After having spent the first days of this year at O.K.'s with beautiful countryside all around, it was back to the city on the 7th.
Arriving at my place mid-afternoon gave us enough time (after a quick coffee, unpacking and starting the washing machine) to catch the last of the daylight on a walk into town. We stopped at a relatively new wine shop that we discovered for ourselves less than half a year ago. It does not only sell wine, sparkling wine, gin and other booze plus a range of deli food to go with it, one can also sit down for a glass, or book a tasting and other events.
We both felt like a drink and so tried one of their own sparkling wines. Our entire stay there did not last much more than half an hour, but I enjoyed it greatly; sitting in the warm room, modern but cosy, with the city lights outside the window, felt so completely different from all of last week. (In the photo, I have deliberately blurred O.K.'s face, but did not want to cut the picture completely, so as not to destroy the symmetry.)
Not long ago, Pat (Weaver of Grass) asked her blog readers whether they were more country or town people. Her post and the comments make interesting reading. For me, the opportunity to have both town and country in my life is ideal; I love the area around O.K.'s village and our Black Forest (and other) hikes, but I also like my hometown, which isn't very big at about 90,000 residents. Life in a real big city would probably overwhelm me; the occasional visit is enough.
Anyway; on that late afternoon, I felt very comfortable and entirely at home in town. Later, we had a nice meal with my sister, ordered from the Indian restaurant not far from my house. The rest of the weekend saw us taking advantage of the sunny (but cold and windy) weather with several walks and visiting my parents.
Monday the 10th was back to work for me. With most of my clients having been on holiday over Christmas and New Year, I was able to ease back into work at a relatively gentle pace. The week was still sunny (but cold), and so I shifted my after-work-walks to the early to mid-afternoons, returning to work afterwards for another couple of hours or so. It was on one of those walks that I spotted the first snowdrops this year, growing in a sunny patch at the corner of a farm house.
|A few rosehips still hanging on|
|Muddy walks with shady figures|
On Friday, I worked until just before lunch and then went for a walk with my sister. We took a quick walk in the palace grounds, looking for early signs of spring. This beautiful plant was unknown to us, but my Mum says it is a mahonia.
The weekend saw me returning to O.K.'s, and Saturday's hike was enchanting - you'll see why in one of my next posts.