We have experienced probably one of the most glorious weekends I can remember in Altrincham. The weekend started at lunch time on Friday for me. Usually, Fridays I try to finish early – around 4.00 or 4.30. But then I have an hour’s drive to get home. By the time I am home, I am completely knackered – too little sleep during the week has caught me up, and I don’t feel energetic enough to do anything.

This weekend was different. I had ended up working much of the bank holiday (long) weekend last weekend, so I decided I would leave at lunch time. The meeting I had gone in for, was cancelled at the last minute (don’t get me started on that one!), and I decided that as the weather was fantastic, I would leave by 12.30. I called Tim, as he was home, and we agreed that we’d walk to a pub that has a great outdoor area and have a late lunch.

The “Swan with Two Nicks” is an hour’s walk away: through a little park, across the road, through a golf course, down a path, across Dunham Massey Park, over the Bollin River, into Little Bollington and then you’re there. We found a lovely sunny spot, and literally sat there for the remainder of the afternoon. We had hoped that Lisa would join us, so we would have a ride home, but when her plans changed, we realised that we’d have to walk back. I thought it might be difficult, given the fact that by then we were rather lethargic, however it was just as nice a walk back and didn’t really feel like it was an hour away.

When we got home, I talked Tim into scrubbing down our patio table and chairs. It was quite a job, because the green moss gets right into every groove in the pattern. But the end result made it all worthwhile. It looks great now.

Saturday, we woke up to brilliant sunshine. I set off for an early run. My running is coming along nicely. I can run for 25 minutes now without completely feeling like I am going to expire on the spot. Apparently this equates to approximately 2.5 miles or 4 km. By next week, I should be running the 3 miles/5kms that I was aiming for. I feel quite proud of myself, actually! I don’t really know what I do once I have achieved that? Continue running 3 miles a time, or trying to extend that? Only time will tell.

We decided to have a day at home on Saturday. It was really nice – I didn’t need to go into town, or to the shops, or to have my hair or nails done. So the day felt so much longer. We started by scrubbing down the moss on the outside front wall. I can’t tell you how that moss stinks. It is absolutely revolting. But it did have to be scrubbed down before we could paint the areas that have been plastered and not painted. I managed to take the skin off my fingers from the scrubbing, but the improvement is noticeable. Tim also managed to put the undercoat on, ready for a final coat which he’ll do on Monday. We were planning to have a braai (BBQ) later, so we decided to clean and scrub down the patio floor too. It is still not as clean as I like it, but I didn’t have the energy to go down on hands and feet to scrub the whole area properly. The bristled brush made a big difference though.

Chores done, it was time for a rest – and rest we did. I lay out on the lawn with the cat for a while, reading the latest book in the Lady No1 detective agency books: The Miracle at Speedy Motors, while the sun gently warmed my body. It was so relaxing. A while later, the sun had reached our patio (we only get afternoon sun on the patio), so I moved there while Tim watched the FA cup final. Lisa arrived later to join us for the braai Tim was preparing: a feast it was too! He perfected the ‘chicken with a beer can up it’s wotsit’ recipe. It was incredibly good, tasty and tender.

This morning we were heading out for another walk to ‘The Cloud’ near Congleton. I can’t believe that I have become such a keen walker. I wonder whether it is easier for me now that I am so much fitter? But I like the adventure of it all. I love exploring paths, seeing what I can see … Today’s 6.5 mile (10 km) walk took us from a village outside Congleton, in and around some fields and countryside, up a steep path to a hill called ‘The Cloud’. The 360 degree views were spectacular. Only problem is, Tim and I were both lacking energy right from the start. Our legs, bodies and lungs felt heavy. This meant that the walk felt much harder than it should have, but once we got back I was glad we’d done it.

We again got back just in time for the sun to have reached the patio. I sat out reading my book while Tim fell asleep in his chair! He was so tired, poor thing. Bob and Tiff were outside doing some chores, so it only felt right that we should take tea and coffee outside. I prepared a tray, complete with biscuits, before taking it out. It felt so civilised!

It really has been a fantastic weekend. It might have just been an ordinary weekend, but it felt like a long weekend to me. I am going to try, wherever possible, to finish at lunch time whenever the weather is good. When the weather is bad, I will work in the extra time. I think this will help my stress levels immensely – I have been struggling recently. But certainly after this weekend, I feel well and truly relaxed. And the perfect side effect is that I have a bit of tan to show for it too. I think it will be the first time I go on an early summer holiday without being lily white!

And now I have only 10 days to wait for my parents to arrive for their visit. Die lewe is ‘n lied. (It doesn’t translate well, but literally means: Life is a song!)