Saturday, 24 July 2021

Close to Home


After several days of driving around in the hot weather, I decided we should spend the day much closer to home. For this reason, we settled for a gentle walk through some nearby fields and up over a small local fell. It was only a short climb to the top, breathing in sweet summer air, with the long grasses brushing against our legs and the ground beneath our feet appearing dry and scorched from the heat of the sun. 


The wildflower meadow is looking beautiful just now and is attracting so many butterflies to the area. I lost count of the Meadow Browns I spotted, although I didn't see any Cinnabar Moth caterpillars which usually adorn the ragwort there. There were, however, plenty of un-ripened blackberries on the bushes, which I will be keeping my eye on over the coming weeks :) 


Even though it had just turned ten o'clock in the morning, it was already very warm, and so we retreated back down the fell, to the cool shade by the river to fish for minnows. To the side of the road there is a narrow track through the trees which, unless you knew it was there, would be barely noticeable. And at this time of year the river there is low enough for the rocky shore to be used as the perfect secluded spot for a picnic or to simply cool off in the water.  
We returned home in time for lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon in the garden. A few more chapters of my book read, and Lily making the most of the paddling pool.
J. X


Friday, 23 July 2021

Back to the Lake

An early start, once again, for me. I was already on my second coffee by 7am. It was the hottest day of the week so far and the perfect excuse for a lazy morning, or in my case, dealing with my insurance company, then changing and laundering all the bed linen. It's an exhausting task and I have to pace myself in this heat, so as not to get too hot and bothered. 

I ate my breakfast later than usual - toast with blackcurrant jam - then set about giving the house a general tidy. It looks a little less cluttered at least, but it still looks as though a tornado has been through it. Just a shame it left all the dust behind :)

Mid afternoon, we set off for the lake once again. There is no better place to be when it is so hot. There is usually a gentle breeze by the shoreline and the water is just the perfect temperature in which to cool off. We found a shaded space to park beneath the trees and although the lake was much busier than earlier in the week, we had no difficulty in finding a comfortable spot to sit down and enjoy the late afternoon sun. That said, Lily spent all of her time there in the water, not getting out until it was time for us to leave, and I spent most of my time swimming alongside her. Another really lovely day. 

Returning home, I put the towels and swimsuits straight in the washing machine and rinsed off the water shoes and Lily's buoyancy aid. This way everything dries easily overnight and is ready for the following day, should we choose to visit again.

A lighter meal was enjoyed in the evening. We ate crackers and cheese, along with some olives and hummus, sat out in the garden. And yes, there was wine.

J. X

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Hotter!

With the temperature steadily rising, while I haven't been reading, I've been spending much of the afternoon sat on an inflatable seal in the paddling pool. It seems to be the most effective way of keeping cool at the moment. 

I'm really enjoying my book. It's typical light summer reading for me. Girl meets boy, some sort of obstacle or misunderstanding gets in the way, but they finally get together towards the end of the last chapter. Easy to pick up and put down with minimal concentration required on my part. And, of course, it will no doubt be set in some picturesque little village by the sea :) Perfect. 




Later in the afternoon, we set off to drive into the Lakes. I wasn't convinced it was my best plan to begin with. It was still incredibly hot and then my car got reversed into on the way! Not to worry, no one got hurt and the damage is minimal. Details exchanged, we continued our journey for another mile to the small National Trust car park alongside Blea Tarn, where we enjoyed a walk up Lingmoor Fell, before dropping back down to walk back around the shore of the tarn. Hotter than anticipated, there was some protestation as we climbed the fell but once we had reached the summit, it was downhill all the way, treading carefully along the dry rocky paths and the overgrown bracken. It was a beautiful evening and so very quiet there, which was one advantage of setting off late in the day, and it was lovely to see the Purple Heather beginning to flower. We only passed three other people while we were out walking, one of whom was celebrating his final Wainwright at the summit cairn. Lily and I have a long way to go before we catch up :)

After a short break by the water's edge for some flapjack and a refreshing drink, still hot, and rather dusty by this time, we made our way back to the car, stopping off for chips on the way home. I might also have enjoyed a large glass of red. 🍷

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

To the Lake

As is usual for me just now, I woke early and crept quietly downstairs to begin my day. Mog quickly followed, in hopeful anticipation of being fed. While the coffee brewed , I cleared away the dishes from the previous evening and folded the towels which had been hung up to dry overnight. The house is always in disarray at this time of year. At the moment there are three large pool inflatables filling the dining room, piles of beach towels covering the table, and water shoes and a random buoyancy aid are creating a trip hazard along the hallway. I don't really mind. It's all part of summer living and as there will be plenty of time to clear and tidy once the weather changes, I will enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.

During the morning, while Lily chose to catch up with some of her favourite shows on the laptop, I set about making a curry for dinner. I fried off an onion, then added some sweet potato, spinach and curry paste. After stirring in some tinned tomatoes and a little vegetable stock, I added a cupful of lentils and left to simmer until thickened. In the evening I would quickly cook up some rice to go with it, because I had other plans for the afternoon. We were going to the lake.

Where we were going, I knew it would be quite busy, so I decided to arrive mid-afteenoon, by which time many people who had spent the morning there would have left. We found a nice shady spot beneath the trees to park the car and walked down the hill, where it was lovely to see everyone enjoying the sunshine. It was still busy, but not unpleasantly so, and it wasn't long before the paddle board had set off down the lake while I was left behind, soaking up the sun's rays. There was a brief moment of surprise when three low flying jets went overhead. They are incredibly loud and appear without warning heading right down the valley. But we spent the rest of the afternoon undisturbed, swimming and enjoying the water until it was time to return home, looking forward to a return visit later in the week. 

J. X