Well hello everyone and how ARE you all this week? I’m full of beans again after getting over my Big Bad Cold and it feels good 🙂
Here’s what’s made me happy this week:
1. A REALLY long walk. Usually I potter out for an hour or so – long enough to stretch my legs but not really Epic Hikes. But I don’t mind an Epic Hike every now and then and last weekend I enjoyed a really long leg-stretch along Ullswater. It’s a HUGE lake if you’ve not been before. It’s kind of bent in two, and so you usually only see one half of it at once, unless you’re standing in the bend. It’s flanked by empty moorland and mountains and is fairly quiet considering how GORGEOUS it is and how close to the motorway. That said, most of the Lake District is pretty quiet 500m or so away from the car parks…
We walked and walked, up the moors, down the moors, through little woods, past babbling brooks, cliffy crags and down to the water’s edge where the smell of water was just lovely. I’m never quite sure what the smell of lakes actually is. To me, it smells like pure water but that’s impossible right? It was one of those perfect Lakes days where there’s just nowhere I’d rather be. The lake was a bright, deep blue and standing on the shore I stood for ages just watching the sunlight glittering across the surface. The lambs were jumping and bleating in the fields and the blackbirds were singing their little hearts out.
A fine day in May is the Lake District at its best, turning its best side to onlookers, and everywhere you look is photoshoot already set up. Warm without being humid, a gentle breeze blowing just enough to keep the clouds sailing along high above.
2. That feeling after a long walk, when you finally sit down. Lips tingling with slight sunburn, dishevelled hair and aches all over. You feel happily tired, a sense of using your body and working it hard. You’ve been out all day and feel hot and cold at once. You sit down in a hot car, boots off and normal shoes back on, and it feels so deliciously comfortable. Then a hop and a skip into the shower to rinse of the day’s excursions and that squeaky clean fresh feeling with a warm shower and new clothes.
3. Vanilla yoghurt, stewed rhubarb and caramelised oats. Eaten with a teaspoon, every mouthful savoured 🙂
4. The smell of freshly cut grass. Even though it gives me hayfever, I LOVE walking past lawns of freshly cut grass. It never fails to remind me of school playing fields, particularly when I was in my very first school and therefore closer to the ground and its smells. When you’re that age you notice so many more things at ground level. The way grass is made up of lots of different grasses, some single stemmed, some that splits in two. Daisies, and individual daisy petals. Dandelions and their demise into the lightest pom pom imaginable. The individual pom pom stems that pirouette in the air as they blow away. Clover, and the search for the four-leaved (I never found one). I don’t notice these things too much any more, but I still enjoy the smell.
5. I’m not normally a beer drinker but the hot weather last week really put me off strong wines. I wanted something cool and refreshing and I found one of Mr Roast Chicken’s pale ales lurking at the back of the fridge. With a bowl of crisps and awaiting a late dinner, I lay back in my sunlounger reading a bit of Bill Bryson and listening to the blackbird’s last serenade before bed. Pulling the sunlounger back and back as the sun receeded behind the houses to the west, I enjoyed those precious few rays before retreating inside. Relaxing, quiet, peaceful. A lovely way to end a busy day.
6. Non-stop nattering with a close friend. When you’ve got so much to say that you stay up really late and feel so tired but very happy the next day. I spent the weekend with a friend and it was like we didn’t stop talking for 48 hours.
7. A spring clean. Due to the aforementioned friend’s arrival it seemed prudent to give the house a spring clean. Now don’t get me wrong – I HATE the cleaning. Who doesn’t? Actually I know people who like it. I don’t understand that. Anyway – for me it’s definitely not so much the cleaning, but the wonderful feeling when it’s all done, and the surfaces are gleaming, the remote controls are off the sofa and there’s no little annoying crumbs / blades of grass / sock fluff on the carpets. Walking around in bare feet like you’re staying in a hotel is a very nice feeling indeed.
8. The smell of rain. Well I suppose it’s not really the smell of rain, but the smell of the grass and the trees and the mud all around. It’s funny to think of enjoying rain. But it’s been unusually dry here and the rain has freshened things up and made me remember the feeling after two weeks in Spain when there was a huge thunderstorm and afterwards everything was clean and cooler and I could smell something for once that wasn’t dust. The contrast isn’t obviously as heightened here, but I enjoyed it none the less.
I hope all your weeks have been fabulous, and hope you can join me in reading about the weeks of the #wonderfulwednesday gang: Sally, Kate, Michelle, Cat, Katie, Jo & Em. They’ll put a smile on your face and a spring in your step I promise 🙂