Friday 18 July 2014 – Bassenthwaite

The most pressing thing I needed to do today was banking. I’d not had any mobile signal on my phone the whole time we were at the cottage, and whenever we ventured into civilisation, such as Sedbergh, Kendal or the Lake District, we just hadn’t stopped long enough in any one place to do anything about it and take advantage. So today I wanted to go somewhere that I could sit quietly and check things online.

As it was our last full day we decided against a picnic and chose instead to eat out. We drove over the top, past Dent Station, through where we’d seen wheatears, pipits and grouse, and stopped to take a few more pictures. By the time we reached the Spar at Sedbergh it was already midday (again!). I did what I had to while sitting in the car park and then we bought some provisions and a packed lunch from the supermarket.

Last time we were in Dent, in August last year, we drove to Bassenthwaite in the northern Lake District to see the ospreys. The pair had successfully reared 2 young and the adult female had already flown away, leaving the adult male to teach the youngsters – a male and a female – how to hunt.

When we got there this year, we learned that another pair had successfully mated – the adult female who was here the year before last and the adult male brother of the adult male who was here last year – having 3 chicks, of which 2 survived. The family were still altogether and one of the adults could be seen on a favourite perch above the nest. But it was too warm and hazy to take pictures and there wasn’t much activity.

We stayed until almost five o’clock, when the volunteers were packing up to go, and then we set off back.

As it was our last evening, the poet wanted a bit of a scenic drive back to the cottage, so I took him via Thirlmere, Grasmere and Ambleside to the Kirkstone Pass, which we went up rather than down.

Shortly after joining the top road above Windermere we were once again held up by sheep changing fields. Lots of sheep that stopped the traffic both ways. It was nice to watch the 5 dogs working the animals so successfully and cleverly, even nipping up the banks and along the dry-stone walls to keep runaways in check.

We’d eaten quite late in the day and didn’t feel much like food when we got in, so we grabbed a snack, packed a few things, watched some telly, and had an early night as we had to be up early the next morning.

Only a few pictures again today:

Day 06 001
Finally, a juvenile wheatear. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Day 06 004
Thar be osprey … (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Day 06 006
Diane and Rufus, Bassenthwaite. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Day 06 008
The centre from where we can go and view the osprey. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Day 06 009
Bassenthwaite. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Enjoy.

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Sunday 13 July 2014 – Sedbergh to Bowness

First thing this morning I caught up on 3 days’ worth of Camp NaNo. I started the blog travel journal for our holiday and decided to add everything else written this month. I’ve been doing a lot of editing and proofreading work, which hasn’t left a lot of time or energy for anything else, so as there haven’t been that many other things (mostly due to the editing work), I’m adding them to Camp NaNo. I caught up with 2 days by doing that, and more than 2,000 words.

We had a disturbed night. it was very warm. We were worried about the cats and the poet managed to come down with tonsillitis. We’d bought the cats a new hooded litter tray but as they’d not used it at home yet we didn’t think they’d find it in a strange place. So, for now, I’ve taken the hood off and am delighted to say that both cats did actually find it during the night. I was up at 5am, though, to check.

The dog was a bit barky, but stayed in his basket most of the night. He only jumped on the bed twice, and jumped down again straight away. The cottage owners don’t like animals on the beds, so we like to keep him to his basket. We also brought pet blankets with us to protect the furniture.

It was warm despite the rain because the wood burner stove feeds the central heating as well as the hot water.

And what we thought was initially a sore throat woke the poet several times during the night with a raging fever. When I had a look, one of his tonsils had a septic blob on it and the other was quite swollen. Still, he said if he was going to be poorly anywhere he’d rather be poorly here.

He’s not too bad, however. We both managed a 3-course breakfast (cereal, toast and fruit) before going for a drive. They’d forecast showers too, so we decided to stock up on provisions.

The first place we went to was Sedbergh, just over the border in Cumbria. My blog buddy Diane had mentioned that Sedbergh might be a book town. Well, it isn’t quite Hay on Wye, but there were a few book shops. We bought a new 2015 road atlas for £4.99, reduced from £10.99, and an ice cream each. My old atlas was dated 2004 and I’ve been nagging for a new one for ages, and here it is.

Then we went to the Spar to get a few groceries and some throat lozenges, and then we drove through Kendal to Windermere. We parked up at Windermere but halfway down the hill to the lake we decided to go back for the car, not because we’re idle, but because the parking was only for one hour and we were going to be longer than an hour.

So we went back to the car and drove into Bowness where we dropped on lucky with the car park, and we walked down to the lake via a hat shop up hill first. We both have sun hats, but with the panic over Holly, we forgot to put them in. So we bought a new hat each in Bowness and ate prawn sandwiches and carrot cake on the lawn overlooking the lake. Rufus had a great time rolling in the grass before eventually joining us reclining on the lawn.

When the grass felt too damp we headed back to the car and then back to the cottage for tea – and rest for the poet who was starting to wilt. He rallied, though, built the fire and made us some savoury mince, which we had with basamati rice. Then we settled down in front of the World Cup final before tuning in to another film.

We took quite a few pictures today, in Sedbergh, in Windermere and in Bowness. And, of course, of our new hats.

Sedbergh. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Sedbergh. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Day 01 005
Sedbergh. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Sedbergh. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Sedbergh. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Day 01 012
Rufus and Ian locked up. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Day 02 005
A bustling Bowness. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Day 02 003
Modelling my new hat, in Bowness. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Day 02 008
Road train, Bowness. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Day 02 004
Modelling his new hat, in Bowness. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Day 02 010
Our view from our picnic, in Bowness. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

Enjoy!