We have for the past few years set up the festivities with a bracing walk somewhere in the Peak District followed by a lunch at a pub. We always go with Malcolm (who many years ago did the Pennine way with me) and his wife Linda. This year we were joined by Luke and Shona and our Grandson Lachlan.
The small BW's have given up complaining about going. They have recognised that whilst they are middle aged teenagers they have have no choice in the matter, and of course they actually secretly enjoy it, though you would only get them to admit it if you did something really cruel to them, like banned them from watching the Simpson's for a week.
Malc and Linda live in Chelmorton, so as Chellie has one of the best pubs in the area, The Church Inn, we have for the past few years “done” a walk around there. Its not a particularly challenging walk, 4 or 5 miles at the most, with a few steep bits and a sunken lane where we stop for tea and Linda's mince pies, but when you have a “pain down all the diodes in your left side” then its enough.
Today the weather was kind. Though there was a bracing wind, especially when you got to the exposed bits on the “tops”, the rain held off and despite the greyness you could see quite a way. Half way to Taddington just after we had crossed a style we came across a small starling clearly in some distress. It could not fly and could only really flop around on the ground. The small BW's were concerned about it. I let them walk on saying that I would sort it. I had no choice but to despatch it as best I could. I could not leave it to starve. When I caught up with the rest of them there were a few anxious glances. The Munch would not talk to me for a while unable to believe that I had killed it. It took him a while to forgive me, which he eventually did in true Munch fashion by coming up to me and head butting my chest.
By the time we got back to Chellie and the Church Inn we were ready for a beer and our lunch, and it was worth the walk as always. So there we are then, another Christmas is upon us.