One of our new year's resolutions was to do more things as a couple, and to pick a hobby to try together to make sure we did something.
It was tempting to keep making excuses - we like the idea of doing things, but essentially we're both lazy and once we've finished work we like to sit on the sofa and pretend we're reading or watching TV when in reality we are merely counting down the hours until we can legitimately go to sleep before we have to start getting exhausted again for another day!
Something we've long wanted to try is archery - there's something both old fashioned and hardcore about a bow and arrow and we both thought it looked ace.
We saw a poster for Ospray Archers in Weymouth and said "yeah, totally man, let's do it!" and signed up - then promptly forgot about it! The course was months away from beginning (it runs when enough people sign up to do it) and it turned out that when we booked, in February, that there wasn't going to be one running until April.
Before it started we moved - of course! Which meant it was just over an hour's drive to get there and back, and we both kept wishing the other would make an excuse not to go because it seemed a lot of effort. However, neither of us dared to be the one to wimp out, and we went!
It was the best decision ever - it was AMAZING. We both worried that it might be a bit vague and naff and that we might never get around to actually touching a bow and arrow - but within minutes we'd been told the safety guidelines and KERPOW, off we went!
I have never had so much fun in my life! Aside from the three times I didn't move my inner elbow out of the way, meaning I hit it with the string (don't do that, it bloody hurts!) it was just amazing.
Very quickly we were taught the technique - how to line up the bow, to perfect the shot, how to position your body and best use your body to get a clean, strong shot without straining anywhere. Once we had the basics we worked on getting stronger shots, on better aim, on being ruddy awesome.
The course was five weeks long and we went from total novices to being able to fire a re-curve bow - which is what most people who have seen a bow these days will have seen, a traditional long bow, like off of the olden days, and a compound bow, which has a more complex pulley system that makes it harder to draw but which fires some seriously hardcore, deadly accurate arrows.
Daddytwo ended up preferring the compound bow - he liked the fiddling and technicality, and the power of it.
My favourite was the traditional long bow. I didn't expect it to be - I thought the compound bow would be most exciting but that - because most of our lessons were with the re-curve - I would want a re-curve!
it turned out I was surprisingly good with a longbow, though, and it's not easy to be good at - so it's something I want to learn more about and get better at using.
The course has finished now and we're fully certificated beginner archers! We live over an hour away from the club, which is a bit of a bugger, but we said that once the course was finished we would pick something new to do because we wanted to keep having our one evening a week together with no children.
We decided - immediately after the course finished - that we didn't want to pick another thing. We just want to carry on with the archery! We're going to pick an evening and go on that evening every week. It gives us the time together doing the hobby we've fallen in love with, but it also gives us the time in the car together to chat and laugh and enjoy each other's company.
Some of my happiest memories from when we were a brand new couple are of us being in Daddytwo's car together talking and laughing and learning each other. It's nice to have found that again, and to have something exciting to go to.
So, archery - do it! You'd totes love it!
Images from Ospray Archers. Except the one of me, being smug. That's mine. And yep - I really did shoot those arrows, that awesomely, my first ever time with a longbow. Go me!