Sunday, 18 January 2015

By the book.

Since starting this blog I've probably written thousands of words, but now I'm required to string 20,000 of them together for a book I'm starting to panic, but only a little.  I've often wondered what goes into writing a book, well now I know - blood, sweat, tears and a few snowy hikes.  I'm guessing the snowy hikes weren't part of J K Rowling's requirements, but they're a part of ours.

Over the past few months we've been doing a LOT of research and since the start of January I've been putting pen to paper, eyes to books and feet to fells.  Luckily we've been very curious about our surroundings since we first arrived, but now we're wading through the research, we're realising how little we actually know.  The book will cover the natural, ancient and recent history of 10 sites in Cumbria - which is really exciting as it means we can tell the world about the whole county - don't get me wrong, we LOVE the Lake District, but there is so much more to see and explore in Cumbria, places like...



 and here.
But it's not all about running around the hills - sometimes I have my nose, and entire desk, buried in books.  Hell - absolute hell I tell ya.

Original sketch of GImmer Crag from 1934

Fantastic access to the resources of Mountain Heritage Trust

We're incredibly lucky to have the support of people like the RSPB, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Mountain Heritage Trust and assorted local history groups - all of whom are taking the time to meet with us, tell us a few inside stories and allow us access to materials, some of which have never been in print before.  Along the way we've already dug out some fabulous facts, gripping stories and fascinating people.

Seeing as the book will be an equal balance of Steve's fab photos and my inane ramblings we're trying to take advantage of any breaks in the weather and as today promised blue skies and snowy summits we headed for the Langdale Valley (one of the few sites we're looking at within the National Park).  Our plan was to get to the top of The Band to get some shots but around 3/4 of the way to the top it felt as if we'd stepped directly into the Jet Stream so, discretion being by far the better part of valour, we turned and headed down.

Getting blown away in every sense of the word.

The luscious Langdales

I've seen many films and documentaries where explorers are caught in similar situations with wind and snow whipping all around them and it always looked rather exhilarating - but the reality is it's more akin to standing in a freezer, in a force 9 gale while someone pelts you with boiling hot needles.  On the plus side I've had a full facial exfoliation and probably now look 10 years younger - take that Oil of Olay.

So having had an extraordinarily healthy day full of hiking, fresh air and facials, there's only one thing for it - feet up in front of the fire, a bottle of red and my body weight in peanut M&Ms - I'm counting the orange ones as one of my 5 a day.  I have this healthy living malarkey sussed!

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