It was a cold afternoon. As we trudged up the hill towards home after a morning of work and pre-school, the wind bit into our bare hands. With a stinking cold and a banging headache all I wanted to do was curl up on the sofa and hibernate for the afternoon.
We fell through the door and took off our hats and scarves. My three year old requested CBeebies and a cup of warm milk and I duly obliged. Half an hour later, we were still there, snuggled up on the sofa, bathed by the warm glow of Mr Bloom and friends.
I would have been there an hour and a half later too, if I hadn’t made a promise to myself a couple of weeks ago. Life is a bit stressful at the moment. With Christmas just around the corner we still don’t know where we’re going to be living come December 25th, which is kind of scary, especially when you’re a planner as I am. So I made a pact with myself recently to try and do as much as I can in the afternoons with Frog, to forget the stress. Immersing myself in mum duties seems to be working, so far.
It’s amazing how distracting a three year old can be. Reluctantly turning off the TV and donning wellies, coats, hats and gloves, we went for a wander to the end of our road. I was sure I’d spotted a tiny entrance to a public footpath when I was parking the other day.
It’s amazing really. We’ve lived here four months and I’d never noticed that path until a few days ago. We followed it for a minute or so.
It led here… Beneath us was the stream we discovered a couple of weeks ago. The path threaded around the side of a steep hillside, with views right across the valley, overlooking the edge of Dartmoor.
We stopped to sit on a bench and chat about what we could see – amongst the fields there was the place where Frog does swimming lessons, some hamlets tucked just behind town and rather a lot of sheep.
Then we did some hill climbing. Recovering from the terror of seeing my three year old almost hurtle down the sheer face of a very steep Devon hill, I realised I wasn’t feeling stressed any more. And the stinking cold didn’t feel quite so stinking.
I even felt happy enough to indulge my camera-mad child and take a couple of Dartmoor Selfies (that’s totally a thing by the way – Dartmoor enthusiasts will be doing “Dartmoor Selfies” from here on in, guaranteed).
The outdoors wins again. Thank you outdoors.