I was just wondering what I could possibly write about today, when I caught sight of an article in the newspaper. – (remember those?) I take in most of my news via websites so this was a chance encounter when helping my other half find an acceptable item on which to dry his sopping wet walking boots! I paused to cut out a recipe before handing over the rest of the paper, and lo and behold there was Julia Bradbury smiling up at me. I read what she had to say and it reminded me of the deep satisfaction we have had from walking regularly in our local countryside. I don’t want to admit to it becoming an obsession, but a routine of three days a week with a good long walk, preferably 16 km or more, has definitely kept me going.

I understand that many people have had trouble with weight gain during lockdown, and this is an area where the regular walks have also helped. We used to be gym bunnies, going at least 3-4 times a week since so-called ‘retirement’ – or at least no longer employed by anyone else. Since the gym closed in lockdown I have found the exercise in the open air so much more enjoyable, even if it does take up more time. Our great good fortune to live surrounded by the Surrey Hills has been a joy, and we have discovered a new path that we’d never used before on many of our walks. That alone is a kind of satisfaction.

Using the Ordnance Survey app we can track our distances and save our routes, and see how it all adds up. Setting new targets and trying to reach them is going to be the next step in a period which has otherwise become a little ‘samey’

But even using the same paths has changed as the seasons pass, with the ‘log we sat on in the hailstorm’ to have coffee on an early March walk now covered in bracken and brambles. Our wild flower bible by Sarah Raven has assisted in many discussions like “What’s that yellow thing that looks like a dandelion but can’t be”.

Having finally had a haircut I no longer need to tie back my incredibly annoying fringe with a sock tied round my head, and I am looking forward to cooler weather when I can don one of my gorgeous silk scarves, and look like a proper lady as I meander through the woods.

Maybe the favourite for this purpose would be my Rejykavik reflections scarf, which goes twice round my head and still has enough fabric to tie a pretty bow at the back.

Another one of the new collection that I really love is the French reflections scarf.

Most unusually this is me (above) wearing it. Having not been able to run a photoshoot in lockdown I have had to try and accept a much inferior model, but here’s an alternative ‘virtual model’ – drawn by me as a substitute for a glamorous young person modelling for me.

So how have you kept going and kept positive?

Are you ready to look forward to the autumn season (sorry US friends – the Fall!) and the pleasure that nature can bring with cooler days, richer colours and reasons to celebrate? I won’t mention any of the ‘holidays’ coming up yet, but I will remind you that it could be a great time to choose a luxury silk scarf for yourself or a friend. If that seems of interest go to my website and browse the shop. Don’t forget also that we sometimes have rain – (that wet stuff that fallout of the sky when the temperature drops).

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