Bits and pieces have been keeping me busy since I got back (and last wrote). The first weekend I was back, we had an overnight trip with the girls to the same campsite we'd gone to in September. This time though we did not, thankfully, stay in tents but in the nice heated 'main house' which gave me my own room (albeit with a not-very-comfortable bunk bed) and had a lovely kitchen for the kids to try their hand at all sorts of recipes. We had gorgeous weather though it was freezing - around -10 (C), to be precise. But see how pretty it was!
The frozen white stuff is a bit of the canal - it was all quite frozen over. I was a bit wary of going at first, what with being busy and tired and having been back for less than a week, but then the martyr in me decided to go, and I'm so glad I did - I ended up having loads of fun, felt very refreshed watching the girls play outside and take pleasure in simple things like jumping on the ice until it broke (I hasten to add this took place in a shallow stream, where the most they could get wet was their feet and ankles - I had no desire to reenact Amy March on the ice), and discovered new aspects of some of my girls, whom I had previously had somewhat different opinions about. And there is something about watching kids - whether they are outside or handling cooking implements - which sort of takes up your whole mind at the time, so you really don't have a chance to dwell on anything else, and paradoxically I found that very, very relaxing.
We haven't really had any proper winter weather so far, apart from it being rather cold - mostly very sunny and bright - which is ok by me, much as I'd like a snow day, I'm still dreading having to drive in the snow/ice, so the longer it stays away, the better, really.
What else...had loads of fun today going to this amazing Japanese supermarket with my Japanese friend. I had no idea what most of the stuff on sale was, and you couldn't even tell from the drawings on the packages half the time, but it was very intriguing and fun all the same. Sometimes I wish I could take a year off and just eat my way round the world...so many dishes, so little time...
So as you can see I don't actually have that much of interest and excitement to report - but life is good, I'm trying to take time for myself (as at least one good friend never fails to remind me to do), trying to chat more with friends, and above all feeling so grateful that this winter is epically different from the previous one. It took some work, but we got there in the end!