BB1305 : Dear Wifey  

Thursday 31st January 2013

Dear Wifey

I hope you are having a lovely time with the Münchkinder.  Things have been very quiet here but I have a confession to make concerning seeing another woman, more of which later.  In the meantime here is my week in brief:

Monday: RARING

Slunky day. Consumed in one long sitting (or lying) the new Rebus that Jamie & Danae gave me for Christmas, Standing In Another Man's Grave.  

Rankin is back on form with this one.  

Can't remember the last time I read a book.  Probably the last Reacher, months back.

That set me thinking about the business they could set up together:  


The name, implying what they do to baddies, derives, naturally, from the initial letters of its slogan.

Reacher And Rebus
Interning No-Gooders

Or, in Reacher''s case, Interring might be more appropriate!

Tuesday: Donny the Clockmaker

Slunky day.  Consumed, in a rather shorter sitting, the book that Luca and Ellie gave me for Christmas, knowing that I like clocks.

I first thought it was appropriately called Donny the Clockmaker but turns out it was Johnny!

Written by Edward Ardizzone in 1960, it is the lovely story of a young lad who suddenly decides to make a grandfather clock. This proves to be contrary to the wishes of his mother who wanted him to help with the washing up and to the scorn of his father whose words of encouragement were "stuff and nonsense".

I will enjoy reading it to them next time they visit.

Wednesday: Tony's Other Woman's Other Woman's .....

Now about that other woman.  Before the confession, let me tell you about the cultural day that Tony and I enjoyed.

First we went to the Quaker Meeting House, hoping to see the Tapestry. Unfortunately, it is not on display during the winter.  Fortunately, it was not on display.  That meant we could have a closer look at the interior of the building which has some interesting features, especially the way they could segregate the congregation by dividing the hall with wooden screens that disappear down into the floor.

We'll go back in the spring to see the Tapestry.

Quaker Meeting House

Next was Sleddale Hall, a real Aladdin's cave, reminiscent of 'Allo Robert in Menton. Didn't buy anything but was tempted!  To show how interested Tony was with all that ferreting around, he didn't think about his lunch until 12:35, way after the normal mandatory noon!!

Sleddale Hall

Aladdin's Cave

We ate across the road at the Castle Dairy.  A roaring fire, good ciabattas and an interesting nosey around the old place.

Castle Dairy

After a brief flirtation with the Masonic Hall where we weren't allowed in (despite me protesting that I am a Lewis) we moved on to the Kendal Museum.

I thought this would be boringly old fashioned but the presentation is much improved and the ground floor in particular was well worth a visit.

Despite what people might say, I have never seen a Dodo before.

Naturally Tony had his photo taken with an old pal- the Polar Bear.

The Castle Dairy fire

The old Dodo

As we walked along the river, Tony gave a running commentary on what used to be where when he were a lad.  Our intention was to visit Kendal Parish Church but sadly a funeral was in process so we went instead to the Lakeland Life Museum.  That was much as I remembered it with its sequence of well thought out rooms.

Inside the Museum of Lakeland Life

Abbott Hall

Finally, it was time for Abbot Hall where I wanted to see the other woman.

To explain, I am sure you will recall Tony's affections for a certain lady, namely Lady Anne Clifford.

His Other Woman.

Hanging in Abbot Hall is the The Great Picture that depicts three periods of her life.

The Other Woman

Well, an artist called Uwe Wittwer takes old paintings and reworks them via his computer, often in negative, and then on to canvas. It makes an interesting exhibition and one painting in particular, Interior after De Hooch, seemed a significant improvement on the original.

Tony's Other Woman has been radically transformed to produce, full size, Tony's Other Woman's Other Woman. Tony disapproves.

The Other Woman's Other Woman's .................

Once I had got over seeing the strange great blobs I realised that he had removed Tony's Other Woman's Other Woman's husband and replaced him by a clone of her.  In other words, Tony's Other Woman's Other Woman's Other Woman.  Got that?

You might understand why Tony's parting shot, as he set off to the fishing shop, was:

I'd probably vandalise his work if I went, considering what he's done to Lady Anne, and I'm not paying for the privilege!!

As for me, that was quite enough other womanising so I returned to the church to see if I could find one particular tomb about which I had told Tony.

The interior was heavily scaffolded and fenced off for rewiring so I couldn't see what I wanted.

Needless to say, St Google provided the information.  Inscribed within the Parish Church is a brass plate in memory of Ralph Tyler, Vicar of Kendal, died 1627, text shown to the right:.

London bred me, Westminster fed me,
Cambridge sped me, my Sister wed me,
Study taught me, Living sought me,
Learning brought me, Kendal caught me,
Labour pressed me, Sickness distressed me,
Deathe opposed me, the Grave possessed me,
Earth did crave me, and Heaven would have me.

Cultured out, I made my way home and prepared for the next, more energetic day's outing.

Thursday: Hobgoblin Nor Foul Friends

It's a while since planning a BOOTboys outing had so much uncertainty about date, personnel and destination.  On this occasion, the cause was not my incompetence but the frequently changing weather forecasts for Wednesday and Thursday, the one common factor being that the prediction was seldom being any better than mediocre with much rain.  You could say that confusion rained.

It was Bryan who settled it in the end. "Away with your wimplike excuses," he implored.  I thought he was going to turn into a character from Pilgrim's Progress and sing about coming hither and being valiant, come wind, come weather. Perhaps with something thrown in for good measure about Hobgoblin nor Foul Friends daunting spirits.

To really test John and me, he insisted on an early start and a finish before Tony had even thought about lunch.  7:30 is not a normal time of day for me to be leaving the house!

The weather was surprisingly better than anticipated with no rain.  Indeed, a day that almost got sunny but a wind that definitely was gale force at times.

Rydal Water

Although our target was Loughrigg, starting from Pelter Bridge and along by Rydal Water, we decided first to see Lily Tarn and then avoid the main trods, taking in as many of the small tarns on the way that we could.  I lost count but there were quite a few.

Lily Tarn


Comitibus : half way up Loughrigg

Bryan checks the route

Two more tarns

And another,nearing the summit

It was almost impossible to stand unaided at the top of Loughrigg so, without lingering too long, we descended the steep path down to Loughrigg Terrace, enjoying the view over Grasmere.

Western panorama from Loughrigg

The descent, Grasmere behind

The cave entrance

When we reached the big cave we had to pay our respects (the sign forbidding entry no longer exists- not that it stopped us previously).  We've been there many times but I still think it is quite something.

Inside the cave

The colourful cave walls

Thereafter, it was a gentle stroll back to the car and on to Kendal.  After dropping off Bryan, John and I celebrated the gain of a free afternoon at the Barrows Green Punchbowl.

No Hobgoblin on draft there nor Foul Friends at the bar but spirits definitely not daunted.

So, Wifey, that's that is what I have been doing whilst you have been Bavarianating.

Once I have finished writing this message, I will repair to the bathroom and wash off all that sweat from the hills to make myself lovely again for your return, a delight to which I very much look forward.

Give the Münchkinder a big hug from Opa.

                   Missing you loads,

                                                    Your ever loving hubby.

Don, 31st January 2013

Micky and the Fusilier

Steam buffs would have been enthralled on Saturday 26th January when a double header pulling the Cumbrian Mountain Express passed through Oxenholme on its way north.

The engines were a couple of Mickies- nowadays known as Black Fives but in my trainspotting time their nickname derived from a condensation of Mixed Traffic Locomotives.  Specifically, they were numbers 44871 (unnamed) and 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier (which my Ian Allen abc book tells me was not named during my youth). No new "cops" for me; both seen whilst still in short trousers!

I was alerted to the appearance of the train by Natland News, my village website which has a resident steam correspondent, Pat Williams.  She regularly gives advance notice of these events but on this occasion there was a follow up by Burnley based Richard Ratcliffe.  He posted a response saying:

I found your blog and will be travelling on that CME (Cumbrian Mountain Express) on Saturday 26th January. It is unusual for me to be on the train, preferring to take a good walk and watching the trains somewhere along the way. My website is mainly about walks, but an increasing number of walks have railway content. Here's the cheeky bit ... I am writing to a few enthusiasts / photographers to see if anyone would be so kind as to email me (at least) one photo from the run on the 26th.

It was a clear morning with snow on the ground. I set up my camera on a tripod, firing from an open bedroom window.  Fortunately, the train was just about on time so I didn't let in too much cold air. It was a pity that the sun was in the wrong direction to get a really good picture but if you visit Richard's website you will see a much clearer and brighter one taken at about the same time from the eastern side of the track.  You will also find many more photos and an account of his journey. 

Richard later commented  

What a great day it turned out to be. Many thanks are due to all the photographers who acted as “Special Agents” and submitted photos for use on my website.

It’s fair to say that my renewed interest in railways was sparked by the poor weather of the last 12 months. I found I had to something other than mountains to point my camera at, when my main subject was out of bounds. On good days, I can combine both hobbies with a good Dales walk timed to meet a charter train somewhere on the S&C.

Let’s hope for more of the same in the next few weeks!

To see more of the Cumbrian Mountain Express and to explore Richard's walking website, first see The Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express.


Stan Does It Again

Stan really is quite remarkable.  When faced with a challenge that men of our age ought to be leaving to the next generation, he simply regards any consequences of aging as something to ignore and get on with showing those whippersnappers what real men are like.  Once again, his son Martin (who being a doctor should know better) entered Stan for the 24 mile That's Lyth event.  Once again Stan triumphed.  Here is his report:

The forecast was for heavy rain through the night clearing by 9 am so I got the full kit out with the intention of making a final decision before I left the house.  In the event there was still torrential rain at 7.30 am so I set off from the house clad in 3 layers and full waterproofs.  By the time I got to the scout hut I was drenched. 

I was pretty much on my own most of the way as there seemed to be more runners than walkers and I was behind the runners but in front of most of the walkers. 

I went fairly well to Crosthwaite averaging  over 4 mph despite the slush and mud.  From theron the paths got progressively worse necessitating wading through knee deep floods or foot deep mud in places.  To make matters worse there was a tremendous cold headwind all the way over Whitbarrow so I'd lost a lot of time when I got to Witherslack.

The weather was quite good by this point so I removed my waterproofs and made reasonable time thereafter, as the paths weren't as bad, and finished in 6 hours 23 minutes which is 8 minutes slower than last year  In terms of effort, though, this year was much harder.  I've obviously got a major character defect because for some odd reason I feel a strange sense of satisfaction in nearly killing myself!



Thursday 31st January 2013

Distance in miles:

6.5 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

1,641 (OS / Memory Map)



Other Features:

Lily Tarn


Bryan, Don, John Hn


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1305

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.


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