When we arrived at Kate Hill’s Kitchen at Camont last Friday, Rocky was already worn to pieces. We had done a lot of walking in Dordogne, probably too much. Definitely too much. Rocky seemed week on his feet, but his energetic reunion with Bacon, followed by a few cat chases he just couldn’t resist, completely did him in. He’s actually been stumbling around, looking sad all over, and not at all his usual self. I tried taking him for a walk on Saturday morning but I could tell he didn’t have it him. His paws dragged along the towpath, so I took us back to Kate’s, and declared our stay here rest time. As it turns out, I needed the rest, too.
In my normal day to day life, I’m generally a slave to routine. I wake up early every morning. I exercise. I walk the dog. I work. I walk the dog some more. I rinse. I repeat. My routine is so precious to me that I feel a real sense of panic when my routine is interrupted. Especially when it comes to exercise. Exercise. That I even refer to it as such is a sign that something’s amiss. I’ve always believed that health and fitness should be one of those things that comes from just being active in day to day life. But it seems my swimming and weight lifting has become more of an obligation. This is no way to live!
Maybe this is why I road trip: to break out of routine. To force upon myself the twists and turns that get me thinking differently about how to live my life. To wind up at places like Camont, a place that is very much the antithesis to obligation.
When I realised that Rocky was hurting, it forced me to step back and think about what my time here at Camont was for. I think Rocky has the right idea: Rest is good. Sleep is good. Being is good. Do all of these things and good things will happen. And you’ll be happier and healthier for it.
And so it’s been for me and the people around me – Kate, Stephanie and Mardi. Conversation. Creativity. Making things. Going on adventures. Meeting new people. Learning about stuff. Dreaming. Making dreams come true.
The positive effect of the rest – and the good vibes that have resulted from said rest – are reflected in Rocky’s own demeanour. A few days off his paws (and with the help of some anti-inflammatories), Rocky is already looking more chipper, and he and Bacon have settled in like old mates. It’s too hot for much sunbathing, but this shot from last year should give you an idea of the kind of time we’re having: