When Crocs got in touch a few weeks ago and asked if I was interested in taking a day off for their #MomsDayOffContest campaign, I’ll admit I was a bit surprised – usually brands want to me to do work for them, not bunk off completely.
But who was I to argue?
So I checked the weather forecast, and on Wednesday I headed out for a solo adventure.
And I felt ridiculously free – I simply cannot remember the last time I did something fun, just for me, all by myself. Free as a bird, and twice as happy.
I decided that I’d keep to a very loose plan – a gentle mooch around Shaftesbury’s fabulous little high street, with time to saunter through shop after independent shop of lovely things. A coffee shop was definitely on the list – and then I’d grab a some supplies and head to win Green, one of my most my favourite places in all the world and have myself an afternoon in the sunshine with just the larks for company.
Obviously no trip to Shaftesbury is complete without a nod to Gold Hill, of Hovis-Loaf-advert fame. But I was in no mood for navigating it today… I simply took my coffee and sat and enjoyed, chatting to the three elderly ladies also enjoying the view from the top.
Then I slowly meandered my way down one side of the High Street, and back up the other (detouring through my favourite Cygnet in Swan’s Yard, of course) , stopping anywhere that caught my eye with no one sighing impatiently, dragging me to look at something else, or reminding me that we only had another 5 minutes. I didn’t buy anything at all. I just looked, and touched, and appreciated, and planned and enjoyed myself. It was bliss.
And yes, those flashes of gorgeous rainbow on my feet are the Crocs Isabella Sandal. They’re flats, so totally practical for a day on your feet, they’re stupidly comfortable (obviously; they’re Crocs after all) and despite the Island Green looking like it was designed for a 6yr old they were actually so very pretty I didn’t want to take them off.
Once I’d stocked up on some delicious treats from Turnbulls Deli I headed back to the car – it was time for Win Green (It’s No.2 on our 10 free things to do in Dorset). You can see it below – this is taken from the long sweeping curve of the approach, and I’m headed to that tiny sticky-up pom-pom of trees on the right of the horizon. You can see the weather’s still being really kind to me; clearly the Universe knew I needed a day off.
As I slipped out of the car I breathed in that unique herby mossy grassy smell, felt the breeze lift my hair, the warmth of the sun on my skin… and the world was a very good place to be. Emails and deadlines and bank statements and exam revision all felt a million miles away as I strolled along the brow of the hill to my favourite viewpoint in front of the ancient copse.
And so I sat.
I just… sat.
I turned off my phone, I opened my book, I ate my lunch… and I sat.
I honestly cannot remember the last time I just sat, alone and content, with nothing to do and nowhere to go.
And the freedom was both completely relaxing, and totally invigorating.
After a while, the sunshine was just too inviting to ignore. I kicked off my shoes, stretched out on my back and gazed up at the sky as I listened to the skylarks, watching them go up and up and up, so far above me I couldn’t see them in the blue. But their song continuously poured down onto the hillside – it’s a sound I always associate with being high on Win Green on a summers’ day, and the first sound of them always feels like a gift each year.
Naturally, what with the warm sweet grass, the sunshine, the silence and the lack of anything else to do, I did as expected.
I fell asleep.
I napped peacefully in the sunshine, and it was heavenly.
It’s not like I have a stressful life – I’m incredibly lucky to have such a flexible career doing something I love, and my family life is as near perfect as I could ever have pictured it to be when I was 12.
But like any working Mum, I don’t really ever stop. There’s always another email, more laundry, a filthy floor, hungry natives in need of feeding, a dog that needs walking, a bill that needs paying, empty spaces where toilet roll should be (where the hell does all the toilet roll go??). Nothing extraordinary, just a normal busy house of six people.
Having a whole day to myself – well it was actually a pretty special thing. I hadn’t realised it had been so very long since I did that. Thank you Crocs, I intend to do it again soon.
And now the good bit. Crocs want to give you a day off too, in their #MomsDayOffContest!
In the whole competition there will be ten first placed winners who will receive £30 voucher for Crocs and £70 cash, and fifty runners up who will receive $50 (£30) vouchers.
To enter in the Contest, you must post a photograph of yourself which shows what you are doing on your day off on either your Twitter or Instagram account, using the hashtag #MomsDayOffContest. You must also be following @CrocsEU (On Twitter if you tweeted your entry, or on Instagram if you IG-ed it!). Closing date is May 6th, so get your skates on!