I am always excited to go out whenever I am home, rain or shine. “Where are we going now?” My partner would groan, burying himself deeper in the duvet. ‘Do we have to go? It’s raining outside.”



“Out. Just out.”

And “out” this morning was a little known corner of Hampshire, nothing special, called Botley. Botley is just a little market village on the banks of the Hamble.    The village developed as a natural crossing point for the River Hamble, and received its first market charter from Henry III in 1267, so yeah, it’s historic. The village grew on the success of its mill, its coaching inns, and more recently strawberries. It is a beautiful walk, even on rainy mornings.

On the way home to my parents’ house, we stopped at Wickham, had a coffee in a tea room, wandered through the farmers’ market and drove through my beautiful, rain-drenched county.  For me, this is love and life, to be found in simple, everything living with someone special, holding his hand as he drives through those familiar country roads.

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