My Papier wellness journal which I love–hence the plug–has a series of frowny and smiley faces in the top right corner of each day’s journaling. This is useful for tracking depression or sorting out what really makes you happy. Well, I am happy to report I circled the smiliest smile yesterday for the first time, thanks to a really splendid walk in the countryside. Photos will follow.

It was all splendid–the sun shone, the sky blued, the birds chirped, the bunnies scampered, the cold wind blew but rarely–and one particularly memorable and brilliant moment was when B.A. and I sat on a bench in a suntrap by an old mill and had a snack. B.A. had brought coffee in a thermos, and when we alighted from the bus, we bought from a top patisserie* a slice of pecan tart (B.A.) and a hazelnut pain au chocolat that was the very height of gustatory decadence (I). Drinking the coffee and eating that pain au chocolat in that sun-trap, while looking at the greening fields, the old stone walls and the mill pond, was earthly heaven. 

Afterwards we continued our journey along the John Muir Way, reminiscing about the crops we had seen along that stretch before, and going off-piste along a river and through a flower-strewn forest to look at a grand country house B.A. had been told was now flats. There was a sign discouraging going the way we wanted to go, but B.A. called upon the name of the Scottish Countryside Access Code and ignored it. We saw a walled garden, sheep of many colours, gardeners’ cottages and, in the distance, the red sandstone great house itself. The grounds were so well maintained, the sheep so striking, and the signs so frosty that we began to doubt the place had been sold and divvied up into flats. (B.A. looked it up when we got home, however, and it had been.)

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