27 May 2013

The Start of Living the Dream

Tittesworth Reservoir seen from The Roaches..all in beautiful Staffordshire

If you're a regular reader you'll know how much I value the great outdoors. Be it walking, cycling or merely observing I love taking in the beauty all around me. It has been a constant in my adult life, savoured, loved and enjoyed. I never seem to be able to get enough of the natural beauties that are available free to anyone that cares to look.

A little while ago an opportunity presented itself which in short led us to purchase a second hand touring caravan. We had talked for some time about a campervan but the practicalities involved pointed us towards the tourer. Our aim is to utilise as much time as we can going away for weekends and longer, any time that we have available and living as close to nature and her beauties as our decrepit middle aged bodies will put up with! We were conscious of how middle aged making such a purchase might seem to some but since when have I ever cared what other people thought about personal decisions? If I'm reaching my dotage then bring it on.

So it was that this weekend we embarked upon our maiden trip. We didn't want to venture too far from home. This was to be a trip of discovery, how we would get on, how we would feel, how the towing would evolve. We chose to stay at Blackshaw Moor, just by The Roaches on the Staffordshire Moorlands. The journey there was uneventful and within an hour of arrival we had booked in, pitched, hooked up, unpacked, had hot water and heating and were sitting enjoying a cup of coffee. It took us less than an hour to reverse all those things on our departure this morning!

Total and pure relaxation. It  was a delight to wake up and watch the birds in such close proximity, just a few feet away from where we sat or lay in comfort and warmth. There were finches galore, sparrows and thrushes within an arms-length. We were fortunate; the sun shone all weekend and the site was a good, clean, family site with peace descending by 10 pm. The Roaches visible from the window, looked majestic. We walked a great deal. We climbed The Roaches and walked on to Lud's Church which isn't a church but a chasm that has been a place of spirituality for hundreds if not thousands of years. We watched peregrine falcons nesting in the wild, heard cuckoo's and spotted skylarks, dozens of them.  We also walked around Tittesworth Reservoir and beyond and then followed a cycling polka dot challenge through the hills with me feeling that the cyclists were mad and Aiden reveling in the thought of a future ride!

We enjoyed a few drinks in welcoming local hostelries and were amazed at the creativity of the villagers of Meerbrook and their scarecrows but most of all we enjoyed being free of cares and worries and having time to enjoy each others company. It was bliss. Simple bliss.

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