2016: the year of spaciousness

Because there's more to life than work


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Spring outing

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Confession time: I bunked off yesterday (technically I’m not sure I can bunk off as I’m my own boss. But you know what I mean) and headed to one of my favourite bits of the countryside (see our visit last spring here) to enjoy the fabulous spring weather. We ran and walked around Beetham and Silverdale on the Lancashire/Cumbria border, an enchanting part of the world full of ruined towers, beautiful little villages and woods that run right down to the sea.

IMG_2721Our route took us past stately homes…

IMG_2727panoramic views…

IMG_2734hundreds of spring flowers…

IMG_2728and a real live fairy door!

IMG_2729Isn’t this the cutest thing you ever saw? It was just to the side of the path by a viewpoint known as the ‘Fairy Steps’ – a very narrow path up a limestone cliff – legend has it that if you reach the top without touching the sides you’ll see a fairy/get a wish. We didn’t manage it, but we did get to see the door. I would have loved this when I was little, and to be honest it quite made my day yesterday too 🙂

IMG_2730After that we headed downhill at a brisk rate for soup and cake at the utterly phenomenal Wolfhouse Kitchen. This cafe is tucked away in a quiet corner between the woods and the sea and serves the most wonderful cakes. Indeed it was so good that we forgot to take any pics of them in our greed, went for a three mile walk afterwards to walk off lunch, went back again for more cakes and coffee and forgot for a second time to take a picture. I had a rhubarb and vanilla friand first, and then a plum, marzipan and vanilla cake. OH had a strawberry, lemon and almond bundt – twice.

No, we didn’t need to eat much when we got in yesterday evening.


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On making time

Title of this post is quite ironic really as my poor OH has just spent the last half an hour trying to get WordPress to upload my pics – don’t know if any of you have had problems with this in the last week or so, but looking at the forum it seems I’m not alone with this glitch. Photos keep vanishing and reappearing on my site. But they’re back for now…where was I? Ah yes. Making time.

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IMG_2496If a sunny Saturday morning isn’t a good reason to create some time, I’d like to know what is.

IMG_2497A bee floated by me as I took the photo above and the garden was full of birdsong.

IMG_2498Laptop & weekend work schedule abandoned, we headed for the woods and the sea:

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IMG_2504The storms here on the north west coast haven’t been as bad as many other parts of the UK, but there’s still been a fair bit of coastal erosion. The dunes in particular have seen some dramatic ‘blow outs’ – in one place the sand had virtually covered a small wood and it was extremely weird to be wading about in sand amongst the tops of its branches…

IMG_2505It’s hard to tell scale here, but this ravine is about 50 feet deep, amazing wind sculpture on the sides, looks like sandstone until you touch it and realise it’s actually still just sand.

IMG_2506Clear skies across to Wales – and so much sand blowing along the beach that we felt like we’d been scoured by the time we got back to the woods.

January and February have been busy, exciting and rewarding months, but what I need more than anything right now is some calm, settled weather, sunshine and longer days, and a gentle glide into spring.

 


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Sunday outing

Finally, a bright and sunny day that meant I could get a few decent photographs. I’m finding it harder to get inspiration for blogging when the light levels are so poor – everything seems permanently in gloom or artificial light. We headed out to the dunes for a walk to see a particularly brilliant patch of reeds that my other half had seen when he was out running earlier in the week.

IMG_2101I really love this part of town – you feel such a long way from everyone and everything, and there are so many paths that you never take the same walk twice. We still keep finding parts we’ve never seen before.

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IMG_2117You get a good idea of the terrain in the above photo – loads of little hills, infant woodlands and every now and again fantastic glimpses across the bay as you reach the crest of a dune. Also, in the middle of the picture, you can just see the magnificent sweep of reeds that fills the whole of one hollow with silky, feathery reeds as tall as my head.

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I’d never seen reeds en masse like this before and they were just stunning in the bright sun.

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IMG_2127I could just imagine the characters from ‘The Wind in the Willows’ exploring the little streams round here.

Tea tonight was appropriately hearty after all the fresh air and exercise: leek, potato and celery soup…

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IMG_2134…followed by apple and sultana crumble with custard. Easy prep food for a restful Sunday.

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Showery day

Lots of blustery showers coming in from the sea today and wasn’t totally convinced by my other half’s proposal for a walk in the dunes, although once we got out it was just lovely. You can see right along the coast and the view kept changing all the time – it was raining at our end of town but 10 minutes drive away at the start of our walk the sun was shining.

IMG_2021The dunes have become such a part of the pattern of our lives this year that it’s hard to believe that we’d rarely been there in the past, despite having lived in this town since we were born.

IMG_2020I love the contrast between the small details – like these peachy sea buckthorn berries – and the big scale landscape of sea, dunes and sky. My other half likes the hundreds of paths that mean you can run for miles without doing the same route twice. And we both relish the solitude, and the ever-present feeling of ‘I can’t believe this is on our doorstep’.

IMG_2028About a minute after taking this picture the rain hit, but it was still beautiful walking along the almost deserted beach with the wind at our backs, seeing what had been washed up by the just-starting-to-retreat tide. We saw this beautiful cockle.

IMG_2029Back home for some hot pies and a steaming mug of tea for lunch – happy Sunday everyone 🙂