Making New Friends, Countryside Walks and Getting Back to Some Kind of Normality

As I write this week’s blog post, I’m sitting outside my parent’s house in Northamptonshire, soaking up the sun, which has decided to grace us with its presence during the past week.

May was a much colder, wetter month than I think any of us had hoped, although it didn’t stop me from getting out and about. In fact, May turned out to be a much busier month than even I could’ve anticipated. 

I received my first Covid vaccination, which came with a sigh of relief, although it did leave me feeling nauseous and foggy for a good 24 hours. I won’t get my second vaccination until August, but I’m grateful to be halfway through the process. 

Before I digress any further, here’s my little roundup of May ☺️:

Project Make New Friends

Since I moved from Northamptonshire to the big smoke almost six years ago, I’ve struggled to make new friends. Whilst I am responsible for this in part, my job also left me with no energy or time to meet new people.

For some people, making new friends might sound trivial in the grand scheme of things. However, over the last few years, I’ve become more aware of the importance of surrounding myself with good people. I grew sick of playing the cheerleader in so many people’s lives, only to find they weren’t there cheering me on when things were going well. Many of them also weren’t there for me when things weren’t going so well either.

During the third lockdown here in the UK, I increasingly felt isolated and alone. Having left my old job behind at the end of last year, I realised I couldn’t put off meeting new people any longer. It was time to bite the bullet and put myself back out there. 

Those of you who read my April roundup may have seen that I recently joined an app called Meet-up in an attempt to start getting out and socialising a bit more.

It’s early days, but so far, so good! Meet-up seems to be the kick up the backside that I needed. Not only have I become a regular with one of the local walking groups, but I’ve also met up for coffee’s and days out with some of the lovely people I met from the group.

I could kick myself sometimes for not having pushed myself to do this sooner, as it has made my heart and soul incredibly happy. I’ve met so many lovely, kind, like-minded souls. 

As much as it would’ve been great to have avoided feeling isolated and lonely, I believe that sometimes we have to ride these waves to set us on the right path. It very much feels like things are falling into place from this perspective, and I’m enjoying having a much healthier looking social diary again, something I haven’t experienced since I left Northamptonshire behind.

Countryside Walks

Despite the rain and the cooler than average May temperatures, I’ve never been one to let the weather stop me from heading outside for new adventures. 

I started the month with a 5.5-mile walk around the lovely village of Bletchingley, Surrey, with my walking group. 

It’s worth mentioning the two main things that attracted me to this particular group:

  • The 2 pm start time (a lot of the walks on Meet-Up seem to begin at the crack of dawn. I like to get up reasonable early at the weekends, but I do sometimes like to enjoy a slow Saturday morning)
  • The promise of cake. The lady who runs the group happens to be a keen baker. On each walk, she advertises which cake she’ll be baking for the occasion! 

The walk around Bletchingley drew me in with some delicious spiced apple cake! The bluebells were out in force, and although it was an overcast day, we managed to avoid the rain. 

The following week, I headed out to meet the group again, this time for a 6-mile walk around Ranmore Common and Polesden Lacey, Surrey, this time with a big slice of lemon drizzle cake!

I also took trips to Avebury in Wiltshire and the Ashridge Estate in Hertfordshire.

Closer to home, I enjoyed some beautiful walks around Kingston, watching our new Spring arrivals.

Taking a stroll around Bletchingley
Bletchingley
Bletchingley
Spiced Apple Cake
Ranmore Common
Ranmore Common
Avebury
Avebury
Silbury Hill, Avebury
Ashridge Estate
Ashridge Estate
Kingston Upon Thames
Bridge Walk, Kingston to Hampton Court
I’m still so amazed by these baby cygnets. I had no idea swans carried their babies on their backs 🤩

 A Mini Break In The Shire

The end of May also saw my mum celebrate her Birthday. Whilst I’ve been lucky enough to make the odd trip home recently, this was the first time I was able to stay at their house and socialise indoors since last year. 

The beauty of being a freelancer means that I can now work from anywhere, and what I week I picked for it! I’ve spent many hours this week sitting in my parents lovely garden, spending some time working, as well as some much needed time catching up with friends and family. 

By the time you’ll be reading this, I’ll be back in Kingston, but it’s been nice to experience a week that resembled some normality. After a year of living with the pandemic, it’s been nice to have a week where I didn’t feel restricted by anything. 

I escaped for walks in the countryside (until I mangled my foot – all in the name of fashion!) and enjoyed some lovely brunches and lunches. I almost forgot to add that it was the first time I was officially able to hug people again!

Chill time in Mum and Dads garden
Visiting my Grandad who I hadn’t seen for over a year
Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire
Pitsford Water
A spot of lunch at the Windhover with a friend and her kids
Me and the family (minus my bro who was out with his carers)

That’s it from me this week, but I’d love to know what adventures you got up to in May? Are restrictions starting to ease in your corner of the world? What exciting things have you got to look forward to this month?

I’ll be back next week with another of my weekly musings, but for now, I’m off to cook for the family. Let’s hope I can remember how to cook for the masses!

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