Sunday, 17 April 2016
The Perfect Writing Break
Yesterday my husband and I came home from our holiday in the Lake District. It's our fifth visit and, as always, we wonder how this beautiful place escaped our radar in the years preceding our first holiday here eight years ago.
Apart from one year, when we rented a cottage in Troutbeck, we have always stayed in the same row of slate miners' cottages just outside the tiny village of Chapel Stile. Each year, we think of staying somewhere else but the truth is, we just can't imagine anywhere being as perfect (and the view of Lingmoor Fell from the bedroom window would be hard to beat).
We discovered this gorgeous graveyard tucked away on one of the footpaths leading out of the village and couldn't believe we'd missed it before (have I mentioned I love graveyards?)
I have to admit, we are rather unimaginative in our walks. We have our favourites which we never tire of: The Langdales, The Wordsworth Walk around Rydale, Ambleside to Troutbeck over Wansfell, and one from the perfect little village of Elterwater. Each year, we revisit these then try one or two new ones. I hate heights so our walks are mid-level and scenic rather than high and vertigo-inducing (just hearing the words 'Striding Edge' brings me out in a cold sweat!)
This is the third year we've visited the lakes in April and I think it is probably my favourite time of year: daffodils are everywhere, the fields are full of lambs and the changeable weather makes every day different. We were a little worried about how Bonnie would cope with the long walks, as she is getting a little older, but we needn't have worried - I tired long before she did!
I celebrated my birthday while we were away and one of my presents was a FitBit. The reason I wanted one was to help me walk the 10,000 steps recommended each day for good health. As writers, we sit for long periods of time and this particular model vibrates if it senses you haven't walked for a while. Of course my first week was a little exceptional as we were walking between six and eight miles every day. In fact, I walked enough steps to earn a 'Marathon Badge'... whoo hoo! I mustn't get too excited though as it will probably never happen again. I suspect my FitBit is going to be very disappointed in me next week once I get back to writing again.
It's been a busy time for me recently with the excitement of finding an agent and doing the first round of novel edits alongside my magazine stories. With this in mind, I made the decision to have a complete writing break while I was away. For the first time, it didn't make me feel guilty. I know now that these breaks are good for me.
So it's back to work with recharged batteries, a head full of stories and memories of the beautiful fells and lakes. I'm missing them already.