So, we are into 2023 and armed with our New Year resolutions, good intentions and hope that we can look forward to a good year for experiences and memories.
So far, the remnants of a chesty cough picked up in mid-December and then a back problem triggered by coughing while in an awkward position have dampened my spirits a little. But all ailments are easing and, anyway, I have positivity in reserve following a momentous 2022 during which all our sons bought flats or houses, and then a great Christmas period with all of those sons, their partners and, of course, First Grandchild. We had a great time.
Going into 2023, I have renewed my vows meet my monthly and annual targets for my weight, my alcohol intake and continuing exercise through walking. Last year was a big ‘tick’ on those and I hope I can sustain that discipline in 2023.
An additional resolution is that my wife* and I intend to be more spontaneous about travel around the United Kingdom. This is a resolution that we made together a few years ago but failed to follow through for long, mainly due to the COVID lockdowns. Now, we plan to use our bigger car battery and judicious use of weather forecasts to slip off to places for day trips or overnight stays in sunny places we know and don’t know.
Already, we have visited Clevedon. This is a seaside town in North Somerset – no more than 40 miles from where we live but never visited by us before. It was an eye-opening day.
The first thing that struck me was the number and large size of so many of the Victorian houses. The town had clearly prospered during Victorian times as a seaside resort and presumably had benefited from money flowing from Bristol in the aftermath of the slavery trade. Clevedon is now a dormitory town for Bristol and most of the huge houses are converted into flats. However, the sheer number of well proportioned, well built and well maintained Victorian residences was a surprise.
We walked down to the sea front where the wind was blasting spray up over the sea wall. We moved quickly past the pier – one of the earliest surviving Victorian piers in the country – up onto the adjoining cliff path and its views of the town and its rocky and pebbly beach. We walked along the coastal path – slightly gingerly in my case due to the unsteadiness of my back – and loved the unexpectedly clear views up and down the coast and across to Wales.
Below us on the way was a brown churning sea; the drama and noise of the waves crashing onto Clevedon’s low cliffs was reminiscent of coastal walks in Devon or Cornwall and got us thinking that trips out in the future might see us venturing a little further west along the coast to even more dramatic coastlines.
We turned inland across fields and through the nicely named, and occasionally pretty, village of Walton in Gordano and then back to Clevedon’s Victorian streets. There we tucked into a pleasant pizza lunch at Scoozi Ristorante and then headed back home while it was still light, having had a very worthwhile day out. More to come!