Posts tagged Walking
Winter Walks
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Walking is my favourite form of exercise; it's leisurely, the scenery can be beautiful, and it can be (for some at least) quite literally on your doorstep. For me there's no better time to explore outdoors than winter; there's something about  returning home, windswept and chilly with rosy cheeks, that allows you to feel truly connected with nature. The prospect of a warming hot chocolate and pulling a blanket over your toes is enough to conquer even the bleakest of weathers, and over the past couple of weeks Dan and I have taken full advantage of our time off, taking Bella walking through the wolds to discover scenery old and new in a wintry light.

The frosty, fresh mornings have meant our wellies have remained (largely) mud free and it has been a joy to crunch and stride through the fields and delight in so many tiny things: tufts of Lincoln Reds caught on barbed wire; the soft popping sounds of the pheasant shoot on the other side of the valley; silhouettes of branches that frame the sunrise; and vast, vibrant blue skies that herald the start of the new year and seem endless over our heads.

These last few days I have sorely missed our walks; leaving and returning for work when it's dark outside makes exploring a little more difficult, but I wait in earnest for the weekend. It's easy to get caught up in daily life and forget to appreciate the joys that a simple walk can bring, but this year I am determined to make time and continue to explore. The Lincolnshire Wolds is often overlooked in favour of other beauty spots, but for me the rolling hills and patchwork fields are second to none.

London: a new food discovery + a long walk
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It's amazing how much you can fit in on a short visit to the capital. I stayed in two different areas of London (with friends, then family) over the weekend and managed to fit in a lot of miles over a few days (the sort of break where you need a break again once it's over). We had an indoor barbecue (I brought the rain...), swooned at wedding dresses, sang along to the new Beatles musical - Let it Be - and ate far too many croissants. In short, it was the best weekend I've had in a long while. Our first stop on the Saturday was the V&A for the wedding dresses exhibition - a present from my friend, and also a feature on my Big Summer List. Living down south, my two friends haven't had a great deal of involvement in wedding plans so far, so it was lovely to spend time together as bride and bridesmaids and discuss, dissect and delve into the world of wedding dresses. There were some beautiful fabrics, some rather interesting designs and some that were just downright off the chart (they didn't look anything like wedding dresses for a start).

All that wandering through the world of weddings left us hungry, so we wandered to find something to eat once we were finished and discovered the café Muriel's Kitchen. Located right next to South Kensington's tube station and in the heart of Museum Quarter, it was a feast for the eyes as well as our hungry selves. The decor was simple but styled and I loved the tea cups on the walls in particular - something that matched with the almost vintage vibe of the café.

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quiche and courgettes

I chose the butternut squash, feta and spinach quiche with a side of chargrilled summer courgette ribbons and the taste was so fresh and light that I didn't feel weighed down like lunch out can often leave me. My friends also tried the sweet potato wedges which were apparently delicious. We will definitely be returning!

The following day we took my friend's puppy for a walk on Wimbledon Common. It was the first time I had ever visited, and being a country girl it was invigorating to feel so far away from the hustle and bustle for a few hours. The sun was ferociously hot and we got lost once or twice, but it was all part of the fun.

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Unfortunately the puppy didn't stay still long enough for a non-blurry shot! How was your weekend? Did you go anywhere or see anything? I'd love to hear about it!

I'll be writing another London-focused post telling the story of the rest of my trip, including a visit to Shakespeare's Globe, very soon, so don't forget to check back!

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A Catch Up
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It seems strange that I haven't posted in a few days, almost like my creativity has been stifled somewhat without its usual outlet. I've come to rely on this blog as an opportunity to develop those writing skills that have festered over the past few years, that have been neglected without good reason. But there has been a reason for my online absence: a horrid cold that has lingered and interrupted what would have been a wonderful weekend full of sunshine and flowers.

It's not all doom and gloom though, and prior to my lapse in health, I had been enjoying the beauty of the countryside as we helter-skelter full steam ahead into the delights of early summer. Here are some of the wonders I've been admiring this month so far...

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The evocative smell of the zesty yellow oil seed rape that surrounds our cottage. I love winding my window down in the car and realising I'm nearly home. It also looks pretty spectacular in the late evening sunshine that falls softly on the fields; we've been trying to go for walks at this time of day to really make the most of the lighter nights.

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This lettuce that has erupted what seems like overnight is bringing me so much joy right now. The plants that have been in the polytunnel have just started to accompany our evening meals, but the prospect of nipping out the front door for a few leaves is so exciting.

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Eating seasonally is something we try to do throughout the year, but it always seems so much easier once you've got over the 'hungry gap' between February and April and the rapture of the year's first asparagus is not to be beaten (except perhaps by the first strawberry). Mr CC cooked up a treat with homemade hollandaise sauce, grilled smoky bacon, asparagus and poached duck eggs on toast. I was in food heaven.

How's your week so far? Done anything exciting?

CC x