Stephanie Burgis
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Morning out
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Yesterday, for once, the weather was absolutely perfect - gorgeously warm and flooded with sunshine. Maya and I spent two hours lying outside soaking in the sunshine, I napped for most of that time, and ohhh, I felt so much better afterwards!

Today I'm still pretty tired and generally knocked out, but it's another beautiful day, and it started just right. We meant to get a whole bunch of Important Baby Preparation Errands run, including a trip to a big baby-items sale, another trip to Mothercare, etc., etc...but it was just so beautiful outside that we ended up throwing it all over and going to Bolton Abbey instead. Bolton Abbey is one of my very favorite places in the world, a medieval abbey set deep in the Yorkshire Dales, with a manor house next door and an absolutely gorgeous estate, including a large woods. (And for anyone who's seen The Duchess, one of the stone seats in the woods is called "Georgiana's Seat", because the estate is owned by the Devonshires, and according to legend, that was the seat where Georgiana liked to sit and sigh romantically. You can take that story for what it's worth...)

Bolton Abbey was my inspiration for the abbey/manor house combo where I set Kat by Moonlight, and it always makes me happy to go there. So Patrick and Maya went on a big hike in the woods, and I started out inside the beautiful Tea Cottage:
Bolton Abbey Tea Cottage

but then moved to a table outside the cottage, as the morning warmed up, to do my writing in front of this view:
View of Bolton Abbey from the Tea Cottage

It was just heavenly. I ate a freshly baked scone with homemade butter and jam, washed it down with tea, and then, an hour later, ate a big bowl of leek & potato soup served with warm, crusty bread. I alternated between brainstorming Kat by Ghostlight in my notebook and just gazing out over that amazing view, feeling wonderfully inspired. It was just the most creatively stimulating place we could possibly have gone.

It was a long drive back, and of course I didn't sleep again last night because of all the normal pregnancy issues, so I'm back to feeling limp and achey and knocked out again now...but it was an absolutely perfect morning out, and I'm so glad we went. Despite my tiredness, I feel like I'm buzzing with Story inside - and I'm about to head back outside with Maya to take another nap in the sunshine. It doesn't get much better than that. :)

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