Sunday 30 July 2023


Weather aside, it's been a very pleasant start to our summer break. The first week is always a period of adjustment and I feel quite out of sorts, as it slowly dawns on me that there isn't anywhere I actually need to be. That isn't to say I haven't been busy, however. And I'm not entirely sure where this last week has gone, but I happy to say that I am finally on top of the housework, the kitchen cupboard is full, and some sort of order has been restored. I am deliberately not including the garden in this statement, as the persistent wet weather has allowed the weeds to run wild, and I don't have the inclination to deal with them just now.

Earlier this week we went camping near Ullswater. Actually, we were 'glamping,' if you can call it that. We were just staying in an empty pod, designed to be used like a tent, and not one of those which contains all your home comforts. But it was very nice all the same, and the site was lovely, with excellent facilities. I booked it back in March, so it was just good fortune that it coincided with the few dry and sunny days we've experienced lately. And I do like to start my day sitting outside on the decking, drinking my coffee, even if it is out of an enamel mug.

The recent wet weather, although not entirely welcome, only served to enhance our latest visit to Aira Force. The water in Aira Beck was cascading down the falls in an impressive, and incredibly noisy display; quite a contrast from our visit five years ago, following a hot dry spell, which you can read about here. We enjoyed a walk from the High Cascades car park, down through the woods, then back up again. Stopping part way down for a picnic lunch, followed by a hot chocolate at the tea room :)

The next day, we visited Keswick. Besides a short walk through the town when I'd hiked around Derwentwater a few weeks back, it had been ages since I had enjoyed a proper wander around, and so it was lovely to have the chance to browse some of the lovely independent shops there. Lily spent a good while playing in the park and we even enjoyed a fun game of frisbee, as I'd remembered to pack it in my rucksack. Then after another picnic lunch, we spent an hour or so at The Puzzling Place, trying to get our heads around the many optical illusions on display.  

The following morning, and in another repeat of our previous visit here, we walked up the steep lane behind our campsite and onto the fell beyond, taking advantage of some free fruit on the way. There were so many raspberries, small and sweet.  Lily declared them to be the nicest raspberries ever! 

The views from the summit were just as lovely as I'd remembered. And better still, we had them all to ourselves. The heather, just beginning to flower, is a sure sign that summer is moving swiftly on, even if it feels as though has hardly begun.

Later that morning, and with the weather becoming more overcast, we drove down to Pooley Bridge, or as Lily now calls it, 'The village of pubs!' We walked down to the lake but as it was a little too busy there for our liking, we took a slight detour and visited an ice cream farm instead. I  must say, it was some of the most delicious ice cream I have ever eaten, and we even got to make friends with one member of the production team ;)

The next stop on our itinerary was a walk up Beacon Hill. Only a short walk from the car, we were rewarded with some glorious views of the surrounding countryside. An ideal way to round off our few days away, before heading for home again.  

With the first full week of the holidays already behind me, I have plenty to keep me occupied and to look forward to. I've also got plenty of work I need to complete on the house, and I have also just enrolled myself onto another course of study, to give me something to do on the wet days. But right now, I'm going to make myself a coffee, put my feet up and catch up with some blog reading. 

J. X