Sunday, 29 July 2007

5 pick-me-ups and a week away

Ages ago I was tagged for 5 pick-me-ups and what with running the B&B with my mum, then house-sitting for a friend and being away in Devon…………blah, blah. So here goes:

1. Working in my garden and feeling the soil with my bare hands.
2. Having a soak in a hot bath with no light other than candles.
3. Having a foot rub.
4. Taking the dogs for a run over the field.
5. In the winter: curling up in front of the open fire and watching the flames with a glass of wine or cup of tea (depending on the time of day!!) – no music or TV, just the crackle of the flames and scent of wood smoke. In the summer: sitting out in the garden, listening to the birds and remembering how lucky I am to be here.

Five things aren’t really enough, though, are they? So many things can give me a lift – an unexpected visitor turning up for a cuppa and chat; curling up on the sofa and nattering to my best friend from “down south” always leaves me with a warm a fuzzy feeling after we hang up; catching sight of a vole or mouse foraging under the bird feeder when I’m stood at the kitchen sink; hearing the owls at night when I put the milk bottles out; watching my nephews and niece charging around the garden and swinging on the tyre in the eucalyptus tree; going for a cycle round “the block”; watching the buzzards and hearing their cry as they circle above the garden; seeing the flock of long-tailed tits returning to their roosting trees in the evening and listening to their delightful noise. I could go on and on – it really is the simplest of things that make me smile in delight.

I have just returned from my week in Devon with my mum, dad and niece. J stayed at home to do demolition jobs on the house as the extension works are finally due to start (weather permitting!). The weather wasn’t always the best but we got to take Jess to the beach for body-boarding and on the worst weather day, we went to see Harry Potter in Barnstaple. We stayed in a barn near Hartland Point ( and were delighted with the peaceful location and lovely accommodation. Each night we watched the barn owls returning and once we had a hare run past the French doors! We had a paddock to ourselves and sat out on a few evenings with a glass or two of wine and watched Jess hurling herself onto hay bales.

We went to the usual tourist places – Boscastle, Port Isaac, Tintagel, Instow, Appledore, and ate far too many cream teas (one of dad’s vices!). It was totally relaxing but I missed sharing it with J. We’ve been to all these places before together, but my mind kept straying to home and wondering how he was getting on, and just wishing he was with me. He’d have loved the barn and especially that you can take dogs, as we always leave ours behind with mum. We spoke twice a day (mobile signal permitting!) and he seemed a million miles away.

And then, suddenly, it was time to come home. I’d taken my own car down separately, as mum and co had luggage, body board, food and wine supplies (not much room left there then!) plus their large dog (a Chow), and also because I wanted some independence when we were there. So, we left a little apart (I hate driving in convoy) but the traffic was absolutely awful. I stuck it out for a while, but as soon as I could, I turned off and cut across country, through Exmoor. Familiar place names pulled me along, and soon I was back on the outskirts of Tiverton, ready to head back on the M5. I saw the sign to Dulverton and thought of Jane with a smile, knowing she had mirrored my journey on her way north last week. Eventually, I neared home but had to get off the M5 at Gloucester because it was grid-locked, and then had the fun of navigating around the closed roads, due to all the flooding. (I’ve got a totally separate blog to write about the floods, and J’s night on the floor of a local pub as our village was surrounded by a ring of water and he couldn’t get home.)

At last, I was reversing on the drive and could hear the dogs barking as they recognized the sound of my engine. They all came to the gate and J had to move them out of my way, a huge smile of welcome on his face. And then I was wrapped in his bear hug and he was telling me he’d missed me and I was so glad to be home. He’d vacuumed and done the ironing and the kettle was boiling for my mug of tea. I gave him a watery smile over the rim and sighed a contented sigh. It has been a good week but it's wonderful to be back.


snailbeachshepherdess said...

I saw that sign to Dulverton as well...and said..'I know someone who lives there! and smiled!We were just over the border in Dorset.

toady said...

Hi Woozle,
Glad you enjoyed your stay in my neck of the woods. Might have walked right passed you! I live about 2 minutes from the roundabout before the Torridge bridge. Toady

Elizabethd said...

I used to teach in Bideford, way way back, and your names made me quite nostalgic!
What a lovely welcome home.

annakarenin said...

It sounds like you have been having a lovely time. When I read your pick me ups it was one of the add ons that really struck me. When I did mine I wrote similar things but deep down they are things I like to do to relax they don't really pick me up. It is the cuppa with a friend or family or the unexpected phone calls from them that is probably the only thing that really lifts me out of it. Strange that it has taken reading your blog to make me realise that and in future when I am feeling down I will actually do the instigating of that little bit of social contact that does the trick,

Great to see your back and that you had a good time and an even better return.

bodran... said...

That was lovely woozle xx The best part of going away is coming home!!

Anonymous said...

You are so at peace with life. Glad you enjoyed your time away but like you say, it's always good to get home.

Crystal xx

Suffolkmum said...

Lovely blog. I love that part of Devon, I have great friends in Appledore. It was funny reading it because I'm going away with the children and my parents in a few weeks, R can't get away, and I know that, much as I'll enjoy it, it will be weird without him. I loved your mood busters - esepecially those fleeting moments of conection with the natural world.

ChrisH said...

Ahh! That's nice - I'm with you on the foot rubs and fires but a bear hug from the one you love is near the top too!

FunkyMunky said...

What a lovely blog!! Last year, I took my daughter to stay with my mum & dad in France. Hubby couldn't get time off so he stayed at home and I echo your sentiments entirely - I missed having him there and despite having a wonderful time, it was great to get home to him!! I'm so glad you enjoyed your holiday! I'd love to visit that part of the world myself ... oh well .. maybe one day!!

CAMILLA said...

Hello Dear Woozle,
I love your list. Agree about sitting watching the flames crackle by the fireside. I love my dogs so much too, I hate to be parted from them. So glad you enjoyed your holiday, your hubby sounds very kind.