Monday, 23 May 2011

There's a thousand things I should be doing right now...

But isn't that always the way?  To be honest there's not so much excitement in my life right now so there's not so much to write about, but still it seems a shame not to keep tabs on what's been going on.  I think it's fair to say that the honeymoon is over weather-wise!  When we got the keys to the house the weather treated us to a glorious few weeks of sun, I even became convinced that Grange really was the "Torquay of the north" (as someone told me), but over the past week or so the weather has reverted to what I assume is more normal and today, as I type, there's a gale blowing outside and rain lashing against the windows - perfect spring weather.

Since living here we've been getting used to the pace of life, it's definitely a lot slower than down south.  We need our driveway sorting so contacted the local builder for a quote, he came and took a look right away but we're still waiting on the quote - that was nearly 4 weeks ago.  Then we contacted the local tree surgeon regarding some out of control trees in the garden, he promised to get back to us - that was over 2 weeks ago.  Even when I needed the garden shears sharpening (not something I've ever done before moving here) I went to the shop in town with the big sign outside telling me I could get my 'Tools Sharpened Here' - but apparently that part of the business has been closed for over 2 years and they just haven't gotten around to taking the sign down yet.  Undeterred I headed for the next village and found out it will take over a week to get them done.  I'm not complaining at all, in fact I rather like the laid back approach to it all (although the drive really does need doing quite soon), but it does take some getting used to.  Shopkeepers will usually stay and chat a while, even if there's a queue, and the only people who appear to get wound up are the tourists, it really is a lovely way of life once you get used to it.

Grizedale - I swear there's a red squirrel in thispic
We've also been getting out and about.  Since I last wrote we've explored Grizedale Forest, including a short hike up Carron Crag.  Grizedale Forest looks like an excellent place to take the bikes back to once the apocalyptic deluge has finished (hmmm - maybe the Rapture *did* happen on Friday and Satan has figured out the best way to torture the British is with wet rainy weather?).  We've also set ourselves a target of a "Wainwright a week" but we are including all of his walks here and not just the really big hikes so there shouldn't really be any reason why we can't achieve it.  We worked out that if we did one major Wainwright peak a month it would take us nearly 18 years to complete them all, you have to admire the man and everything that he achieved.  We've no interest in simply "bagging" the peaks; we're more interested in using the books to make sure we discover the whole Lake District and not just the main tourist bits.  We've also signed up for historical town walks and a hike across Morecambe Bay, so we really are doing our best to immerse ourselves into Cumbrian life and culture - though hopefully we don't get too immersed on the cross bay walk.

View from the quarry on the Old Man
Last weekend we headed for the Old Man of Coniston as I've a big soft spot for the lake and wanted to get a better view of it.  The walk starts out well enough; a very pleasant stroll along the beck out of Coniston but then quickly gathers momentum after a major intersection of paths.  The last part is part walk and part scramble as you make your way to the trig point at the top.  Luckily for me we stopped for a breather close to the summit and got a magnificent view of the entire lake below us.  I say 'luckily' because by the time we reached the summit the clouds had descended and there was nothing to see, still we sat huddled behind a wall in a howling gale eating our pies and bracing ourselves for the hike back to the car.  On the way down the heavens opened and we got to try out our waterproofs properly for the first time, by the time we got back to the car everything was dripping wet, but we were still warm and dry underneath it all.  Not sure I'd ever set out for a hike in torrential rain, but I certainly won't worry about getting caught out now - the only thing that was sodden were our gloves and they soon dried out when we got home.

As for Monty, well he's pretty much back to his old self now and wandering in and out of the house again, although we have noticed he doesn't tend to go too far these days and he actually comes when he's called - not something he's ever done before, so maybe he learned a few useful lessons on his big adventure.

Anyway, one or two of those "thousand" things I mentioned earlier really do now require my attention, so as the rain hammers down against my windows I shall wish you a "Happy Monday" and here's to next week's Bank Holiday!