It has been a day of surprises. Raymond wakes me with a hot mug of tea. "How are you feeling?" he asks and without thinking (still bleary eyed from sleep) I answer, "not brilliant."
"Well, that's a shame," he says, "because I thought you would like to go out for the day."
"I'll take you out to lunch."
Now these spur-of-the-moment happenings do not occur that often. We are always busy with work or one project or another, it's too costly, and R. hates going out at the weekend. Something must be on his mind. I ponder as to what my response should be: I don't want to hurt his feelings; I don't feel well; I had hoped to spend the day continuing my fabric keepsake (as already detailed in my journaling blog). It doesn't take long to ascertain why my dear husband is feeling edgy. A car has been parked on the pavement right outside the house all night. R. feels besieged. This is happening more and more frequently; the feeling of being ambushed in our own home by thoughtless people.
My mind reached back to a time many years ago when I came home from shopping on a Saturday afternoon. It was mid-summer and very hot; I was looking forward to weeding the garden and cooking R. a steak barbecue with home-grown salad. No chance: "Get your things together, and the tent, we're going away."
"Why?" I asked, bewildered.
"Because those d--n moto-X motorbikes have been churning up and down the hillside all afternoon and are driving me mad." - or words to that effect. Oh!
"Where to?" I ask.
"As far away as possible. Cornwall."
"CORNWALL !!!" (We live right in the middle of England.)
I throw together bedding and a little food, overnight things and find the tent. We do not drive down, but fly to Lands End, to a small grass airfield overlooking the sea. We camp next to the aircraft, eat a poor meal and I do my best not to complain. I miss the steak supper, but had a wonderful long walk the next morning down a valley alongside a bubbling stream to a secret cove where I collected pebbles and sat on the rocky beach and wrote quiet thoughts. Writing always calms me.
So, today, I knew that it would be sensible to humour R, even though I would rather have stayed in bed! "No rush," he said, "we'll make a gentle day of it; you choose the route, bring your camera." He wanted to check his new lens anyway (another motive for going out ?? - it is, after all, the big annual camera exhibition tomorrow in Birmingham!) - I am putting thoughts into his mind which is such a silly thing to do; by now I just knew he wanted a break and thought it would do me good, too. I grab my 'journal spilling' notebook and my neocolor crayons. Dear R. even said he didn't mind if I scribbled all the way. I didn't. I was too busy map-reading him cross-country down single-track country lanes to keep away from main roads which he detests; but we paused frequently at suitable stopping points. R took photos, I journal-spilled (see my other blog later in the week when I have scanned what I did).
And so the lovely day unfolded.
Lunch at the 'Corner Cupboard' in Winchcombe was sublime and we walked that off on the highest part of the Cotswolds, about 1,000ft amsl; just long enough to keep from freezing - it is still so bitterly cold;
on Cleeve Common, and I am so cold, I disappear amongst the gorse bushes and gather golden gorse flowers to stay out of the south-easterly wind - they usually smell of coconut and I thought I would add them to my pot-pourri dish once I have dried them
I've had enough and stroll back to the car parked way below; everywhere still looks so wintery and it's cold, cold, cold
Much later, Ray takes this photo for me of a solitary rookery in an oak tree - I spotted it on the way out this morning, but the sun was in the wrong direction then for a photograph, so R. took it for me on the way back. I finish my rookery poem.