I’ve seen the way ahead and it’s looking good!
… includes appreciating the small things, seeing the positives in a situation and keeping expectations realistic.
I love London and could never live anywhere else. But, even for this Londonphile, three nights in the beautiful and sunny New Forest, gave us much joy. Being our first holiday for almost a year made it especially precious.
Pandemic on pause
Our stay was wonderful, almost obliterating the stresses of this past year. We’ve been lucky compared to many, but getting away made us realise how much we needed a change from the Groundhog Days of the pandemic.
We saw more ponies than people – so no worries about social distancing and not a mask in sight!
Walks with maps …or apps
You can use an app suggesting various forest walks if you’re into technology, rather than the paper maps of the ‘old days’. And, if you’re as clueless as I am about plants and flowers, amazing identifier apps, such as ‘Candide’, will increase your knowledge and appreciation of what you’re looking at.
I actually managed to exceed last month’s total step count in two days, even with a wonky hip. My physio will be delighted!
Pampered to perfection!
We were lucky to find a hotel which looked after us superbly. We couldn’t quite forget Covid, reminded by numerous sanitisers, a one-way system, masks and timed sittings for meals, but hugely appreciated the comprehensive efforts made to keep guests safe and well.
One highlight was finally having a short respite from buying and then cooking (unexciting) meals continually since March 2020. We savoured dishes far beyond my limited culinary abilities…. and no washing up afterwards!
No Zoom meetings. Instead, time to sit and stare, listening to birds, not traffic.
Time also to read. If you want ‘an exquisite ode to the natural world’ (set in the coastal marshes of North Carolina) can I recommend the mesmerising, beautifully written, best-selling novel ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ written by the scientist Delia Owens. With four million copies sold, chances are you’ve already found it. But if you haven’t, treat yourself. I didn’t think it would be my type of book – how wrong I was.
And after a day of self-indulgence, we slept deeply, with stomachs full but heads empty of their usual diet of depressing news.
Our holiday ended with a short train journey home, rather than flights, delays, or added expense caused by our location suddenly changing its traffic light status, or tests and quarantines required.
‘This precious stone set in the silver sea’
Shakespeare wrote this, and more, in praise of England, in his play ‘Richard II’. (Although sadly he was wrong about it being a ‘fortress built by Nature for herself against infection’!)
We intend to further explore our home country, as there are so many places we’ve never visited. With my reaching 70 this month, it’s probably about time to discover the varied countryside, historic towns, culture and heritage of ‘this sceptred isle’. We really enjoyed Susan Calman’s ‘Grand Days Out’, and Joanna Lumley’s ‘Home Sweet Home’ on TV during lockdown, and now want to see more of the UK for ourselves.
‘This blessed plot..this England’ awaits
So, we’ve booked a couple more mini breaks in England which we’re much looking forward to. The rest of the world will have to wait.
I do hope you also get a holiday. Any recommendations gratefully received on Twitter @AgeingBetter.
I’m making a little list…
Stay safe; stay strong; stay smiling.