What a week it has been. I’m glad it’s over, that’s for sure. Fo’sho, if you will.
I now have three days off in which to recuperate and today, being the first, we have done little more than eat, catch up with some television programmes we’ve missed and doze. We’ve not been tempted outside because it started snowing just after 10 this morning and is still snowing as I start writing at quarter past 5. Luckily it hasn’t accumulated too much, although some areas in the country have had loads more than the UK is accustomed to having very often. That’s not to say that we never have heavy snow at this time of year, although to see some of the papers’ headlines you might think no one had ever experienced snow in March before. Weather experts, in attempt to redress the balance of hysterical, apocalyptic-style reporting, have pointed out that it is far more likely to snow at Easter than it is at Christmas and indeed I can remember many years ago, possibly before my brother was born, when my parents took us to stay with family friends in Derbyshire, a county a little further north and about as far inland as you can go in England, or the British mainland altogether, in fact. While we were there it snowed heavily and we went sledging! Somewhere there is photographic proof! Yet several years later we were photographed in our back garden at Easter in our swimming costumes because it was so warm! This time last year the UK was in the grip of a drought following an exceptionally dry winter, although the worries that brought were soon quashed when late spring brought heavy rain and some quite devastating floods.
Last night, for the first time in months, I took some natural sleeping tablets about an hour before going to bed. I did this in the knowledge that I had today off; I wouldn’t dare to do it if I was working because last time I used them I felt hungover for the whole of the next day. However, today I’ve felt okay and even refreshed. I didn’t sleep any longer than usual and I still woke up when I needed the loo (thank goodness) and when the dogs were restless, but I feel as though the sleep I did have was deeper than usual. Maybe I’ll take more tonight.
I’m trying not to think about the coming week when I’ve got more long shifts and instead look ahead to good things. In early May we’ll be making what has become our annual trip to Wales. We stay in a little coastal village called Fairbourne, on an estate of bungalows originally built as holiday homes but which people are now allowed to live in permanently, and to alter them from the rather unprepossessing little boxes that they used to be. Returning on an annual basis is always interesting as the estate develops slowly. Some people have great taste. Some people… notsomuch.
Drew has been going there on holiday for years. In fact he and his parents would go twice a year! Although they used to rent another bungalow close to the entrance to the estate, and dallied with another, the one we’re going to stay in is where they mostly stayed. Drew’s Mum became very friendly with the woman who owns it so it’s nice that we’re keeping up the tradition. The only change we’ve made is to stay for a whole fortnight rather than two separate weeks. A week is great but having that longer period means we don’t feel so obliged to cram loads of things in. Some days we don’t leave the village and just take the dogs for a long walk around the place. The beach is a few minutes’ walk away from the bungalow.
This part of Wales has spectacularly beautiful beaches. Acres of sand looking out over an expanse of sea, and because we go outside the school holiday period those beaches are virtually deserted. Drive inland and within minutes you are surrounded by wonderful scenery and more places to walk the dogs than seems possible. This is helped by the closing of many railway lines throughout Wales, many of which have become cycling and walking trails stretching for miles. The one we love runs along the Mawddach Estuary and is so flat that last year we were overtaken by a woman in a disabled buggy. (Mind you, we kept catching her up and passing her because she stopped several times to have a ciggie.) We walked the dogs for three hours along part of the trail, an hour and a half one way and then back to the car. The dogs slept like logs that night. I think we did, too.
Sometimes the weather can be a bit dodgy, but that’s the chance you take for going in the springtime. I know I don’t care, really. I quite like walking in the rain, though I’m not sure the dogs do.
So I’m trying to focus on the fact that this is only just over a month away. More than ever it’ll be bliss to be there, far away from work, for a fortnight.
We’re also hoping to get to see the Pompeii exhibition at the British Museum. Hopefully we’ll be able to get up to London again in July, when (I think) I have another week off.
So focus, focus, focus on the future.