called 'glories'. I don't know where that came from, other than my mother and grandmother used to call them that and so I suppose I always have, too. There is, without a shadow of a doubt, something glorious about them and something unerringly divine, too.

    Somehow, try as hard as I might, I cannot imagine summer ever coming back to these shores again. It has been such a long, cold, wet, sunless and miserable last few months that I cannot remember what it feels like to be able to go out without a sou'wester! I long for the days to be a bit longer though - did you know, apparently the day of greatest weather-based despondency is supposed to be on 21st Jan. Hopefully by then the nights will be pulling out a bit!

    It's nice to see you blogging again - please do continue! :) Happy New Year to you and yours.


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