Christmas time is my cue to escape the festive norm get as much fresh air as possible! Christmas Day was spent mountain biking with Chris and Jill around the moors near Darwen in Lancashire. We got all sorts of weather in one day so I was grateful to finish up at their house with mulled wine and a fish supper.
Photo: Chris Bolton
The next day I left sanity behind when I attended the Manchester Canoe Club annual Boxing Day paddle dressed as a Christmas fairy complete with too-too and wand. I'm still trying to work out how I'll ever live that one down!
The embarrassment being to much to bear in my home town, I headed off to Anglesey... right into the teeth of a howling gale! Strong winds and heavy rain pounded the Anglesey Outdoors Centre to the extent that I couldn't sleep for the noise and movement in the building.
Between storms I managed to get out to do some paddling. I joined Liverpool Canoe Club for a pleasant trip along the coast near to Moelfe and Dulas. This was a bright and breezy trip which took in a visit to Ynys Dulas.
A couple of days later I joined John, Aled and Steve on one of their lung busting race training sessions on the Menai Strait. Circuits, sprints and recovery... all rather similar to track sessions with the local running club, only this was in strong tidal flow, and at night!
Finally, I dashed through a whistle stop tour of Llanberis, Brynrefail and Porthmadog before seeing in the New Year with a sizeable dram next to a bonfire on Criccieth beach. Happy New Year!