Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The great snowdrop hunt

Snow drops
The Japanese go on Cherry Blossom viewing picnics. Americans head to New England in the 'fall' to admire the colours of the turning leaves. Our English equivalent in recent years would seem to be snow drop viewing.
This year's mild winter seems to be turning to spring so I spent an afternoon with the Club 10 ladies enjoying some fresh air and hunting snowdrops at Mark Hall.
Despite taking a wrong turn (the charming gentleman in the ticket booth chased after us to ensure we didn't get lost) and wading through a lot of mud we soon began to spot signs of our quarry.
Our goal was Robins Grove (shades of Jilly Cooper). So we kept going, admiring the delightful view of the walled garden, and then we spotted it!
Just across a little bridge was a little woodland with a white carpet.
Snowdrops in wood
It was wonderful to wander round. The weather was perfect - bright and cool. The snowdrops looked like a piece of miracle.
And then it was back to the tea shop for a nice cuppa. Sadly there was no vegan cake (always hopeful) but the company made up for it.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Dry January


Drink with umbrella

I always do a dry January. From the 3rd to tne 31st I avoid alcohol.

It's got nothing to do with detox, or making resolutions I won't keep. Instead it's a way of reminding myself how satisfying life without booze can be. See habits take time to develop, and changing or giving up a habit takes just as long. You have to practice quitting something a lot before actually doing it.

The first few years of Dry January the impact on the rest of the year was negligible. Then as if I'd gotten the hang of it I found that the memory stayed with me during the next few months. Or stayed with me enough to make me think that I might prefer a cup of tea to something stronger right into the summer.

And then it began to spread to the rest of the year. A replacement and refocus of my leisure activities until I'd suddenly realise that it had been several weeks since I'd poured wine to go with a meal, or gone to the pub - because I was too busy living my life. The festive season is now about gingerbread latte, rather than mulled wine.

So that's why my January is dry. To remind myself at the start of the year that there are other things I can do with my time.