Wednesday 13 March 2024: A proper break

Last time we were there © Ian Wordsworth

Friday morning was a bit of a mad rush. The holiday cottage was only 2 hours away and that kidded us into thinking we had all day to get there. But we hadn’t done any packing or holiday food shopping, so we dashed around like a pair of mad things, each doing our own chores. I was supposed to call the cottage owner the week before to find out the key arrangements but only got round to that on Friday morning too.

We both had showers and when we were finished, we were finally off…only we visited the mother-in-law on the way as it was mother’s day on Sunday and we wouldn’t be seeing her this time. We already had her card, but we had to go and get her some fresh flowers and a box of chocolates, and while the poet was in the supermarket doing that, he also bought us a picnic, tea for Friday, and breakfasts for the weekend.

I’d told the lady who answered the phone that we’d be there between 3pm and 4pm. She warned us that it was very windy and said that the previous visitors hadn’t gone yet (this was at about 10am). We got there, with no more stops, at about 4:50pm. The cottage owner greeted us and let us know to just give them a shout if we needed anything. She’d even left us 4 home-made cakes on the kitchen worktop.

We unloaded the car and made ourselves at home. The dog thought it was the best place ever and he spent a good 2 hours or more sniffing every inch of this pet-friendly holiday cottage. There was a big, shared garden at the rear, but the gates to the road were open and we didn’t want to be cheeky and close them. So after chilling in front of the telly for a couple of hours, we took him for a walk down the lane and back on his ‘bike’.

Saturday was my birthday, so I opened the cards and presents we’d brought with us. The poet had bought me 2 books on intuitive eating, a multi-purpose handbag, and a purse, and his mother had given me a box of chocolates. The idea was that we’d get me something from our holiday too, and he and his mum would chip in and buy it between them, and I chose a compact camera.

I want a new camera that’s at least as good as my phone, if not better, with zoom. In the future, I’ll be accompanying the poet on business trips both in the UK and abroad, and I’ll be making my own entertainment during the daytime while he’s at work. So I needed a handbag that I could fit a couple of notebooks in, a pencil tin, and at least my Paperwhite, plus everything else that usually goes in my pockets. And I want a camera too.

The bag is perfect, the purse goes with it, but we couldn’t find a camera. It didn’t matter, though, because it gave us an excuse to go for a long orientation drive. We didn’t take any photographs, even on the phones, apart from one that the poet took from the car, and we were out all day admiring the beautiful scenery, even though there was low cloud shrouding the hilltops in mist. Very atmospheric.

We drove from Kirkby Stephen to Kendal to Windermere, where we parked up to eat our picnic overlooking the lake, to Ullswater. It took us much longer to get to Ullswater from Windermere as the Kirkstone Pass was closed and we had to go the long way around. That took up a chunk of day as the passes really do save time in that part of the world. When we got back to the cottage, it was almost dark.

For tea I wanted pie and chips. The poet would have liked to have taken me to a proper restaurant as it was my birthday, but we had the dog, we couldn’t leave him at the cottage, and I didn’t want to fuss. That’s the whole reason we went away, so there was no one around to fuss. Again I sat with the dog in the car while the poet shopped. He’d already bought a birthday cake the day before, so we had that for pudding.

On Sunday we went on another long drive, this time to the north-west coast. We started in Barrow-in-Furness to try again for a camera, but the electronic superstores just don’t seem to be giving cameras the showroom space any more. Then we drove up to Ravenglass, where the dog got out of the car and before I’d even strapped his bike on properly he was off and I had to catch up with him. Good job it was only a car park.

From Ravenglass we drove to Boot and started off towards the Hardknott Pass, only to find that that was closed too, and that meant another long and winding diversion. At least we were in beautiful Eskdale, though, so it wasn’t such a hardship. We came back through Sedbergh (pronounced said-bruh, to rhyme with red-uh). We also saw Shap for the first time. I have a friend there and it was nice to see where she lives.

The poet made us a proper Sunday dinner – roast chicken, baby new potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower, and we had more birthday cake for pudding. Then we started to pack what we wouldn’t need again before the morning.

By 11am on Monday morning we were in the car and on our way home. But first we went to Kendal again to see if the one camera shop in the entire Lake District had the kind of camera I was looking for. The poet went while I stayed with the dog, as it was a gift from him and his mother, but they didn’t have the one we’d researched. They did have another, but he didn’t want to buy it without running it by me first.

We decided to take our time with the camera and do some more research, and from Kendal we headed towards Hawes, and drove through Wensleydale before turning south on the motorway and heading home. We ate our picnic in the car while we drove, and when we got home, the poet rustled up a tea from the freezer.

It was a lovely long weekend where we didn’t have a set itinerary and basically just did whatever we fancied on the day. We returned chilled and relaxed, and even the dog seems to be sleeping better.

It was back to work for both of us yesterday, but at least the poet didn’t have such a long drive. (That’s today!) I spent the morning looking at another writing course. In between, I fed the birds and put various washloads through both the washer and the dryer, and I hung some up too. And then I made a weekly blog plan before starting today’s blog post.

I thought I was being very clever, writing down each blog post on the day they’d be posted, rather than the day they’d be written, and then I forgot that today’s post needed to include Tuesday’s work too. Beside that, though, when the poet called me to say he was almost home and was I ready to go and do an interim shop, I rushed and posted today’s post too early. I peaked too soon…

When we got back from the supermarket and had put the shopping away, I had to jump on and unpublish today’s post and then finish it to schedule it for today. Hopefully by today I’ll be back in the swing of things properly.

4 thoughts on “Wednesday 13 March 2024: A proper break

  1. Sounds like a great weekend. The Lake District is lovely. We stayed in Kendal once, on our way up to Culzean in Scotland, and loved it.

    I’m glad I bought a new camera, even though it’s a very simple one. So much better than my phone.

    I’m off to walk the picket line!

    1. We’re lucky in that we can ‘nip’ to the Lake District whenever we fancy it. It’s less than 2 hours away.

      I hope that the picket line was successful.

Comments are closed.