Monday again. By 9:30, too many Monday-esque things had happened to take away the Monday feeling. A reflection of the weekend is in order!
My brother turned 19 on Sunday, so I used this as a good excuse to go back to my family home for the weekend; get laundry done, relax, sleep in my comfy bed, be cooked for and consequently eat too much, and get some country air. I was feeling quite suffocated from being in the city for so long, and as soon as I got out of the car at home, I felt better. The air felt so much cleaner, it even tasted better as I breathed in, and everything smelt so fresh and crisp. It was dark when I arrived back, and it was wonderful to look up and see a sky full of stars, and a perfect crescent moon. Lucklily I don't notice the absence of this night sky in York, because if I did, it wouldn't be such a nice surprise to see it when I get the chance.
The weekend was perfect but for one thing - it went way too quickly! On Saturday we were treated to a huge pan of Aga porridge, one of my favourite things in life! I could get through a whole pan, given the chance - I wonder how lively I would be if I tried it? York is a very flat place, and the terrain at home is incredibly hilly, and so I used this opportunity to get some good training in for what will be a very hilly half marathon. It was the first time I've ever been running with my Dad, who is no stranger to extreme outdoor activity, and so I was incredibly nerrvous about being too slow or too tired. We did a 7.5 mile route, passing through a few towns and villages, but mainly open countryside, and it was wonderful. I never realised how lovely the area can be, given the right light and the right view. The scenery and the company made it quite an easy run, all things considered, and it was great to get to know my Dad a bit better, and to show him that I'm no longer the unfit, moody teenager I used to be!!
Rounded off with a tasty banana-peanut butter recovery-milkshake, it was quite a successful morning!
In the evening we headed out with some family friends to celebrate my brother's birthday at a great local Indian resaturant. I love Indian food, and have started to make my own curries with as much authenticity as I can, but of course it doesn't even come close to a proper Indian curry!
On Sunday we woke up to a very surprising blanket of snow, and a thick sheet of snow still falling. This was perfectly in line with my plan for the day: relax! To me, a good birthday needs a great breakfast, and so we set the day off in style with a special Birthday Breakfast - yogurt, fruit, granola, orange juice, hot cross buns (my bro ate 7 in two days!), jams, honey, pancakes, maple syrup, blueberries! We were stuffed! Mum was cooking up pancakes while also simmering two soups on the stove, making a birthday cake, preparing Sunday dinner and making an egg custard for her brother - what a star!
Of course, we were lured out by the evil white stuff - no relaxing as I had intended! I never got the chance to go sledging during the last snowfall (see above about York being flat!), and so Dad got down the sledges and we headed off in hats and wellies to the sledging hill from my childhood. I wish I could have taken my camera, because it was hilarious! I must have been a daring child - I got halfway up the hill and decided it was high enough for me, and shooting down the hill at what felt like 3873mph I couldn't help screaming at the top of my lungs, while the children nearby were speeding down much faster, head first!
We trudged home over the fields pulling our sledges behind us, which felt sort of childlike for some reason. I certainly didn't regret not staying at home with my book and a cup of tea.
Jam sandwiches, the perfect apres-snow lunch!
It was my perfect Sunday, in all. It has left me yearning for family Sundays as a child, and I feel quite sad that I have now left home, and am now in charge of creating my own routines and comforts. Growing up, you never have the chance to notice how special things are; it is just normality, routine, and even a little boring. Then everything changes, and only then when they have gone from normality do these things reveal their true joy, and you realise how important they were in your life. I feel incredibly lucky that I have this chaotic, imperfect home to return to, and that I'll always belong there, no matter how long I stay away. It's too easy to notice the cracks in your family once you grow up, and I have definitely concentrated too hard on these in the past. For now I can't wait to go back again over Easter, and I intend to hold on to this sudden appreciation of how things were until then, and make sure that next time I use it to my advantage; I'm still the same girl who grew up in that house, after all.