We went to Keswick

For my birthday weekend, I didn’t want to be at home, and so we went to Keswick for a few days. We stayed with the lovely Carol and her friend Lynda, who were there for the Words by the Water festival. I ordered sunshine, and we got it. My actual birthday day was a bit gloomy, weatherwise, but it was a birthday I wasn’t particularly happy about. But it stayed dry and we went out and we window-shopped.

On the Saturday we got there fairly lateish, and were immediately taken on a massive walk around Derwent Water. Rufus barked a lot and we chatted a lot, and we took a few pictures.

Wherever I go I always find a boat. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Wherever I go I always find a boat. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
(Picture: Carol Warham)
(Picture: Carol Warham)
2014 mar day 1 9
(Picture: Diane Parkin)
(Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
(Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Wordsworth meets Ruskin. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Wordsworth chats with Ruskin. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

On Saturday evening we went for a beautiful Italian meal with Carol and Lynda.

Lynda and Carol. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Lynda and Carol. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

On Sunday we ambled around Ambleside, window-shopped and visited a stone circle. It was dark and gloomy by the time we got there, though, so the pictures didn’t work very well. On Sunday evening we went for another meal, just the two of us, for some good pub grub.

Monday morning we were up bright and early, for us, and we headed off again to buy the birthday present I’d seen the day before from Ambleside (but the shop had been closed). We also bought some old-fashioned sweets, and a packed lunch from Greggs.

Then we headed out to Haweswater, via Ullswater, the latter of which is my favourite commercial lake in the Lake District.

Ullswater. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Ullswater. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
(Picture: Diane Parkin)
(Picture: Diane Parkin)
2014 mar day 3 10
(Picture: Diane Parkin)

I’d ordered a golden eagle, and so we went on our way to Haweswater.

On the way there, between Celleron and Askham, the poet thought he saw a buzzard. But it was too big to be a buzzard, and so we stopped the car (in the middle of the road) and got out to take a closer look with the binoculars. It really was too big to be a buzzard and was, in actual fact, the golden eagle. And … even better than that, there was another one.

The “proper officals” haven’t yet sighted these marvelous birds, and so they don’t officially exist in the Lake District any  more. But if you bob along anyway, you just might be lucky and have the same “hallucination” we did. There’s actually been golden eagles at Haweswater since the 1960s and the first time I was there the officials swore blind they weren’t around … until a walker disturbed them. I’ve now seen one or both on every single visit.

Here are some pictures demonstrating just how beautiful and unspoiled Haweswater is.

(Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
(Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
(Picture: Diane Parkin)
(Picture: Diane Parkin)
(Picture: Diane Parkin)
(Picture: Diane Parkin)
Can you see the moon? (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Can you see the moon? (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Lord Rufus. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Lord Rufus. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Self portrait. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Self portrait. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
My favourite landscape. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
My favourite landscape. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

We had a lovely time and will be going again for a little longer. We arrived home well after teatime and chilled with the cats.

Enjoy the pictures.

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w/c 17 Feb: to do list

I had some good news last week. A short story I wrote over a year ago and submitted to a magazine last March was finally accepted. I have to do some work to it – lose 200 words and confirm something – but I was very happy to hear from them as it’s a favourite client. That’s 2 fillers and a short story I’ve had accepted or published in the last few weeks, and there was me thinking I might be losing my touch. Of course, I might be, but at least it’s given me some confidence back.

Two days before I was yearning to be back in Dentdale, but a quick check to see availability and a tentative message to the poet (to which I had one of the speediest replies ever), and we’re booked in for a full week in the summer. We have to pay the deposit, still, but because we’re returning customers, and because I went direct to the owner, it’s fairly cheap and he’s reserved the cottage for us anyway.

This is what I was a tad excited about, for those who noticed last week on Facebook. We’re also looking forward to spending 2 nights in Keswick for my birthday next month.

We had a good weekend with the poet’s first gig of the year. He has 2 more in February and then that’s it, I think, until April. Most of the band have asked for most of March off.

Much of this morning was spent doing shameless self-publicity; this afternoon I made a red trifle. I still have a few jobs to do today, but here, for now, is this week’s to do list:

  • shameless self-promotion 
  • diary work x 2 
  • blog x 3 √×
  • surf job boards daily x 5 
  • daily competitions x 5 
  • write walks report 
  • submit walks report to 6 local newspapers 
  • electronic edits on historical non fiction #1 
  • send historical non fiction #1 to author for checking 
  • send historical non fiction #1 for typesetting 
  • doctor’s appointment 
  • revise short story 
  • return short story to favourite client 
  • write editing article for writing anthology 
  • print off historical non fiction #2 
  • manual edits on historical non fiction #2
  • electronic edits on historical non fiction #2
  • send historical non fiction #2 to author for checking
  • send historical non fiction #2 for typesetting
  • invoices (hurrah! – there are LOTS)
  • check historical non fiction #3 3rd proofs
  • send historical non fiction #3 back to client
  • check historical non fiction #4 author amendments 
  • send historical non fiction #4 for typesetting 

What’s on your to do list this week?

The lovely little cottage where we stayed. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Looking forward to coming back here in the summer. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)