I've had the best day!
It's amazing how, when you are at home most of the time, you get used to it. It gets to the point where the less you go out, the less you want to go out.
Winter sunshine was pouring through our bedroom window, and there was a cold nip in the air. I was enjoying being snuggled up with him in the warmth of our bed, listening to the sounds of life outside. I could've stayed there all day.
"Right!" he said suddenly, breaking the blissful peace, "Let's get up and go into town. If we hurry, we can get an early bus."
I turned away and pulled the quilt tighter around me, "Oh, I don't think so, it's cold. We should stay in."
He hauled the quilt off me, and the icy air instantly gave me goose bumps.
"Come on. We could do some Christmas shopping, and put some colour back in your cheeks!"
I could see I wasn't going to win this one, so I dragged myself out of bed, and dressed quickly.
We got to the bus stop just in time. There weren't that many people on it at all, and as Colin read his book, I looked out of the window.
A few houses are already decorated up in town. An inflatable Santa hung precariously from one window, like he had decided to jump to his death and then changed his mind at the last minute.
There were lights around the windows of others, some of which had obviously been left on overnight, and could barely be seen against the light of day. I wondered why people did that? Surely turning them off before they went to bed would be more sensible, and besides, it would help the environment. But, I grinned, it is 'silly season' after all!
The city centre had that lovely feeling of early morning quiet about it. There was a smell of McDonald's breakfast filling the air. I breathed it in, and smiled. People passed us. A college girl spoke on her mobile phone as she walked. Her conversation was lively and excited. I wondered briefly what she studied, and why she was so happy first thing in the morning!
It's funny how when you pass people in the street, you don't actually 'see' them. Yesterday though, I did. It was almost as if I was seeing everything through fresh eyes. The colours seemed sharper, and I noticed little things, like a piece of paper floating on the wind, and a pigeon chasing stray bread.
By the time we got to 'Thornton's' chocolate shop, I was already tired and hot from the effort of walking, so I sat back in the comfort of my wheelchair, and watched the world from a different height. You'd be surprised how many people look down on you, in more ways than one!
Eventually, laden with tempting boxes of chocolates, we joined the queue that was already forming. The man in front of us had a hole in the pocket of his stonewashed jeans. It was at eye level for me, so I momentarily pondered how it came to be there.
Maybe that is just the writer in me, always looking for the spark of a story, or maybe I had been stuck at home for longer than I realized!
By lunchtime the city centre was crowded with Christmas shoppers. Everyone was in a rush, and was stepping around an old lady who was hobbling slowly with a stick. I felt for her. I've been there over and over again.
The crowd of people behind you, all wishing you could move faster. You wish you could move faster! The worst thing about it is always the sighs if impatience that some people don't even bother to hide. Even with a disabled daughter, my Dad is sometimes guilty of that.
Leaving the centre for a while, we walked up towards the 'Circus,' a curved row of Georgian town-houses away from the main street. Bath is a beautiful city, but, as with everything, you tend to take it for granted when it is so close to you. Today, though, I looked up.
The sun was dancing on the beautiful architecture, bathing it in a golden glow. It was a lovely sight, and I was once again grateful for my 'fresh eyes'.
For a while we sat on a bench underneath a tree, our gloved hands entwined and my head on his shoulder. I had one of those rare moments of perfect bliss, as I breathed in the biting air again.
"Okay?" he said to me, squeezing my hand.
"Oh, yeah!" I replied.
It was a shame to move, but we had to.
After picking up a few more odds and ends, and nearly forgetting wrapping
paper, we walked back towards the bus station.
By now, it was dusk and the Christmas lights brightened the street. It was like a wonderland, and I looked around me, I felt the first pangs of the Christmas spirit. Despite the cold air, I was warm.
Once home, we sat on the sofa with steaming mugs of tea. I took a sip and let the heat drift down my throat.
"Your cheeks are all rosy!" he said, grinning.
"Fresh air!" I said, smiling back at him, "Thank you for dragging me out today."
"I'm glad I did too, it's done you the world of good."
He was right, it has.
(Image: Bath - Christmas Lights - Google)