Out there beyond the horizon where the sun sets and the sun rises – there lies ahead of us a lot of unknowns. But forward we go – with hope.
As we do almost every year, it’s our tradition to be in an open space where we can look towards the horizon on the first day of the year. This year, it will also be the first day of a new decade.
Mum finds the walk on the beach symbolic – the water signifies cleansing, leaving behind the past and looking out to new horizons at the start for each new year.
On my very first New Year, Mum took me to Scotland. I was not yet one but I was house trained and she felt comfortable taking me on the overnight sleeper train all the way to St. Andrews. It was also my first beach experience.
At the end of our beach walk, we came across bus loads of Chinese tourists who seem thrilled to meet me on the beach.
The next year, in seeking for another beach, Mum was told to try Aldeburgh. You see, Mum wasn’t very aware of beaches in the UK. Till then she had only associated beaches with holidays in the tropics, south of France or other islands. She hadn’t realised that we do live on a very big island. LOL! So surely there must be a lot of coastline – and there must be beaches to be found.
Anyway when we went for our beach walk in Aldeburgh only to realise this was a pebble beach. Regardless, I ran happily!
Towards the end of the year, Little Tyke and Mini Tyke spent a few months in London and together we went to Narbeth, Wales for New Year’s.
That was the one and only time I’ve been on a beach with Little Tyke.
We skipped a year at the end of 2014/15 – because George had just arrived in September. Instead we had a Doodle Meet in Hyde Park.
But the following year we were back on track and found Burton Bradstock in Dorset … this time we travelled as a trio.
And we soon learnt then that George didn’t like water.
Can’t really blame him as the waters were very rough where we were.
The following year, we made our way to The Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall – and the beach was just down the side of the cliff – and we took in the last sunset of 2016
and saw the first sunrise of 2017.
Yup, it was a reflective moment. Mum loved this photo.
In 2017, Mum found a way to pursue a bucket list dream. We went on the Hurtigruten ferry cruise along the Norwegian coast and she did see the Northern Lights on Christmas Eve. After we got off the ferry on the 31st December, we took the train back to Oslo in time to spend New Year’s Eve there. The next morning, we walked over to the harbour and looked out at the horizon – and it was a different kind of water.
We couldn’t dip our paws in it though definitely calmer than all the others.
We went to Loose Reins for our Christmas in 2018 and then went to join the Auers for New Year’s – we had lots of country walks but on New Year’s Day, we specially went to Sandbanks for our walk on the beach.
And this year we found our beach on Sylt – an island in the very north of Germany on the Danish border. This is really our first beach abroad on a New Year’s day.
I am sure there will be enough beaches for us to continue our tradition for the next decade – but maybe a new decade could also mean new traditions. We’ll have to see. Or we might have found a place that we want to keep coming back to – except for that eight hour train journey.
May’s comment: As we stopped to welcome in a new year and a new decade, we look back not just at the past twelve months but the past ten years. I reflect on how my life had changed in this past decade. I don’t know what it might have been like if I didn’t have to take my dogs into consideration every time I planned something. Probably easier to have stayed footloose and fancy free, but I would not have had the experience of taking walks, meeting so many people, doing things I wouldn’t have done.
But there is a fine line about living life with them and being obsessed about them. I started off looking for ways to live my life with my dogs. And then somehow I found myself living my life through my dogs in the past two years. That was not my intention. So with the dawn of a new year, it seems the right time to recalibrate and remember to be true oneself again.
We are grateful to have each other. And thank you for being in our lives, for being on our journey with us and we hope you will continue to travel with us in the next ten years.
Happy 2020! And to an amazing decade of goodness.
We can leave all the rubbish behind. LOL!