September has finally arrived, bags are being packed and new wardrobes unveiled as Autumn slides into view. Much as I like the colour palette that will begin to shade the countryside, I am not ready for the darker evenings and cooler weather.
It has been a funny old summer too, days have started out promising and ended with torrents of rain, or started out grey and ended with beautiful evenings where dinner can be served outside.
At the beginning of August, I packed my bags for a Great British Holiday near Henley-on-Thames. Typical to my Great British Holidays of childhood memories, I arrived in brilliant sunshine, only for it to be followed by a day of rain! Thankfully I knew my second day there would be a bit rainy so I planned in a walk to take before I turned up at my venue. This left me with the knowledge that I would now have 24 hours to fill, of drizzle, wind and the occasional thunder roll (I am grateful that the latter was at night time only!)
Before I end this extra long introduction! Let me show you around my venue. I love using Airbnb and have never had any problems with them, even when travelling around other countries as in my trip to New York. If you are interested in trying out the website click here for your first booking and a discount! This place was amazing and just what I needed for a writing, reading and pampering break!
WHAT TO DO WHEN IT RAINS
It’s raining, and I wish it was sunny, but it’s not. I make a plan, I will not let this ruin my day. Rain comes and goes, I will make a plan, I will not dwell in pity. Here’s what I do:
Rainy days give us the opportunity to slow down. I may be in all day, so I will take time, not rush life as I usually do. I’m not going to lie, the beautiful views helped inspiration but they were not all I relied on.
I decided to have a proper lie in and enjoy it without feeling guilty or as if I was wasting time. I wasn’t; this was part of the plan.
WHen I could sleep no more, I had a long shower, made a bog bowl of porridge, and enjoyed breakfast whilst catching up with the latest in Doctor Who!
Is it just me? Or do we all feel guilty for resting? Do we feel like we have wasted time or been lazy? I chose to enjoy every single moment of going slow and chose to see it an emotional and physical refreshment.
Fill Your Mind
Once relaxed and free of guilt my mind was able to enjoy and entertain itself again. In the evening I watched two DVDs (one with dinner, one with wine!) In the day, I read, finishing Jane Eyre (for the first time) and beginning That Girl From Nowhere. I wrote more than I have in a very long time! There are so many ways to plan non-digital entertainment does not have to be in these forms though, I remember many a family holiday where this would have been a day for telling stories, board games, parlour games, cards and letter writing. I even found sometimes I just spent time standing in the door way, watching the rain fall and enjoying the countryside move. Time passed slowly but not tediously.
Time passed slowly but not tediously.
As well as reading for entertainment I worked through a chapter of a book I am using to grow my own skills; taking notes and placing the knowledge in my current context. When I felt I had read enough for me in one sitting, I interspersed the books with podcasts keeping me company, voices of unknown people encouraging me!
podcasts: voices of unknown people encouraging me
My primary reason to get away was to make space for my mind to be inspired and from that place create again. Creating to me is often about words and sentences; also it’s about dreams and schemes being drawn out of my mind and coming to life on paper. I had worship times to create, blog posts to write, dreams to cultivate and hen parties to plan! It wasn’t just creating with my pen; there was also creativity in my meal planning. I hadn’t fancied venturing out before lunch which meant unless I had round 2 of porridge I’d have to use what was left from the previous evening! I remembered a little soup I used to make up when I worked in a pub and wanted something to get through a long evening shift. I had a tin of tomatoes in the cupboard left over, added a handful of kale (back in the 90’s kale wasn’t trending so I’d have put in spinach!) and a generous pouring of white wine. I combined it all with the hand blender my host thankfully supplied in the kitchen; boiled it to my preferred thickness and voila: lunch was served!
When the rainy days come, look for simple ways to create!
Get out in it
As a child, rain wouldn’t have kept me indoors and hiding away; why had I become so shy of embracing it? Looking at the map I could see that the Farm shop I had visited the day before was only across a couple of fields behind the house and there were two separate footpaths I could take to it making it a round journey with a stop on the way! I planned to go after lunch and it happened that the rain actually eased off a little.
Both routes began by walking the edge of a steep field. I then took the more complicated route first, mainly because when I got to where the fork in the path should be, I couldn’t quite make out whether it still existed! This first route took me through a meadow into woodland. I quite enjoyed the childlike feeling of trudging through mud, finding owl houses in trees and snatching the odd blackberry up!
The way back was far less complicated. just a gravel tractor path aligned with blackberry hedges (more snatching) and cows which stand their group with fierce eyes! I nearly missed the sharp left turn though – now I know why I couldn’t see the path the first time! It was a much easier walk but much more open and gave stunning views across the valley.
There will be days where it rain, both in the actual weather and in our internal climate. I hope some of these can inspire you when the rain comes. I for one am looking forward to embracing them as Autumn blows in!