I think the tandem has entered my soul! It’s certainly done something to my mind, as was brought home to me very clearly this weekend.
You may recall that the aim of the tandem was to get Pete and me back into the countryside together, something which it is accomplishing better than we could possibly have hoped! The two of us actually met in our student walking club, and a group of us continue to meet annually for a sociable get-together.
We have just got back from one such weekend, in the Peak District. The emphasis is split pretty equally between walking and catching up with each other, with plenty of talk of walking exploits, as well as chatting about our ever growing, and growing numbers of, children, who come along too.
This weekend, instead of subconsciously avoiding thinking about the family trips or outrageous adventures the others were able to do, I was able to relax, knowing that I was back out there too, spending days outdoors again. Just having that thought in my mind made all the difference. I felt fully part of things again, and could even add the odd tale myself.
Whilst there, it so happened that various members of our family were unable to undertake one of the hilly walks on offer, so we ended up on our own individual walk. It actually looked strangely similar to a family trip out – but, obviously, it wasn’t, if one of the teenagers asks!
Our ramble consisted of a meander round Bakewell in search of a tart (sorry, couldn’t resist – there were many such feeble quips on the day!) We found a cafe which offered a classic Bakewell tart, with or without ice cream, as well as the option of the iced variety. Needless to say, we tried them all! I can report that they were delicious, and bore no resemblance to the shop-bought variety.
Sufficiently full to bursting, we then headed on to Matlock Bath and had a lovely walk (ok, mine was of the four-wheeled variety) along the river Derwent to the town, in beautifully mild weather. The town made no allowance for being about as far from the sea as is possible in England: it was going to be a seaside resort, no matter what! It consisted of one long street, facing the river (not the sea!), with fish and chip shops all the way along, interspersed with cafes and the odd amusement arcade. There were even illumination lights strung up across the river, ready for dark. We sat outside a chippie, enthusiastically sharing a bag of chips and breathing in the relaxed, autumnal atmosphere.
It was a lovely weekend, which cleared my head in more ways than one.