Sunday, 19 May 2019

Monday’s little luxury

 I am a creature of habit and schedule. As a Project Manager, and a Mum to a 1 year old, I find it just makes life flow that little bit easier. A well rehearsed routine is what ensures that I get to work in the morning on time and with minimal amounts of stress. Having said that, I’m also a big fan of elevating the every day. Seeking out little escapes from the treadmill that, whilst inexpensive, just allow a little breather that is true luxury. 

My usual Monday routine is pretty similar to any other day of the week. I wake early and sip peppermint tea, forgoing breakfast because it’s too early for my hunger to have kicked in. When I arrive off the train I usually have about half an hour to spare before my working day begins. I scurry to work, caught up in the flow of people who are all doing the same commute for the same purpose each and every day, and usually I get to my desk about 10 minutes before work starts, swallow down some toast at my desk (I have a wonderful workplace that provides free toast and jam), and sip a hot coffee (they provide that too) whilst I dig into my morning emails. This Monday though, as I wandered through town in the sunshine I did something different. I spotted a sign outside Carluccios that read ‘Coffee and a Pastry £2.95’. My watch confirmed that I had 25 minutes before my working day was due to start, and it was only a 5 minute walk from where I was. So I ordered my coffee and what seemed to be a giant and extremely luxurious almond croissant, and took a seat at one of their outside tables, in the sunshine.

For a full 15 minutes, I absorbed everything that was going on around me. The blue sky, the warm sunshine on my face, the people walking to work, other people who were seated at the tables enjoying an early morning treat. I enjoyed the strong coffee in a proper cup (I rarely buy coffee to go anyway), and the rich sweet taste of my croissant. I didn’t rush, I savoured it, finishing up neatly before walking to work, and still arriving on time. The real difference though, was in my mindset. I felt relaxed. I felt like I’d already enjoyed something luxurious and leisurely before I had even sat down to start my day, and I felt calm, in control and looking forward to the day ahead. It just shows how something so small, something which at any other time of day you might take for granted, can cast a completely different glow on your day and whilst I’m not going to make this a part of my daily routine (£14.75 a week on morning coffees soon adds up, and it wouldn’t feel luxurious if I did it every day), I definitely think there’s merit in making it a part of my Monday morning routine. Why not start the week with just a little bit of luxury?

Saturday, 11 May 2019

A Steam Train Adventure

I’ve wanted to take a trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for a really long time now. I’d always fancied the idea of taking one of the Pullman dining trips, which strikes me as all very Agatha Christie, but at £66 a head for lunch, I’m probably not going to indulge any time soon.

Waiting to depart at Whitby

Anyway, back at Christmas I won tickets to go on the railway in a works raffle. I decided to wait until the weather improved, which it’s finally showing signs of, and went for a trip today. I didn’t want to do the whole Whitby to Pickering because it’s just a little bit long to do with a 1 year old, so I went for Whitby to the village of  Grosmont.

I decided to wear my original 1940s dress, which I thought befitting, with a fabulous 1940s hat and tweed jacket to keep the Yorkshire chill, which is still very present, out. It was really exciting getting the train from Whitby, we had a private compartment just like in the old movies. It was comfortable, leisurely and lovely, so different from my daily commute.

It took half an hour to get to Grosmont which is a small village, dominated by the heritage railway. After enjoying a light lunch in the tea rooms, we had a wander to the engine sheds and up to a beautiful old church, before spending some time relaxing in the pub. It was a really chilled day out. 

The train back to Whitby was a Diesel engine, but the carriage was still terribly comfortable! It was a fabulous day out and now I’ve been on it once I’d quite like to do other parts of the line.

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