Wednesday 1 September 2021

The Last Week of the Holidays

Each time I have tried to write this post, my attempts have been thwarted by someone already utilising my laptop.  Previously, I have sometimes managed to post using just my phone but my weary eyes can only take so much of that. Also, I've been missing reading any blogs this week (see above 😁) so I'm really looking forward to popping the kettle on and having a good catch up with your news over the next few days.

Even by my usual standards this post will probably be quite picture-heavy, and for that I apologise. I keep thinking I should perhaps take fewer photographs when I'm out and about, but I do love to look back at them and the happy memories they evoke - some which would have otherwise been easily forgotten over time. 

Last Monday we went swimming at the outdoor pool. I can't tell you how much I have appreciated this facility over the summer months. To watch Lily's confidence return after being out of the water for so long has been a delight and, if I'm honest, a relief. And I'm also happy to have learned that her swimming lessons are going to be starting again in two weeks time. With her love of the water this is something I have always prioritised, and has been much missed over the last eighteen months.

The following morning we set off from Glenridding to walk up Birkhouse Moor. As is usual for us, we took the lesser frequented route up. It was an incredibly steep climb but still much more pleasant than the more obvious path, which was full of hikers heading towards the infamous Striding Edge on Helvellyn. We passed a lot on our descent although, given how many of them appeared totally unprepared for what lay ahead, whether they made it to the summit that day, I'm not so sure. 

On Wednesday we ventured into North Yorkshire and enjoyed a lovely circular walk from the village of Malham, taking in Janet's Foss, Gordale Scar and Malham Cove. The walk felt strangely flat compared to what I'm used to but that didn't stop my knees from complaining while I was descending the steps from the limestone pavement. Lily gave up counting them when she reached 139! 

On Thursday morning I kept my promise to Lily and we went for a boat trip on Windermere. It was a lovely bright morning and we caught the first small boat which visited Wray Castle and then Brockhole, before returning again to Ambleside. It was such a scenic journey and for a short while we even had the boat all to ourselves. Naturally, Lily couldn't return home without first getting her feet wet, so we stopped off at Borrans park for a while, where she got to paddle in the lake.

Friday saw us in Ulverston to visit  'Gaia', an art installation which is an exact replica of the earth, suspended in the Coronation Hall. While we were there we also took a walk up to the Hoad Monument and then to the Buddhist temple, before taking a walk along the shore. Surprisingly, even though there was an incoming tide, there was hardly a breath of wind on the beach, which made it the perfect place to stop and enjoy some picnic lunch before treating ourselves to coffee and cake at the café.

Finally, over the Bank Holiday weekend we returned to Yorkshire to visit the lovely little town of Settle. It is a few years since we were last there and we weren't disappointed. The flowerpot displays were a joy to see dotted all around the town and after a chippy lunch, we enjoyed a walk up through the woods to Castleberg Crag to take in the view over the rooftops.

This last week has been wonderful and I'm so happy we have been able to squeeze it all in before school and work begin to fill and structure our days once again. I feel so very fortunate. And even though my focus is on my very small part of the world, my thoughts are never far from those who are suffering just now.

J. X