If we are not careful, a medical appointment or important phone call cuts into every day and we have no real time to ourselves. We decided last week to keep today entirely free and it worked. We were also lucky that out of the week so far, we had far and away the best weather. Not only was it bright and sunny which lasted all day, but the sun was warm and for once I did not feel cold when walking around.
We decided on a drive to the New Forest and although there were few signs of spring, the sun pierced the gloom of the trees highlighting the intense green of the lichen-covered tree trunks and the whiteness of the birches. There has been much rain of late so there were numerous pools and reflections which gave light and interest to the landscape.
We aimed first of all for Lymington and had morning coffee. My usual foray around the shops was limited as I didn’t need to buy anything and I can’t walk very far. From the town we took the road to Beaulieu which gave us a real variety of scenery for our drive, with heathland, pools, small plantations of firs and, of course, the wonderful variety of hardwoods. We passed Hatchett’s Pond and drove into Beaulieu village. We decided to have lunch at the Montague Arms Hotel which proved to be a good choice. In the past we have gone into the bar/restaurant but today we chose the main restaurant which was very pretty and quiet.
We both selected from the lunch menu, the saffron linguine with wild mushrooms and spinach parcels. The pasta was obviously freshly made and really soaked up the creamy sauce. We followed this with a refreshing lemon posset and I have to say it was a delightful lunch. We both felt so relaxed in peaceful surroundings. As our table was by the window we overlooked the garden. At first sight we were conscious that as it is not yet spring, the plants were still in winter mode but as we looked more closely it was possible to see the mahonia blooming and the forsythia just beginning to flower.
We had a little look around the village High Street but it is a little worrying that at least three of the specialist shops had closed; I suppose this is replicated across the country and it’s such a pity. We drove to Buckler’s Hard where we had coffee but the bar at the Master Builder’s is rather rough and ready but this was the only disappointment of the day.
During the main part of the day, although I didn’t feel particularly strong physically, I was much more energised mentally than yesterday. However, neither of us had slept well the night before so we made our journey home before we grew too tired and before the traffic caused problems. Tomorrow will be a busier day and I shall have chemo so today was a day just for us, a day to treasure.