Today was the first day that I left the house since the tonsillectomy. I was getting increasingly cooped up and by this weekend I was a little stir-crazy. I love being in the house, don't get me wrong, and especially in the cold months I tend to go into a state of semi-hibernation (if and when I can), but not being able to leave the house is a different thing entirely, and I can't actually remember the last time I've spent a whole week and a bit in the house without leaving it and connecting with the outside world.
So it was particularly precious to me that today was a fair day, cold and crisp and sunny, and since frosty means that going to the allotment for weeding and digging is pretty much pointless we decided to go to the Kilnwick Percy Buddhist centre instead. We are not Buddhists, but the centre is lovely and peacful. It's located in a stately home, Kilnwick Percy Hall, which is very old (it appears in the Doomsday book, which I find geekily exciting). I have no idea how exactly it became a Buddhist centre, but the Hall has had a long and varied history. You can read more about Kilnwick Percy Hall here and about the Hall and the Buddhist centre there here if you are interested.
In any case, it's a beautiful place. There are extensive grounds, that you can walk, a lake with a plank walk around it, and an old Norman church which isn't used anymore. It's mainly boarded up, but you can peek inside through one of the doors. It's all quite gothic with the old gravestones leaning at odd angles, and sad too when you start reading the inscriptions on the stones.
We didn't go around the church today, but we walked through the grounds and down to the lake and then went into the little cafe at the Hall, which bears the grand name 'World Peace Cafe'. It's a cozy little place with a big wood burning stove and just 5 or 6 tables. They serve tea and coffee and home-made cakes and scones, and they have soup and some small luncheon things. There is a box of bricks and jenga for kids to play with.
Coming back home we lit the fire and spent the late afternoon cozy and together.
And to top it all - looking out of the window now I can see it's snowing! :)