Friday, April 15, 2005

Barefoot in Hanley

I was sitting in the conservatory this morning, drinking coffee, looking out at the garden with its brand new spring colours and I got to thinking what other sights, tastes and smells make you feel safe and happy. I always enjoy my first sip of newly made coffee after the aroma of making it has filled the house and I love the taste of fresh apricots*, gooseberries and mangoes. Smells would have to be lavender, torn basil leaves and freshly squeezed lemon or lime. One of my favourite sensations is walking barefoot in the sand with the sound and smell of the surf drifting into my consciousness** also the smell of the garden early in the morning when the sun has been up just a little while and the grass is still damp from the dew. I also love it when, very rarely nowadays, I wake up warm and comfortable after a good night’s sleep, that moment between waking and being fully conscious is wonderful. The feel of a warm, furry, purring cat on your lap when you are feeling down. Just a few of my favourite things.

* especially when bought early from a market stall in France and taken back to our lodgings to eat with warm fresh baguette, greengage preserve and – you’ve guessed - freshly made coffee.
** quite hard to do in Stoke, I admit, but usually managed two or three times a year, sometimes at Cherrueix or St-Jean-Le-Thomas, sometimes on the Welsh coast near Criccieth, last year on the Yorkshire coast, in the rain, but I still loved every minute. How wonderful is Staithes in the pouring rain? I thought it was breathtakingly beautiful and atmospheric.

Highlight of the day – there isn’t going to be a bus strike after all, so I don’t have to walk the two plus miles up to Hanley in order to get to my writing course. I don’t mind the walking, I’ve done it before it’s just the noise of the traffic on the main roads I have to walk along – could I suspend all belief and pretend I’m walking barefoot on the beach at Cherrueix ? Nope!!

Today’s gripe – happened yesterday actually, in Tesco. Why do people have to ‘push’ from behind in the queue? They come right up behind you with their trolly in the back of your legs, come right down and stand almost behind you while you are paying – very rude! Sometimes they have a partner in crime who is getting their bags ready to fill whilst you are still filling yours. They watch your every move, eagle eyed, ready to pounce, even before you have moved away from the checkout. Don’t do it! Thanks.

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