OK, I will admit you'll probably have to be English to appreciate this one, but today I saw both a red squirrel and a red deer in the wild!
I woke up this morning convinced I simply had to wander through woods - yesterday was wonderfully hot, and I spent a lot of it in an open-air pool on an island, which was fabulous but left me with slightly pink patches in rather odd places (tankini slipped... what can I say?). So today I resolved to find a gorgeous German wood and walk serenely through it. I headed west on my trusty bike - only to damn near scupper myself because it was SO hard to get there! Having headed back on a roll, virtually without pedalling, I realise that the entire journey was probably on a slight, unnoticeable incline - but in the immense heat of the day (and it was hot - especially compared to recent London temperatures!) my poor thighs were complaining loudly. I overruled them, and ended up (eventually) in some lovely woods; exactly what I needed. Several hours went by with me happily switching between riding the bike and pushing it along; I had a super time.
The best moments were a red deer leaping across my path (literally - I nearly crashed into her! She flew into the air about a foot in front of me, a flash of bright copper from right to left, then was gone. Far too quickly to fish out the point-and-click!) The squirrel, however, squirted up a tree, but couldn't resist looking back down at me and winking. It may not be the sharpest photo ever, but it gave me huge amounts of pleasure. (A RED squirrel! Whilst I actually love the grays - at one point my family were taking care of one - obviously called Nutkin - and I took it into town in the cowl of my jumper - some interesting reactions when his little head peered out in the coffee house! - I don't think I've ever seen a red squirrel in the wild, and this was special to me.)
Now going abroad from abroad - Italy is my destination, so no more posts for at least a week. I am really looking forward to a break. However last week felt like such - it occurred to me today that the last time I had felt this free was the the time between finishing my finals at Cambridge and getting the results. I remember quite a bit of fizzy wine and the pool at Emma - bliss! I am so lucky to revisit that feeling!