My week … the one with country roads.

I love my music and am often found creating a playlist with a theme. This week I’ve been doing a lot of driving and what started as a sing song of Country Roads took me down a songbook of great country tracks. Country is not my normal genre but it’s amazing how many of the songs are so familiar and loved.

I have explored so much of the county this week, our county has no motorways and my journeys took me down many country roads, the countryside is stunning but I do prefer straighter, wider roads!

On Thursday I took my son to school, he normally has school transport, and then went to the local town as I wanted to have my glasses altered at the opticians and pop into some of the shops. It’s one of my favourite places for shopping, it’s small but has an excellent choice of independent shops, the book and kitchen shops are brilliant and has some favourites from the high street too, White Stuff, Fat Face, Seasalt etc .. The shops open later around 10, so it was lovely to sit opposite the church with a coffee in the bright sunshine. It had been so nice to take my son to school, he was so chatty and entertaining, I really miss the primary school run. Once I had finished in the school town, I then went to another nearby town for some more functional buys, new trainers for my son who is just growing at such a rate, M&S tights (the best) and a few other bits and bobs. I’m having to be very organised this year as I’ll be unable to do much whilst I recuperate from my upcoming operation. I have even begun to pick up a few Christmas gifts.

On Saturday I continued my travels around the county, but in a different direction, I went to a hamlet with my daughter for her farm work, then off to a nearby small town to drop her off so she could meet friends and then the county town whilst I waited for her. It’s the first time I’ve been to the county town since before the pandemic and I was shocked at the number of shops closed and boarded up. It really has become a ghost town. It used to be one of my favourite towns to go to, lovely shops and cafes, an independent cinema etc .. now it looks very empty without high street staples such as Next and M&S.

As well as my music this week, I listened to Beautiful World by Sally Rooney. I listen on my commute to work and then with all the extra driving there were lots of opportunities to listen to books and podcasts.

I was really keen to either read or listen to the book as Normal People was one of my favourite reads from recent years. However I was wary as I didn’t enjoy Conversations with Friends so strongly. I really liked Beautiful World, although Normal People still tops my chart. It’s a very ordinary story in that nothing really happens, it’s just about the lives of four young adults with some beautifully written parts. I did feel it was written as a tv or film adaption but this is okay and I look forward to watching such an adaption.

Unusually for me I sat down this week and watched a film of my son’s choice, Forrest Gump. I had forgotten what a lovely film this is and the links to American history are amusing. My son asked me if Forrest had special needs like him, a question which temporarily floored me as we always teach him he’s capable of all he wants to do and we’ll always be there for him but he could recognise Forrest in himself. I positively framed the answer in the kindness and support Forrest is able to give because of the way he sees the world makes his special needs his super power but it was a bit heart breaking.

After last week’s Biscoff cheesecake success, my son was keen to make another this weekend as it was his turn for baking with me. He was very creative and we made a chocolate orange cheesecake, the perfect Saturday night treat ahead of Strictly. Strictly made for wonderful viewing with so many highlights, but for me the moment of the night was when the two male dancers tangoed . I felt so emotional (and joyful) to see a male same sex coupling. Sometimes we don’t recognise how far we’ve come in promoting a more inclusive, representative society. There’s always so much more to do, but I did get the feels in last night’s Strictly.

I’ve done lots of running this week, the weather has been lovely and the photo of the dusk was taken as I ran around a local village whilst my daughter was at Youth club. It’s nice to have a change in scenery. The weather has also been hot and sunny so I continue to wear shorts and flip flops, I’m delighted that I made it to the end of September this year. However, looking at next week’s forecast it may signal the summer clothes being packed away.

It’s been such a busy week that I almost forgot one of the nicest parts of the week meeting up with friends on Tuesday night. I made a slow cooker chilli and the host prepared the rice, fresh guacamole, soured cream and tortilla chips to accompany it. We were in my friends garden and it was such a mild night we only needed a fire much later in the evening. It was just lovely and made me consider that some of the things we are doing due to Covid are so much nicer and more personal than what we used to do before.

Next week is going to be crazy… I’m working overtime to do full time and reckon it’s easily going to be a 50+hours working week due to the number of entries in my diary. There is also a tutor evening (thankfully online, it’s a real time saving idea) for my daughter and the usual clubs. My big excitement is a new washing machine on Friday. Ours has been dying for months and is now so noisy you can’t be in the same room when it’s on the spin cycle. I feel like a proper adult, a new washing machine is my highlight of the coming week!

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