Lifestyle: Hello January!

It’s more time appropriate to say farewell January…

I feel somewhat sombre about saying farewell to a month that’s been good to me.  I know it’s a time, many dread yet it’s been a fantastic start to 2018 for me.  I promised to get myself outdoors,  in what can be a cold, gloomy and unpredictable month!

Anie Spratt

We’ve been blessed with a few spring (ish) days, where I’ve felt that familiar warmth from the sun on my face, the country lanes are looking cheerfully dressed in Gorse and the promise of a garden full of flowers are on the way. Whilst the roses rest, my pansies survived the snow, the snowdrops are in abundance and the daffodils have begun to sprout their green shoots.  Some have already flowered in Llangollen Park!  The buzzards are back on clear days, circling the skies.  Owls screech in the late of night and early hours, promising better weather.  In the morning, there is a small glow above the curtains,  from the ever-increasing sunrise and it’s still light at 5pm!

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The first weekend of January took us to the Peak District to indulge in a gathering dedicated to the magic of winter. Homecooked foods, crafts, hills, wassailing,  plenty of apple juice and frequent warms by the log burner.  It was a perfect time to relive the festive period since my ‘darling’ Rik was recovering from a spider bite…  I still want a pet one but I think it’s out of the question now?

Peak District, Edale

Peak District, Edale

Peak District Edale

On another weekend, the pup and I stayed local and went in search of a tower on a top of a hill. Really, it’s just a pile of stones known as Biddulph Tower.  We’d left a little too late in the day and underestimated the time it would take to get from bottom to the top before the fog swirled in around us. Making it impossible to adventure any further. Stil, the next day, a trip to Castle Dinas satisfied my hilltop conquering.

Llangollen hills

Llangollen Hills

Castell Dinas Bran

By the third weekend of January, we embarked on a 22k paddle to Conwy Castle.  It was a cold day as we floated from river to estuary but it was just utterly perfect! I’ve never paddled in the snow and as I looked up,  I felt like I was looking at one of those moving screensavers.  Despite cold toes.  the snow-covered mountains, misty forests,  a mysterious cave, and all of the Candian geese you could ever want to see, made for an excellent paddle.  Adrenaline was heightened as we experienced the estuary’s tides and currents. I’ll never forget the sun’s orange glow on Conwy Castle as he nestled behind the hills.    That was my first long-distance paddleboarding trip and I’m hoping to get lots more during Spring and Summer. I can’t thank my friends at TnR Coaching enough,  for helping me with my water fears.

Conwy Castle

Conwy

Conwy Castle

By the last weekend, Rik and I both spent some outdoor time with Baby Bel, walking around Llangollen and popping down to Chirk Marina so we could get her on our SUP boards. This is her 3rd time on the water with me. Her first as a young pup didn’t go too well in the sea kayak, and she went splosh into a freezing Welshpool canal!  Modeling her new buoyancy aid,  she sat still (ish) on the tip of the board. I’m not quite sure about a long journey just yet seeings though her primary mode is to play.

Chirk

padldle boarding on the llangollen canal

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Why not pop over to my Instagram to see more of my January highlights. You’ll also see a trip to Llanheadr Springs Spa, which was utterly needed!  The funny story here is, I thought it was the one  7 miles down the road from me, turns out it’s actually an hour away in Ruthin!

The one by me is actually spelled Llanrhaeadr.  It’s not the first time I’ve been caught out like that.

I’d love to know your January highlights…

Chelsea