Wednesday, 2 January 2013

What's Your New Year's Day Tradition?

For some reason I am most insistent that on New Year's Day, weather allowing, we go out for a walk as a family. I think it probably started because after a week or more eating and drinking too much I feel the need to do something that's actually good for my body, but now it has become a bit of a ritual. I posted in September about loving where I live and I enjoy exploring and finding new local places to appreciate. While my husband is always up for our walk the kids moan about it a lot, which just makes me even more determined to get them out of the house and away from their beloved screens. They always end up enjoying it.

Past New Year's Day walks have included
2010 - somewhere up above Llangynidr

2011 - a very cold Punchbowl near Blaenavon

2012 - by the river at Abergavenny
2012 - and around by Abergavenny Castle

This year we went to the Silent Valley Nature Reserve above Ebbw Vale. I've never been there before but I wanted to go somewhere that didn't take too long to get to and didn't have a massive mountain because son number one is even more moany when he has to walk uphill. We were the only car in the carpark and we didn't see anyone else (which is probably a good thing because my two definitely made short work of the "silent" description!) It was muddy and the kids refused to wear their wellies so I took a little quiet pleasure in their complaints of wet feet.

Even in winter it was beautiful, with lots of sunlight and shadows, running streams and lovely views. I love the winter colours with brown bracken and fallen leaves contrasting beautifully with green lichen and grass. It is well worth visiting if you're in the area. Afterwards we went to the Festival shopping site so the youngest could play in the big park there. It was a great few hours, not least because it's the first properly sunny day we've had in yonks, and it didn't cost anything! If there's one thing I love more than a good family outing it's a free family day out, especially after an expensive December.

What did you get up to on New Year's Day (if you weren't nursing a hangover, that is. Unfortunately those days are long gone for me!)