One of the best weapons to deploy for this purpose is exercise. I have made an effort this week to do a bit of this, and do you know, it's working.
On Monday, I went for a 3km run and logged it on Strava. I decided to try a different park to the one I normally go running in, and it was fantastic: proper hills and undulating ground, a real challenge. Plus I discovered a little corner of the park led to the local nature reserve - how come I did not know this?
Also on Monday, my trial Taste card arrived (follow the link to get yours - 50% or 241 deals on restaurant meals). I started thinking about where I could use it, and we have booked a birthday meal at a lovely hotel in the countryside that we never knew existed before. How do we know it's lovely? Well, we decided to cycle there on Tuesday! Again, I logged the ride on Strava on the way there, so I know I cycled 13km that night. On the way there, we saw how the yellow broom contrasted beautifully with the purple thistle flowers at the side of the cycle path. On the way back, we came home via the N6 in the dark and it was pretty spooky - it's got massively overgrown since I walked down there last weekend. It was as if the broom, thistles and nettles were reaching out to grab me. Eek! Not so pretty now...
Last night, I suggested a lovely evening walk to OH and I showed him how I had found the entrance to the nature reserve so near to us. We walked through fields with hundreds of rabbits and took a circular route back through the village, admiring the pretty cottages and stopping off at the pocket garden of Kingsthorpe church, a wild, shadowy lovely place with tumbledown Victorian gravestones. OH showed me the Kings Well, a proper spring. The villagers have apparently long boasted that the spring water is purer than the stuff pumped up by the waterboard. There is a plaque telling us all this, which then advises the public not to actually drink it... well, guess who did anyway. A swift half at King William IV convinced us we have found our new local. What a lovely evening!
Feeling pretty proud of OH who in a moment of true frugal insight decided not to buy cinema tickets to see Monty Python last weekend, saving us £37. He regretted it slightly as we watched the show live on TV and there were a lot of censored bits... but we have recorded the uncensored version shown on Tuesday. Some of the show reviews have been cruel and disparaging. Some people are idiots... As a teenager, I was perfectly happy to listen to the Monty Python album round my friend's house again and again and again, singing along to "Eric the Half a Bee." What did they expect the fellas to do? Of course it was a nostalgia trip, and I enjoyed it. And I've been walking home from the bus station singing "The Philosophers' Song" to myself all this week. And isn't Carol Cleveland just awesome!
Twice this week there have been some great and peculiar installations in front of the bus station.