My and wife and I ( great way to start that eh?! ) are celebrating our 41st anniversary this weekend; the actual day is the Monday following but as some others of you living in the UK will know, trying to book a restaurant on a Monday is a little trying but without much success. So we took the taxi and train to York yesterday and had ourselves a lovely day out.

It’s something worth doing, not only in York but wherever is your local town/city, because the speed of everyday life probably means that you’ll miss a lot of what is around you; travelling on foot enables you to wander here and there without a timetable pressing and whilst we were both born in York, we both ended up going somewhere yesterday we’d never been before. We wandered around antique and less than antique/more junk shops; we visited bespoke shops; we walked quite a few miles in all and took in 2 sections of the famous City Walls.

Arriving in York, we took coffee at the Royal Station Hotel; well that was its name when we knew it, but it’s now a PH hotel. We have many happy memories of going in there for coffee on an evening; mingling with the guests like we were supposed to be there and listening to the resident band. When refreshment was needed, we ate at our favourite restaurant in the heart of the old City; @Lucia’s is simply the best for any occasion. The ambience to us is more important than the food, and this place has both in spadefuls. It’s just a wonderful experience; you can eat outside and if the weather is chilly, they have heaters and if it gets really cold, you can have a blanket……I’ve never seen both being offered before. Before we left for home, we sat outside @The Star In The City; another amazing place headed up by @Andrew @Pern from the same name @Harome. Just a jewel in its own right but such a wonderful addition to the city’s eateries.

We have been so blest over the past decades; we are hours away from welcoming grandchild No.6 into our family, which is the most stupid thing to write ‘cos he’s been here for the past 9 months! Life in a way couldn’t be better and we value every single day so much.

However, there is always a flip side and we COULD look at life and include so many complaints in our recollection; things that didn’t go well, disappointments, black days and all the other things that we can frequently major on but which, if seen in perspective, count for a small percentage of the whole. It would be foolish to discount whatever happened to mar the landscape; life happens and try as we will, we can never erase the stuff that trips us up or which we find desperately difficult. But I’d encourage you, maybe as you like us look back over the years, to see the big picture and be grateful that even if you took a few hits, even if some of it wasn’t pretty, you stayed the course and you stuck at it and achieved a result. Never, ever judge someone else’s progress; you aren’t dealing with their stuff and are not in their shoes; just be so grateful for the battles won, and the victories proclaimed.

And if you lost the occasional battle, be even more grateful that you never lost the war!