As I write my weekly blog this time around, I’m feeling warm, the sun is shining through my home office window, and I’ve got a cold glass of iced tea for refreshment. Which all feels rather lovely, I have to say. After a month of nothing close to normal May weather, it feels good to see blue sky, smell people’s barbecues, and soak up that natural vitamin D.
With that in mind, and given that it has been yet another super busy working week with no time or energy for adventures, even tiny ones, I thought I’d use this episode of my weekly blog as a gratitude journal. I know people who share ten things they are grateful for every week, and I like that this gives them – and me as a reader – an opportunity to stop and count blessings.
And as I share my list of eight things I’m grateful for, I hope this also gives you a bit of an insight into my week, and might encourage you to count your own blessings.
I will never not be grateful for my sight. If you have read Episode 31 of my weekly blog you will know that it is something I cannot take for granted. On Monday this week I had my regular check-up, which was long and thorough but positive.
As a result, I have since collected my newly prescribed lenses, which are very slightly yellow in order that my eyes don’t have to strain quite as much when looking at bright whites, especially those on computer screens. It’s okay, when you look at me you shouldn’t notice any yellowing; but they definitely do dull whites. I mean, they’re not going to be too helpful for colour correcting photographs, but I can work around that.
I am grateful for the doctors who know what they are doing, medical technology for continuing to advance, and the ability to afford the new glasses that I need to make my day to day life easier.
A Plate of Dutch Pancakes
We tried out a (reasonably) new café in town which specialises in Dutch waffles and pancakes this weekend. The utterly charming Boho Dutch Pancakes & Waffles is in the Suffolks area of Cheltenham.
Dutch pancakes, or Poffertjes, are little puffy ones rounds with a light spongey texture. They are generally served sweet; I had mine with banana, caramel sauce and honeycomb, a plate of utter deliciousness. Next time, as there will absolutely one hundred percent be a next time (and hopefully not too far into the future) I’ll have “The Dutch One”, which is sugar, cinnamon and apple sauce. Tomorrow?
After what feels like weeks and weeks of rain (I know it’s not been *that* bad but it sure feels like it), it has been so wonderful to see and feel the sunshine this weekend. I even had to water the pots in my garden, how’s that for a change in the weather?!
The weather makes such a difference to my mood, and I am blaming it for at least some of my lack of energy and motivation this month. Vitamin D supplements are great for the immune system, but the real thing is so much better for the soul.
Bank Holiday Monday
Ah a free day off work. For many today (Monday 31 May) is the first day of Half Term week, but for me it’s a bonus day off work. And it was even a warm and sunny one – see above. I often make hiking or other plans, but today I used it as an extra Saturday.
I got up late, went out for brunch, had a walk around town, sat in a park and drank an ice cream milkshake, had an afternoon nap, did a few chores, had a soak in the bath, cooked a super quick vegetable and cashew chow mien for dinner, did some writing and watched some telly. It was an internationally homey and relaxed Bank Holiday Monday, preparing for whatever June has to throw at me.
Thank you to those of you who do work on Bank Holidays so I can enjoy brunch out and get my broken radio replaced!
Chats with Friends
Sometimes what you need to fuel excitement is a good old chinwag with your hiking buddy. I love chatting with Jenni, she is always full of life, encourages me to see the world slightly differently, and always has an idea for an adventure.
We’re in the midst of planning our UK Coast to Coast hike at the moment, and I am so much looking forward to that later in the year. We spent an hour or more on facetime on Friday after work putting the world to rights. I can’t wait until we can get back out to make more slightly silly hiking memories.
I also love my daily online catchups with Sarah (The Urban Wanderer). She brightens every day with her positive outlook on life, her always productive days, and her silly gifs. More gifs, please!
And to top off my gratitude for chats with friends, I also had a lovely picnic in the park with two work colleagues on Wednesday lunchtime, which was an absolutely perfect way to spend a break from the office.
Memories of a Great Trip
It’s five years ago this week that we spent time riding around rural New Mexico. We took ten weeks to ride our motorbikes in North America, and had an absolute blast exploring the West, including a week or so in New Mexico.
We were advised to avoid the National Parks of Arizona and Utah during Memorial Day weekend as they can get ridiculously busy, and so we decided to head somewhere much more remote. We headed for Socorro in New Mexico, visited the Very Large Array, and rode a few miles of the Quebradas Backcountry Byway.
I’d dearly love to go back and do that road again now we’ve done some off road training and have much more gravel experience.
If you fancy reliving some of my best memories from this particular trip, I put all my blog posts in one place, and there’s even a vlog series we made (for ourselves but you can watch if you like) if you prefer watching to reading.
Fuss Free Returns
Our John Lewis Cello DAB/Internet radio broke this weekend. I say broke, the remote control stopped working – all the buttons except the volume down one. Not ideal. And even less ideal as we’d already exchanged the radio once for the exact same fault. Thankfully, John Lewis have a friendly and fuss free returns set up; we went into the store today and swapped it for a different radio without issue.
Now we have the Roberts Stream 94i, which in terms of sound quality isn’t quite as good as the John Lewis model (the reason we bought the John Lewis one in the first place was just how good it sounded for such a small bedroom-sized unit), but it is perfectly acceptable and hopefully this one will last more than six months.
It’s a real bummer when things you’ve bought and like don’t last, especially when they’re quite new, but fuss free returns and exchanges certainly help to take the sadness away, and mean that even though disappointed with the product we chose originally, we will continue to shop at John Lewis.
It might not sound like much, but this week I’ve booked a little camping trip for next month, and I’m already excited for it. There’s a specific spot in North Devon I’ve wanted to see for myself for ages, and so in a bid to allow myself a mini break to look forward to, I’ve booked a couple of nights camping in a small site to make sure that I actually tick this thing off my list.
I am grateful that I have a week off coming up and I’ve been able to find a base that will allow me to explore the area I want to.This also means that I will get to see the sea again soon, which I just know will fill my soul with energy. I’ll let you know where I booked and where I hiked after the event.
As always, I would really love to hear from you in the comments below. What are you grateful for this week? Let me know what your favourite thing about the last seven days has been. And don’t forget to get your One Hour Outside today… whatever day you happen to be reading this on!
Buy Me a Cuppa?
If you fancy supporting me and my mini adventures, you can “buy me a coffee” (or a tea, naturally). If you enjoyed this post and would like to support what I’m doing, head over to Ko-fi to find out more. That would be another thing for me to be very grateful for 🙂