Monday, 22 January 2018

Wintering


Just as Mother Nature is beginning to hint at all things 'Spring', Winter is reminding us we are still firmly within its grasp. During this last week we've had wind, rain, hail, snow, ice and sunshine. The one constant is that is has been bitterly cold. We are now  approaching the end of the first month of the year and so far it's been all good. Quiet and uneventful, but I like that. No plans or commitments, it's quite liberating. We've settled back into the Monday-Friday routine again and at the weekend, when Lily isn't attending yet another birthday party (seriously, how many invitations!?) we've been out walking. It has been really quite lovely, a little bit like an extended New Year break.
You see, this whole weekend business is quite new to us. Previous employment in retail and healthcare have meant weekends weren't really a thing, just the same with Bank Holidays. But since the end of last year it has all changed and we're making the most of it. Initially, strange as it may seem, it actually took a bit of getting used to but I think we've found our feet and settled into this new work/life balance pretty well.


Usually in January I have found myself wishing my time away, longing for Spring and some warmer weather. The lull after Christmas and the often dark, dreary days can lend themselves to me feeling low and inactive. More recently, however, I'm trying much harder to enjoy these chilly days and making a positive effort to look after my wellbeing. Thankfully, it seems to be working, although unfortunately, due to the weather conditions the running group hasn't been on for the last two weeks, but I've managed to get out on my own when it has been safe to do so. I've been for a gentle run along the lanes this morning which felt good.  It is my mission to finally get fit this year and some health problems within my family have reinforced my need to be more proactive about this.


Last weekend we went to Keswick. The snowy landscape was beautiful and the still air meant that we didn't feel too cold. We walked up Walla Crag on the eastern shores of Derwent Water and following a gentle climb to the top, the sun came out and we were met with some gorgeous views. After a picnic lunch at the summit (along with a hopeful crow), we carefully made our descent down at the steep  southern end of the Crag and meandered our way along the lake shore back towards the town, stopping briefly to take in the views and throw a few stones into the lake (as you do).


I'm finding that as long as I am wrapped up nice and warm, there is so much joy to be had in these cold Winter days. A joy, which previously in my yearning for some warm Spring air, I have been too stubborn to appreciate until now.
J. X

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Easing into January

All of a sudden the celebrations have become a distant memory, the decorations are packed away once again, the house has had a thorough clean and we find ourselves looking towards a brand spanking New Year ahead. I really hope it holds good things for us all.
We slipped quietly into the New Year watching some TV and enjoying  a drink (or two) on the sofa. In fact, I only realised it had arrived once I heard the fireworks outside. The following day was a very relaxed affair. We went for  a morning walk with my sister, her husband and their dog, then spent the rest of the day at home. 
I took down our decorations a couple of days later, and although it was so good to see the house clean and in (some sort of) order once more, it did look decidedly bare and I still miss them.  Fortunately they all survived intact - child and cat behaved themselves! - and are packed safely away ready for next time.  I have since consoled myself with some fresh flowers for the mantel. An impulse purchase while in was in town during the week. I'm so pleased I did, they really brighten it up and I've decided I should treat myself more often.
The following day Lily started back at school for the Spring term and everything was back to normal. It feels good to be back in routine again, but those wonderfully lazy mornings and much loved family time are sorely missed.
Since the recent days have been sunny and bright, it has become noticeable that they are ever so slowly increasing in length, which is always so pleasing to see during what can be a long drawn out month. The  cold and frosty weather has been a beautiful backdrop to some gentle walks. This is definitely a good thing as I really need to start increasing my activity levels. The horrible cold which put me out of action for weeks at the end of last year has left me feeling lethargic and sluggish. Not good!
With this in mind I have signed myself up for a running group which meets once a week for a social run and chat in the hope it will give me that nudge in the right direction. My first run was last Thursday and I really enjoyed it. The ladies are all supportive and seem good fun.
So what lies ahead for me in 2018? I really have no idea. So far I haven't made any plans. I haven't even booked any holidays or trips away. Being healthy and happy with my lot will do for now. And I suspect there will be a lot more walking.
J. X

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Year's End

Another year comes to a close and it is a time of reflection for many, myself included. 2017 didn't get off to a great start for me, but looking back now I know I have so much to be thankful for and, for what it's worth,  it's been a pretty good year.
Our Christmas was lovely. Fairly quiet compared to some, but spent in good company and with good food. On Christmas Eve we went for a rather soggy walk through the woods. A little bit of calm, it was so quiet with no one else around (unsurprising given the weather), but good to get out knowing there wouldn't be an opportunity to do so the following day. Cookies were made, stockings hung and a very excited little girl eventually fell asleep.
Christmas day itself was spent at home with the whole family here, and as often happens it went by in a flurry of present unwrapping, playing with toys, cooking and eating. The subsequent days were a mix of walking, relaxing and enjoying being at home. That wonderful period of time between Christmas day and New Year when days merge into one and there is no real sense of purpose. The weather has been cold but beautiful, and ideal for some gentle rambles, the low light being typical of the time of year. It was the perfect opportunity to put my new Christmas presents of a  bobble hat and woolly socks to some good use, and very cosy they are too.
Today we enjoyed a lovely lunch out at a nearby country pub and tonight we will raise a glass and see in the New Year quietly at home.
Thank you to everyone who has stopped by to read my blog this year. I really appreciate it and have loved reading your comments. 
However you are spending it, I wish everyone a very Happy New Year.
J. X