Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Best Foot Forward for 2014...

Gateway to the past - or door to the future? This ruined arch
is thought to be part of the old Friary that once stood in Lichfield.
‘Tis the First of January, the month named after the Roman God Janus, who had two heads (back to back) and was therefore able to look backwards and forwards at the same time, to the past and the future. He was the Guardian of Gates and Doors, Custodian of the Universe, and the God of Beginnings. Presumably that’s why our New Year has become a time for reflecting on the year that’s gone, and considering what lies ahead over the next 12 months – and it offers the chance for us to make amends for past mistakes, and create ourselves anew as better, happier people.
It doesn't take long to walk down to Tamworth Castle,
but it always looks glorious.
And that, of course, is what all those New Year’s Resolutions are about, as I noted at the start of January last year (actually, I've lifted the opening paragraph here from that piece, but never mind - inspiration is a little lacking this morning). At that stage my aim was to try and get fitter by eating more sensibly, with no snacking between meals, and no junk food, and to walk for at least 20 minutes every day. I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams, slimmed down from size 16 to 10, and felt much better.
These boots are made for walking!

Having bought proper walking boots (with pink laces!!!) I explored the local area on foot, noted the passing of the seasons, researched some local history, and learned a lot about plants and wildlife, as well as clambering up hills and cliffs on holidays - which was a real achievement. And I halved the time it takes me to walk from my house to the local railway station, which I thought was real achievement (walking into town still takes me ages, because I go through the Castle Grounds, and keep stopping to look at the river, the ducks, swans and geese, the flowers, the trees, the Castle...).
I was thrilled to spot this heron on an
early morning walk.

I started recording the things I saw on my walks with a little 'point and shoot' camera, and enjoyed it so much I've progressed to a bigger, better, more complicated one (I'm still learning how to use it). I've had tremendous fun with this, and in 2014 I'm hoping to be a bit more organised - I'd like to take some pictures of my favourite places to show how they change during the year.
I saw a group of burnet moths on knapweed flowers
at a local nature reserve, and sat in the sunshine
watching them - my photo brings back memories
of a lovely walk.

But I haven't been very good over the last couple of months, and I've been very slothful and very greedy over Christmas so, once again, here I am on the First of January resolving to eat sensibly and take more exercise. Hopefully, it won't take me that long to get back into shape, and in a few weeks I'll be feeling happier and more energetic!
Birthday boots... I wore my
walking boots with a favourite dress
on a Birthday Treat to Oxford,
but it's not a  look I'd recommend,
even though they're so comfy!

First though, I need to clean my boots, and spray them with some more waterproof stuff. I must admit, they a lot scruffier now than they do in this photo, which is the one I took when I first had them, and I loved them so much I nearly didn't wear them, for fear of spoiling of them!!! I'm aware that pink laces may be regarded as frivolous for a woman who wants to be taken seriously, but they make me smile every time I look down at my feet. And the boots are so comfortable I love them just as much now as I did a year ago, and I've worn them everywhere - even when wearing posh frocks! I tell you people, until you have worn footwear designed to for walking, you have no idea how uncomfortable fashion flatties and spindly heels actually are.
Bust of the Roman God Janus, from the Vatican
Museum. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

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