It had been a stressful week, but I was enjoying the leisurely morning preparing for my journey north. It was lovely to be able to take my time… there were still hours ahead of me before I intended leaving; hours in which I could wallow in a bath, pack properly for once and clear everything outstanding in my inboxes before the workshop weekend claimed my attention. I would even have time to call somewhere on the road and had designs on the glories of Lichfield Cathedral. I should have known better… one phone call and I was cramming things into a bag and thinking with regret of the emails I would be unable to answer as my plans were changed and I dashed, ungroomed, out of the door, hoping with little confidence that I’d remembered everything I would need. Except my wrist splints… I had forgotten those and regretted it throughout the drive.
Ah well, I am neither mouse nor man, but I know all about those best laid plans going off at a tangent. I put my foot down and concentrated on the long road ahead.
The journey always holds a beauty to lift the heart, no matter what the season. The colours of the landscape were fantastic… incessant rain had painted everything in high contrast; England is still very green and the dark earth and bare trees made stark reflections in flooded fields and the road surface glistened and sparkled.
The roads seemed busy and I couldn’t really understand why… until the preponderance of Christmas trees reminded me that it was, after all, December. It didn’t feel like it with the unseasonably mild weather and I have seldom felt less Christmassy than this year or been less prepared. By now I would usually be well on the way to organised and definitely feeling the seasonal spirit lighten the long darkness of the days. This year? No… I’ve barely thought about it. Even so, a quick dash into a shop en route left me glad of the missing mascara. Quite why ‘White Christmas’ should get me every year, I don’t know…but every year it is the same soggy story the first time I hear it played.
I arrived at my destination in Yorkshire on time though some five hours after leaving to be greeted with coffee and the knowledge that an evening lay ahead that would contain nothing except wine and conversation… and a home cooked dinner with bread fresh from the oven. And somehow, that changed everything. Sometimes it is the smallest things that can turn a day around.Without a trace of tinsel or glitter, suddenly it had begun to feel like Christmas.