Start as you mean to go on

OK, so it may not be the first day of the year – but I think it’s near enough to have started putting some of my New-Year’s-non-resolutions into practice.  The first day of the year started off very well at midnight but went somewhat pear-shaped later when I argued with David (as an aside, what do I call him?  He’s still legally my husband so do I call him my ex-; my estranged husband; or what?).

1st Jan. is always a bit of a wash-out anyway: everybody feels tired from New Year’s Eve, aware they’ve overindulged, and too lethargic to implement ‘resolutions’ straight away.  So I didn’t get out for a run on 1st or even on 2nd.  Torrential rain welcomed the new year in here, which didn’t help – it didn’t really beg me to get outside into the fresh air.

On 2nd I stacked wood: Jeremy came round with his chain saw and sawed my old decking into wood-burner sized pieces while I stacked them in the crates I have turned into a log store.  By the time I’d then faffed around with various other things on the computer, it was time to get out to tea at Chris and Mandy’s – my sense of time completely confused by the kitchen clock which was running about 20 minutes slow (it needs a new battery).

Today, however, has been one of those great days when I feel as though I’ve achieved things.  You know, one of those days when you tick quite a few things off the ‘to do’ list.

It started with a trip down to Borwick, near Milnthorpe, to interview Edwina about Nordic Walking.  I met Edwina when I ran Ullswater Trail race at the beginning of November, and was impressed and inspired by her positive attitude (and glowing, youthful skin, despite being 3 years older than me).  Rather than giving anything away here, there will be a feature about her, written by me, in an edition of Lancashire Life at some point in the not too distant future, and I’m also hoping I might be able to get her story into the nationals.

It was lovely to see a different part of Cumbria/Lancashire and also just to drive from the top of the county to the bottom.  Even though it was mostly on the motorway, it’s still a stunning and scenic drive.  On the way back I did some singing practice, singing through my Grade 8 songs again.  Despite not having done any singing since before Christmas, I still remember all the words.  Just as well as I have concerts coming up at which I want to sing those songs!  If anybody is interested, I have a playlist on Spotify where they are sung by far better singers than me.

Edwina also gave me to contact details of her Nordic Walking instructor – another feature possibility.  I need to get pitching…

On getting home all the grandparents were here and were happy to continue to child-sit while I went for a run.  My father-in-law had also bought me a camellia, which I really appreciated as it’s something I’ve wanted for several years.  I now just need to decided where best to plant it.

My favourite run at the moment is up the Moot and along through Ridge Woods – you can do a big figure of 8 or loop which takes in at least two hills (when I get fitter I could fit in even more).  It was an absolutely glorious, golden, late winter afternoon and I wished I’d taken my camera, although I have taken lots of photos up there in the past.

Family walk up Brampton Moot towards Lanercost 5th March (2)

Looking up at the trees in the wood they glowed copper in the sun; the grass shone brightly green or yellow, shadows lengthening across it.  I love pausing on the Ridge and gazing over to Scotland and the Solway: I think being up high and staring across at water and/or hills makes you incredibly aware of being part of the world – of the Universe.  There’s something that makes me feel very grounded but also somehow lets my spirit fly free, in a way which just doesn’t happen in the hustle and bustle of a big city (standing on top of Carlisle Castle and looking over to the Lake District fells isn’t too bad…).

By the time I had finished my loop and was heading towards home the sky was turning red with the sunset.  The colours were fantastic and it felt good to be alive.

My parents then offered to take Bella and me out to dinner (Edward by then had headed down to David’s with his other grandparents).  We tried Capernaum, Brampton’s newest restaurant, first, but unfortunately there was a private party on.  So instead we went to Brambles, which was lovely.  The food isn’t quite as classy as Capernaum’s but it was still nice and the service was lovely, the waitress putting up with our queries and fuss with a good grace.  My Mum and I had Brambles Cocktails, which are lovely but which slip down very easily…

As we walked home there was already frost on the car.  I’m hoping to go running again tomorrow.  And perhaps do some more singing practice!

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