The last few weeks have been a bit of an uphill struggle. Inconsistent working hours, dark damp weather, together with the general fatigue I often feel at this time of year, have all taken their toll and left me just a bit wrung out and drained. Most evenings I've been completely exhausted, barely moving from the sofa once I've eaten my dinner. Fortunately, after today, my hours are returning to a regular pattern once more and I fully intend to ensure they stay that way as we get closer and closer to Christmas.
I keep meaning to write some lists, aside from the ones in my head. It seems no matter how much I try and pare back our celebrations there is still quite a lot to organise. And even though I keep threatening this will consist of simply a long walk followed by a vegetable lasagne and glass of red wine on Christmas day, I'm not sure I could deal with the complaints from family members. I wouldn't want to disappoint them, so a proper Christmas dinner it will be. Although they are still unsure as to whether or not I am teasing, as only yesterday I had to offer reassurance that the apple sauce was already prepared and in the freezer :)
Anyway, I will definitely be making a start this weekend. I've already bought a few gifts and the rest shouldn't take very long to sort, once I put my mind to it.
Even though it has been a difficult few weeks, I have been out for some lovely walks. I am so grateful I can do this, as it's a huge benefit to my wellbeing. Online, I saw someone referred to it as the Natural Health Service - this is so very true.
The landscape is beginning to fade, losing much of it's autumn colour and now that we are edging towards winter many of the trees are almost completely bare.
Last weekend, with the weather finally on our side, we climbed Place Fell, overlooking Ullswater. A beautiful morning, we set off from Patterdale walking in shade on the flanks of the fell. Looking up to the ridge line I saw the silhouettes of what I initially thought were sheep but, in fact, turned out to be a large herd of red deer. It was wonderful to see them against the bright blue of the sky, so much that I didn't take a photograph, choosing instead to enjoy the moment.
Following the initial gentle climb, our route took a sharp left turn to continue along the steep but clear pathway to the summit.
On our way up Lily was very happy to discover this heart shaped stone.
Looking into the morning sunshine towards Brothers Water.
It was a beautiful morning but the clouds brought with them some occasional light showers which, fortunately, we had prepared for.