Thursday 27 April 2023

April Catch Up

It's been a while, and I hadn't intended to leave this long between posting, but I've been caught up with work, studying and attempting to manage the work being completed on the house. I am very happy to report that he dripping tap is now fixed, I have a radiator in the downstairs bathroom, and the bedroom window has been replaced. Yay!
As I type, there are men busily working on the roof and chimney, so I should actually be watertight come next winter. Now, I just need to find an electrician to replace the extractor fans, a joiner to box in the new boiler, and then arrange to have some new flooring fitted, none of which are urgent, thankfully. Then, once all of those have been completed, I can hopefully get on and decorate. 

In amongst the chaos, there has at least been time for more pleasurable activities. A few days after our walk up Blencathra, we visited the lovely little village of Downham. From there we walked up Pendle Hill, which has been on my list of things to do for ages. It is somewhere I have often driven past over the years but never actually had the opportunity to climb, until now. It was another bright and sunny day, and being a bank holiday weekend the summit was exceptionally busy. Fortunately for us, the way up from Downham was very much the less frequented path, we even spotted a deer on our way back to village. Downham itself is delightfully quaint and after a quick look around, we treated ourselves to some ice cream and sat down by the stream for a short while, before driving home again.

That afternoon we made some Easter nests. I always enjoy making these, although they never seem to last very long in this house :)

The following day, we left the car at home and went to Bowness-on-Windermere. Now, this isn't somewhere I would usually visit, especially on a bank holiday weekend, as it is often so busy with the many tourists who are naturally attracted to the area. Although, on this occasion, it didn't seem overly  crowded.  As always, we took our lunch with us and there were plenty of available benches where we could sit and eat, as well as enjoy the views. The pier and boats looked to be very busy however, so perhaps most of the visitors were out on the water.

The weather on Easter weekend had been rather glorious, so it came as no surprise that the temperatures dropped again during the week, and although overcast, it did remain fine for our trip to London. This time we visited the Sky Garden, which gave us a birds eye view of the city; Horse Guard's Parade, where they appeared to be making preparations for The Coronation; and to Chinatown, where we bought the most delicious cake from the bakery there, except it didnt make it home with us. Though Lily's favourite place would have to have been M&M's London, which is the world's largest sweet store, selling over 100 different types of M&M's in every colour of the rainbow. We did remember to bring those home :)

This last week I have been out running twice, and I am thrilled to report that my back was completely fine. And it is also reassuring to know that my legs still work :) Now that I have a little more time on my hands I hope to be going out more regularly, as it is the one exercise I really enjoy.  

Back soon. 
J. X  


Sunday 9 April 2023



As luck would have it, I chose a rather glorious spring morning for our 100th Wainwright. It had been forecast to be dry and sunny,  but whenever heading out on the fells I always check, and then I check again before setting off. On this occasion the forecast was correct. Not a cloud in the sky, and the fell tops could be seen from miles around. 

An early start meant there was ample space at the tiny car park in the village of Threlkeld, and we didn't see a single soul as we began our walk beneath the trees, and up alongside the beck in the direction of Blease Fell.

There are many different approaches to the summit, but over Blease Fell is known for being the most straightforward and safest route - no challenging 'edges' for me, thank you very much! Also, the views in this direction are rather wonderful. 

On this occasion, I even remembered to take along one of our painted rocks. We hid it on this cairn. 

After a long climb, and a lot of pauses to enable us to take in the views, we were rewarded with the summit of our 100th Wainwright. Yay!
We have not yet reached half-way in our efforts - for anyone who isn't aware, that will be when we've climbed 107, there are 214 Wainwrights in total - but arriving at triple figures feels like quite an achievement. I had hoped we might have reached the half-way mark already, but the weather during the winter months can be an added challenge, and I know my limitations. Anyway, we're not in any rush, the fells aren't going anywhere, and I would much rather we take our time and enjoy the whole experience. 

After a celebratory bar of chocolate at the summit, we retraced our steps back to the car park, stopping part way down the slope to enjoy our picnic lunch. Even though it was still only 11.30, we had eaten our breakfast earlier than usual, so it seemed perfectly acceptable :)
Now, which one shall we climb next?

J. X

Tuesday 4 April 2023

Spring Sunshine


I can't begin to explain just what a difference this change in the weather has made to my wellbeing. The last few days have been glorious, and after an intermittent start it now feels like spring is finally here to stay. In other exciting news, I now have hot water! Being able to get into my pyjamas, straight after a shower feels so satisfying. And to those of you who have been in the same situation for much longer than I have, but without complaining, I stand in awe. 

Last week, the final Warm Space, although still fairly quiet, was attended by all the regulars. I made chocolate brownies once again, and I was gifted a picture, which had been painted by one of the lovely ladies just for having baked all their cakes over the last few months. Wasn't that kind? It is on the mantel for the time being, until I can decide where I want to display it. 

School is now finished for two weeks, so I'm hoping to enjoy some slightly less hurried mornings. I do have some tradespeople turning up on at least two of the days, and there will be a short trip away at the end of the second week, but I'm sure I will find a balance somewhere in amongst the chaos. And then, before I forget, I also need to complete my coursework.

Following some incredibly cold temperatures over the winter, the garden is looking rather worse for wear. Until now, it has been far too wet to have been working outdoors, but the grass has now been treated to its first cut of the season, and I think this week I will at least get the soil dug over and any dead plants removed. Sadly, this appears to be the majority of them, so I think I will be starting again from scratch. Thankfully, my small apple trees and blackcurrant bushes appear to be unscathed. But the container pond needs a good clean out, and again the pond plants will need to be replaced.

Boo has started going outdoors now, and is loving his new found freedom. He has made a new friend who turns up every morning just to see if he wants to go out to play. The other cat is almost identical to Boo, aside from the fact he has white whiskers. Mog chooses to let them get on with it and appears relieved to be left alone finally, having little time for juvenile shenanigans. 

On Sunday, we went for a short walk in the woods. There is an abundance of wild garlic now, and it won't be long before Bluebells begin to make an appearance. We gathered some twigs and have since assembled our Easter Tree, using the little crocheted eggs I made back when Lily was still so very small. How time flies. 

J. X