A Winter Walk

Monday 5 December 2011

I've had a few days holiday left to use up, and so I ended up with a long weekend (even though the time has flashed by!).

It's not great timing, as work is so manic, but I have to use it and I'm not allowed to carry it into next year. I actually planned to do some work from home, but somehow I've managed to be too busy even to think about work.

On Friday, Darling Husband was off with me. It was one of those edible winter days- really quite cold now, but with that gorgeous, late-in-the-year red gold sunlight that makes everything look like a present. We headed out early to Colston Bassett for a wintry walk. It's something we always fantasise about on nice days when we have to go to work, so it seemed only right.

Strolling across the beautiful Vale countryside, I knew more than ever that I'd love to live in a big country pile with a range, making homemade bread and cakes, keeping chickens and labradors, doting on my apple-cheeked children. All very Boden catalogue, I know!

Another example of how much my aspirations have changed from the glossy, cocktail in hand urbanite existence I previously coveted.

But seriously, houses there must be so rare to come up- there aren't many of them, and people tend to hang onto them. Where we live now, we are lucky to be in a very nice, affluent suburb, but there is a fair amount of churn. Less so in some of the country villages.I have a feeling it might take quite some time to fulfill that wish!

We circled the fields, the ruined church looming over us. When we first got engaged, that was where we dreamed of being married. It's so peaceful, poised on a hill, away from everything.

Of course, logistically, it would have been an absolute nightmare. There's not even a roof, so it would have been ruined if it rained- and we all know what the English weather is liable to do! I had some half-baked romantic notion about lighting up the ruin with candles and fairy lights- I think the episode of Friends where Ross and Emily get married may well have influenced me here!

It would have been a hell of a feat to pull off, but amazing. Sadly though (or perhaps luckily depending on how you look at it), even though it's still consecrated ground, the parish priest said no.

However, it's still a special place for us both. The ashes of Mr's grandfather, who was a special person to us both, are scattered there, and it's so personal and peaceful. There is also the big manor house. Mr's grandfather was once offered the chance buy it for a song and declined. Which is a shame as we could have been lord and lady of the manor! We certainly have the attitude!

On Saturday, I braved going into the city to pick up some Christmas shopping. Ive tried to do a lot of it online this year, but somethings I either wanted to see in person or they were too small to be worth paying postage on.

So I joined the battleground. I was in town for 9 oclock as the shops opened and it was already crowded. I had planned what shops to go to, in what order, and what I needed from each place, but it was still hellish. I felt like I'd run a marathon by the time I staggered back to the car with stuffed shopping bags. At least it's all done now and I can just look forward to giving all those nice gifts.

In the evening, we met up with K and Nick and took our niece to see the christmas lights switch on- which she slept through! Still, it was nice to have some family time.

On Sunday, I finally made it to mass and now feel a lot better having gone. A new priest today who sounded disconcertingly like the comedian Michael McIntyre when he spoke! But I definitely feel replenished in some way. I need to remember to prioritise going in future.

It must have been a good day, because I also went to the gym for the final week three session of couch to 5k. Trying to keep the motivation flowing as it becomes more a challenge.

The rest of my long weekend has passed off far too quickly and I can't believe it's back into the breach tomorrow. I keep telling myself it's not too long until the Christmas break! Hopefully things will ease up a bit this week.

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