In keeping with my plans this year to, “go out more,” my husband and I are fortunate enough to make the most of his rest days on his shift pattern. Working the now well-established three days early, three days late, three days off means we have three days to plan our Date Days.

Date Days are days we plan to go out to somewhere local we have never been. It can be a whole day out somewhere, the cinema or just a meal out. We have become pretty good at keeping these dates and so far we have frequented the imax, been book shopping, TV shopping, had brunch, afternoon tea and walked around the museum.

It feels like having a weekly bucket list and although these days can be anxiety ridden, I have learnt to enjoy myself more each time we plan them. For the first time in over a decade we have been out on Valentine’s Day and I am buying physical books again as I find bargains in various stores, which are cutting down what I spend in Amazon on Kindle books.

I definitely feel more relaxed and less like I’m on some monotonous routine, only leaving my home to go to medical appointments. I can concentrate better on my reading whilst I get to know my city better. We have rediscovered the art of conversation as well as keeping companiable silences. The shift pattern allows us to date midweek, affording us the opportunity to miss weekend rushes and do a variety of things, many of which are almost on my doorstep.

Still on my list are going to Europe mainland, antiques fairs, hiking in the Lake District, going to Alton Towers, milking a cow and feeding tiger cubs among others. This is one resolution I’m glad I’ve kept and spurs me on to keep others. I’m finding a world out there I can confidently enjoy and reaping the benefits of living in a city.