Monday 10th August 2020

Sometimes just a short break away can be an opportunity to recharge batteries and relax.
This week we are finally away for a couple of days in Lincolnshire, a small cottage just outside of Louth.  The perfect surroundings for me, a country cottage, beautiful scenery, and a small quiet fishing lake stocked with carp, tench and perch.
An opportunity to bask in lovely warm weather and an opportunity to tech my daughter and her friend the art of angling.  It was a beautiful moment to watch my daughters first cast and see her quill dip under the water, and as I reached for the landing net she informed me that it might be bigger than a roach.
Her rod was bent double as she slowly brought in a 5-6lb carp on a tiny little rod and line.  The look on her face was priceless as she held the net grinning.  This is one of the magic moments we have in life, these tiny pieces of joy that remind us why we work so tirelessly throughout a year.
There is something wonderful about being in the country, the sound of wood pigeons and the screech of a nearby nesting kestrel.  As the week wore on, I saw an owl, a peaceful deer wandering through the nearby barley field that I walked in with Hiro daily.
We went to Mablethorpe, to the beautiful beach there, and the girls ran and jumped in the ocean where they played for hours.  Amidst the pandemic, the social distancing and the negative stories around people wearing face mask, it was refreshing to so all these measures being observed respectfully.
For me, this week was about trying to be still.  trying to have an opportunity to quieten my head and let all the work, deadlines and emails just drift away to the back of my brain.
There is something about the expectation of a holiday, the idea that it will be an opportunity to rest and relax, the reality of a holiday with two nine year old girls is very different.  So it was about stealing moments by the pond in the morning, and watching the quill slip beneath the surface in the fading light of the evening to produce that blissful moment when I feel the fish on the end of the antique rod.  The exhilaration and fear of losing the fish, or the rod snapping soon changes when the fish slips into the net.
The moment when walking Hiro and the head of the deer bobbing across the barley field, and just watching it as the sun sets in the distance.
It all ends of course, these moments, snapping back to the realities of getting the girls to bed, or refereeing their disputes before they run off together building dens and climbing trees.
The hope of spending quality time with my wonderful wife becomes a dream, however memories are made on rowing boats and eating ice creams, and of course, sat watching a still lake, slowly take a quill beneath.

Taking these times, at these particular times is even more important now, so until next time, do take care.