Happy New Year!
It's the 'twelfth day of Christmas' today and our first day of back to normal. The alarm clock went off at its usual time of 6.29am this morning, and to my disappointment it was still dark when I opened the curtains and the kids were just as reluctant to get up as they were before Christmas. It feels like December, the midst of winter, but without the warm glow of Christmas lights. At the moment I can see why January can be such a depressing month!
We had a lovely break though, and it felt like much longer than just two weeks. Lots of lie-ins, pyjama days, endless cups of tea, knitting, reading and plenty of good food - for me that is what the Christmas period is all about.
The Christmas holidays aren't complete without a trip to Holland to celebrate New Year's Eve and my mum's birthday on New Year's Day. So on Tuesday last week 12yo and I set out very early in the morning to catch the daytime ferry to Hoek van Holland. We almost missed it because of an unexpected flat tyre, but the AA delivered fabulous service and half an hour after ringing them, we were on our way again - phew!
When I go to Holland with 12yo, we always visit the Hoge Veluwe - I'm sure photos of the National Park have featured on my blog before. It doesn't matter what time of year you go, it's always a special place to visit. This time we went on New Year's Eve, hoping it would be quiet as people were busy preparing for the festive evening. We managed to grab the coveted seats in front of the fire with a coffee before we set off on a bike ride
Twenty miles in total in a frosty, snowy, foggy landscape
We normally pack quite a lot into our trips to Holland, but this time 12yo came down with a bit of a bug (probably just a little overtired) so we were forced to slow down a little. Not a bad thing and we still managed to do the things that made me feel that I'd been 'home' for a few days.
12yo is such a good travelling companion for my trips to Holland - he just loves being there and is enthusiastic about all the things I want to do. A few years ago my dad bought us two little folding bikes from the Hema (my all-time favourite shop), very basic but light and easy to manoeuvre. We love riding these bikes into town, which means being a proper part of traffic - cycling is very different in Holland from the UK and much more fun really. Another favourite ride is to cross the river with a little ferry and then cycling back and riding over the bridge across the river.
All too soon it was time to head back to Britain again. A very busy ferry and 12 hours later and we were home, and at the moment it looks as though I won't be back till May. At least I have our week in Lyme Regis in February to look forward to, else January would really be a very depressing month!