Saturday, August 29, 2009
It has to be said that there can be no finer place to be on a good weather day that the English Lakes. On Monday we set off in the direction of Ravenglass from our base in Eskdale and after about 6.5 miles a small group of us arrived at our destination having enjoyed the adventure of crossing a fell after the rains.
At times we were walking upstream where no stream should have been. Tiring, but delightful and the view from the high point worth all the effort, even for Thomas. Who at 1 day short of his sixth birthday walked almost all the way.
Today we went in search of Hard Knott fort. It turned out to be hard work and almost 10 miles of walking, but once again we were rewarded with some great views.
I can’t remember which poet or author it was who suggested that no day in the Lake district deserves the appellation “Sunday”, but that would certainly be true of this particular Sunday. It is raining. Really raining. Still, you don’t come to the Lakes to sit on the beach, but it would be nice if the rain would move out of our valley and into someone else’s in the next couple of hours.
Yesterday was out first full day, although not all members of the family had arrived when we set out on our first walk of the holiday. A short trek across the river and up to the old church, then back via Dalegarth Station for ice-cream. It’s about 5 miles and a nice gentle stroll, just right for a Saturday afternoon.
Being in a valley you get a wonderful perspective on the fells and mountains as they rise all around you. In the sunshine, yes the sun did shine yesterday, they are quite spectacular. To the east, roughly speaking, is Muncaster and the sea, to the west, Eskdale Fell and Great How with Sca Fell and the Pike in the distance. Illgil Head and Irton Fell shadow us as does the beginnings of Birker Fell as far as I can tell form the map! Wast Water and Wasdale Head lie 10 or so miles away over the Fell and Moor that separates Boot from Wasdale, and maybe a walk for tomorrow if the weather improves. I wonder too about Seatoller, a walk I haven’t yet tried in this valley.
So we wait, patiently watching the rain and looking hopefully for signs of brighter skies. It’s not a problem because we’re all happy to spend time together and talk and laugh and remember the family history. Reminiscing about my grandmother and her brass ornaments made from First World War shrapnel, or so we were told.
I’ve brought some reading with me. Frank Viola book Reimagining the Church and some fiction, The Cellist of Sarajevo, Night train to Lisbon and a Tony Parson’s novel about a man who gets a heart transplant and wants his old life back. Not sure how much, if any, of these will get read, although I’ve started the Viola book and dipped into the Cellist.
And in case you were wondering…. It’s still raining heavily!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Visions are born in the soul of a man or woman who is consumed with the tension between what is and what could be. Anyone who is emotionally involved-frustrated, brokenhearted, maybe even angry-about the way things are in the light of the way they believe things could be, is a candidate for a vision. Visions form in the hearts of those who are dissatisfied with the status quo.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
My soul yearns, even faintsfor the courts of the Lord;My heart and flesh cry outfor the living God.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Saturday, August 08, 2009
1. Arrive at Ikea and park and set off in search for the entrance.2. Climb a series of staircases to get to the showroom and begin to wander through the store slavishly following the arrows on the floor.3. Get bored and try and cut through to the bit you want only to end up in lighting three times without knowing how you got there, or how to get back!4. Eventually find the wardrobes you want to look at and decide if you really like them.5. Choose the one you know is in stock because you checked the website before setting off.6. Find a member of staff because you want the tall ones (only to discover that this is irrelevant because you don't get any more help, just a neatly printed list of all the things you could have written down yourself).7. Set off on the winding walk to the stairs that take you back downstairs to the warehouse.8. Optional step: change your mind about getting the tall wardrobes and hope the shorter ones are in roughly the same place as the tall ones because you didn't write down which aisle and bay they were in. (Actually that was my suggestion, so don't think it was anyone else's fault)9. Get to the location to discover everything the website said was in stock isn't, but that everything it said wasn't in stock actually is!10. Realise that nothing appears to be where it is supposed to be. When it says that the carcass you want is in the rack below the label, it actually means wander up and down the aisle until you find it by chance.11. Push overloaded trolley to the tills as if it's a small child intent on wandering to the left or the right but persistently refusing to go in anything that resembles a straight line.12. Pay.13. Head for the doors whilst the trolley heads off in a different direction, requiring constant pulling and twisting to hold in check.14. Load the car and the roof rack and the roof rack of the wonderful person who has volunteered to help and possibly wishes that they'd eaten more spinach the day before because those boxes are heavy to lift onto the top of the two cars and there are five of them!15. Set off in convoy only to get separated by a Volvo who is taking the same route but appears to have learnt to drive on a slalom course. Must be all that snow in Sweden.16. Catch each other up only to meet the Volvo again.17. Make it to the house and unload and carry all boxes and doors and assorted bits upstairs.18. Sweat profusely because you've chosen the warmest day to do this, you can't open any windows and you're wearing jeans!19. Put down the last box and wonder if you've brought a big enough roll of paper towel to dry yourself off if you go and stand in the bath and turn the shower on!20. Gratefully accept the kind offer of a cold drink and a sit down.