A birthday walk in Holton

So R and I have been getting older around here (well, hasn't everyone), but I'm talking the big 3-0! Our birthdays are just over a month apart and R is the older one so he got to go first at turning 30. It's my turn next week!

We took ourselves away for the weekend to celebrate his birthday, staying just outside Oxford in the very pretty little village of Holton. We chose it because of its proximity to

Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

, a place we had wanted to visit for a long time. A 30th birthday seemed like the perfect opportunity! 

We stayed at the lovely

Home Farm Holton

, which was an incredibly relaxed and comfortable place to spend a few days. It was a 10 minute taxi ride away from Le Manoir and about 15 minutes from Oxford, so perfectly located. We got there late on Thursday night so we would be refreshed for the big day!

In line with tradition, the birthday morning began with R opening his cards and presents in bed and me making tea. Amazingly the kitties managed to dictate a little card for him and sign it with their paw prints (such a proud cat-mummy).

My present to him was this slender and minimal Junghans watch which we chose together and which he was very excited about. I got him a few other little pressies too. 

After the present opening and eggs and bacon, we headed out for a little walk around the village in an attempt to work up a bit of an appetite before lunch. 

It was a wonderful misty murky morning, but quite mild, and everywhere there were little signs of spring starting to emerge. Dew hung from branches and leaves like little sparkling gems, soon to evaporate as the day warmed up. 

The daffodils shone out of the mist, like little yellow beams of sunshine, nestled on verges and against fences and walls. 

These two scruffy old men were ambling around happily in the field next door, snuffling around me as I took a picture and rubbing up against eachother amicably. 

Across the fields, the mist moved slowly, lifting gently to let the day in, bare bone trees rising up on the horizon.

We met a couple of damp horses, standing quietly in their rugs, their manes heavy with due, snorting sweet smelling plumes of steam from their nostrils. 

In one field that we passed, plumes of cloudy mist drifted just above the ground and the buildings in the distance emerged, like a scene from the opening credits of some creepy film.

This rather magnificent tup was all on his own, and he was very curious about us, trotting over to say hello. 

The sun finally came out as we approached the church, illuminating the graves and casting a hazy light over everything. 

At some point we got a little lost and then had to make a swift return to the B&B to get dressed to go out. I think all birthday mornings should begin with a walk, and this was a particularly beautiful one. I will share a little about our meal at Le Manoir and our day out in Oxford in my next post.