Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Local walks

The New Year storm will be remembered as one of the worst this country has endured for years and I know from the experience of Cockermouth's devastating 2009 flood that the damage will still be suffered by people for months after the media vans have packed up and the TV companies moved onto the next sound bite.  We have got away extremely lightly; a couple of minor power cuts and a bit of fence damage but the garden is still (mostly) dog-safe and Daisy shows absolutely no inclination to leave home so I'm not worried.  If anything it's done us an (expensive) favour because we've decided to renew another big section of fence this summer.  Not looking forward to that because when we did the side section with the new trellis it cost more than a couple of quid, and the back section is much, much longer.  We'll have LP do it this time instead of the local timber merchant which might be cheaper and I know I can trust him to do it right.

The most immediate effect on us has been Daisy's walks.  The ground by the Derwent is like a grass-filled swimming pool so that rules out local river walks, I'm a coward and don't fancy walking through woods when there's a chance that one of the trees might get blown over and talking of getting blown over, neither of us fancy being knocked off our feet on the fells. There have been times I have struggled to walk along the pavement outside our house which is at the lofty elevation of 150 feet above sea level. 

We did manage a relatively settled walk on Sale Fell last Saturday which is not particularly original as a location but it's close to home, the ground drains really quickly so it isn't a mud bath and we both like it.  Although it was a dull day (hence rubbish photos) the overall visibility was much better than expected; we could see all the way across the Solway Firth with the Anthorn radio masts clearly visible, and closer to home there is much flooding at the head of Bassenthwaite. 

Also seen - not exactly recommended clothing for the current conditions.

Cabin fever struck yesterday and I was determined to go into the National Park 'properly' so we did a short, low-level walk that was a favourite of Ollie's.  Starting near the Kirkstile in Loweswater we walked up the Mosedale valley, heading for the holly tree.  Gusts of 40mph didn't stop us (although they did slow me down) but a wide boggy patch which I didn't feel like navigating around meant we did not make it as far as the actual tree.

Daisy had a very confused moment when she thought it was OK to carry on, changed her mind pretty quick when she realised just how wet it was!

It was still a gorgeous walk, despite the suspect conditions.  It's a deserted, wide open space and when there are walks like this to be had I don't feel any need to slog uphill onto felltops. 

Today was dry and less windy and I could see that the coast was clear (literally).  So much debris has been thrown up around Dubmill Point that the road is still closed and I didn't attempt to go cross-country as driving around the lanes behind Aspatria is a pain-in-the-bum.  Instead of our usual Mawbray excursion we walked 2½ miles along the beach at Allonby.  For someone who hates the sea and doesn't like beaches I found myself rather enjoying it and I think Daisy did too ...

Pristine sand, pre-Daisy:



The obligatory 'can I catch my tail' moment:

Sun on my face, wide open vistas, fresh air, and far enough away from the road that I didn't have to worry about Daisy (who doesn't venture very far from me anyway).


  1. Brill :-) Yesterday was gorgeous. It felt like Spring here! Today much wetter till lunchtime, much colder too. Had a short walk along the river bank this afternoon. A bit muddy on the embankment but found a better path on the way back if we avoided the flooded bits! Off to look for the Northern Lights but don't hold out much hope this far south!!! Not even sure it's cloud free yet!

    1. You're right Jill, it was gloriously Spring-like.

      Don't think we are going to see any Aurora, the KP Index has fallen away to something pitiful like 2 or 3. I've got cameras packed and a flask ready to go but I'm not sure it's worth it. Management is encouraging me to at least go as far as Maryport because of the views over the sea. Haven't yet decided what to do.
      Boo hiss.

  2. The yukky weather seems to be stretching you to do a few things that normally you wouldn't do, so in some ways that is probably good. The photos all look so lovely and you certainly wouldn't be going anywhere here next week. The temp for next Wednesday is supposed to top 41 deg in Melbourne (yuk, yuk, yuk). Hope we don't get a hot spell on the days we move. Take care.

    1. I think Daisy and I would be walking at 4.00am, far too hot to safely take any four-legs out.

      It's a week of extremes - too hot for you and America is frozen solid. Fingers crossed for a stress-free move for you.

  3. 11pm, just back, not even a glimmer!!!!

    1. Not just you Jill, the magnetic fields moved and I don't think anyone in England saw a thing :{

  4. Love the photos where Daisy was considering the blog and decided against it. How is she with sea water?

    1. Still hates it Sue, but at least she's confident enough now that I can (usually) get her to have a drink in a stream whilst we're out.


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