The first week of 2017 is over – what have you all been up to?
We didn’t stay up late on New Year’s Eve, no wild parties, so no hangovers on January 1st. My daughter, son in law and my two lovely grandsons, aged 4 and 1, came for lunch. The boys love exploring my toy box, full of things I’ve collected for them, mostly from charity shops. They don’t need brand new glossy presents – they played happily with some Lego, and a game of ‘pairs’ with some picture cards. My eldest daughter also visited us, and she is good at reading books to them.
Monday was a bank holiday, and a lovely bright sunny day. Along with lots of other people. We decided to go for a walk. We drove to Stockbridge – a small market town in the Test valley. Most of the little shops were closed, which pleased my husband! We walked out of the village onto the National Trust land which goes along the edge of the river Test. Although it was a bright day, it was very cold! Masses of dogs out for walks with their owners. It’s times like this when I think k it would be nice to have a dog!
After a circular walk of about three miles, we returned to the car and decided to find a country pub for a drink and light lunch. Unfortunately everyone else had the same idea! In the first pub, people were overflowing onto the outside tables and there was a very long east for food. So we didn’t stay, although it was the most picturesque location on the river. The second pub was only serving food to people who reserved a table, so no luck there, either. We had a glass of cider each, and headed home. We lit the fire and made a pot of tea with buttered crumpets.
On Tuesday, we met up with some lovely friends for lunch at a country pub – this time I had reserved a table so we did get some food! It was lovely to see Sally and her husband John, they had been staying on the Isle of Wight for a few days, and we were returning home to their farm in Herefordshire. Sally and I were at school together over 45 years ago, and have remained friends ever since. We do get to see each other about once a year, and it was great to catch up!
On Wednesday my lovely Aunty Margaret died, she was 83, and had been poorly for some time. Although I had only seen her infrequently in recent years, the last time being on her 80th birthday, I have very fond memories of her from when I was a child. She was one of my mum’s sisters, and the three of them were very close. When we were back in the country, (as my family lived abroad) my brother and cousins, we all used to meet up and go on lots of picnics, to the beach, and the funfair at South Shields. Aunty Margaret and family lived ‘up north’ near Durham, where her family, and my only other relatives, still live.
Also on Wednesday we decided it was time to take down the Christmas decorations and get rid of the tree. The house looked very bare, but it was a good chance to clean the house!
Thursday was another bright and sunny day, but very cold. We decided that another country walk was a good idea, despite the temperature being just below zero degrees. We found a walk on a local internet site, called ‘walks for softies’, which suited me fine, as I am a very unfit walker! We drove just a few miles into the country to a tiny village called Horsebridge, and the walk was a circular route of about three and a half miles, following the old Test Valley railway line and through the next village of King’s Somborne. The ground was frozen, even the molehills were frozen! I thoroughly enjoyed our walk, especially the part where the footpath went though the actual gardens of some big houses, as I am very nosy and like to see what’s in garden…..
…………arriving back at Horsebridge, we saw a sign to the old station, which is now a private house. They have kept part of the old railway track in their garden, the two platforms have been restored, and there is a signal box, waiting room, signs and other old memorabilia. I saw all this from peering through the fence, as you couldn’t actually enter the property. It was gorgeous! We then had a drink and lunch in the lovely pub at Horsebridge, called the ‘John of Gaunt’ – the historical figure who had connections with this part of the country.
On Friday we took our Christmas tree to a special recycling centre where the trees can be left, and the local council waste collection no longer collect them. As we were out and about, we went to a wood yard and bought seven bags of logs, which we emptied into the boot of the car. It didn’t matter how dirty the car interior was, as on Saturday we went for more wood – this time to a local recycling depot who give away free wood if you collect it. The wood wasn’t log-shaped this time, it was just builder’s rubbish, parts of dismantled buildings, window frames, gate posts etc. That should keep our log burner going for a week or so!
So that was my week! How boring a life I lead! No parties this week, no shopping, no surprise visitors, no unexpected events. But I quite like it like that. I must be getting old…. what did you do this week?