Tuesday, 24 February 2015

What we did today

Well, it’s more of what LP did today but I made the odd contribution :}

We dodged every kind of weather imaginable: rain, hail, sleet, snow and thunder, although when we weren't having five different seasons thrown of us it was bright and sunny, and we tried to avoid the mud (that's the fifth season which lasts from the end of summer until Christmas, and then hangs around until Easter).

Daisy and I managed an hour down by the river in between two snow storms and she paid the lambs no attention whatsoever, in fact, she was so busy sniffing around I don't think she even noticed she was on a long lead either :}

The third raised bed has been extended.  Not so much because we “need” more raised beds for veggies but because there was a chunk of unused space and this seemed like the best thing to do with it.

Management has clearly been pondering on the nursery area and at the weekend made a blindingly brilliant suggestion.  With much of the garden now stocked I don't need to raise "quite" so many plants in future.  He suggested that we take down the staging and replace it with cold frames.  I didn't need to even think about that, promptly ordered more timber and moved the few pots which remained.

Getting uncharacteristically ahead of ourselves, most of the timber we plan to use tomorrow (weather permitting!) is already cut to length.

Friday, 20 February 2015

An accidental five miles

Yeah, I know, how can anyone walk five miles by accident?  In truth, very easily . . .   After a pretty rough week in the weather department Friday was dry and the wind had dropped.  Daisy and I needed to get out for a decent leg stretch but the unhappy muscles in my back are still not ready for walking uphill.  Crummock is always a good option for an easy, pleasant and near-to-home outing.  After all the recent rain I knew the west side of the lake would be wet underfoot, but I didn't expect a fairly new pair of Karrimor shoes with Goretex lining to fail, there may be a conversation with their Customer Services people in the future . . .  However, once I'd resigned myself to the fact my feet were going to be wet it didn't matter, with no wind it wasn't too cold.  The 'accidental' bit is that Daisy and I set off without a plan and just wandered along until we got to Low Ling Crag, then decided to go back.  I could have extended the walk by another mile and visited Scale Force but I couldn't be bothered :}

Approaching the lake it looks like it is getting brighter.

Someone is being silly and walking along the wall.

The view opens up as we head south; Rannerdale Knotts, Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks are the most well-known of the fells we're looking at.

At Low Ling Crag we both had something to eat and a look around.  Madam seemed to enjoy exploring :}

The light kept changing, sometimes cloudy, sometimes bright, but it was lovely in the sun :-}

Masses of frogspawn near the pitched path.

In places the path was not so much wet, as completely submerged.  Wet path = wet feet today :-{

A final close-up of Haystacks before we head home, looks like we got the best of today's weather.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

The garden has been getting on with it without me

This week Rain Stopped Play.  I confess to being pleased when I woke up in the night to hear it raining and that the wind had not let up.  LP wasn’t surprised when I phoned him at 7.00am to say “it’s still chucking it down, sorry, we can’t work outside today” but that is the nature of being self-employed and working outdoors.  Is it wrong to enjoy ‘rain days’?  Even though I love being outside, and walking on the fells normally makes any day 100% better, I also love bonus days when I get to hunker down inside, catch up on housework, computer stuff, read blogs and generally just potter around or to suddenly get on with plans which have been on the back-burner for too long.

By 11.00am Tuesday I’d moved two bookcases, a large sofa and a big armchair (and used clever sliders to do it all and therefore not buggered up my back any further).  This is all part of the ‘Simplify’ thing.  I’ve opened up the room and the bookcases are no longer blocked so we can get to them and have a much needed tidy-up and sort out.  All the DVD’s are now visible whereas before they were mostly hidden - perhaps we might watch some of them now?  I rounded off the day by a visit to a local garage and might, just might, have found our next car ….  don’t want to say any more and jinx the process.

The ‘Simplify’ bug was still evident on Wednesday as my study got a bit more tweaking.  A great deal of what I want to do needs to take place in this room but I eventually realised I don’t come in here any more often than I can help because I don’t like the way things were set up.  Hopefully I’m on the way to rectifying that, and new curtains (embarrassingly purchased a month ago but still in their bags) should complete the transformation.  Daisy and I had a little bimble up Ling Fell in the afternoon having decided that the chance to get a non-wet walk took priority over the curtains.

But whilst I didn’t get anything accomplished in the garden, nature has been busily making progress without me.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


No editing apart from cropping out too much foreground.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Some plans take a long time to come to fruition

For about four years I have been cogitating a walking project to visit {*a large number of } tarns in the Lake District.  There are a huge number of them depending upon what criteria you adopt (are they on the OS map, do they dry up in summer, are they on private land).  If you just took the places listed in John & Anne Nuttall's excellent books there are 333 to visit, a massive undertaking which, should I achieve it, will be done by accident rather than design.

* my game, my rules.  I'm not going to say "visit all" because that immediately applies pressure and sets me up for failure

*     *     *

In July 2013 Daisy and I made a start on the idea when we walked up to High Nook Tarn.  Err, that's as far as it got! 

Enter 2015 and the wonderful David Hall whose website is the very best resource not just for fell walking but for Lake District churches, bridges, villages, sheepfolds and anything else you might be interested in.  This year, he is going to visit as many tarns as is practical and enjoyable.  And in an act of shameless copying (is imitation the sincerest form of flattery?) I am going to use David's project as the kick-up-the-backside I need to get on with mine.  I'm already lagging behind.  At the time of writing David has done 12 walks, visited 24 tarns and covered nearly 80 miles.  So far my year has comprised a period of time taken over with a bereavement, putting my back out and now a filthy cold that is a good contender for actually having been flu, but if it takes me three years to do as much walking as David manages in one, that doesn't matter :}

*     *     *

Management came with us to Bowscale Tarn.  Only 3.4 miles but according to ViewRanger nearly 1000 feet of height gain and my legs agreed.  Given that this time last week I was freezing cold, huddled under a quilt and fighting a raging temperature, there is an argument that maybe I shouldn't have gone out but I'm very glad we did and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The walk is easy, mostly on a farmer's track and almost as soon as you leave the car you are in silent emptiness - bliss.

There wasn't much snow left but Daisy still found enough to enjoy.


Bowscale Tarn is 'Glacial Geography 101' - a classic example of a hanging valley with corrie (complete with tear-drop shape), glacial moraine at the lip, steep back wall, leading into a textbook U-shaped valley bottom;  absolutely lovely :}

Getting a pose like this takes some doing.

More often than not the photo ends up like this:

Although there was a perfectly good box of dog food, clearly Management had more interesting consumables.

So thank you David, we had a great walk and I've finally got my own tarn project started.