Thursday, June 14, 2018


The week before my birthday someone said to me in the morning, 'Hey, it's your birthday soon - what you going to do?'
I spent the rest of the day in tears.

I couldn't conceive of a birthday celebrated without Zahida. She was good at birthdays that one - good at gifts and thoughtful gestures, always up for a party or some related fun - but mostly just genuinely, warmly, utterly happy. I don't feel like I've felt that for a while now.

The next day I spent a couple of hours hunting online, until I found an available, dog-friendly cottage to book for the weekend. My birthday would be spent away, with just the fam, and a glorious deep, hot outdoor bath!

It was the BEST.

Just that patch of super green lawn made our poor drought-stricken hearts sing.

Add to that majestic mountains, a superb steak fillet, one chilly day to stay indoors at the fire playing Settlers of Catan, one warmer day to explore the farm and collect wind-fallen pears and get lost on a hike, my 3 favourite people in all the world, my 2 favourite dogs and - the proverbial cherry - a magnificent birthday 'pulla' baked by my man in the teeny little cottage oven ... it was the very best way to spend this birthday.

And ...

... this bath. Filled with rainwater, heated with solar, set away from the house with a view of the mountain. Deep. Hot. Guilt-free. We all had a turn, wallowing in water therapy, high on hydration, muscles relaxing and softening as they remembered: a bath!

Good for the mind, body and soul.

It was only when we got home that I found this line on their website: The mountain cottages are tucked away at the foot of the mountain, far away from any rush or noise. The setting certainly helps most people to feel their sorrows dissolve…

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