Stephanie Burgis
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The weather and Patrick both came to my rescue yesterday. It was a hot, sunny day, for once, and instead of staying in the house for me to spend the afternoon slumped in my chair thinking about how tired I was, etc, etc, all four of us jumped in the car and drove out to Fairburn Ings, an RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) wildlife reserve that we'd heard of but never visited. And oh, it was perfect. It was only half an hour's drive from our house, but it felt like a different world out there, walking along the boardwalks and trails between the river and the lake and various marshy areas full of beautiful and unusual birds. The sun shone on us, Mr Darcy observed Maya-sized swans with a careful and serious attention, Maya wagged nonstop, and I felt the tension just melt out of my shoulders.

We spent about two hours there, and only left at 5pm because the parking lot was about to close. Next time, we'll go much earlier and bring along a packed lunch so we can sit by the lake, watch the birds, and relax for a lot longer.

And finishing the day off to perfection, we decided to try out another new-to-us experience by going to Prashad for dinner. It's a vegetarian Indian restaurant in Bradford that had been recommended by Shana Worthen, and the time we left, I was practically floating from pleasure. The food was SO GOOD. They've supplied some recipes (and instructional videos for them) on their website, and if you can't visit Bradford to eat their own version, it would definitely be worth trying out the recipes! It's just a tiny family restaurant, with only 24 seats, but the chef has won the UK's Top South Asian Chef of the Year award, and with so much great Indian food in the UK, that's saying a lot! Mr Darcy loved it too, because we were seated right next to a full-length mirror, which meant that he got to spend almost the entire meal playing with the gorgeous and intelligent baby in the mirror next to him. :)

The sun is still shining today, and I am in such a better mood. Whew!

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