>Definitely, definitely much gratitude for sunshine and warmer weather. As well as lifting the spirits it’s also really opened up our ‘outdoor classroom’ (not that we’re exactly aiming on education with a nearly-two-year-old, but every day is learning when you’re that size!)
So we’ve had music…at Grizedale Forest, where he’s finally got the hang of banging on the different sized wood blocks to get different sounds…
Imaginative play and a bit of Botany as he and his little pal discover ‘treasure’ in the form of pine cones, dry leaves and sticks in their own den at Tarn Hows…where a certain amount of Science came in too (from a stream to sticky mud, where does liquid become solid? And what happens if you sit in it, or go in deeper than your wellies?)
Back home, another warm evening saw a little Horticulture- the home move is still up in the air, but wherever we are this summer there will surely be space for pots and tubs of tomatoes, courguettes and squash…
…and lastly some Cookery, as we had our first outdoor-cooked meal of the year- not our first meal eaten outdoors though! That honour must go to some slightly chilly picnics while on walks.
Not even the most ardently optimistic could possibly see signs of Spring just yet, but nevertheless, it did feel like on our walk today there was a little whisper of an idea of a promise that the dark and cold will recede. For a start, even though you’d be hard pressed to see any buds emerging, there was so much colour when we stopped to notice: rocks and tree trunks wrapped in acid green blankets of moss, the dark, bare bones of trees garlanded with opportunistic evergreens like ivy, baby beech trees (I think) with rust red leaves still dangling from their branches, asking to be shaken until they dance by small fists. As we drove through the gently sloped valley to and from Grizedale, through Oxen Park and Satterthwaite, yes we were spattered with rain but the light seemed…softer somehow and there were even a few of those eternal Spring optimists, the first lambs, let out in the fields here and there.
Yes, definitely reminders that the days are getting longer and that warmth will return, but for now warmth needs to come from a less celestial source and I can happily report that my feet are a whole lot warmer, as I finally finished the other sock…
…and men, and women! It seemed like a good idea a week ago to meet up with four friends, three dogs and possibly even a further two friends and a baby for a New Year’s Day walk. We decided on Grizedale Forest Park and found our way there today with few problems save the ice-rink of a carpark. Our friends and the dogs fared less well unfortunately as an imaginative satnav sent them down a backroad that, with one cresting of a hill, turned into a toboggan run complete with car shaped toboggan. One call to the emergency services later and some advice from a policeman about how to get out of the situation safely and they decided to head for safer ground. The friends with baby were still frazzled from a less than restful night so decided on other plans. Which just left us to enjoy a slippery but very pretty walk. The end of the day saw us reunited with friends and dogs and enjoying a hearty pub meal, which can never be a bad way to end the day, even if it was just round the corner from us, rather than in the Lake District as planned.
Well, we’ve probably been fairly lucky with the amount of good weather we’ve had this autumn, but now the rain is here, it’s really here! We went up to Grizedale Forest today and managed a long time in the (very nice) coffee shop and a short time outside in the pouring rain.
It’s always been something of a habit for us to end up having a pub lunch of a Sunday, although before P came along we usually didn’t end up eating until mid-afternoon. Today though we continued the habit, but at the right time of day. The Eagle’s Head had all that you want from a country pub on a wet day- open fires, locally brewed beer (for him), lovely food and surely the hardest working landlord in Cumbria- he was serving at the bar, taking and serving food orders and setting up for a band that night simultaneously. With a smile on his face!
We retreated back home and soon I was faced with what I think will be a familiar sight as time goes on- my husband and my son completely engrossed in fiddling about with a bike wheel. I’m not entirely convinced that P was exactly helping this time, but as I’ve mentioned before he definitely seems to have inherited the grease-monkey gene so I don’t think it’ll be long.