Thursday, 9 September 2010

The Lake District

As we're all having trouble flying at the moment, mum generously arranged for a timeshare swap, from her apartment in Portugal to a week in Cumbria. Then my sister took over the planning of our 'escape to the country'; she researched the train times & prices & organised a hire car. I was working at the weekend so she came up on the Saturday & I joined her on the Monday.

It was fabulous to be met at the station by my big sis, looking so relaxed & well, leaning casually on the door of a snazzy black car. She'd done some initial shopping, found the place & got us settled in.

She told me she'd slept for the 1st 2 days, but from the time I arrived, she was pouring out energy. We went to Keswick & were so lucky to arrive just in time for a free Working With Pastels Demo at the Cumberland Pencil Factory; even luckier, we got the last 2 tickets!! I have never been able to draw to save my life & it was so frustrating for me not to be able to translate what I saw the artist doing into something I'd be able to do ... but with a little personal guidance from the artist & his wife, it suddenly clicked. I'm seriously chuffed with the result, even if the best bits were the teachers'. My sis is a much better artist & hers looks great; I've decided they should be framed side-by-side as they look so alike & yet so (very) different.

After Keswick, we drove back via Ullswater. Wow, how beautiful it is!! I'm quite embarrassed to admit I hadn't realised we'd be located actually inside the Lake District; I'd thought we were staying NEAR The Lakes, not practically IN them.

That night it rained (but not too much) but the wind HOWLED - serious shades of Wuthering Heights (though, fortunately, no one scratched on the glass, begging to be let in).

Yesterday, we went to Thirlmere & then on to Grasmere. We visited Dove Cottage, where William & Dorothy Wordsworth lived, with Mary (William's wife), her sister & the 1st 3 of William & Mary's 5 children (they moved when Mary was expecting their 4th). Blimey it was small & dark. It is said to have inspired Dorothy's Journals, William's Poetry & Coleridge's, too - but all it inspired my sis & me to do was get outside into the daylight as soon as possible. (I read that Dorothy suffered severe depression; I'm hardly surprised.)

We'd actually planned more of a rest day for today, but it's been forced on us anyway by the nasty bout of nausea, chronic fatigue & perpetual sweating which has knocked my poor sister sideways all day. Yes, she must have done much too much over the past 2.5 days, since I arrived - but it's been brilliant ... & we still have 2 days left.

I took the car out this afternoon & went to the nearest village for supplies. It's called Greystoke, but though I looked & looked & looked ... I didn't see Tarzan anywhere ...

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