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 :)