Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Last weekend, when we were in Leicester visiting Alison, John took me for a walk after I received the awful news about my friend. My head was spinning and I was experiencing so many different emotions - but mainly, anger. As we reached a clearing, I looked across the fields and burst into tears: the grey sky, desolate landscape, and the wind softly whipping through the grass conveyed everything I felt in my being at that very moment: total and complete sadness.
In contrast, when we returned to see his dad this weekend (who lives in a different part of Leicestershire), the views couldn't be any more different: sheep grazing against the backdrop of the purest blue sky and the sun shining defiantly through skeletal branches of ash trees made me take off my woolly hat and revel in the warmth.
It was beautiful, it was restorative, it was healing.
Borrowing a pair of Hunter wellies from Nicole, I walked across frozen cow pies and squelched through mud. We found a mini stream that resembled the Thames and John took a picture while Andrew and I stood on a little dip in the grass which we jokingly referred to as the Isle of Dogs.
I can't remember what we talked about on that two-hour walk; only that I returned to warm my feet on the Aga with flushed cheeks and the smell of wind in my hair, feeling freer and lighter than I had in a long while. In the evening, we went to a party and drank far too much wine, before stumbling into bed for a deep sleep.
The next day, Nicole made a delicious lunch of prawn, courgette, long bean, and parmesan linguine (so good!) and we shared belly-laughs over anecdotes and unwrapped Christmas presents early. We were given a gorgeous set of Laguiole cheese knives (coincidentally, I just replaced our old, blunt IKEA kitchen knife block with a brand new set from Laguiole) and this beautiful Jamie Oliver pestle and mortar - perfect for grinding peppercorns and herbs. It was the loveliest way to spend an afternoon before heading back to London.
John's childhood home looked so beautiful in the morning light - I couldn't resist snapping this photo before I left:
I can't believe that Christmas is next week and that I'll be on a plane soon, making my way across the Atlantic, over Greenland, over Nova Scotia, over Vancouver, and touching down in Seattle to be with my wonderful family.
Things can get hectic around this time of year. I hope that you find time for a restorative walk or calming activity this week, and that you have a wonderful holiday season.