Feeling alive

I spent a July weekend in the Chilterns with two of my oldest friends.  We drove up, in that oppressive heat, and spent a weekend doing a lot of nothing, lounging by the pool, laughing at the receptionist who we were convinced was a serial killer, walking across fields to get to the nearest village  for a pub dinner and back in the pitch dark, scaring  ourselves silly with thoughts of said receptionist waiting behind the nearest tree.  With weekends like that you don’t have to try, you can just take a step away from life as it is, stop, and just be.

Whilst we were there, we went wild swimming.  Wild swimming is a bit of a knobbish name for what is essentially just swimming.  The “wild” bit is tacked onto the front because you do it in rivers, or secret lakes, or hidden beaches, or places that don’t have lifeguards, or changing rooms, or filter systems.

I’d wanted to wild swim for ages.  I had really romantic images of it being sunset, and a rippling lake, and me looking like Ursula Andress in Dr No. The reality, up towards the source of the river Thames, was somewhat different.  Firstly, it  took us AGES to find a suitable spot.  Everywhere along the bank looked swampy, and impossible to jump off from. Clean, yes, but murky.  Me being me, I lost patience, strode out into the shallows and then promptly shrieked as half my leg got swallowed up in mud.  My Ursula Andress dreams were over as I hobbled around extracting myself, covered in grime. Andy gingerly tiptoed in to join me and together we waded further out, through the weeds (oh my God.  The weeds…they wrapped round our legs and arms and it was terrifying) and the lilypads and the mud, oh the mud, and then suddenly, suddenly, we were in the middle of the river and we’d done it.  It was exilherating.  Terrifying, squishy, beautiful.  Not even cold. There was just us, and Bev laughing at us from the bank, and the river, and such silence.

 *****

We bought a car, a month ago.  I only passed my test in 2011, on the third attempt, and in a brilliant display of stick-my-head-in-the-sand, I’ve avoided getting behind the wheel of a car ever since.  I never loved driving, you see. It was, in my mind, a necessary evil, something I wanted  done, dusted before I turned 30.  ”I’ve got the pale pink plastic card!  That’s enough!” I’d tell myself, deep in denial.  However, Mr K was having none of it.

The guy who lives opposite me is a driving instructor.  I’ve seen his AA car parked in the road, and would on occasion glibly think one day, I’ll ask him for a lesson, just to get back into the swing of things.  One day, I’ll ask him to take me on the motorway.  No need to rush.

A few weeks ago, I popped over the road to check if he fancied any of the Indian takeaway we were ordering.  ”Sounds great!” he said.  ”And whilst we’re at it, you can drive us there to pick it up.  Your husband mentioned you were looking to get behind the wheel again?”

Did he. Did he indeed.  ”Erm…”

“Oh come on.  I’ve got dual controls.  What can possibly go wrong?”

“I can’t remember how to start a car”

“Well I can, and I’ll be in the vehicle!” he said, cheerily.  ”This way, you won’t  have time to get nervous”.

A more resentful driver, you have never seen.  He also had the brilliant idea of getting Mr K to sit in the back seat.

“He’ll SAY STUFF” I bleated.

“Takeaway’s getting cold” he said.  He had me.  Nothing motivates me more than lamb rogan josh.

I did it.  I did it and it was FINE. I remembered stuff.  My hands and feet remembered what to do, even when my brain didn’t.  It wasn’t flawless, don’t get me wrong, but I drove.  I drove, safely.  No-one exited the vehicle maimed. Result.

As an added bonus, Mr K waited until we were out of the vehicle before offering me “helpful tips”.

Moral of the story?  Those who spend two years talking themselves out of something for no good reason are grade-A divs.  It’s not fear, it’s just avoidance.  Just get on with it.  You’ll feel pretty foolish, and far too pleased with yourself afterwards.

*****

I went to Devon  to visit my best friend Cat.  Cat has holed herself away in a flat in the countryside for the last year of her PhD, to  better encourage her to hermitise, read and write her thesis.  On the roof directly above her resides a judgemental pigeon with anger management issues.  Every time you open a window it stares at you with its beady eyes, flies away six feet, wheels around, and accelerates towards you so you have to slam the window closed in fear.  Every time you cook something it dislikes, or listen to music or television of which it does not approve, it squawks so loudly your ears bleed. But somehow, this cantankerous neighbour has wormed its way into the hearts of us both. It must be hard, to want to rule the roost, and for someone to challenge that authority.  Especially someone who has the audacity to cook chickpea stew and listen to the News At Ten.

We  wandered over hill and dale, we sat for hours in a shady bit of parkland eating potato salad, we talked until hoarse and we laughed. How we laughed.  One night we walked 45 minutes over fields and through lanes for a lime and soda, then walked back and were rewarded with this.

 

 

I love London.  I love it passionately.  But being in the countryside will always make me feel more alive than a city ever will.  A sunset over a cityscape.  Solitude over late-night shopping.  Silence over noise.  I don’t think I could live in the countryside always, but breathing sea air, looking at the rolling hills of south Devon is as far as you can get from E4,  from my commute, and my mind and body thank me for it, every time.

              *****

When I was in Whitby, and when I went to Amy’s wedding, I had a secret, a secret no-one else knew.  I found out in that little B&B, with the beautiful English summer garden, at 3pm on the Saturday afternoon, whilst everyone else was napping.  I sat on the bed, hugging my knees, and thinking well, that’s that then, better get on with it.  I didn’t cry, I didn’t feel any fear, I didn’t want to tell anyone, I just calmly felt my life slot into place,  click, click, like the last piece of a puzzle  that in many ways was the first piece of another.

If everything goes well, we’ll be having a baby in January.

I’ve talked in this post about feeling alive, about how doing things, being in places, facing fears, spending time with your best friends, just stopping can make you feel alive.  I haven’t had the reaction I expected to this,  to my secret-that’s-a-secret-no-longer. I’m not bouncing off the walls with excitement, I’m not furiously painting and decorating, I’m not sick with nerves or anticipation.  I’m just quietly happy. That’s all.

And that, knowing that, feeling this, makes me feel more alive than anything else ever could.

Categories: Life Experience, Written By Anna
88 interesting thoughts on this

88 Comments

  1. Posted August 14, 2013 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I’m trying to think of something to say in response to this amazing piece of writing and all I can come up with is this…. lucky, lucky baby. You will be phenomenal parents.

    KL x

    • Posted August 14, 2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Shit, I was so caught up in the beauty of this that I forgot to actually say CONGRATULATIONS! Bloody hell, you are growing a human Anna! An actual person. You superhero.

      KL x

  2. Posted August 14, 2013 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    *unintelligible squealing*

    Love you.

  3. Rach
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I could not be happier for you! Congratulations on your wonderful news sweetheart. Such a beautifully written post, as ever. So much love to you and Mr K as you embark on this next journey xxx

  4. Posted August 14, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Oh I loved this. Congratulations to you and Mr K. As said already this baby is so lucky to have you.

    I loved all of this post and was nodding along with lots of it and now I’m just so happy for you. I reckon bring quietly happy is pretty cool too xxx

  5. Posted August 14, 2013 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    What a lovely post. I loved the rambling description of the countryside, I am a country girl at heart and just love being out of the city. Luckily I married a farmer so there’s no danger of us moving into the city. I was enjoying reading this piece, taking in the descriptions (that pigeon sounds hilarious), and then BAM baby news! How exciting! Congratulations! I love the way you have described it as a quiet happiness, that’s how I hope I’ll feel when our time comes. x

  6. Becca
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Eeeeeeeekkkkkkk sqqqqquuuuueeeeaaaaallll…….

    Why do I think this baby might ACTUALLY solve world hunger? With parents like you, he’ll be able to do anything. I’m so excited for you both. Massive congratulations!

  7. ChirstyMac
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Oh wowzahs. Yest ANOTHER awesome-to-read-and-so-well written Anna K post about wonderful things and then The. Best. Bit. CONGRATULATIONS! To echo Katielase – lucky lucky baby:)

    Oh, and I passed my test in 1998. Haven’t reversed parked since. Well, I tried once, under duress, and caved in the side panel of my car on someone else’s bumper. Now, if a space can’t be driven into, I don’t park there. Tragic really:) X

    • Posted August 14, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Haha, I’m the same re the reverse parking. I only do it if there is absolutely no other spaces within a mile radius. And then it involves approximately 36 attempts of shunting back and forth, working up a sweat, rage face and finally progressing to complete embarrassment. I then attempt to exit the car elegantly, and casually lock up despite being at least a metre from the kerb. Argh, the stress.

      • Amanda M
        Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        I’ve considered emigrating to the US where they have SENSIBLE PARKING SPACES.

        • Posted August 14, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

          I didn’t reverse park for years until I moved to a flat where the choice was reverse park or park 20 minutes away. I learned (with a lot of failed attempts and swearing) and now refer to it as my only talent!

          • Posted August 14, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

            I’m signing you up to run a reverse parking workshop for AOWers. Everyone who successfully reverse parks in the middle of a city gets free cake.

            • Posted August 14, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

              I can parallel park (is that the same as reverse parking?) but I can’t bay park. It’s not ideal when I go to the supermarket when it’s raining and I have to park miles away.
              Swapsies?

  8. Abi
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    AMAZING… Congratulations both!

  9. Carly
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    That is fantastic news! Congratulations!

    X

  10. Lee-Anne
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Huge congratulations to you and Mr K, its a wonderful journey, make sure you enjoy every minute together x

  11. Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    So so many congratulations to you, may the quiet happiness continue. Oh & well done on already getting back into driving. I had refresher lessons when 6 months pregnant, so much easier without a big bump. I still don’t like driving but I have a few familiar routes & aim to add new ones over time & best of both worlds I’m also most happy on public transport & car with Alice.

  12. Liz
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    This makes me yearn (now there’s an underused word!) for summer weekends with my closest friends…

    But more importantly, massive congratulations! Such happy, amazing news. Xxx

  13. Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Congratulations to you both and wishing you much more quiet happiness x

  14. Rach M
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    *Malham excitement klaxon* This news has made my week! Iiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeee! And you’ve inspired me to get behind the wheel too. So utterly thrilled for you both xxx

  15. Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    You lot, thank you so very much for your comments. So very much. I’m grinning like the village idiot. We at AOW are so lucky to have readers like you. Fact.

  16. Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Such an absolutely beautifully written post as always Anna. You always make me feel as though i’ve been lucky enough to go on a weekend away to the country, breathe in fresh air with best friends and have a brilliant time. Pretty impressive on a stressful Wednesday morning!

    Huge congratulations on your exciting news!! I am completely thrilled for the two of you. Quiet happiness is completely underrated as far as I’m concerned – nothing can match that feeling of calm, contented happiness and peace for me.

    I’m another one who’s in the ‘I’ve passed my test but don’t drive’ club. It didn’t bother me for years and then decided in a fit of hormones to have a couple of refresher lessons at seven months pregnant (all great and fine) but in the depths of a snowy winter and hugely pregnant I didn’t keep it up. I could barely fit behind the bloody wheel which didn’t improve my feelings towards driving I can tell you! But now I’ve promised myself that I’m going to have a full course of refresher lessons and permit Bren into bullying me into keeping it up. It’s sometimes such a handicap and I know once I start, that like you I’ll think ‘what was the big deal about that?’ So, after that ramble, what I mean is – that’s for the reminder to start again!

    xxx

  17. Peabody_Bites
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    The literal translation, I was told by a friend last week, of “everything is fine” from Mongolian to English is “peaceful, beautiful”. I was thinking of that all through your piece (wild swimming is my favourite thing. Nearest London equivalent is late morning / early evening at the Ladies pond at Hampstead) and even more so at the end. Lovely, lovely news, beautifully expressed. Many congratulations to you and to Mr K.

  18. Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Congratulations Anna! Fantastic news shared in a beautifully written piece.
    I passed my test at 18 but never drove until I was 26! I was wobbling to say the least with no refresher lessons but now, nine years on, I absolutely love driving and I’m desperately missing my car whilst being back home on a 6 week holiday.

    xx

  19. Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Wheeeeeee!!! A prefect ending to a wonderfully written post. Adore the pictures of the sunset and stories of a judgemental pigeon.

    But most of all, adore that you’ve written a post about happiness and ended with the most happiness most couples could ever wish for.

    L xxx

  20. Fran M
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Reading this has made me feel strangely calm – and want to go and book a weekend away in the country with friends, stat.

    And huge congratulations on your pregnancy!! Exciting times ahead. Looking forward to reading about that in the months ahead (no pressure there y’know, but if you want to I’m sure it would be just magical).

  21. Christie
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I need the countryside in my life now and also, CONGRATULATIONS! Amazing lovely news xx

  22. Posted August 14, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    What a wonderfully calming happy post with a beautiful ending – so many congratulations to you both. ‘Quietly happy’ is a lovely description.

    I learned to drive at 18, failed my test and didn’t drive for nearly 10 years. Have recently taken the plunge to learn again and it’s such a relief to be tackling it finally.

    I’ve only ever swum in fresh water a couple of times but it is such a lovely, refreshing feeling – so summery.

  23. Fee
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    This post makes me want to run along a blustery clifftop and breathe in all the fresh air…. and have an Indian takeaway.

    So beautifully written as ever – massive congratulations on your wonderful news, you do realise you MUST give your baby an ‘A’ name? Kim and Kanye let me down, I expect more from you and Mr K!

    Much love xxxx

    • Becca
      Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Aristotle K.

      I think it has a GREAT ring to it

  24. Anita
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Fabulous post. I now really want to go wild swimming ;) and HUGE congratulations lady. Absolutely agree with the others, luckiest baby ever.

  25. Posted August 14, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    SCREAMMMM!! A little one to inherit all that writing talent and to learn about the world from such a perceptive, sharp and brilliant mum? Ruddy bloody beautiful.

    Px

  26. Posted August 14, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    One thing that has made my return to work this morning a little more bearable is the knowledge that on at least 3 days a week I’ll reliably be able to sit down with a cuppa and catch up on AOW and all the goings on over on Twitter. You guys help in ways I’m sure you never even imagined.

    My sister in law loves a bit of wild swimming, whenever we go on holiday together she invariably will go on walks wearing her swimsuit with the intention of plunging into some random loch, usually in September. She’s insane. I have a fear of fish and all things slimy so I tend to pass on such activities. The kind of crystal clear fishless water I’d need just doesn’t exist in Scotland… well it does, in a swimming pool.

    How ‘January’ are we talking? Could we request that you hold off and we have another February baby? That would be awesome, ta! Seriously though, actually over the moon for you guys. In the (slightly modified) words of Ollivander “I think it’s clear we can expect great things from you little one!”.

    • Posted August 14, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Steff, to hold on until February I’d have to hold on for 13 days. My pelvic floor can’t do it, I can tell you that now!

  27. Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I love reading about your holidays. I always feel like I’ve taken a little holiday myself, and start off the day feeling calm and relaxed (which lasted up until I got shat on by a pigeon).

    It’s also good to read that I’m not the only one in the world who didn’t learn to drive before she was 20. I still don’t know, and am rather nervous about starting, but I guess you’ve just got to do it at some point!

    But, most importantly: huge congratulations! You’ll be such a brilliant mother. Quietly happy sounds like the perfect state to be in.

    • Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Apparently it’s good luck (being shat on by a pigeon…) Not sure if this is true or something to make you feel better. Like rain on your wedding day being ‘lucky’….

    • Gemma N
      Posted August 14, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Really sorry, but the pigeon comment really made me laugh! Hope you’ve recovered. I’m not really superstitious but happy to believe the ‘it’s good luck’ argument in cases like this :)

  28. Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I was going to comment that I would be scared of the weeds wild swimmoin, thinking they were grindylows, but then you sprung us with a BABY ANNOUNCEMENT. Did. not. see. that. coming.

    Yay for quiet happiness. And I agree with Fee about the A name.

    • Amanda M
      Posted August 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Great comment! Love the grindylows reference!

  29. Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Oh Anna *squeals*

    LOVE all of this – the piece was awesome enough without your wonderful news.

    Made my day it has!

  30. Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Such a beautiful and inspiring piece to read on a gorgeous sunny Wednesday morning. And the last part was just the icing on the cake.

    Loved the part about the pigeon too…

  31. Mahj
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Oh my god. OH MY GOD!! I was so unprepared for your announcement that I squeak/squealed Very Loudly in my office. Am now grinning like a loon.

    Massive congratulations to you and Mr K. Splendid, lovely news.

    xoxo

  32. Yanthé
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    ANNA!!!! Such amazing news! Congratulations to you both. And I also wholeheartedly agree with KL, lucky, lucky baby. I hope everything goes well for you.
    Also – made me properly laugh out loud with your driving story. My OH is from Devon so we’re there every now and then and it blows me away with its beauty every time

  33. Zan
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Awwwwwwwww – congratulations lovely! Fabulous news :) And loving the sunset photo’s, beautiful.

  34. Amanda M
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Congratulations! And admirable timing – you won’t be able to lift a finger over Christmas, right?!

    Lovely piece of writing too. Love the Hitchcock-esque pigeon (not literally though – he can stay where he is). I love the country and wish I could live there rather than East London. Those photos haven’t helped….. (beautiful though). And enjoyed the driving account (will drive for curry). I do drive but like you see it as a necessary evil. I can’t understand people who like driving – my overactive imagination always conjures up a thousand terrifying accidents every time I contemplate driving. Like you, I haven’t actually maimed anyone yet – although my husband still recalls the dramatic midnight swerve across the road that terrified him. It was to avoid a mouse. Which turned out to be a leaf, ahem.

  35. Laura
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Anna, I’m a bit of a silent fan of yours, with a bit of a girl crush and but this post is so beautiful, inspiring and wonderful that it’s called me out from my dark, deep lurker cave.
    Massive congratulations to you and yours….happiness is awesome.

    • Posted August 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Silent fan with a bit of a girl crush. That is totally me…

    • Posted August 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Such a lovely, lovely comment, thank you! I hope you’ll stay out of the lurker cave…and comment more regularly…so we can get to know you a bit more!

  36. HayleyB
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I was just thinking this post made me feel all calm and chilled, thinking how beautiful our countryside can be, and thinking I should go for a walk at lunchtime (I work in a converted barn in the middle of nowhere). And wondering if I would be brave enough to go wild swimming one day…then…. baby news! Now I’m smiling at my desk, probably looking slightly deranged to my boss – ah well.
    Congratulations Anna!

  37. Ro
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Congratulations Anna!!

    I love your description of quiet, contented, calm happiness, I haven’t had that feeling for far too long; I want more of that in my life! Such a beautiful post.

  38. Gemma N
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    First of all, huge congratulations!! Quiet happiness is the best kind. Yay!

    The rest of the piece is so lovely too. I’ve not been ‘wild swimming’ but when you described ‘us, and the river, and silence’ I knew exactly what you mean. I was taken back to my recent holiday, where we found a quiet beach, and I would swim out into the sea so all I could hear was the sound of the waves, and look outwards towards the sun, sky and some rocky islands on the horizon. It felt like there was no-one else there and I definitely had the quiet happiness you talk about!

    Also re driving – I also learnt to drive just two years ago. My motivation was that we wanted to go to New Zealand to visit my brother and his family who had been living there for a few years, and he said it would be pretty difficult to get around and see the country if you can’t drive. My husband couldn’t drive either, and for various reasons, I decided to be the one to do it! I passed my test in the March, and only drove about twice between then and December when we set off for NZ. But despite feeling completely inexperienced and absolutely terrified, I drove pretty much the length of the north island of NZ, up and down mountains with some pretty scary series of hairpin bends. Even had my first ‘accident’ when someone drove into the back of me at a traffic light five minutes after picking up the hire car. I still don’t drive very much as we don’t have our own car, and every time I get in one I feel really nervous, but then I remember the holiday, and I think if I can cope with all that, I can do anything, so totally agree with the ‘just get on with it’ moral!

    Although I do still get ridiculously stressed about parking!

  39. Katie
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Beautiful writing as always. Huge congratulations! I can’t wait to read your motherhood posts. xx

  40. Cathie
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    So Beautifully written and… Massive Congratulations to you both! x

  41. Posted August 14, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Did not see that coming. Wow. So so pleased for you Anna, hope you keep your little spot of peace and calm and absolute joy. Xx

  42. Posted August 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Many many Congratulations Anna. What lovely news. Wishing you all the luck in the world, I hope you have a lovely “boring” pregnancy.

    I thought learning to drive was one of the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I still prefer to drive alone rather than with company. Less people to see my mistakes!
    xx

  43. Emma
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Anna, wonderful news. Quiet happiness is the best kind of happiness, I feel – long may it continue! x

  44. Posted August 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Oh congratulations :) Such happy news. Baby will be lucky with a James Bond kind of mummy :)

    This also reminds me I have to go and get my drivers license…. ( I had a Mexican one, which is not valid in Europe so I have to retake the test. I have been practicing a bit and I was surprised that I actually remember, but I have just been procrastinating forever).

    Wild swimming and walks in the sunset and time with friends… all sound like the perfect summer.

  45. Alex
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Oh my gosh that’s fantastic news! Congratulations and can’t wait for more awesome baby pictures and hilarious tales of baby stuff!
    Love Devon and country/sea breaks more than city ones too. Wild swimming sounds scary mary though I would really dread something touching my leg or brushing past me and not be able to scurry quickly enough away ha!

    xx

  46. Posted August 14, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I love your writing, Anna. I really do. And a huge congratulations- I think you’re going to be a wonderful Mum x

  47. Posted August 14, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I can’t thank you all enough – I’ve had a day of the loveliest, kindest, most excited comments, tweets and emails and I’m just bowled over by everyone’s reactions. Thank you.

    I will write a bit about being a mum – not all the time, but now and then. Obviously, I now have to call it Aristotle. (I’m sure I once snogged someone called Socrates. Have I made that up?)

    • Posted August 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      I REALLY hope you haven’t made that up. If it was at Hatfield I reckon it’s true.

      • Fran M
        Posted August 14, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Are you guys Durham alumni by any chance? I went to Hatfield (oh yes …) didn’t really fit in!

        • Posted August 14, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

          Yep. I’m a Mary’s girl.

          • Emily
            Posted August 14, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

            Oh! Another Hatfield person who didn’t really fit in here! There seems to be a Durham branch of AOW forming.
            And congratulations Anna. Another lurker here who might possibly come to a cake meet up in London soon.

            • Fran M
              Posted August 14, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

              Yep! Are you another?!

              I was always jealous of Mary’s lovely setting. I graduated in 2005 – anywhere near you?

              • Posted August 14, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

                Aidan’s here – ooh we should have a Durham alumni AOW thingy although not in Klute please ta.

              • Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

                Aidan’s alumnus here, yay Durham AOWettes!

                • Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

                  Sorry it ate my first comment… I didn’t go to uni twice…

  48. holly
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Wonderfully written (as was the London piece). I want to go wild swimming too. And you saved the best for last… Congratulations!

  49. Alex
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Congrats Anna and Mr K! Lovely writing as usual, didn’t see the end coming AT ALL!

  50. Laura
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Oh Anna. So many congratulations!

  51. Laura
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Short comment because my phone is a dick. But I really mean it! x

  52. Gemma R
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Anna! I have a January baby right here and they are super.

  53. Posted August 14, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Big big congratulations!

  54. Claire
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh amazing news! Congratulations Anna and Mr K – hope it goes as smoothly as possible between now and Jan :-) x

  55. Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations on your lovely news! And what a great way to ‘announce’ it at the end of a lovely post about happiness!

    I learnt to drive when I was at uni because I knew I would need it for my work (as a doctor) but didn’t actually drive for about 2 years after passing because I managed with public transport and lifts from my husband. I only actually started driving when he broke his ankle and now I love driving and drive much more than he does, as I have at least a 45 minute commute to work, whereas he can walk to his work!

    Congratulations again, and enjoy your quiet happiness! X

  56. Posted August 14, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    I love living in a city centre but there are times when I positively ache for Yorkshire and the Lakes where I grew up. I know what you mean about the freshness. There’s something restorative about it.

    Also – congratulations! That kind of happiness sounds just perfect :-)

  57. Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Read this first thing this morning but then had a 12 hour meeting and couldn’t escape to comment -this is such lovely news, many congratulations to you and Mr K!

    K x

  58. Lottie
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Best Anna post! And that’s saying something!

    Congratulations!

  59. Lexie
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Yay! What lovely news, congratulations!! x

  60. Sarah
    Posted August 15, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Congratulations, Anna x

  61. Kandra
    Posted August 15, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Lovely Post and lovely news, congratulations!

  62. Posted August 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I BLOODY LOVE the part about the pigeon.

    I can picture that scene. And I hoot with laughter accordingly.

  63. Posted August 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Ps. Congratulations obviously.

  64. deltafoxtrotcharlie
    Posted August 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    ‘hmmm what a lovely post’ I’m thinking then BAM baby news.

    Congratulations and (as a fellow mid-January-ist) excellent timing :-)

    DFC

  65. Beth
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Late to this as fresh back from Devon too but just wanted to say: congratulations Anna, you will be a simply wonderful Mum! B x

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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