School finished almost a week ago, and just over another six weeks lie ahead. It is a much welcome break, as this has been the first 'normal' school year in quite a while, and I had forgotten just how busy my days can be at times, filled with work and various other activities. Already, I have spent some mornings doing absolutely nothing, as often that is exactly what is required :)
A couple of days ago I enjoyed a thorough clear out and re-stock of my food cupboard - adding to the tinned goods and topping up the storage jars (although, I forgot to buy more red lentils!) It felt incredibly satisfying and now I can see exactly what I have in there. It isn't a huge space, so I need to utilise it wisely. And better still, I didn't need to throw away very much at all, just some out of date herbs and an almost empty bag of bread flour - I can't even remember the last time I baked bread!
Today, I will be catching up on some housework. Not too much, just dusting, vacuuming and ironing. Then I need to sort out our rucksacks and walking gear - as you do! I can't think how much time I spend filling and emptying my trusty walking companions. Their contents dependent entirely on the weather forecast and often a lot more besides.
Last week, we enjoyed another stay at the campsite we'd previously visited back in May. We were in a different camping field this time, but as it was nearer to the play area, Lily was more than happy with this arrangement. We went there via Appleby, and spent a lovely morning looking around the town before sitting for a while down by the river. Later, we drove to Acorn Bank, a beautiful estate owned by the National Trust. Here we enjoyed a tour of the water mill, where we could see flour being milled. Then we walked along by the river and through the woods, before enjoying our picnic lunch in the stunning gardens, overlooking the house. Sat there in the sunshine, beneath the dovecot, I could have been on holiday in France - it was so beautiful! I will definitely be making a return visit. Then, the following morning we called in at The Village Bakery in Melmerby, where I treated myself to as slice of Carrot Cake. It had been many years since I'd last enjoyed any - I used to work in a health food store where it was sold - and it was just as delicious as I remembered. Their scones were amazing as well ;)
Back at home, I finally harvested the last of our blackcurrants. Together with the ones in the freezer, which I'd already picked, I was able to make nine jars of jam. A vast improvement on the two I managed last year, and just as delicious.
Yesterday, we braved the weather and walked from Mosedale up over Carrock Fell and then on to High Pike. A great little walk, and it felt so good to be out, but oh-my-days it was windy! I could hardly stand steady enough to take this photograph. We were buffeted by strong winds the whole way, so it felt as though we had walked far more than the six miles by the time we returned home. As is appropriate, we were fully rewarded for our efforts with a fish and chip supper.
As for the rest of the summer break, there are some vague plans and some not so vague plans. But I think I'm all set, and whatever happens, I'm sure it will be great.