As you may have guessed from my lack of posting, I went abroad for the holidays. My destination was the UK to be re-uinted with immediate and not-so-immediate family that I see on rare occasions.
I had a half-hour horseback riding lesson at a lovely stables near my parents’ house in Reading, Berkshire (that’s pronounced Redding, Barksher, for all you clueless people) with an audience of four family members (Mom, Dad + grandparents). While being tacked, the horse rather eagerly bit at the stable-hands, my grandpa, my mum and the button on my coat. At that point, I was terrified to go near the thing but once upon its back, my fear diminished. The lesson passed quickly and I got to canter at the end for the first time, if only for a half-minute. Scary, but definitely worth trying again.
I also had a photo shoot with a photographer in the area – Giles Heather. A few of the shots turned out great, like the one below.
Because my trip this year to the UK was family-oriented, I didn’t get to see any sites. I did do some shopping in Reading for my friends, and my other memories of England this year consist mainly of cold, damp weather with very little sunshine.
There was one beautiful moment. Driving towards the south from having picked up my grandparents, we ran into a patch of thick fog. We broached a hill at one point during the fog, and came upon a view that is the reason England has the legends of mists: on top of the hill, we were above the fog which had settled into the valleys below. Other hilltops lower than ours were visible, popping up amidst the valleys. The temperature was just cold enough to form a thin frost over every blade of grass and tree branch. The sun had decided to make a rare appearance just at this point, and as it set, it cast a golden gleam across the fog and the frost. Stunning.
It was a lovely trip, regardless of the weather. I came back feeling mostly refreshed and definitely ready to face the new year.
It’s a bit late, but Merry Christmas – and Happy New Year, anyway.