Wednesday 27 October 2021

Gently Does It

I would like to thank everyone who left such kind and thoughtful messages on my previous post, and also to those who contacted me directly. It means so very much to me to know there are virtual arms wrapped around me just now, and your words are held most dear.

It's a difficult time and although outwardly I appear to be continuing as usual, I am finding it a monumental effort to complete even the most simple of tasks. In fact, without the routine of my working week, it has become increasingly difficult for me to find the motivation to attempt very much at all. This is fine, however, and all part of the process, no doubt. It's just taking a bit of getting used to, going completely against my usual 'get on with it' attitude. I'm learning to go with the flow and prioritise the basics, such as cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry but, importantly and most unlike me, I am resting whenever I feel the need. 

With the weather having been gloomy and miserable of late, it was with great relief we were able to seize the opportunity for a walk on Monday morning. That I could manage - literally putting one foot in front of the other. I can think of no better way to clear my head and switch off for a while. Gentle exercise and fresh air are the best forms of therapy, in my opinion, and I did feel so much better for it. Returning home feeling tired but relaxed, and my heavy heart just that little bit lighter. 

J. X

Monday 18 October 2021

Hot Sweet Tea and Rest


When I took these photographs at the beginning of last week, I was blissfully happy to be out walking again. The fells are looking beautiful just now, as the rich autumn colours begin to take hold.

I was still feeling under the weather, but I always say some fresh Lakeland air will help with most ailments, and the walk itself, although scenic, was not over strenuous. On that particular day it was just what I needed.

I had been trying to take care of myself as much as possible but by Tuesday evening I was completely floored with this cold. Then two days later, very sadly, my dad passed away. 
If I am quiet here for a while, I'm sure you will understand.

J. X

Friday 8 October 2021


Autumn days are here, and not in the way I would like. The weather has been wet and windy, the days grey and gloomy, and now I have a cold!  My shoulders ache, my throat is sore and I feel exhausted.
I am not a happy bunny. But I have been trying to look after myself by fuelling up with nourishing meals, which have included lots of veggies, homemade soups (carrot and coriander is a favourite) and my daily breakfast of porridge and compote. 

Work and school have become routine once again. This time of year can sometimes feel a little flat; the shortening of days and downturn in the weather being a far cry from a carefree summer. The heating is coming on most mornings now and I even wore gloves on my way to work one day this week. I've switched to using my brushed cotton bedding - so cosy! And I've hung up my pumpkin lights above the fireplace to give the living room a warm glow. It is still much too early for me to get excited for Christmas. (I might have begun to squirrel away a few festive items in my hard to reach cupboards.) but I am relieved that we can, at least, look forward to a more traditional celebration this year. 

Last weekend, the persistent heavy rain meant we didn't manage to get out for a walk at all, so it passed by a little too quickly for me and I felt as though I didn't have a break. It might be great for replenishing the reservoirs but I'd rather hope things will improve soon. The previous Sunday, however, we did manage a lovely hike on the fells overlooking Bassenthwaite Lake. To be honest, the initial forecast wasn't great, but although cloudy, it looked like it would stay dry for the morning at least. Hopefully, any rain would hold off until we were making our way back down the fell. 

We set off from the car park by Dodd Wood, and headed north along a pathway through the trees. The leaves are falling now and the woodland had taken on a distinct autumn hue. It was beautiful and ever so quiet in the wood. There was a strong scent of pine needles in the air, the track thickly covered with them, making it feel springy beneath our feet. But it did feel quite spooky at times - it gets very dark where the trees are more dense. 

We emerged from the trees through a wooden gate and onto the bracken covered fell side, where the clear track turned sharply and steeply to continue towards Ullock Pike, then across the ridge to Long Side and finally Carl Side. 

Occasionally we would walk through low cloud, which would then blow over to dramatically reveal the most stunning views across the Lake. We were even treated to a very fleeting view of Skiddaw summit in the opposite direction - one for another day and fairer conditions.

On reaching Carl Side, the wind had picked up, so we decided to wait until we had dropped back down again towards the forest track before eating lunch, which is one of the highlights of a walk for me. Then just as quickly as the anticipated rain had arrived, it cleared away again and we continued our descent down through the forest and back to the car, stopping off on the way to enjoy a delicious coffee at The Old Sawmill Tea room :)

J. X