We have quite a few family traditions. We measure our year by them. Although we fight against routine, school and work impose enough of them on our world, we really look forward to our seasonal traditions.
We always skip off to the coast at Southwold for New Years Day. If the weather is being really bad beyond words we head off the next day or the one after. This year we managed to get there on the 2nd and it was blue skies all round.
Our long walk brings us to the pier where we fill up on hot choccies, sharing a bowl of marshmallows, flakes and maltesers.
For a while we sit in the winter sun and dream of warmer days when we'll be dipping our toes in the water. Being spoilt for choice in Norfolk, there'll be lots of other summer beaches to explore too.
After a last dash to the end of the pier we go and get fumbled in the arcade and ride in the mini submarine.
Then it's time to search for favourite stones under the pier before heading back up the prom and homeward bound.
To make the most of the last days of our holidays we also went in search of places we'd meant to visit for a while now. At the weekend we sampled the delights of a newish tearoom in an old bank.
Vera Lynne sang in the background, while we admired all the beautifully laid tables and oohhed at the large cakes on the side.
Little Bun and I went to explore and found ourselves in the managers office all laid out for birthday teas. We even managed to get into the old vault where a few treasures could be found.
It was a relaxing and heavenly place to go, my only moan is that the knitting group meets there on one of my work days. I'd love an excuse to go back each week.
On Sunday I took the decorations down. They've been up for three weeks now and so now was the time. Ever since I was little the decorations have stayed up until 12th Night. My man felt sad at all the glitter being put away for another year. As much as I miss it I always start feeling a bit swamped. I love the clean feeling of a grabbing a bit more space in a full of stuff home.
Thoughts of Spring are now in my head and so I always add a few primula's and narcissi here and there. This pot painted by one of the Bun's (whoops, can't remeber who did it- sorry) at nursery school is perfect for cheering up the kitchen window sill.
New arrangements were put in the corner where the tree was cosily nestled.
By the time all the decorations were put away, the cushions plumped, dust shooed into corners and bits of Spring added it felt good to have our old home back again. Ready for the new year ahead.
A few years back we started celebrating Epiphany with a feast of our own. As the last of the twelve days of Christmas it feels a good way to banish any blues about that sparkly happy time leaving us. In England we used to make a Twelfth Cake with a bean inside it. The winner of the bean was nominated King of the Bean. In France they still celebrate with a galette de rois inside a golden crown for the winner of the bean. Sometimes we make crowns, this year I cheated and used the crackers I thought I'd lost and then found after christmas. We ate by candlelight and with full tums munched through a final christmas pud.
Now work and school beckon us once more. In fact I hope I wake up in time as I meant to go to bed hours ago and here I am wide awake and typing in the wee hours.
I'm good at talking lots, I'm great at waffling on and on about this and that. Sometimes my inner me has to shout shut up, I think you're boring the pants of everyone. When it comes to expressing my emotions though and saying how I really feel, I usually get a bit stumped. It doesn't mean I'm not feeling, just that I find it hard to say what I'm feeling. This blog is the closest to effusive I've ever been. What this all leads to is to say that I was really touched by your lovely responses to my birthday giveaway (which is still open by the way until next Monday 13th). For a while now I've been uncertain about blogging, wondering if I should change it all. I thought perhaps after five years it was getting a bit stale. Then I thought, I know, I'll ask what you lovely people who read this here thing think.
Well you gave me lots of food for thought and made me feel so happy to be here. Over the years I've met, emailed, worked with, laughed with and just been excited to get to know so many people through this world which I thought was a bit strange at first. Silly me, what did I know all those years ago. To read that visiting my blog is like chatting with a friend. Well that makes me feel so proud and thrilled.