Saturday 17th July
We drove to the Lake District, via Cambridge to collect Emm. Kia was safely installed in the boot, on a sort of doggy-throne so she was well-cushioned and could lie flat or look out of the window as she pleased. The rest of us squashed into the rest of the car with our luggage. The dog was very comfy.
We arrived at The Old Vicarage in Littletown in Newlands Valley. The house has a nice feel, with high ceilings and spacious rooms and views across the valley. Parking next to the house was a three-man activity, but we managed it without scraping the car. The neighbours came out to watch. Bea and Boyfriend arrived, and managed to park without as much shouting.
We allocated rooms. Husband and I took the downstairs room attached to the still-being-converted barn. I thought it would be quiet (it was—but it was also a very long way from the upstairs bathrooms, which proved inconvenient). The rest of the family took the three upstairs bedrooms, and the dog took the kitchen and utility room, with sneaky excursions into the rest of the house when she thought no one was looking.
We ate at The Royal Oak in Braithwaite. Husband booked it before we left home, and it’s lucky he did as the area was jam-packed with tourists and the pubs were full. As we drove to the pub, we saw a hedgehog, hurrying up the lane. We stopped to watch. Our house is opposite Little Town Farm, which was the setting for the Beatrix Potter book Mrs Tiggy Winkle, so it seemed appropriate. It’s rare to see hedgehogs today, as a child they were mainly of the squashed variety.
Sunday 18th July
I woke early and attempted to go for a run. Little Town is at the top of a hill, and I don’t run downhill (dodgy knees) so it wasn’t the most active run in the world. But the family didn’t know that, and they were all getting up when I returned, so I let them think I had run for miles.
I made pancakes for brunch. As I had only packed pancake ingredients (Kia took up too much space) we then went to Keswick for supplies. Went to Boothes supermarket. If you are in the area, I suggest that you avoid Boothes unless you’re feeling rich. It is very expensive. It was also full of Christians, as we had unknowingly timed our trip to coincide with the Keswick Convention, which is a big deal in the Christian world. I have never attended, but can inform you that they have their own traffic lights so the Christians can cross the road, they have large white marquees, and the supermarkets fill up with polite people who smile at each other. It brought out the rebel in me, and I felt the need to buy way more alcohol than we’ll drink in a week. I also bought the most expensive tea-towel in the world, as the house didn’t provide them and I had forgotten to bring any. £8.99. For one tea towel. One. It’s not even pretty.
After lunch we went for a walk. I had ( as you might remember) bought waterproof coat, trousers and walking boots. It was a boiling hot day, so I left all the kit at the house and wore trainers. Felt weirdly disappointed. The walk turned out to be up a mountain (they often do when Husband is in charge). I don’t do mountains, so walked a different route with Bea. Drank Pimms in the garden (still lots left after rebellious shopping trip).
Monday 19th July
Morning walk in hills behind the house. So wonderfully pretty.
After lunch we drove to Moss Falls. There was another mountain to climb, so the males set off, and I walked a little way and then sat and read. Everywhere is so beautiful.
We ate at The Royal Oak in Braithwaite again. Our drive there takes us through a wood with signs warning us to look out for red squirrels. Son 2 informs me this is because they are known to attack cars (pretty sure he was lying). Bea declared she had never seen a red squirrel. We all stared through the windows. There was something reddish, dead, next to the road. Bea said this didn’t count. We did however see a hare, lolloping up the lane. Personally, I think a hare is as exciting as a red squirrel.
Hope you see something fun today. Thanks for reading.
Love, Anne x
If you enjoyed this, why not read The Sarcastic Mother’s Holiday Diary.