Category Archives: LAke district

Wasdale. On a Bank Holiday Weekend

So, yesterday, we went to Cumbria to collect the slate threshold for the doors. More of that later.

While up there, we decided to drive round from Honister and have lunch in The Boot Inn, near Eskdale. We stayed there a few years ago and the food is good pub food and the place is welcoming even when it’s busy. We had a sandwich and some juice in the garden and it was a nice lunch.

Afterwards, we went round to Wastwater in Wasdale, fairly remote but very famous and the Lake District’s deepest lake. It’s a lovely spot, most of the time. Yesterday, the bubble burst, for me at least. It was “crowded”. There aren’t many parking spots there, as it’s a long way round to get there and it takes a bit of an effort. But, they were all full yesterday. People were parked on the side of the road and on the grass verges.

People were sunbathing on the lakeside, and there were several inflatable boats on the water. My heart sank. It was such a depressing sight.

As much as they can be, there are some things that should be “sacred”. Just because you can drive your Mercedes 4×4 SUV onto the grass verge, doesn’t mean that you should. Just because you can park 100m from the water and drag your inflatable boat into it, doesn’t mean that you should.

Call me a miserable old git if you like, but there are dozens of waters and lakes in the Lake District where you can paddle your inflatable canoe. Wastwater, beneath England’s highest mountain and on the “difficult” side of the Lake District, shouldn’t be one of them. Yes, I know that it’s a free country. I know that people can go where they want, when they want and do what they want (within reason). And I know that if there is any time that this place is going to be full of people, a sunny Sunday afternoon on the second May Bank Holiday is going to be right up there with the worst of them. More fool me.

I had thought at one time that I would like my ashes scattered on the little island that gets cut off when the lake is full, but is easily reached by a causeway when the lake is low, as it is this weekend. I am so glad that I have changed my mind.

Here is the Wastwater that I know


and here’s the scene yesterday, early afternoon.

Wasdale 160529

I don’t think that I’ve been there completely on my own, although I have been close, but there would normally be just two or three cars there.

I blame that ITV programme a couple of years ago which showed “The Best Views in Britain”. This was one of them, if not the best. Well, it certainly wasn’t the best yesterday.


As promised, here’s the slate threshold in its rightful place. I reckon it looks pretty good, with only a little bit of making good decoration to be done when the cement has dried properly.



After the 9 months, this has suddenly felt like the icing on the cake.

Working while on holiday (revisited)

With thanks to my friend AF for the link, here is an interesting article about the wisdom of keeping up with office work while on holiday.

Staff holiday – why it could be bad for business

I have posted about this before, while I was on leave, and it is interesting that professionals in the insurance and HR industries are thinking about the effect that this has on people.

Still deciding about two weeks next year, but I will take soundings from those colleagues who have been taking split weeks as well as those who have completely left the office behind for two (or more). What I have noticed is that some of the more senior staff within the organisation do tend to go completely off radar while on holiday as do those who read The Guardian. Maybe I need to reconsider the Blackberry in the bag next time, or at least have the email function switched off.

On the other hand there are others with whom I work who refuse to check emails while on leave, then complain that it takes two weeks on their return to catch up with themselves, while in the meantime, decisions get undecided and progress on projects slows. And their stress levels get turned up to 11.

What I did notice myself, having been keeping up with emails, is that I didn’t really feel that I got the best out of my holiday.

I don’t think that there is any easy answer and I don’t think that there is a right answer. But keeping the balance right is the important thing.

52 not out

Another birthday has been and gone. Another year chalked off and another year to look forward to. I had some very good presents – posh toiletries, lots of books, the usual things that 50-somethings get  – and a night away in Boot, in Eskdale in the Lake District. Thank you to everyone!

We stayed at The Boot Inn, in the village of Boot. We have stayed there before, as a break on a journey to Scotland about 5 years ago, and it’s unusual to be able to get just one night in the Lakes at a weekend. However, they will let rooms on that basis and very welcome it was too. It’s a decent place to stay, but was extremely hot, being at the end of a heatwave, with temperatures up to 30C. The food was good (best black pudding I have ever eaten) and the beer was local. Very good value for money too, so highly recommended.


We took the opportunity to visit some towns on the coast that we haven’t properly been to before. Ravenglass is very attractive. Whitehaven and Workington maybe less so, but interesting nonetheless. Cockermouth is a lovely little town now that it has dried out from the floods of a few years ago – the sort of place that you wouldn’t mind living. Home after a picnic under a tree at Watendlath.


And now, I realise that another three months have gone by and it’s time to pay a visit to the hospital. Friday morning. As I have said before I am a bit disappointed that I have to start a relationship with a new consultant, and I am obviously hoping that I do not have to see the locum, who could easily change again by the next time I see them. However, I should count myself lucky. It appears that if I were at the Christies in Manchester, I would be seeing a different consultant or specialist every time, so as not to only be seen by one person.

I suppose this does have the advantage of getting a “second opinion” each time you pay them a visit, but I do think that I have benefited from being in the care of just one person for these last four years. Let’s see what Friday brings – I always have choices I can take after this consultation.

I have been getting tired recently and occasionally I can feel the nodes in my neck, particularly after a couple of drinks. When I was first diagnosed, a bottle of Peroni beer would make itself known in my neck within half an hour (wine wouldn’t, for some reason). I’m just hoping that this doesn’t mean that the second half of 2013 is going to go the same way as the second half of 2009… you can read for yourselves where that led to and I am hoping to have a few more years yet before opening up that particular door again.

Whatever – there’s nothing that I can do about it and I must cherish what I have, rather than what I can’t have. Be satisfied with my lot and enjoy the moment.

And I am. I try to make the best of every day and every opportunity that comes along, but it’s very difficult sometimes. But I had a bad weekend a couple of weekends ago, where I was over-thinking things and feeling very sorry for myself. Sometimes you need weekends like that just so that those kind of feelings don’t come to the surface too often – get them all out and over and done with. Until the next time.

I wonder what happened to the research that the psychiatrist was doing a few months ago. I never did hear anything else.