We have spent most of the time since Christmas Eve holed up at home eating festive treats. Cabin fever has set in so we decided to go for a walk to blow away the cobwebs and wake us up a bit. Working hard can be tiring but nothing like the tiredness you get from giving yourself up to pleasure for four days. I fasted some before Christmas and lost a bit of weight, most of which has been put back on in the last few days, but at least I don’t have to beat myself up over it as I’m back to my ideal weight for a guy my height and age. Sorry to be irritating about that but I just ate sensibly before Christmas and the weight just fell off. I have never had much trouble controlling my weight. Eat well and exercise and there’s not much to it.
The Boxing Day snow is still lingering where it fell as the temperatures haven’t got above freezing at all since then. The skies are clear and blue and, at this time of the year in the UK, that means cold.
We wrapped up warm and headed for the Forest Park, a local park popular with dog walkers with a huge grassy expanse where people play football on Sunday mornings. I was warm in my wool/cashmere coat, scarf and gloves but regretted wearing my flat cap as the frost was getting to my ears. Note to self….take wool hat next time.
This is Mary of ‘Mary had a little lamb’ fame looking out across the cricket pitch for her lost sheep. In the best tradition of a Christmas pantomime, altogether now….’He’s behind you!!!’
From there we went to the Science Park and did a loop by the Atomic Energy buildings, past the pond and then back by the Fujitsu Campus. A weird place for a walk you might think but it is a pleasant one. The offices are set out in parkland with little bits of woodland along the paths. There’s a lot of wildlife in the area. It was all very quiet with the car parks almost deserted and the offices closed until after New Year, possibly until next Monday. We like to enjoy a long winter break in the UK. I liked the white bark of these Silver Birch trees, lit up by the winter sun against the blue of the sky.
We headed to the pond on the edge of the huge central lawn. In summer people like to sit out here and eat lunch. I did a panorama.
The pond was frozen at one end but the fountain at the other end kept the water open so the resident population of ducks had somewhere to swim. It looked cold for them. I didn’t envy them at all.
I thought the ducks, all Mallards, the males with their iridescent emerald heads and the females in their drab browns, would be there so I made up a packet of bread for them so they could have something to eat. They are quite tame as they are used to people and like to share their lunches with them. I soon had an enthusiastic group of them enjoying the bread. Some in the water were having trouble getting out across the little ice shelf that had appeared on the edge of the pond so I threw some in for them.
I was intrigued by the snowflakes that someone had gone to the trouble of stencilling onto the paving stones of the path.
Just before we got home I spotted Santa, a snowman and two reindeer, one was Rudolf, having a beer and a cigarette outside a house. Apparently Mrs. Santa Claus hates the smell of tobacco smoke inside her home.