Wednesday, 30 December 2015

12 Months, 12 Pics

Each year I write a review of the year and each year I waffle on far too much - so this year I'm keeping it simple: 12 months, 12 pics.  As I write this storm Frank is battering Cumbria again and we're looking forward to a drier new year when we can hopefully help to do something to repair the damage Frank and his friends have done to Cumbria's image - but, for now - a quick photographic review of 2012.


Book writing meant lots of research and many days spent in libraries - but we also got out and about a bit too.  We revisited Smardale Gill, one of my favourite spots and one of the chapters in our book.  Coincidence? You decide.

View from bench next to Smardale Gill viaduct


I loved this walk even though it didn't turn out quite as planned.  Our aim had been to walk up The Band and then on to Crinkle Crags, but towards the top of The Band the most almighty wind hit so we beat a retreat back down and we took a nice long soupy break on this nice, and rather sheltered, bench.

Langdale Pikes from The Band

I found myself with an entire day on my hands so decided to take myself off up Black Combe.  Absolutely love this fell and the weather was perfect.  I ditched the car too and took the train around the coast to Silecroft - perfect.

Black Combe


There were so many fab places we went in April and so many pics to choose from, but this is definitely my favourite.  Most of the snow had gone but there were a few small patches on the top of Stoney Cove Pike so we walked past them like the mature adults we are...


May half term and our nephews came to visit.  There are many fantastic tourist attractions in Cumbria that are perfect for kids, but there's not much that can beat 2 hours on the shores of Coniston Water skimming stones.


June was one of the busiest months I've ever had and in amongst it all we took part in the inaugural ride of the Morecambe Bay Cycleway - 4 days kicking off at Sandy Gap on Walney Island and ending at Glasson Dock.  The weather was perfect and so were all of the views.


Much as we adore Cumbria we also like to explore further afield.  Throughout most of July and August we were in Scotland.  We began by hiking up Ben Nevis which is definitely further than it looks...

Ben Nevis

We drove the north coast of Scotland in our camper van from Skye to Inverness and had an absolute ball.  Sometimes the views that stay with you aren't necessarily the most stunning but the ones that somehow connect with you.  We saw some spectacular sights, but this was definitely my favourite camping spot - the beautiful Tarbat Ness where we had our very own lighthouse keeping us company.


Back home and time for a fabulous late summer stroll up one of our nearest fells.  Whitbarrow Scar sits alongside the main A590 but even on the sunniest days of summer you generally have the place to yourself.  It punches well above its weight when it comes to views too - Morecambe Bay sweeping away to the south and rows of fells lining up to the north.  Be sure to pack a picnic!


In October my mum came to visit and we were offered the opportunity to try out some off roading mobility scooters.  At 80 my mum may not be so good on her legs any more, but her sense of adventure is clearly undiminished.  So that's where I get it from...


After a minor delay our very first book was released on 1st Nov.  It is a whole new adventure for us and it's been thrilling watching it sell.  At the moment we're out of stock, as are our distributors which is, I suppose, good news and bad news all at the same time.  We're hugely indebted to the local press and radio stations for all of their support.


I spent a lot of time in December blogging about the #LakeDistrictBid - but when I wasn't doing that I was busy making reindeer at Spooniversity.  Odd sounding but we meet once a month in Brown Robin Nature reserve to learn about woodland management, wildlife and traditional woodworking techniques. 

And that, as they say, is that.  2015 kept us plenty busy and 2016 is looking to be even busier, but before then a couple of restful days with the family and maybe the odd drink or 2...

We both wish you all a peaceful and Happy New Year!

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