Hope

That night I hadn’t slept well at all. Once again I’d found myself wide awake in the middle of the night. I sat on the sofa downstairs with a cuppa and my iPhone. I was on Google, breast cancer forums and Amazon..I wanted to know all I could about this nasty thing inside my body. I downloaded a kindle version of a book called Hey Miss Have You Turned Mexican? a true story about having and surviving breast cancer by Denise Shaw. I found some comfort in reading about someone else’s story and could relate to what she was going through.

I returned to bed and lay there weeping quietly, trying not to wake Pats up. I eventually drifted off to sleep.

Come the morning I awoke tired and bleary eyed. I still desperately wanted to go and see Tara but didn’t feel I’d be able to do the four-hour drive on my own. In true Pats style, he offered to take me there and ‘drop me off’ and would then come and ‘pick me up’ on the Sunday. This was absolutely no trouble for him, a 440-mile round trip twice in one weekend. This is  one of the many reasons that I love my hubby – he would do anything for anyone if it meant helping them out.  He is the most unselfish person I know and I am certainly very privileged  to be married to him ♡

Pats’ car was in the garage being repaired that week so he had a mini on hire. ‘It’s a mini adventure’, he said chirpily as we set off! I wasn’t able to get put on the insurance so unfortunately couldn’t help him out with the driving. It took us just over four hours to get there and as we drove through the Peak District area it was just beautiful – I’d thoroughly recommend a visit if you’ve not been.

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We drove through charming little villages filled with quaint buildings and cottages, all made of a similar oldy worldy stone – you felt like you could have been transported there 200 years ago and apart from the cars it would have looked exactly the same. The stunning green landscape was filled with moors, valleys and farmland, all neatly partitioned by its character stone walls, sprinkled with sheep and baby lambs.  The scenery and charm of the whole area was breathtaking and if it wasn’t 200 miles away it would be an idyllic place to live.

We were staying in a rather aptly named and equally charming village called Hope. I’d managed to find us a really good deal on the internet and whilst it looked lovely in the pictures I was apprehensive about whether it would be as good a deal as it had appeared.

Considering Tara had driven a good four hours herself from the opposite end of the country, we rather spookily arrived within about five minutes of each other. Upon getting out of the car she gave me the biggest hug which bought a tear to my eye…god I miss this girl!  After saying our goodbyes to Pats, off he drove – the mere 200 miles home!

We were not disappointed by the hotel at all and after we dropped our bags in our room we ventured downstairs for afternoon tea. We were presented with a lovely array of sandwiches and cakes, washed down with a nice cuppa – and crisp glass of wine to boot!

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Tara has been my best friend since we met each other at school (a whopping 26 years ago!) and she is my oldest and closest pal. We made an instant friendship back in those school days – one that has stood the test the time. We grew up together, through our school antics and escapades, we endured the trials and tribulations of our boyfriends in our younger years and have shared lots of laughs and good times together.  Through our adult lives we have been there for each other through the happy times and also the tough times. Although we live many miles apart and I miss her being around, she has always been there for me in my darkest hours, cheering me up when I am down, I am so lucky to have a friend as special as her.

Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of meeting Tara will know what an adorable and charming character she is.  She is beautiful on the inside and out – very thoughtful, kind and caring.  She also  has an awesome infectious sense of humour – she’ll have you in giggles instantly!

We sat and chatted away like we’d only seen each other last week. Like Pats, Tara is another cheerful soul who likes to look on the bright side of life and definitely sees the glass half full. She has an amazing way with words, always knowing the right thing to say and with her cheeky sense of humour she made me feel better instantly.

We both had a tension busting hot stone massage booked which I can really only describe as being ‘utter bliss’.  Later we headed down to the restaurant for our dinner where we were presented with a delightful tray of canapés. The food was absolutely amazing and the three-course dinner was all included in our package. We joked and laughed over a bottle of wine, reminiscing over some of the antics in our younger days.

They also had a hot tub outside so after we’d finished dinner, we slipped into our swimmers and took a bottle of sparkly down with us. That was just heaven, chatting and giggling under the clear night sky soaking up the warm bubbles.

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The next day Tara drove us out to a little shop she’d spotted in one of the magazines – it looked like our type of shop. After buying a few bits we ventured into the children’s toy shop next door. As Tara gathered some gifts for her lovely three children to take home, I felt a sudden rise of tears to my eyes, there were all these gorgeous things in the shop and I realised I may never get to do this myself one day. I felt silly with tears in my eyes so instantly left the shop.

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After more shopping in some of the irresistible little shops we headed back to the hotel for lunch. The rest of the weekend was filled with relaxing treatments, tantalising food, lots of laughs and bubbles ..and more hot tub time. It was exactly what I needed and it recharged and relaxed us both.

Pats drove the epic journey again to come and ‘pick me up’ on the Sunday. His little cheery face appearing at the hotel like my knight in shining armour. We went for a little roam around Chatsworth House (well Tara and I actually spent most of the time in the shops rather than the house!) and then stopped for some lunch at a lovely pub near Barlow.

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Tara had bought me a little stone heart with the words ‘Hope’ etched on it, a keepsake of our trip and a positive thought to end the weekend. We all said our goodbyes to each other and went off our separate ways. I felt so sad to be saying goodbye to Tara so quickly and knew I wouldn’t see her for quite some time, but felt very blessed that we’d shared such a fab weekend together.

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