Jan 1st (Iain) – What Is A Tradition?

I have a New Years day tradition which I started last year. Does that count as tradition? How many years do I have to do it before it becomes traditional?

I climb a hill on New Year’s Day. It doesn’t matter which one. I’m not picky.

I decided to climb the hill nearest my house. Before I left I double checked the route on the map. It seemed simple. Walk to the top via one route and follow a different path down.

I decided to go Alpine style which is a another way of saying I couldn’t be bothered carrying a bag or a map. I’d regret that later…

How hard could it be to walk to the top of a hill and then find a path back down? Surprisingly difficult. There was no path back down. Whoever drew the map must have failed map school.

I could have walked back the way we came but instead I decided to make my own path. I went to the hill edge and headed down the steep slope. I could see the town so I aimed for that. There must be a path eventually…

40 minutes and no path later I was standing in the middle of a very muddy field. My shoes were muddy, my jeans were muddy and my nose was muddy. I’m not sure how that happened!

The field was the only thing keeping me from reaching the town. I could see the houses. All I had to do was walk across this field. The choice was simple. Retreat and spend time looking for a better way that might not exist or commit to the mud.

I choose mud.

I squelched my way across the field. The closer I got to the houses the more I realised I faced a non mud related issue. Their was no gaps between the houses. The only way to get to town was to jump into someone’s garden.

I hoped whoever’s house I invaded would be too hungover from the night before to notice their first footer is a 6ft tall stranger covered in mud.

I choose a delightful 3 bed bungalow to invade. They didn’t have a dog (I hoped) and their garden wall looked sturdy enough to clamber over.

I couldn’t see anyone in their windows so I jumped over. I landed in the garden next to their trampoline. At that exact moment a women appeared at the window.

She looked at me

I looked at her

I waved hello

And legged it!

I stopped running when I got to the house.

My new New Year’s Day tradition is to not scare the neighbors!