Someone warned me that when I no longer worked, Christmas would no longer be a holiday. Well that may be true in one sense. In reality it has felt more like a holiday than ever with the foreboding shadow of the office no longer looming over me as the New Year passes and we head towards the first full working week of 2015.
I recall that when I took the whole of the period between Christmas and New Year away from work, I would inevitably return in January somewhat vacuous. I'm not sure, and it could be simply that I am now empty-headed all the time, but, as on returning from Cuba, it feels like I have had a complete interlude of relaxation that I shall wind down from gradually rather than have abruptly severed.
It has of course been a busy couple of weeks since I last made a blog entry and with the eldest and youngest back at home as well as all our visitors, the joys are multiplied along with the washing-up. Further, and although they are of course both now over the age of 18, they together with our guest provided the perfect excuse for a day out on Friday to blow away the last of the festive cobwebs.
We headed for Durham City under a blue sky but a chilling wind and enjoyed not only a bracing stroll but also a visit to the cinema to see that latest whole-family, feel-good film: Paddington. We all laughed out loud but best of all it was calypso music that dominated the sound track to the film. It was like being in Cuba all over again when we moved our hips and made salsa steps down the aisle to the exit door as the final credits rolled.
We took our guest to see the iconic views of the castle and cathedral from Framwellgate Bridge and then into the cathedral itself. Every time I visit, I am always amazed by its sheer size. Whilst the under-25's climbed the spiral steps to the top of the tower, I found myself taking a seat in a pew and enjoying a time of quiet contemplation.
My goodness good food and company, a Latin American band and time for thought; work or no work, it has definitely been a holiday.