No matter what life has thrown at you in the past year, a brand new year can feel so full of promise - full of potential, new challenges, new adventures, new experiences.
I know 2010 will have some very difficult times. With several family members battling serious illness, we all have some tough times ahead but since losing my Mum nearly three years ago I have taught myself to take each day at a time.
It's the little things that help us get through the big things. I haven't made resolutions. I have lists of things I'd like to do - the majority of which involve knitting, sewing or crochet....and possibly a new kitchen extension (don't hold your breath on that one but suffice it to say that I think I've convinced Moogsdad to turn our tiny old kitchen into a craft room!).
To kick off our New Year, we saw out the old one with a lovely day out at Fort Nelson, sitting high on Portsdown Hill above Portsmouth. This amazing fort, built in the late 1800s, to defend against potential land attack, is now home to a Royal Armouries Museum.
There's a whole string of similar forts throughout Portsmouth and Gosport - with their lovely grassy roofs and forboding red brick faces.
Incredibly, the museum is completely free to visit - apart from a small discretionary donation....
.....and the odd £1 to try out the Bren gun. Very heavy according to my little soldier.
If cannons and heavy artillery (and huge sections of Saddam's supergun - made in the UK!!) are your thing you won't be disappointed.
Especially if you have a liking for pretty Turkish and Chinese cannons.
They even do mass destruction decoratively.
Minx and Monster took part in a great little re-enactment of Henry VIIIs life and loves, with two brilliant actors - the woman actor had made all of the fabulous costumes herself.
Here they are hamming it up as Henery and Catherine of Aragon.
Every day at 1pm, the Howitzer in the parade ground is fired - twice. Unfortunately, it was so VERY loud I jumped out of my skin and my shutter finger jumped too - hence the blur!
We rounded off our visit with a walk through the tunnels that run beneath the entire fort - and scared ourselves witless. They have Hallowe'en evenings down there but there's no bl**dy way I will ever go down there again. Walking up a spiral staircase behind Moogsdad, Monster and Minx, I am sure I heard the crunch of footsteps behind me!!
We talked to one of the staff who told us he didn't believe in ghosts but after a particularly terrifying experience in the tunnels - that he didn't give us the details of - was now less sceptical.
Onto slightly less scary things - here's a hat I knitted very quickly today and for which Anna is entirely to blame. She's also to blame for the fact that, as of about 20 minutes ago, I've also knitted a second one!
These were though.
Bonkers mismatchy stripey socks for the very naughty Minx.
It's shaping up to be a very knitterly 2010.
Wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year.