Monday 22 January 2018


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. New Year's day itself was a very relaxed affair. We went for  a gentle morning walk, 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