Happy New Year 2023! ❤️

Yes, wishing you all many blessings as we start a new year, 2023, and grateful for all the blessings of this past year, 2022 ~ and with lots of thanks to you if you’ve been part of that! Today is Epiphany, marking the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of the Orthodox Christmas, while this week has been the start of a new term here in the UK ~ but it’s the end of term in Taiwan! And tomorrow I fly back there, all ready to celebrate Chinese New Year in 2 weekends’ time! Lots of happy memories of this last month in the Lake District, just a few of which I’ll share with you here, including lots of wonderful Christmas festivities!

First off, though, the snow and ice which went on for several weeks in December, which all sounds lovely, but mostly Troutbeck looked like this, misty, bleak, icy and cold…

But when the sun came out, it was beautiful! On Friday December 9, I did half of the Kentmere Horseshoe, from Troutbeck Bridge up via the Garburn Pass to Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick, Thornthwaite Crag 784 m (2,572 ft) and High Street 828m (2,715ft), with the descent via Threshthwaite Mouth and Troutbeck Tongue 364 m (1,194 ft). Total: 30.6 km with 1,267 m elevation gain. Started at 6:40am, arrived on High Street at 11:15 am, finished at 4:00 pm. A long day but oh so beautiful! Temps on High Street: -3.5°C with -11°C wind chill, my hands were totally frozen! Stunning views ~ and the National Trust used this first photo below in their Instagram #NTChallenge post…

On Monday December 12, I did the Wansfell Pike circuit & Baystones via Jenkins Crag from Troutbeck Bridge. Very frosty, icy and sunny. Check out the photos below of the very boringly-named ‘cloud inversion‘ over Lake Windermere, which is just so much better described in Chinese as a ‘sea of clouds’ – am sure Wordsworth would have approved!

Then all that glorious weather got even more icy and a lot more treacherous, with a lot of freezing fog, but also with some lovely sunrises and views over and around Windermere…

And so to Christmas at Jesus Church, Troutbeck…

This was the Christmas Day service view from the balcony…

Then on Boxing Day, Monday December 26 we again had snow on the tops of the high mountains, and I got as far as the south summit cairn of Pike O’Blisco 705m (2,314ft), going up from the Wrynose Pass which was very icy, -2°C with driving winds on summit, otherwise lovely and sunny…

Plenty more happened in December with lots of happy Christmas events, many lovely family visits, especially with my mother who is now much more settled in Grange-over-Sands, my brother and his family in Kendal, and all with a lot of delicious meals! I’ll maybe save some of the yummiest food photos for my CMS link letter which is due soon. Over New Year weekend I was in Garstang, Lancs where the sun was shining…

and where I enjoyed time with Geraldine Leopard Gecko and family!

Geraldine is 4 years old, eats live crickets, and spends most of her time in the darkness of her cage, but was having a cleanout one day… so we became acquainted. She is stunning, I was transfixed!

And now I’m in Sussex, with my younger brother’s family, who are kindly ferrying me around as I return my car to London – train strikes an’ all – and wait for my return flight to Taiwan tomorrow. Thank you to all my family for their welcome and hospitality, to my friends and link churches too ~ and to you all for your Christmas greetings, cards, messages and prayers. It’s been great to see many of you over these last 6 months, but I’m well aware I’ve not had the chance to see as many of you as I would have liked. Sorry about that, and time has sadly run out. Grateful to you all for your support and to Almighty God for his protection and grace. Grace – and wisdom – are needed more than ever, for us all. Praying for those of you struggling with colds, flu, Covid, chest infections, coughs or just generally under the weather, especially those in hospital, those working in the medical profession or caring for elderly relatives, and the many facing financial problems with the cost of living crisis, transport strikes and endless uncertainty. Times are certainly not easy.

And now, Taiwan is calling ~ and I must go!

WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2023! ❤️

8 thoughts on “Happy New Year 2023! ❤️”

  1. Lovely photos as usual. I will pray for safe travel as you return to Taiwan and catch up with all your friends there. Your 6 months has gone very quickly. My sister did die at the end of October, a week after her 71st birthday. God bless, love Wendy xx

  2. A very happy New Year to you Catherine and safe travel home. It’s been wonderful to see you again and share time together. Many blessings to you,
    Bishop Lennon and all the pastors and people of the Episcopal Church of Taiwan.

  3. Hey Catherine, Thank you so much for phoning last night. A lovely surprise and great to catch up. Wonderful photos of the Lake District.  And incredible accounts of your treks across the mountains in the icy weather.  Have you ever thought of tackling Mt Everest? Love and best wishes as you resume your life in Taiwan,Sarah x

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