But before we plunge headlong into the new year, I am setting the time machine one more time for last month.
It was on Boxing Day that the sun finally made a timid appearance and as we had been cooped up inside for long enough, a bracing walk was what we needed.
Our destination was one of our favourite parks in Antwerp, Middelheim, which is a less than fifteen minute drive from our home.
It was just our luck that once we'd got out of our car, the sun had disappeared behind some nasty looking clouds, and a cold wind was blowing when we crossed the open space leading up to the main part of the park.
Things warmed up considerably once we were under the shelter of the trees, helped by the occasional appearance of the sun, who was trying her very best to keep one step ahead of the persistant clouds.
My outfit of the day was a long sleeved black, floral patterned dress, with a full skirt and a cowl neck, which of course isn't visible here. I wore it with a green cardigan, the sleeves of which are just peeping out from under my jacket's sleeves, green tights and black boots.
You can have a better look at the dress here.
My green fur-collared jacket, warm yellow chunky knit scarf and red beret were keeping me warm and toasty.
Oh, and a pair of fingerless gloves, necessary for taking photographs!
If you've been following my blog for a while, you might remember our previous visits to this open air museum with its eclectic collection of sculptures.
This really is a park for all seasons, although some of the sculptures were covered up or even removed to protect them from harsh winter conditions.
In this empty space, the artwork hasn't been removed at all. Here, the visitor is encouraged to become an artwork for the duration of one minute. Or long enough to strike some silly poses and make some photographs!
The pavilion usually hosts an exhibition of some sort and this time was no exception.
The current exhibition, called Recall Sculpture, shows a collection of sculptures on loan from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA), and as they were originally purchased at one of the biennial exhibitions organised by the Middelheim Museum from 1951 until 1989, they have, in a way, come home!
Clockwise from top right: Door (1975), by Erzebet Schaar (bronze), Rain (1957), by Mark Macken (bronze), Saturne (1962) by Julio Gero (iron) and Omaggio al Cosmonauta Nr. 2 (1962) by Arnaldo Pomodoro (bronze).
Fausto Melotti, The Dance, 1973 (gilded brass and plexi)
Apart from a few exceptions, the majority of the pieces on show were table top sculptures which were presented on raised platforms.
I grabbed a brochure, so that I could identify the pieces later, but unfortunately it only showed the placement of the sculptures with a list of numbers, making the artwork difficult to identify later and requiring a fair amount of guessing and googling for this post.
I loved the backdrop of floor length dusky pink gauzy curtains, which really offset the sculptures, bathing them in a warm glow.
Clockwise from top left: me looking at Peace (1952) by Mark Macken (bronze), detail of The Big Dancer (1951-53) by Marino Marini (bronze), Standing Girl (1949) by Charles Leplae (terracotta) and detail of top left.
The works all date from the 1950s to the 1970s, a period during which artists broke free from the oppressive straitjacket of the war years, resulting in a wide variety of materials and themes, which was in sharp contrast with the government restraints on art during wartime.
Emerging from the warmth of the pavilion, we continued our walk, crossing Ai Weiwei's Bridge Without a Name.
The museum's café inside the park's castle was beckoning with hot drinks, in my case a delicious hot chocolate topped with whipped cream!
Dusk was falling rapidly, the gloaming providing an eerie shadowplay of silhouetted artwork, bare-limbed trees and fluffy white Clematis seed heads.
Refreshed in both body and soul, we made our exit the way we started, through the Artist's Entrance (created by Dutch artist John Körmeling), proclaiming some of the resident artists' names in lights.
Linking to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style for the first time this year!