It is all very well getting back into the day to day running of everything (school runs, working, shopping, cooking, tidying up… all the time…. my kids seem to be allergic to picking anything up off the floor and look like I have asked them to s**t in their shoe every time I ask them to do it) but I think that there comes a point where you do need to get away from everything, to stop, disconnect and reflect.
It’s no secret that I like being outdoors and as a family we like being outdoors. About a week ago I realised that Mr me-myself-and-eye had the bank holiday off work. This NEVER happens and I usually spend the bank holidays being the third wheel with various friends and their families. This bank holiday was going to be different though as we headed off to the Lake District and with the promise of glorious weather all weekend we all felt the stresses and strains of the last few months being left behind. The Lakes are super special to us and we don’t nearly get there enough, in fact last time I was there in Ambleside about 4 weeks ago, I had to leave sharply after 12 hours as chiblet number one was chundering everywhere.
We specifically wanted to head to Skiddaw, a mountain that both Mr-me-myself-and-eye and I love as it was where we spent our honeymoon and it is a mountain that has lots of character and a lot of ‘secret’ paths up it so you don’t have to go along the usual motorway route.
Arriving at what can only be described as a barn with a few amenities, Mr me-myself-eye was in his element, as were the kids as the prospect of being feral for 3 days was a dream come true for them. To get to the barn we had to get Farmer James (Does everyone refer to Farmers in this way or is it just me?) to collect us on his quad bike and take us up to the barn about half a mile away. It was remote…. properly remote.…. with a stream, a tree to build a swing in, Ewes lambing, a log stove and very little signal (it took me a while it be ok with this) It was idyllic. The next 3 days were essentially spent walking up the Fells, playing in the steam, conquering Skiddaw (the kids first Munro mountain) swinging and climbing the massive Oak tree and imagining our lives there and how simple it would be (there was also a touch of D&V for the Chiblets…. there seems to be a theme between The Lakes and them being ill…)
Spot the difference between the two of us and how we treat maps.…I like to think I live life on the edge…
I’m not sure if it was done on purpose but if Mr me-myself-and-eye was trying to take my mind off things he certainly succeeded with all of the walks that we did conveniently having the prospect of me plunging to my death at the shear drops on the apparent ‘paths’ that he took us on, “It says it is a path on the map” was a favoured phrase of the weekend, however I did remind him that that sentence didn’t wash with me anymore as after 10 years together I am well practiced at him taking the most remote and craziest paths to reach our destinations (Being on the Isle of Syke and having to carry our mountain bikes on our shoulders – whilst being pregnant- over huge bogs whilst he proclaimed “The map definitely says that it is this way…” is a ‘highlight’ that I remember from our first ever holiday together… yes this is the very one that I booked on a whim) The kids are both mountain goats (a trait from him not me) and they bounded up everything without a second thought of the 30ft drops or death defying paths that greeted us on every outing.
The weekend was the tonic that we all needed. I didn’t have to take any pain killers the whole weekend and I perfected my UNO game. We were a family again and barely referred to the last 6 weeks.
Returning home was sad and the weight of being back hit us as we arrived in the drive and unloaded about a million tons of washing, sorted out school uniforms, spellings, logged on to emails etc….. getting back to reality. I often wonder if life would really be simpler if we uprooted and headed off to live off the land in a remote barn… I then quickly slap myself around the face when I realise that the nearest gin shop may be over 12 miles away and that simply wont do!
A HUGE positive when I arrived back came from two amazing women that I have the pleasure of knowing. I have quite a few friends running the London Marathon this coming Sunday and two in particular have blown me away. Firstly Lizzie Adams who decided to run the marathon and raise money for Mini Mermaids (the not for profit I run) she has absolutely smashed her fundraising target and I am blown away by everyone’s generosity…. another amazing woman is Sarah Smith, who is usually found up a mountain running crazy distances. She is running a very different race on Sunday in London and is raising money for the amazing OcuMel charity (who are bloody awesome) I know I talk about my community a lot but I am so proud and humbled by both of these kind, strong fearless women and forever grateful for them both taking on London on behalf of the girls that we reach with the Mini Mermaid programmes and for those affected with Ocular Melanoma. There is still time to donate here for OcuMel… and here for Mini Mermaids! (insert smiley face here to encourage you all to donate!)
So this weekend, is all about the AMAZING people who are taking on their own challenges at the London marathon (at this point, I have to mention my incredible friend and colleague Colleen who is running the London Marathon in honour of her mum who suffered with dementia. She is running in memory of her incredible mum and to raise money for The Dementia Revolution and I would love it if you could read her story here as she is such an AMAZING woman and I am so thankful that she is in my life) and many other events that are going on around the country. They each have their own story to tell and reasons for taking part. I wish you all the very best of luck and when the times start to get tough, dig deep into your soul and remember why you are doing it and the people that you are helping. For me, it is going to be all about cheering myself hoarse for you all…. and dreaming about opening a gin distillery in a remote part of the Lake District…..