Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Put a Sock in It!

But only if it's a proper woollen sock.  Remember the problem I had with my boots?  Turns out the boots were fine and the problem lay entirely with my cheapo dodgy socks.  A quick hunt around 'tinterweb turned up the vital piece of info I needed and I have to admit I was cynical at first: how much difference could a pair of socks make?  Quite a lot as it happens.  Being of somewhat limited means at the moment I tracked down a pair of fabulous woollen socks in the sale at Mountain Warehouse - £7.99 per pair instead of £14.99 per pair - bargain!  From the first moment of wearing them the difference was crystal clear, my new sock/ boot combo is a match made in heaven and I have never had a pair of more comfy, or durable boots.  The abuse I've hurled upon them since resolving the blisters issue has known no bounds, and most of the abuse has involved water.  Steve's on a mission to photgraph the many gorgeous waterfalls we have around here and let me tell you, none of them are easy, or dry, to get to.

Take last weekend, our final waterfall of the day involved wading for over 2 hours through marshy bogs, made all the more marshier and boggier by the epic rainstorms we've had of late.  On top of that my short little legs and dreadful sense of balance meant that I sank into mud and water well up over the top of the boot on two occasions and on a third occasion slipped when jumping a stream and dunked the other boot for good measure.  The only minor soggyness of sock occured via the seepage over the top of the boot, and that was minimal.  I'm now a Brasher and proper woolley socks fan for life - maybe their tagline should be "Boots for the real outdoors, not for poncing around town in."  Thus endeth the sales pitch!

Blindtarn Gill Falls
So what else is new?  Well we've found some pretty amazing waterfalls.  It's a bit of a hit and miss affair as there are loads marked on the OS Map but a lot of them aren't really worth the effort.  Big up for Scale Force and Blindtarn Gill falls though, both really difficult to get to but both utterly spectacular, I may well post up a couple of my dodgy pics though they comprehensively fail to adequately capture the spectacle.  We haven't been on quite so many high level epic hikes over recent weeks due to a combination of dreadful weather and elderly visitors, but I'm off work next week and chomping at the bit to get up Skiddaw, Blencathra, Great Gable and Sca Fell (as opposed to Scafell Pike) though I'll obvisously have to wait and see what the weather's doing.

Away from the fells we spent last Friday night at Kendal's Torchlight Parade and if you're ever in the area when it's on then it's certainly worth a visit.  The procession lasted well over 90 mins and was choc full of floats and amazing costumes.  Some of the outfits looked as if they'd come straight from the Nottinghill Carnival - though they probably needed to add thermal vests up here.  20,000 people descended upon Kendal but the crowd was very good natured and, as they say, a good time was had by all.

View from Blindtarn Gill Falls
My next voyage of discovery is in the world of jam and pickle making.  I've always enjoyed cooking and now we've inherited 4 apple trees, a damson tree (I think one per household is required by law up here) and a quince bush.  I've got myself a couple of simple books on the subject and am now just figuring out what equipment I need.  Seems a jam pan and pots are pretty much essential but the range of additional equipment I *could* buy goes on and on.  Starter Kits are available on Amazon for around £50.  £50?!!  Have you any idea how many jars of jam & pickle I'd need to make before that lot started paying for itself?  Having sought the wise cousel of friends I have opted to stick with just the jam pan and pots for now.  Apparently I can improvise most of the other bits, although I may have to invest in some muslin for the making of the quince jelly. If I couldn't find muslin I suppose I could always make use of my cheapo old walking socks - properly washed of course.

And if you're wondering what's happening with Delores, well she's snugly plugged in and eagerly awaiting an adventure next week.  As we want to climb so many fells in the north we're planning on heading up there for a few days to save us the hour or so drive from home.  I've been desperate to get out and about in her more than we have but fuel prices and the like have curtailed our adventures a little, hopefully we can squeeze in a good few trips over the winter months when all the sites are a little quieter.

Anyway, time for me to put a sock in it and leave you in peace now.  Do give us a wave if you ever spot us up on the fells - I'll be the one up to my knees in a bog, but with blissfully dry and blister-free feet.

Rainbow over Grassmere