Do I fancy walking through that. Captain Chaos most definitely does. Maybe even squeeze in a good roll about in that glorious mud. It would certainly be a cold experience.
So the first day of the National Lockdown has passed by. To be fair I didn’t notice much change. Didn’t see any one walking on the street and the fields remained empty. Hardly any traffic on the roads. Spookily quiet. But actually it was like that before the lockdown started. That’s village life for you. So I seemingly had the world to myself as I walked the dog early in the morning. It was a good time to think and contemplate life.
If 2021 is another year of isolation, which it could be….
What do I want out of this year?
Here’s the thing about depression with me. It clouds my mind with so many negative thoughts. Makes me look back anxiously rather than look forward with hope. So on this particular dog walk the ‘what do I want’ question wasn’t yielding the uplifting messages that it should have. Best I could manage wasn’t much more than
- Not completely messing up the homeschooling gig,
- Trying not to put on weight,
- Keeping the bank off my back,
- Hanging on to what I have,
- Not losing my marbles,
- Trying not to go backwards,
- Just surviving….
All too negative. So yes I have much to work on. But I will. Can’t thank my friends here enough. You have been so supportive, caring and encouraging. Thank you ❤️. Because of you I feel more confident that I will find my way again. Then I can walk the dog across the fields and come up with more uplifting goals.
WE can do this.
It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to beautiful Switzerland. A country that is 900 miles away from our house in England but actually feels more like where our hearts want to be. One day we will return.
Today we are going back to 2015 and our last trip to this alpine wonderland. It was the second last day of our holiday and the weather was glorious. So we went on a bit if an expedition. We went to the Zermatt. From there we caught the mountain train which took us to 10285ft (3135m) to the top of the Gonnergrat. The train is an experience as it’s Europe’s highest open-air railway.
The top is a huge rocky ridge with a luxury hotel, restaurant, shops, astronomical observatories, a beautiful stone chapel and views of The Matterhorn. It overlooks a stunning glacier and has views of 29 4000m mountains. It’s a truly epic place.
After a few hours at the top we walked down most of the way. Poignantly this would prove to be our last long family walk as a team of 3. So it’s extra special to me and our son.
I give you the Gonnergrat.
It’s another bleak old day. Definitely a two jumper day. July 4th was the day when many places like pubs reopened in the England. Well in some parts, rather briefly. A local attraction here opened at 10am and closed a couple of hours later due to the bad weather and high winds. Definitely a two jumper (sweater) day.
Definitely a day for no house work. Disney Plus movies, warm drinks and giving son the attention he needs.
This photograph reminded me of old times. Pre parenting days. When I went through tough periods. When I went through challenging times. Times when I seemed to stumble and constantly lose my way. I would need to reset my inner self. Take a breather. Back then I would book a climbing or walking trip. A weekend in the wilderness. The bleaker the better. That’s what I needed to do my personal reset. Yes I would be tired on my late Sunday drive back but normally I was in a much better mind set. Ready to rumble again.
Fast forward to 2020. Those climbing and walking trips are no more. Single parenting means no timeouts. No weekend long resets. Just keep going. Any internal resets have to be done on the hoof. So with some uplifting words from a friend swirling around my mind, I find myself outside. Sat on the garden fence with a hot drink. Taking a few minutes to breathe. Imagining walking through the bleak landscapes and starting a reset. Yes definitely time to go again.
I stumbled across a few old photos. From a time before parenting. Even before my first ever digital camera… A time when my body was still young and I could run up mountains. A time when the wind would still blow my thick long black hair across my face.
A trip to the West Side of Northern England. To the Lake District and to one of Englands most famous mountains. The Old Man of Coniston. It’s not a huge mountain standing at just over 2600ft. But it’s steeped in history. It’s positioned next to the beautiful Coniston Water. The walk to the top takes you through old copper mine workings. Alongside a couple of stunning little tarns. Then finally onto a summit with sweeping views.
Hopefully one day I will return to the summit. A summit climb with considerably less hair. Which will take much longer this time and feature many sandwich stops..
It’s been a while since we did the last of these. Last year I started using the miles generated from my exercise bike, fitness tracker and Pokemon Go (Don’t Ask…) to see how far they would get me round the world.
So over the last couple of months let’s see what my entirely house and garden bound existence has generated.
720km Exercise Bike
205km Pokemon Go
Plus we had some km left in the tank from the last trip to Trieste. So let’s see where my little hairy legs have taken me.
So on our last mobile report our intrepid Explorer was leaving Trieste. We now find him 850km further west in Romania. Beautiful Timisoara.
Timisoara has two names. The City of Flowers and Little Vienna. Looking at the online photos, it is such a stunning place. So let’s see a few of the highlights.
Timisoara Orthodox Cathedral
Thank you beautiful Timisoara.
We still have plenty of km left over and more to add this week. So let’s see where we are next Thursday. Stay safe and remember to smile.
*****Thank you to Tripadvisor and RomaniaTourism for the photos.******
Last night we were watching the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Yes we really do like to stretch our cultural boundaries. A couple of times during the movie I found myself thinking – wish I could visit that location. I’ve been doing that quite often recently. Can’t really blame the pesky virus completely for that. I was having those thoughts before the lockdown. Our Son’s world is naturally contracting. So mine is as well. The last time we spent more than one night away from our home was back in 2015. Sporadic day trips and the daily run partially helped fill my mind with some connection to the wider world.
So after Son had gone to bed I went in search of photos. Photos which would remind me of trips and holidays. Soon I was back in Northumberland with my partner. A week in a gypsy cottage.
Walking alongside Hadrians Wall and in the footsteps of Roman soldiers, almost 2000 years ago. Touching and drinking in ancient history.
Enjoying the open spaces. Hardly meeting another soul. Feeling that cold northern wind and walking on the soft moorland. Feeling no limits and letting the map decide the route.
Places like Northumberland have a unique atmosphere. A bleakness. An almost somber beauty.
And then a reminder of why I am so thankful for life.
It’s Sunday here in the UK so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to beautiful Switzerland.
This trip goes back a number of years. To a time of being parents to a toddler. To a time before I had a digital camera. A time when my mobile phone was just that – a phone that just about fitted into my pocket. It didn’t have a camera, didn’t play music, didn’t try to constantly tell me to increase my step count.
As ever it was a gloriously sunny Swiss day. This day started with our Son feeding the lake ducks with last nights unused hotel bread.
Then we headed by train to Kandersteg, which is a beautiful and quiet alpine village.
A stunning path then gradually takes you deeper into the Alps. The sound of babbling streams proving a wonderful backdrop to the mountains which surround you
Then we arrive at one of the Europe’s special places. A stunning blue water mountain gem. Oeschinen Lake.
It’s a place we visited many times. It never fails to take the breath away
Then we slowly made our way back to our hotel. Some unexpected late afternoon excitement followed as only a few paces away from the hotel we had action. A Bollywood movie was being filmed.
This special day finished with the parents drinking wine on the balcony and someone pretending to be Dr Who in the bedroom. A hotel cupboard makes a grand Tardis. Another special Swiss day. Thank you Switzerland.