My husband and I have what I think is a pretty good marriage. We are the best friends, we love each other, and we have a shared passion for murderous murderous TV programs and documentaries about true crimes. We also experienced some serious things as a couple in just three and a half years of marriage and 10 years as a couple. I'm talking about my husband Andy who is fighting a serious chronic illness with several hospital stays, several failed IVF rounds and job dramas.

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But despite surviving a few difficult times in our lives, we were certainly in one place, after another failed round of IVF in autumn, where we were emotionally and physically exhausted from a difficult year. We could just swing ourselves in the morning, go to the tube and go to work, before we get home, make dinner, watch TV and nonchalantly scroll on our phones before we go to bed. Our relationship was fine on the surface, but we both needed some romance, a chance to reconnect and step outside the 9-5 gravel and process what we had experienced as a couple. So, like Cameron Diaz The holiday, I started searching for a retreat to escape – but instead of limping away with a bottle of wine and Jude Law around the corner, I and my husband would try to * connect more * to the outside air.

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But before we left, we lay down some rules for our retreat from nature:No phones. This would be difficult for me because social media is my job, and also difficult when we would literally become the most Instagramable place we had ever visited (I already had the outdoor pool post in my head). But we did not talk to the internet or phones, although we could occasionally take pictures of our weekend because we do not have cameras, but that was it. Not V. We spend a lot of time watching TV or Netflix together – this weekend we had to spend time talking and hanging around. Embrace nature. We were hardly Bear Grylls, but I thought we would be in nature and away from the craziness of modern life.

      So we put our phones in airplane mode and became slightly angry with Gin in a glance towards Herefordshire.

      Foreign pursuits

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      "I would not say we were spatelwhittlers of the year"

      We have not had a chilled breakfast like this for so long, we normally buried our heads in our phones while we scooped in porridge and it was so, so tasty and relaxing. Normally I had Instagrammed this experience, but my phone remained firmly in my bag.
      The first activity that our hosts had recommended, we try to make spatula. It is actually making a spatula out of a piece of wood, and since I almost held a chisel through my hand in design technology, my hope to make something useful was slim at best.
      Will put us next to each other at the spatula stations, and the idea was after we had learned the basic steps from him, to coach each other through the process. At first I laughed at the idea of ​​this, because I could never be good at woodworking, but we both had different skills and helped each other with the bits we were nonsense to. Andy was very good at making the basic woodwork, while at the end I was better at the more detailed and precise things like shaping the corners.

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      I am not going to lie, I felt quite complacent that we had helped everyone instead of fighting or trying to compete. And although I would not say that we were spatelwhittlers of the year, we certainly made something (a little standard, but something) that we could use every day in our kitchen, and that was pretty satisfying.

      statueThe big country walk

      Then we decided to make a long country walk, by phone free of charge (well, in the bottom of a backpack). We got maps with walking routes to the best pubs in the area and they were all on the road for at least one and a half hours, through forests and country lanes. I had an image of a rural walk, hand in hand through the forest, but that did not happen at all.

      "There was no shouting on & # 39; f * cking Google Maps & # 39;"

      We started off so well, but on the way we got lost about 20 times. While Andy would normally take over with every navigation on vacation, we had to work together to find our way because it turns out that we are real spoiled city boys and the maps of the reading country are much more difficult than it should be. I do not know if it was through the beautiful nature or the fresh air, but getting lost did not turn into a huge row like a normal holiday – there was no shouting on "f * cking Google Maps" or taking the phone apart take the lead. We worked as a team to find our wayand stayed pretty cold when we had to crawl under a fence or avoid angry cows.
      And such a long walk without distraction gave us a chance to talk about what we had thought about the IVF, how we felt about life in London and whether we wanted to stay there, and the health issues of Andy. Despite the deep and meaningful things we got hungry, so after asking a very beautiful woman to walk with her dogs, it finally reached a cozy country pub just an hour after the schedule for ciders, pork belly and sticky pudding for the fire .

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      statueScrabble?

      Back in the tree house and pretty wet and cold, we both decided to swim outside, drink Lidl champagne (stylish) and laugh at the mild danger of our walk home. At home there is no way to take a bath together – I get annoyed by the lack of space in our cramped bath and begin to emphasize that water goes everywhere, but this felt like a private hot tub. And actually, being together with a bath turns out to be really fun? Sorry, Andy.

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      We also got some fresh pizza dough from Will, so we tried out the wood-fired pizza oven on our terrace. We had forgotten cheese, so improvised with vegan pizza's, such as tomato paste, herbs and olive oil. They were kind of a failure, but the dough itself was delicious.

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      The last day

      When we woke up the next day, we had the quietest morning again, lounging in bed for hours (we never do this at home!) And thinking about how different we felt after having watched screens for only two days. We had left pizza dough, so made bacon flatbread and eaten outside on the terrace in our dressing gowns, took another outdoor pool and decided to have wine in bed at 12 o'clock in the evening, because we had some more and felt it a bit? When we left the tree house, I noticed subtle things, such as putting more hands in hands, complimenting each other more, not wanting to dive into the nearest distraction via our phones on the taxi to the station, were subtle signs that we were more like a couple ( and split up with our phones a bit).

      "We both had not had much fun in times"

      We also spent time thinking about how we functioned as a relationship and what made us a great couple that was incredibly close. After this weekend I feel like we are a great team, and that is why we can get through things so well together in times of stress or crisis. But we have also experienced a lot of FUN this weekend as a couple, something we certainly slipped on. Whether it was our tree house dancing to the soundtrack of The Rock of Ages (do not ask), to laugh in hysteria about how shit we were with making pizza's and spatulas, we both had not had much fun in times.

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      So how are we doing now?

      We have definitely come back from Brook House Woods and feel like a couple close by. I'm not going to lie, we've fallen back a bit in our old habits – our ban on "no phones" lasted about a day! But we have & # 39; nice time & # 39; made and outside in nature an important factor for our relationship in the future. We have planned a date night once a week to watch a movie or try a new restaurant, and we have planned many long walks and weekends over the coming months, because London gets too much and we have to escape. From day to day we have also made a joint effort to simply sit more and talk more like a couple. It sounds stupid, but small steps, such as simply putting our phones away at bedtime, and always having breakfast together in the morning, where we talk about our days instead of creating breakfast on the way to the metro or at work, have done us closer. And as far as the spatulas are concerned – I actually used them to have us breakfast the other weekend and they are ideal for fish-finger sandwiches. Guests can book accommodation at Brook House Woods.


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