It was only after we’d moved in that I realised that I had seen our house once before. Maybe five years before, when our car was being serviced and I’d had a few hours to kill. It was one of those early spring days where everything is so green, and the world feels like it’s coming back to life. You walk along with your coat wrapped round my waist, feeling the sun on your skin for the first time in what feels like years. After following the directions given to me by the kind mechanic quite poorly, I ended up standing looking confused at the entrance to a farm. While this was going on, two farmers drove up and asked if they could help. I explained where I was trying to get to and they said it was very muddy that way, I would be better off starting the walk from higher up. I should hop in. Now I am very much a people pleaser, and I didn’t want to seem rude, so in I hopped. The second I got in their car, I thought oh dear, they are going to kill me. So as if to try and trick them into not killing me, I talked effusively the entire way about farming; how was the lambing going? Had the bad winter effected things? Did they have enough hay? Was there going to be any more snow? Did they think it was going to be a good summer? Didn’t they think cyclists were the worst? (country folk seem to hate cyclists). Blah blah blah, the whole way up the hill. As if talking incessantly to them would somehow put them off their murderous plans for me. Of course they were just friendly chaps, who drove me to the top of the hill without murdering me, and wished me a good day.
After they left – possibly to murder another unsuspecting/less annoying walker – although probably just to continue on with their day, I walked to the very top of the valley. Walking the route that is now one of my daily Frank walks. I remember thinking how lovely it would be to live here. It was so quiet, and you could see so far in every direction. It was one of those moments in life where you almost wish you could go back in time and tell your past self: ‘Hey… you’ll never guess what??’ Which would take the fun out of it of course, and in reality would be absolutely terrifying for your past self. But it would have been cool to know that when I sidled along, enjoying all the sounds and smells on that early spring day.