The Old House

I've never been too excited or entertained by the idea of the "new year" - I feel life never changes much, you can't bargain on finishing the year with the people you started it with, and hopes and dreams only go so far. Life is luck, and determination, and effort. Not kisses at midnight or bottles of champagne.


So for the past few years we have enjoyed the tradition of hiking out on New Year's Eve to one of our favourite spots - an abandoned Victorian era house in the middle of the woods. The foundation and three of its tall stone walls remain, leaving us perfect protection from winter winds, and the ideal spot for a campfire. On a wintery evening when the snow has recently fallen, we sit amongst brambles on the frozen earth, with no lights but the fire and the stars. There is nothing more humbling than to sit in the darkness with a bottle of wine, good company, and a crackling fire, whiling away the hours until somebody realises it is 2am, and "Oh! I guess it's a new year."

My favourite thing about winter hikes to the old house is the fir tree decorated with Christmas ornaments. Who decorates it? Well, that's part of its whimsy.


Unfortunately it was so bloody cold this year that we had to go on a day hike instead. At night we played RISK and practiced our skills at world domination... humbling in a different way.