So, after days on end of being cooped up inside, engulfed in warm, humid, spicy air, red and shiny faced and hunched over simmering saucepans and steaming stoves, I couldn't wait last week to blow away those Christmas cobwebs with a nice invigorating, restorative winter walk.
Thermals on and armed with a flask of hot soup (whizzed up from some leftover potatoes, sprouts and some chicken stock), I dragged my reluctant children away from their new gadgets and we set off.
Overcoming the post-Christmas blues
What a relief! Great lungfuls of fresh, crisp, winter air blasting off an icy lake was just what we all needed - what better way to blow away those post-Christmas blues?
With every step, the overload of mince pies, cheese and crackers, pâté, olives, crisps and Quality Street seemed more and more like a distant memory; the over indulgences of the past week put to rights with each revitalising intake of breath.
Making the most of a quieter time
The kids loved the fact that there were hardly any other people at the park so they had free run of the playground and we all enjoyed sitting on a solitary bench by the lake, sipping our hot soup and watching the weak winter sun make its early descent behind the trees. The light was magical and although it was very cold as we sat there, watching the pink, red and orange streaks of the sun glinting off the water more than made up for it.
There was no doubt that we felt enlivened and refreshed as we got back into the car. The kids had stopped moaning and groaning and their little faces were all pink from the cold, rather than red and blotchy from too many hours spent frazzling in centrally heated recycled air. They hadn't mentioned their new toys once, preferring to talk about how lovely the lake was and 'could we bring soup again'.
A few Christmas leftovers still to eat
I almost didn't want to go back indoors until I remembered that Stilton that needed to be eaten, oh, and the red wine that would go very nicely with it.
Can't wait for my annual January detox now!
Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor