HAPPY NEW YEAR :: NEW YEAR IN WALES

Happy New Year! 

It seems that time is passing by at a pace far too quickly for my liking. Despite all my best intentions (read resolutions), New Year’s Day passed in a blur of driving and finishing off Christmas Cake with a side of Harry Potter. (Coincidentally, thus adding to my list of resolutions: read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, rather than using it to prop up the rest of the series.) However, I had a lovely New Year’s Eve and I hope you did too! So, forgive me for posting a day later than anticipated.

 
Now, I’m not one for celebrating New Year’s Eve. Last year, I was in bed by 11pm, but this year my parents wanted us all to be together. Very kindly, they offered to pay for us to visit a spa hotel in Llandrindod Wells, Powys. I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to have parents who are so thoughtful. So, on Tuesday morning, we packed our things and hit the highway. (Okay, okay, the M56, who am I kidding? No one.) It wasn’t long before we’d crossed the Welsh border, with only one toilet stop to hold us back, we were nearly there! Or so we thought! Turns out Wales is a large place, deceivingly large, and it took us almost four hours to arrive at our hotel, Hotel Metropole.
Weary, but not defeated, my folks had organised afternoon tea for our arrival. An afternoon feast of sandwiches, cakes and more mince pies than you can shake a stick at. Suitably stuffed and not at all bathing suit ready, we decided to make the most of the spa facilities. Waddling my mince pie belly to the pool, we enjoyed a quiet hour relaxing in the Jacuzzi and steam room. Maybe people had places to go, but there was no one about as we lazed. 

Sufficiently pruned, we decided to get ready for our evening meal. A veritable five course feast! John had brought a bottle of Mumm champagne, which we decided to drink whilst getting ready. It seemed like such a good idea. Hiccup! Suited and heeled, we giddily made our way to meet my parents, brother and his wife in the hotel restaurant. We certainly weren’t disappointed! The food was absolutely delicious, so delicious we stayed for over two hours devouring each course and enjoying each other’s company.

With the undeniable sound of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’ echoing from next door’s disco, it was time to join the preparations for the big countdown. Despite being the youngest there, we pulled out our Status Quo moves and even dabbled with a bit of Neil Diamond. Until the countdown started. Up out of our seats, we raced onto the dance floor just before the cries of HAPPY NEW YEAR and the familiar sound of Auld Lang Syne. Crossing our arms, we danced in a circle, giddy with a year’s worth of unknown prospects, until we were the last ones standing!
 
After many glasses of fizz the excitement of midnight, John and I decided to call it a night. The anxiety of a year of an unknown fate had began to set in and I knew I’d be cheerier in the morning. Rising early, we decided that we would battle the howling wind and pouring rain to investigate the spa town of Llandrindod Wells. 
Despite a soaking (turns out Welsh weather is just as dire as Scottish weather), I’m so glad we took a stroll around the town because it was just so, so pretty. As it was New Year’s Day, everywhere was closed and there were very few people. That didn’t deter us! The town has retained so much of its Victorian charm and every corner we turned seemed to hold a surprise for our cameras.
 
Even though we stayed for less than twenty four hours, travelling for almost eight hours by car, I really enjoyed myself. This school break, I’ve travelled to two new countries and met many new people. I’m not yet ready to accept that it’s almost back to school time, but my, it’s been grand. It really has!
 
How did you spend New Year’s Eve?