So it's the weekend, and I'm stuck in the Acute Admissions Unit waiting for the ambulance crews to wheel in the sick and infirm. It's cold and grey outside, very rainy, very icy. I can't help thinking of the long, warm, summer days MDH and I spent down on the south coast of England earlier this year.
As some of you may recall, to celebrate our wedding anniversary, I secretly booked a room at a fancy B&B and whisked MDH off for a romantic weekend away.
It was lovely - the family-run B&B was a converted old railway station tucked away in a corner of the New Forest. The lady of the house made her own bread and preserves, and she had a small vegetable plot out the back (which meant organic grilled tomatoes for breakfast).
There was a beautiful garden with sweet apple and pear trees, laden with fruit, and an enormous silver birch tree. MDH and I spent our evenings sitting on the iron bench underneath the silver birch, and playing with the friendly dogs that belonged to the family.
We visited Stonehenge early in the morning that weekend. It was just after the summer solstice, so the hippie community were still camping around the site, waving mistletoe and singing folk tunes.There were lots of people climbing up on the rocks and diving into the sea. Unfortunately, neither of us had thought to bring our swimming things, so we watched in envy from the shore. MDH rolled up his trousers and went splashing about in the shallows, but it just wasn't the same.
It wasn't too crowded that day (we got there early enough to avoid the tour buses and school kids), so we had the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and walk slowly around the stones.
Afterwards, we decided to drive to the coast to visit Ludworth Cove and Durdle Door. It was very hot, so we each had an ice cream cone before walking down to the shore and paddling our feet in the sea water.
With the crumbs from our baguettes, we fed the seagulls and watched them squabble on the sands. It was far too hot that day to stay out in the sun for too long, and we found ourselves scrambling back to the car, hot and sticky and driving back to the cool shady garden of the B&B.
We were very reluctant to leave our haven after that lazy weekend. As we got into the car to leave, the family dog hopped into the passenger seat and made himself comfortable. He looked at us under his bushy ginger eyebrows. He whined when I carried him back to the house then ran towards the driver's side and tried to crawl under MDH's leg.
I'd have welcomed him gladly as a stowaway, but MDH insisted that we shouldn't start a career as dog-nappers...so I reluctantly returned him back to the house a second time.
He ran, barking indignantly, after our car as we drove away