This week we have had some time with my parents, staying in a holiday cottage in Silverdale in the southern part of the Lake District. A literal and figurative recharge of batteries.
We had plenty of time to chat and reflect and will have much to say in our next couple of blogposts as we start to think about what happens next and where we go from here but we certainly managed to get healthy doses of the things that are important to us including:
Baths, beaches and baking – the lure of bubble baths, particularly when accompanied by a glass of wine, a bowl of nuts and a good book (for adults) or the freedom to splash as much as you like and not even have to wash your hair (for children) cannot be underestimated. When we lived in a house I used to bath recreationally, it was almost like a hobby. I don’t actually miss baths anywhere near as much as I feared I would but I do have a personal top five list of Baths I Have Most Enjoyed In My Life which possibly qualifies me as someone who loves them more than the average ;). Beaches are something we are definitely lovers of and indeed we lived only a mile away from a beach back at home. We have not spent very much time at the beach so far this year and a coastal final destination seems likely for us given how much we have missed splashing in the sea, collecting sea glass, pebbles and other treasure, listening to seagulls and gazing out into the waves and of course going home with sand in our shoes. Baking is probably specific to me again – I loved being able to bake bread each day, make a cake for my Dad’s birthday and even pondered some jam making while we were at the cottage. I am looking forward to having a full size kitchen rather than a four foot by one foot space with everything crammed in again one day.
Woodland, wildlife and walking. We were very lucky that the route to the beach was through a woodland, so we got to enjoy two pleasures in one trip each time (practically daily!). The woods were gorgeous; full of deer, birds and bugs, tiny froglets, baby toads, sloworms and other such treasures. They were also beautifully green and lush, generally damp and full of that lovely woody smell that freshly rained on trees have. The wildlife also spotted that week included crabs at the beach and various seabirds (all sorts of gulls, cormorants), kestrals and buzzards and woodpeckers. We walked every day; usually a good 5 miles or so which made appreciation of the baths and baking all the greater 🙂
Family, friends and feedback. We are so very lucky to have been visited or been able to visit along the way with family and friends. We have made new friends along the way and this is one of the huge highlights of this year for us – meeting people and forging new friendships as we go. Dragon and Star have always been close siblings but this year seems to have brought them ever closer together and the four of us now have so many shared adventures, anecdotes and moments that I know we will remember and treasure forever. We are already starting to refer to earlier times along our journey with ‘do you remember when we were at…?’ and ‘wasn’t it funny when…. said…’. The feedback is more than just a gratuitous f word because it would fit neatly into my three groups of alliterative threes – it refers to the comments we get on this blog, the emails and texts and phonecalls from friends along the way, the input various hosts have had in talking to us about why they do things the way they do and what we might do next, the conversations with people we have had, the chats the four of are constantly having as we go along, the good, bad and learnt records from each host and the general tossing abot of ideas and plans and hopes and dreams that shaped how we planned this year, how we are conducting it as we go along and what we are thinking we might do next. It’s a rollercoaster ride and hearing the screams and laughter of the other three people riding along side us give us all courage to carry on and knowing we have people along listening and joining in for part of the journey is what makes it all the more exciting to be living and recounting. It was great to have time with my parents this week and get their take on this last installment since we’d seen them six weeks ago.
We’ve had a weekend just the four of us in Morecambe, mostly on the beach building sandcastles. Tomorrow we’re off to the next host for a two week stay.