On Wednesday we headed to Ludlow in South Shropshire to meet one of our friends for lunch. Ludlow is a lovely place, a thriving market town perched on a cliff above the river Teme surrounded by the unspoilt and beautifully hilly countryside of south Shropshire and the Welsh border country. It has a wonderful castle, which was started in 1086 and the medieval town walls were built shortly after. The town has over 450 listed buildings making it rather stunning and heaped in history.
We ended up having lunch at a café made famous by Bill Bryson as he wrote about it in his book, "Notes from a small Island". Yummy food before going for a walk around the castle and down to the river, lovely to catch up with Cerys and enjoy visiting a new part of the world.
On Thursday morning I went to Yoga again at the Cheltenham Yoga and Pilates centre, what a treat, it was a lovely class with Ian, finishing with some sitting and a nourishing relaxation. I realised during the class how hectic my mind has become these days, without the opportunity for daily meditation it is amazing how quickly the mind starts racing again. It is also amazing how a vinyasa practice, with focus breathe and movement can really help to focus the mind back in again leaving one feeling most grounded and centred. So, so nice to be a student too.
After Yoga I met my boys and we visited our regular cafe for the final time, before heading out up into the countryside to enjoy the Cotswolds. We trekked up the hill to a ridge on the very top affording fabulous views of the surrounding countryside before finding our way to the cutest of oldy worldy Cotswolds village pub with a big open fire and old low ceilings. Strangely the two people who talked to us in there had both been to Guernsey, it is indeed a small world, albeit they visited back in the 1970s when it was far more financially accessible.
Friday and it was time to leave, we headed along the A40 to Chesham in Buckinghamshire to visit my Mum's best friend and the mother of my best friend, Anita, for lunch. I just love White Hill, the family home, which is also a residential home for 8 elderly people. I have visited this place on and off my whole life and have very fond memories of our annual summer holidays spent here. I was really keen for Ewan to experience it for himself and also to see Anita for more Elijah cuddles. Such a treat, not least the lunch and the general welcoming nature of the visit but also to see Anita's eldest, Rachel, and her children, who I have not seen for years. Thank you Auntie Anita. x
Leaving Anita's at 4pm on a Friday to head down to Brighton via the M25 was not clever, good grief we are so spoilt living in Guernsey with only the smallest of commutes and such insignificant traffic jams. Still we made it down to Brighton within two and a half hours and a lovely evening with our friend Charles in his new flat in Preston Parks. We are very blessed with such accommodating friends who love to cuddle Elijah and welcome him into their homes. Thank you Charles.
On Saturday I walked down to Brighton with Elijah and wandered around the Lanes and enjoyed the slightly grungy Brighton vibe before walking all the way back to the flat again, a 2.5 hour walk, so lots of fresh air for us both. Walking through Preston Park I came across the Preston twins, which are believed to be the oldest surviving Elm trees in the world at 400 years old, amazing!!
Tea time Charles and I went to Bikram Yoga together. Charles has been practicing Bikram for years now as he loves the 40 degree heat, and while it is not my favoured style of Yoga (far from it!), I generally try and get in at least one class with him on each visit. To be fair these classes have become less painful over the years as I have become more familiar with the routine and the variation of poses that are practiced in each class, plus I have experienced some benefit as they are incredibly cleansing, uplifting and clarifying.
Still it was hard. So, so hot and so much like hard work!! But I left feeling taller, cleaner and more awake than I had felt all day. And I slept so well that night. It is worth everyone giving it a try, I do feel it can assist with healing, but of course like everything should be practiced in moderation.
Our boat back to Guernsey has been cancelled due to another storm in the channel which means we have been transferred to the slow boat, a whole 12 hours of sailing in a force 7 with a 10 week old baby, well I guess a journey would not be quite the same if it all ran to plan, nothing like a challenge to keep one present and flexible to change.