Last night was all a bit traumatic. I got back in time to take Sheila out for dinner, but then phone calls from children indicated multiple failures in the transport system. Net result I picked Eleanor up from Oxenholme as planned just after 2100, but having deposited her at the hotel had to drive south through fog and rain to Lancaster to pick up Huw, finally getting him to the hotel at midnight thirty. By then I had drunk enough coffee to keep me up for the next few hours. The original hope for this trip had been sunshine and snow on the fells, but instead we had little but rain and at times torrential rain. So in the morning we drove through Langdale which was torture for me; I just wanted to park the car and head for the fells. Ambleside was a good location to catch the sales of outdoor gear (my son brought his first Rohan item, following in his father's footsteps) and then we found a good pub for lunch. More cruelty as the ridges down from the Kirkstone Pass were free of cloud ….
After that conditions were still bad so we ended up playing tourists at the World of Beatrix Potter. From the other guests you really had to be a grand parent or a Japanese tourist to fit in and it was oh so twee. Now to confess I never really liked the various tales, they seemed a curious picture of the twee and the cruel, but I realise I am probably in a minority here. There is a certain perverse pleasure in playing tourist in the off season however and I suppose we have to be grateful to the books for funding the preservation of the Lake District for future generations.
From there it was an early return to the hotel and a change into respectable clothes (I now have a tweed jacket, moleskin trousers and red waistcoat to celebrate the new reduced me, all very country gent) and a great meal in celebration of 60 years. Mine in a couple of months time I plan to spend somewhere above 3000 feet in Snowdonia! It will be cheaper for sure, hopefully there will be less rain.
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