Every August I take two weeks away from work, hang up my office keys on the Friday evening, empty my handbag of months worth of accumulated notes and reminders and petty cash receipts, and kick my shoes behind the sofa.
This is my two weeks of pottering, pootling, occasional adventures, baking, nesting and generally switching my brain off. It takes at least 5 days for this to kick in but somehow, with great effort of will, I managed to be busy doing nothing for great long days at a time:
Treated myself to creme brulee, purely to hear the sugar top crack under the spoon.
Gave my square and stubby nails their annual polish and crocheted for hours on end, working on my winter blanket project.
Visited the tiny, eccentric but entirely excellent Farmcote Chilli Farm, which entailed (thanks to a satnav malfunction) a meandering journey around lesser known regions of the Cotswolds. Views to break your heart.
Took a late night trip up a local hillside to try and see the Perseid meteor shower with the Teen. We saw 13 meteors (yes, we did keep count), the first ones that I have ever seen, fleeting, blink-and-miss swift across the sky. A moon so big and bright that it was almost painful to stare at.
An impromptu trip to the sea to get a thorough dose of sea air, salt water and chips. Poked about in small rock pools, watched tiny crabs scurry along, picked up shells and driftwood, splashed in the shallows.
Caught up with friends I don’t often see. Read books (Fludd, The Brontes, Lunch in Paris, Ammonites and Leaping Fish; started A Book of Silence). Spent a day with my Mum and nephew. Baked blackberry slices. Picked blackberries. Walked along the riverbank. Got a tattoo. Caught the sun. Napped. Spent the very blustery day in pyjamas.
Retrieved my shoes from behind the sofa this morning, blew the dust off them, picked up my heavy bunch of keys. Back to work.