Tag: Peak District

Relationships after 50: Friendships

I’d like to consider here friendships, particularly after the age of 50. These are my experiences and thoughts, let me know in the comments below your views or experience if you don’t mind sharing!

Old Friendships

I sometimes feel that I have lost good friends after the breakup of my marriage over 20 years ago. As a young-ish couple you have couple friends, often with children the same age as yours. We had three couple friends from school days and numerous other couple friends through our children mainly. No one wants to “take sides” (on our divorce), time gets taken up with the children and their hobbies, people move away and friendships take more than an annual Christmas card. Having said that if they were to knock on my door or vice versa I’m sure we’d pick up like it was yesterday……….but it’s not.

All the missed shared times – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, children growing up concerns; GCSE’s, University anguish –these have been missed,  shared with newer friends. I envy people that have kept long term friendships going, it is like having an extended family.

That said I do have friends of old! In particular a childhood neighbour I’ve been friends with for over 50 years, I see her rarely, write to her twice a year and now see more of her on social media! An old school friend who is quite local and I meet up with occasionally. Along with the aforesaid Christmas card friends from days of yore and a close friend of over 15 years, I used to be her Manager in my Accountancy days.

walking in the peak district
My two best friends, Kate and Rufus at Ilam Rock -Dove Dale

You can read about this trip to the Peak District here.

New Friendships

I’m sometimes surprised at the number of friends I have made after the age of 50. They have come from varied places. Massage clients have become close friends to share a meal with or enjoy a dog walk with. More recently, in the last 12 months, I have made new friends through joining a local choir, tennis coaching and a social tennis group. These friendships are in early stages but I’m sure they will be long standing with like minded people.

I joined an online gym over 4 years ago and the community on there is fabulous. The thought of online friends is probably quite alien to many over 50s, and the scare stories of online relationships may put you off. Rest assured the ladies I have met online are delightful, I have now met some of them irl (in real life!), including one visiting from Australia. They are such a supportive and knowledgeable group of ladies, I am honoured to be part of their friendship group.

friendship
Meeting online gym friends irl!

Current Friendships

Here I am in my late 50s with more friends than I have ever had. Some from childhood, some from work places or leisure activities, some clients and my family. I believe that it is important to “work” at friendships. Don’t get irritated if it seems one way traffic or you are more or less available them. Be sure to keep in touch and get a date in your diary for a meet up or drop them a letter or a card.

I have reconnected with people after years and being single makes me more sociable and actively pursue friends. I have a date in my diary to meet a great lady I played hockey regularly with over 25 years ago with whom I’ve exchanged of Christmas cards but haven’t met in all those years. I’m also in contact with an old work colleague through Facebook and arranging a coffee meet up. An old boss dropped his phone number in his Christmas card and said to call.

friendship
1986 British Shoe Mixed Hockey Team on tour

Good friends

I googled friendship and friends here’s what I found “True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils” (dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/friend)

“A friend is someone you can talk with about a problem, someone who is always there when you need a hand, someone you can trust with your deepest secrets, someone who makes you laugh, or even someone you can poke on Facebook.” (https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-good-friend)

Good friends may be hard to find and keep, times change, stuff happens, all part of lives rich pattern. Friendships can be made and developed. It’s never too late to make new friends who may well become good and trusted friends!

How do you know your oldest friend? How do you know you best friend? Do you have a best friend? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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Celebrating last year – what did you learn?

Celebrating 5 things I’ve learnt in 2017

As we are all looking forward to what 2018 will bring and how we might be able to shape it I decided to take a look at what I’d learnt in 2017. It isn’t earth shattering or revolutionary but it is worth celebrating.

I am very much about looking forward because that’s the way we’re going! But we should be celebrating what we’ve achieved and how we’ve grown; the latter may be from some perceived failure or overcoming a fear.

I’m happier on my own

2017 started with an unexpected BANG! I was thrown into a new start when my partner decided we should go our separate ways, you can read about that here –  The *hit hit the fan!. The practicalities of this took over and I quickly established my new home and life – Calmer Waters.
As the year has progressed I have come to realise that I’m much happier on my own. I don’t  function well in a partnership, I become dependent and a little too submissive, yes that’s pathetic and I don’t like this about myself.  On my own I’m more resilient, competent and definitely independent!

Abseiling solo!

I love to sing

I have belonged to low key choirs for a lot of my life. However monetary constraints followed by my last relationship meant I had not been part of a choir for over 10 years.
I was pleased to discover in my new home village a community choir, 30 strong, no audition, no cost and just a short stroll away. This ticked all my choir boxes – as I love to sing I’m not very good, and would never sing solo and don’t really like people hearing me sing along with the radio! However in a choir I can tune in with those more proficient. It is a great hobby, has helped me to get to know people in the village and made me feel part of my new community.

I am resourceful

When my relationship broke down I found myself with my part-time massage business that I’d been letting tick over as I was living an hour’s drive away.  This was the impetus to crank this business back up and to look for other sources of income;  Work Update – Do you do a variety of jobs?
This year I have been a poll clerk and an exams invigilator alongside my massage work and blogging.
I have grown my own tomatoes and picked many blackberries whilst walking the dog. I shop wisely and waste nothing. I want to use my blog to encourage people to take responsibility for their health and live well, this post has some great signposts for low cost health.

I love to walk

Fitness and good health are important to me. I have had a dog for over 10 years and he is an active cocker spaniel that needs two good walks a day. I do not resent this I love to walk. I love that I get out into the countryside on my doorstep twice a day and I enjoy seeing the seasons changing in front of me on a daily basis.

Dog walk
Regular dog walk fun!

This year we walked Offa’s Dyke Path, a national trail on the Wales/England border. It was glorious, hard work and rewarding. A fabulous way holiday – activity, good views and good food! Read my post about it here.

Offa's Dyke Path
We’ve arrived in Prestatyn, in the October sunshine

Friends and family are precious, and I count my clients amongst these

Finding myself single I relocated back to be near my Dad and my daughters and I am so happy to be able to easily pop in or meet up for a coffee or a walk. We were celebrating my Dad’s 90th Birthday in December and it’s great to be near to see him regularly and help him out….even if that means digging over his vegetable patch!

healthy later life
Dad & I

I’ve also made a concerted effort to regularly contact and meet up with friends, something I’d neglected. I seem to do more with these friends than I did with my ex’s! The daily routine of work and TV has been replaced by trips to the cinema, theatre, meals out and other adventures.
These posts are a couple of things I got up to – Peak District and North Devon and there’s more I’ve blogged about take a look!

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Blacksands Bistro 🙂

With my daughters in North Devon.

What are you celebrating about 2017?

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

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My walking break in the Peak District

I have just returned from a 4 day walking break in the Peak District.; A fabulous area of the UK and less than an hour and a half “up the road”.

I have always been a keen walker. My former husband and I holidayed a lot in the Lake District in our twenties pre children – wow over 30 years ago! There was a middle time in my life; when the girls were growing up, that long and difficult walks took a backseat, with only the occasional foray perhaps but nothing serious. More recently with my last partner and my dog, Rufus, I have completed Wainwrights Coast to Coast walk and The Cotswold Way. I am currently walking Offa’s Dyke Path in 4-day break sections.

Day 1

Back to the Peak District, I set off on Thursday morning with the Cocker Spaniel, Rufus and my mate Kate heading for Ilam and the B&B ran by the sister of Kate’s work colleague. What a stroke of luck a beautiful location, very comfortable accommodation and brilliant service Garden Farm, Ilam (https://www.gardenfarmpeakdistrict.co.uk/ ). Thanks Debbie!  Rufus was made very welcome and is currently starring on the Garden Farm Facebook page! Rufus made friends in the customary way (bottom sniffing) with the resident black Labradors – Diesel and Marley.

walking in the peak district
The biggest honeysuckle I’ve ever seen at the Garden Farm B&B – beautiful perfume

On arriving, after I’d prepared my feet for walking (see this post) we headed off with a picnic to explore the locality. The first walk of our walking break in the Peak District was a 6 mile walk down into Ilam (via the National Trust loo’s!) and onward to follow the Manifold River towards Thorpe and back again, with a picnic stop half way.

walking in the peak district
Stock Grazing
Please close and fasten the gate
The sign on this gate!

 

We rounded this off with a pot of tea and a Biscuiteer courtesy of Kate. A birthday gift from her work colleagues (thank you).

Biscuiteers

After a rest and a read we headed for the local hostelry The Izaak Newton Hotel for a welcome pint and a good dinner – burger for me and a tomato hash concoction for Kate, all very tasty. Rufus was made very welcome and was given a bowl of iced water.

Day 2

walking in the peak district
Kate and Rufus at Ilam Cross – ready for Dovedale

A good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast set us up for our planned 12 mile walk. We’d decided to walk up Dove Dale past the stepping stones before the weekend hoards arrived!  We were there before 10am and very few walkers were around. Hence I was able to film Kate and Rufus crossing the River Dove (see Instagram @jenafitlife)

walking in the peak district
Crossing Dovedale stepping stones

From here we carried on up the River Dove to Milldale where we partook of a coffee from Polly’s Cottage and watched the ducks on the river before continuing on up river to just beyond Iron Tors where we crossed the river and climbed the steady route up Gipsy Banks to reach the limestone plateau of fields across to Alstonefield.

walking in the peak district
Ilam Rock -Dove Dale
walking in the peak district
Rufus exploring the Dove dale caves

Here at The George we had a pint but we were not tempted by the menu – designed for diners not walkers!  We then headed south via Stanshope and Castern to eventually come into Ilam Park. The weather had deteriorated and we got rather damp, but it was dry enough to sit in the NT Ilam tea garden ( www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ilam-park-dovedale-and-the-white-peak)  and have a good pot of tea and a slice of Derbyshire tea loaf.

walking in the peak district
View from the Ilam Park tea garden

More tea, a bath and some reading prior to heading out for food, having not booked anywhere we ended up back at The Izaak Walton! Red wine, Caulliflower, chick pea and spinach curry for me and Fish & Chips for Kate. Delicious!

Day 3

The weather looked more promising on Saturday, our planned route had no hostelry’s for refreshment. Debbie our host kindly provided a flask of coffee and we had apples and snacks too.  We had another 12 mile circular route from Parwich planned, taking in some of the Tissington Trail and the High Peak Trail. These are both old industrial railway lines now given over to walkers and cyclists. The route culminated in skirting the working Ballidon Quarry and back to Parwich. We hadn’t realised how bright and warm the day had been until we saw the white lines at my ankle/sock/leg boundary!

Saturday night we’d booked in to eat at The Okeover Arms, Mappleton.  A varied menu and good ales, free wifi connected me to the outer world briefly. Did I say we’d had little or no phone or internet reception throughout the trip?  I had a great pint of Okeover Ale to wash down my Steak pie, proper walker’s food! I followed this up with a Strawberry pavlova.  This day led to a sound nights sleep.

walking in the peak district
Okeover Ale

Day 4

Sunday dawned, packing ensued and our last hearty B& B breakfast. Today our plan was to drive to Hartington and walk 6 miles along Beresford Dale into Wolfscote Dale following the River Dove almost to where we’d left it to climb Gipsy Banks earlier in the weekend. We then left the river bed to come back along Biggin Dale to the country lanes that led back to Hartington, a sandwich and a coffee.

walking in the peak district
A mixed Chicken run en route back to Hartington

This brought our break to an end, just the hour and a half drive back to Leicestershire, internet and phone reception!

I would really recommend a walking break in the Peak District. We barely scratched the surface and will definitely be back.

Have you read my blog post on Fitness Challenges? Walking features in it!

Where are you favourite walking routes?

Thanks for reading.

Jen

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

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