Ah yes, the White Cliffs of Dover, that was it. Symbols of these sceptred isles even since before Dame Vera Lynn, who immortalised them in the WWII song, was born some 1000 years ago, give or take, they will make a perfect backdrop - or underdrop, more pertinently, for we shall be walking along on top of them - for our traditional first-of-year seaside cobweb-blowing-away walk.
It will span approximately 8 miles (13 km). Just so no one can blame me for not telling them, the first mile or so is not pretty; it's Dover. Things have changed a little around here since Victorian poet and scholar Matthew Arnold wrote in "Dover Beach"
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
These days the eternal note of sadness is less tremulous, and given by juggernauts roaring into the Port of Dover, still the world's busiest passenger ferry port.
But the aural accompaniment soon changes as we climb up onto the cliffs, looking back on mighty Dover Castle: it is all wind in grass, possibly the pitter-patter of rain, that sort of thing. And on a fine day (not included in the price), the views across the Channel are magnificent.
There shall be, of course, the traditional stop for lunch, in the closest pub to France, no less. And of course the congratulatory end of walk pub stop, at a safer distance from alien invaders.
Marvellous - see you there.
Ah yes, and nb - we shall be going High Speed to Dover, so the train fare will be a little more than we are used to. I am estimating £22 all in, but it may be more if we are an inconvenient number for group tickets. As ever, I shall worry about this when we are all assembled on the day!
nb2 Merry Christmas!