Saturday, 8 July 2017

Life in the Lakes

What's it really like living up here?  Now is the time of year when millions of folks come and spend their summer hols with us, perhaps pausing to check out cottages and houses in estate agent's windows - but what's it really like living here?  The best way to describe it is it's exactly the same as living anywhere else, except the views are better.

We eat, drink, shop and work to pay the mortgage the same as we did before, but the absolute best part is at the weekends, and on days off, we get to do really cool stuff like we did last weekend...

Friday - Kayaking

I'd bought this as a Christmas pressie for Steve but we thought we'd wait for good weather to use it.  As it turns out the day was a bit grey and blustery but it didn't rain and we had a fantastic time.  We'd organised it through Distant Horizons (who offer all sorts of fab adventures).  They made sure we were well kitted out and, under the safe and watchful eye of Sue we set out across Ullswater.

Photo thanks to Distant Horizons

Photo thanks to Distant Horizons
Much as I loved the day I found it a bit challenging as I have a dodgy back so for the last hour or so, while Steve went through some more safety drills I enjoyed a lovely swim in Ullswater.

Safety drills! (Photo thanks to Distant Horizons)
Enjoying a dip! (Photo thanks to Distant Horizons)

FAB day! (Photo thanks to Distant Horizons)
We were also lucky enough to have a Skoda Yeti to play with the for the weekend, thanks to the lovely folks at Vantage Motors down in Morecambe.  Whenever they loan us a car we like to check out all the lesser used features - in this case we started with it's wetsuit drying potential.  Passed with flying colours!

Saturday - From Everest to Windermere

I've mentioned the Rheged Centre on this blog many times as they have so many fascinating exhibitions and stuff - this time I was catching up on the last days of the Everest exhibition and it was very thought provoking.  In a nutshell an artist by the name of Derek Eland spent a season on the mountain with a bright yellow diary tent where folks of all nationalities recorded their thoughts on postcards before, and after, summit attempts.  The exhibition tours the country so do take a look at his website to see when it might pop up near you.

Me at base camp. Sort of...
Inspired by the exhibition we decided to recreate a little of life on Everest by eschewing a Saturday night slobbed in front of the telly and having a beach BBQ on the banks of Windermere instead (OK, so it's not a lot like Everest, but it is outdoors).  When we picked up the Yeti they told us the rear seats came out, so this seemed as good a time as any to test them.  I think the idea of the seats coming out is so you can fit more in the car, but for us, we found they made perfect beach BBQ seats...

Sunday - time spent with a wonderful Old Man

Thanks to assorted illnesses and injuries (not to mention a chaotic workload) we don't get off up the fells quite as often as everyone imagines we might.  The weather was perfect and the Old Man of Coniston was calling - so who were we to resist.  I particularly love spending time exploring the old quarry workings on the main route up - there's a few interesting bits of history about it here.

We also discovered that even with the back seats in place, you can still fit a lot of kit in the back of the Yeti. (Yes, it is a nice perk to get given a lovely new car to play with occasionally but we have actually bought a car from the fab folks at Vantage and would definitely recommend them.  The Yeti is a very spacious and practical car for anyone who needs to carry around a lot of kit and a lot of people) 😀


For the past couple of weeks I've thoroughly enjoyed reading Nick Baker's new book ReWild - all about what we can do to get back in touch with nature.  Ever wanted to see better at night?  Or improve your wildlife spotting skills?  It's all in here AND I have a copy to give away this weekend.  All you have to do is identify where the 4 pictures below were taken (2 clues 1 - re-read the blog and see where we went and 2 - we live in Grange-over-Sands 😉 )

Email your answers to me: and I'll pick a winner at 9pm on Sunday 9th July.

Name the lake (Great for kayaking!)

Name the venue (Great for exhibitions!)

Name the fell (Great for mining!)

Name the prom (Great for coming home to!)

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