Reflections on New Year’s Day

It’s been a lovely Christmas holiday here in Asturias. The sun has shone and shone and we have climbed and climbed. Today is cooler and wet – a good day to catch up on a little writing and reflecting in front of the wood burner. As I type my body is aching from this unaccustomed barrage of consecutive climbing days. My head is aching a little too, but that’s a different story ;)

Villa de Sub

Our friend David in mid-flight. Villa de Sub, December 23rd.

Santa Claus visited last week and scored top marks with his gift. The instructions to him had been nice and specific and easy to follow: ‘a Fireman Sam fire engine with lots of buttons and flashing lights and a nee-naw’. The house has echoed to wailing sirens ever since.

The jolly red fellow also delivered gifts from grandparents and relatives in the UK, including Jack’s first camera. He’s already building an impressive photography portfolio. Some of the photos are at rather an artistic angle and some of the close-up portraits of his parents are less than flattering, taken as they are from his viewpoint, looking up. Great for capturing double chins and nasal hairs. Luckily Mum gets veto over any publication.


A cheeky self-portrait of the photographer

Now we just have to sit it out and wait for the Reyes Magos (the three Kings) who pay their visit on 6th January (the feast of the Epiphany.) Traditionally it is the Reyes who bring children their gifts in Spain and so it is that we find ourselves rather awkwardly caught between two Christmas cultures. I would have been tempted to traitorously ditch the Santa Claus tradition entirely in favour of the Reyes if it were not for their timing. Presents that arrive the day before the new school term starts can’t be played with in the Christmas holidays. And that would suck. For everybody. So Santa had to visit but so do the Reyes so that Jack isn’t the only child in the village to wake up to an empty stocking on the 6th. Because that would suck even more.


Jack delivers his letter to Prince Aliatar, the messenger to the Kings, at the school Christmas show. Note: I am not the only one confused by the surfeit of present-giving traditions, all the children were wearing Santa Claus hats!

Happy New Year everyone! May 2013 bring you all that you wish for (via whichever wish delivery system you choose to believe in ;) )


  1. Delighted you had a great Christmas, happy new year to you

  2. The colours of the rock in that first picture are so beautiful! I am glad you had a great Christmas, albeit with a little unseasonably warm weather! We too have 3 Kings in Bavaria, but no presents for us. They just come along and draw on our houses! :D

  3. What a lovely Christmas. So enjoyed your photos – delightful :)

    Feliz Año Nuevo!

  4. Trish @ Mum's Gone To says:

    One of the best things we bought our son when he was little was a camera. I was always pleasantly surprised at the results and as he has grown up I do think he has a good eye for a photo.
    Fascinating to hear about the different traditions. Hope 2013 is a great year for you.

  5. Happy New Year Maz. Very jealous of climbing in the sun – been grey & wet for ages back here.

    • Happy New Year to you too Dave and hope to see you in 2013. You need to get yourself out here for another trip and see a little sun. They’ve also opened up miles and miles of new running trails round here this last year or so, so you’d be in heaven. We’ve had two trail running marathons go through the village in the last few months and there’s a good program of races going throughout the area, in some really stunning places and suitably off the beaten track. You know where we are if you fancy a visit!

  6. Is it too late to say Happy New Year!? Love the pictures! Climbing looks amazing… but nothing beats that self-portrait. x

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