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Holiday to the Lake District - Day Two

Posted on Saturday 3rd July 2010 at 00:00
Well here we are at the end of Day Two of our adventure to the Lake District. I don't know why I'm calling it "Day Two". It doesn't feel like day two. In truth it doesn't really feel like day one, since we only arrived here late this afternoon, and most of the time since then has been taken up with shopping, unpacking and settling in. In practical terms, tomorrow is day one of the actual holiday, but for ease of sense making as far as this blog is concerned, I've named this second installment as day two, and that is how it shall stay.

Anyway, we are now in the Lake District, or rather, just outside it, in our small cottage, The Bower House, on the edge of the quaint Cumbria village of Morland. It is a beautiful spot, in an area known, I believe, as the Eden Valley. Our humble abode is a tiny, but well fitted out little cottage that started life as a barn of some description, but is now so luxuriously furnished that I have to confess it puts our flat in Plymouth to some shame.

Amongst other features, we find ourselves, most welcomely, in the company of a Grandfather Clock, which, though silent when we first arrived, is now ticking merrily away to itself, albeit with a slowness of pace that could only seem fitting in the middle of the countryside.

We awoke this morning in Bristol and, having decided not to rush on account of the expected journey time being less than originally anticipated, we found that it was nearly lunch time when we finally dragged the suitcases to the car. Our journey was fast and problem free, and within a couple of hours we were sitting on the bonnet of the car at a nameless service station just north of Birmingham, eating our lunch and chatting about cars, a subject that L has taken an increased interest in, now that she is planning to learn to drive later in the summer.

We were both mildly appalled by a 4x4 driver who, having driven his over sized Planet Killing car into the bay next to ours, got out and wandered off without bothering to switch off the engine! We can only assume that the passenger who remained in the car was dependent on the air con for basic survival, but when we left, a quarter of an hour later, the driver had not returned and that blasted engine was still ticking over.

We were well past Manchester and St Helens (the birth and final resting place of my late grand parents) when I happened to glance down at the fuel gauge and discovered that we were virtually out of petrol. A moment later, a sign confirmed that the next service station was 18 miles on, a little too far to want to take any changes. I had the Sat-Nav (a TomTom One, not my nickname for L) look up the nearest petrol station, and it took us straight off the M6 and along a winding road into a nearby town. Sadly, the stupid thing was not set to impress today, and far from taking us to the promised service station, it dumped us halfway along a quiet residential street with those words I so dread it saying on occasions like this:

You have reached your destination!


Swearing and muttering under my breath, I then told the bloody contraption to take me to the next nearest one, which was an Asda, thinking it should be pretty easy to find. Half way there, the Sat Nav runs out of battery as we are going round a bend, and L has to find the lead, plug it in and switch it on before we reach the next junction, so we can find out where we are going.

By this point I am more or less expecting the engine to stall at any minute, so you can imagine my annoyance when once again it smugly informs us that our destination is on the left, whilst we travel along a road with no left turns and no Asda.

Having eventually found a Shell garage in the town, we returned to the motorway and on with our journey, which took us through some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. I would have taken a picture, but I was driving so couldn't.

We arrived at the cottage, unloaded the car and headed straight out to the supermarket, which we assumed would be in a building in a town. It wasn't. Ok, yes technically it was in a town, Penrith in fact, but it wasn't in a building. Instead, erected in front of the still being built supermarket was a giant gazebo, the local branch of Morrisons. Very surreal, I can tell you.

We ate on the terrace later, and with the exception of some rather pesky flies, everything was perfect. I'd cooked quiche and chips, and in doing so had happily discovered of an extremely impressive set of kitchen knives.

Afterwards we went out for a walk around the village, as the daylight faded away. It seems like a pleasant little place, with a cheerful looking pub, a few converted barns that are now holiday cottages, and a 1950s style garage.

Tomorrow we hope to do some site seeing, as we are still a little worn out from our journey, and the cold which has emerged from L's sore throat of yesterday and which I am fast on the way to beginning , if my nose is anything to go by. It all hangs on the weather at the moment though, and the forecast is for heavy rain. We shall just have to wait and see what comes our way.

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