Looking forward to 2023

Now that one year has turned to another, it’s time to start looking forward to what the next 12 months may bring. Last year was so great for us (see previous post) that 2023 could easily look like it’s going to be a bit of an anticlimax of a year. However, I’m trying hard not to look at it like that.

We’ve started the year down in Devon staying with a group of friends in a holiday home nestled in the folds of land above Slapton. We then seem to have a long gap waiting for the spring to arrive and the light to return to the evenings. First, however, we’re planning a long weekend away at the end of January, possibly to Norfolk, to make the most of the winter wildlife. We’ll also try to have more winter walks around our Northamptonshire home and to nearby nature reserves.

Our first bigger trip of the year will be back down to the South West and a week in the far west of Cornwall. After that, the only certainty is another August Bank Holiday week back on RSPB Ramsey Island, for what might become my ‘usual week’, making the most of the extra day off and the two volunteering days my company gives me to stretch my annual leave as much as I can.

Unusually, our plans for the rest of the year are a little vague. We were planning a fortnight in the far west of Ireland on the Wild Atlantic Way but we might leave that for another year. We might instead head up to Norway for the midnight sun in June, followed by a return to rural Sweden for a week of so. I normally have my holidays all planned for a whole year, well in advance, but, actually, it’s quite nice to have a bit of uncertainty and to take a little more time to find what we want to do.

I’ve still yet to find any suitable local volunteering opportunities to replace those I used to do when I lived in Cheshire but there are one or two things that I might have to give a try. However, I will be looking forward to doing my second year of Breeding Bird Surveys on my new site in the countryside just a little north of where we live.

Finally, I really do need to build my fitness back up after rather a big slump in my activity levels over the past couple of months and a very indulgent Christmas. I need to get back into the routine of running, cycling and walking more regularly and taking lunchtime walks when I’m working at home. In some ways, I still feel I need to break out of some of the pandemic-related behaviours and a new year gives me a chance for a fresh start on the activity front.

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