On New Year’s day many families traditionally go for a walk together. Unfortunately, this year will be different, with limited numbers being allowed to meet in the open.

In my family, before I was married, we would either go to visit relations who lived a distance from us, or they would come to us, and we would have a buffet.

After I married, my husband’s parent’s treated it as another party day. He had a big family, and when I joined, we took the nearest Saturday to Christmas where we did food and they all came to us. It also meant games, and they didn’t do board games either, besides, there was too many of them.

In the late seventies, there was about twenty four of us, mainly elderly which, sadly decreased during the years. The games were quizes written by the host, including pictures ones, which were fun as elderly minds would go blank, and I sometimes won!

Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day were all rotated around so everyone had a turn. The quizes became more competitive and fun.

We had the odd general knowledge but others were things like identifing car badges,  or naming all the States in America.

One year I did the streets of Manchester where we lived. They had to guess where exactly the ones I’d named were. The more obscure I went, as Manchesgter had many back streets, the more fun it was, and groans!

The winner, hands down, was my Dad, who was an ex-policeman and patrolled those very streets on his beat. He had many stories to tell along the way for each one that was named.

Another fun game was the alphabet one, where we went around the room and everyone had to name a famous person whose initials began double letters of the alphabet. Arthur Askey was popular as was Billy Bunter and Lady Colin Campbell.

As we moved alphabetically to the next person, you were frantically trying to think of one when it came to you turn, then either someone  came up the name before you, or they couldn’t think of one and dropped out. Therefore the LL you had decided on KK!!

It never ceased to amaze me that we could go twice round with everyone coming up with different names. There was always the uncle who tried to cheat swearing blind that Zena Zoran played in a film he watched as a child!! As long as one other person could corroborate it, it got through.

As we had our old children, and the elder family member passed on, we would go for afternoon walks. One of the walks was a place called Holcombe Hill in Bury, Lancashire. Right at the top is monument dedicated Robert Peel the founder of the police force. You can read more about Holcome here.

The first to celebrate new year is the small Pacific island nations of Tongs, Samoa, and Kiribati. After that it is New Zealand and Australia.

Once you have had your walk, or returned from your family party and just want a time for yourself and chill on your own. How about one of these ‘Read in One Sitting’ books, all just 99p/99c.

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