What did you do New year's day? Did you stay in the warm nursing a hangover or just chilling watching TV? Did you brave the elements & go for a walk even???
The weather in North Birmingham was quite dull & wet early morning but my husband had planned a day out for us so it was to be. Our son & his lovely girlfriend were joining us too which is always great company.
We headed over to one of our favourite "go to" places, Bridgnorth. It is a lovely drive through countryside once we leave the motorway and pass through Baggerige and the sunshine burst out bringing the blue sky with it. Upon arrival we made our way to the River as always and our first port of call are the geese, ducks & other birds usually sat on the river bank sand where the water sits low. The water levels were very high after all the Snow & rain so the birds were all frantically paddling against the strong river current to stay in front of us awaiting food! After a few minutes I heard someone at the top of the steps leading upwards to the bridge over the river... "Here's Santa!" ???? I turned around & there was a gentleman ascending the steps towards us with his lovely white long haired labrador. Of course, we immediately gushed at the dog & the lovely man quickly told us she was very friendly and by all means to say hello to her. He quickly started a quiz....yes...a quiz.....how old do you think Maisy is? he asked each one of us in turn and accepted our answers. I was the closest as she was just 3 years old and very bouncy at that! (YES! winner winner, chicken dinner!) Anyways...for the next half an hour we listened to him unravel his "Santa" story which was surreal to say the least and then told us how New year is a very difficult time for him & his family as it was the anniversary of his son's passing at the very young age of 41...the details I will keep private as they are not mine to share but to stand there and share a moment in our lives with this stranger...to step into his world for a brief moment on the first day of 2018 was just crazy. I should be used to it by now but sometimes, the universe does catch me off guard when I am supposed to be "off the clock" so to speak. It was only later that evening when I started to absorb the day that I felt the impact of that meeting. I would like to thank the universe and the lovely Ray Hulse, who is the countries longest serving Santa Claus !!!!