North of the border

May 5, 2021

blea tarn in the lake district national park shot on iphone


Can we go out to play yet?

January dragged its heels while February didn’t hang around at all.

It was March about three days ago and now its May. I’m behind on posts, ahead on work and indifferent on pretty much all news. Nature is back doing its thing; animals are getting frisky, lambs are littering the meadows, green stuff is sprouting out of the ground. It will be a matter of minutes until the air is filled with two stroke and the green bins will be overloaded with grass cuttings. Excellent.

The government revealed their roadmap which is, frankly, as clear as mud and the motorway network is already peppered with bellends. Seriously, the driving standards have been rubbish for a while but the ‘smart’ motorways means another lane of moronic twats to scream in and out of without hesitation, deviation or repetition.

I say this as I’ve relocated to the Lakes and ever since I’ve arrived, pretty much 95% of my work has taken me back south. I shit you not! I lived in Brighton for 11 years and never had a car shoot on my doorstep. I’ve since had two. Had I not left, my mileage would’ve been 1.8 miles. As it was, I covered over 720 miles and had an overnight stay in a Premier Inn.

And I’d do it all again tomorrow.

Why did I ask..

My current living situation is best described as fluid. A work in progress. I’ve had a storage unit for as long as I can remember and as with any excess space you have in your life, you fill it with shit. Have you got an attic? Go up now and see whats in there that you’ve had for years and kept for no reason. See also the shed, garage, lockup and back of the wardrobe.

We weren’t created to sit still yet progress is making us do a lot more of exactly this. While I’m all for a Netflix binge, getting up and out is not only wanted, but needed.

Now living in a national park, I’ve no excuse for not shifting the excess baggage I’ve accumulated and discovering more around my local area. That said, I miss travel. Of course, if I could, the thought of heading to the Greek islands, the Caribbean or somewhere else suitably hot appeals. Massively. Although I don’t think a holiday abroad is coming anytime soon in my future, I’d happily settle for Scotland.

ben nevis with snow on top reflected on the loch water in winter

West is best

I’ve been drawn to the west coast of Scotland for many years now and what I wouldn’t give to go there for those rugged hills, dark skies and maybe the odd tot (or bottle) of whisky. Planned is two editorial trips this month and next, which will be the first time I’ve been back since March 2020. I miss it dearly.

Luckily, I have the Lake District to play in until then.

Having been coming here for the past 20 years, it is strange that as a visitor, I mainly did lowland walks and many pub crawls. Now the pubs have half opened and the crowds are definitely back, I’m looking to get up in the peaks. It is an education living here now. I see the locals in amongst the burgeoning fresh arrivals that I once was. I’ve discovered the short cuts around town, worked out the routes to take that those in trainers don’t. It was lovely for a while. No instagrammers gurning to their mate and dog shit not hung in a bag on a tree. The pandemic has seemingly taught many nothing.

But, I love it here. We’ve made some plans that, if they work out, will see us here for a few years before continuing on our travels.

Walking has begun in earnest with the current daily record sitting at a leisurely 26 miles. Today, the sun is warm, the fells have had snow and it is a welcome day off tomorrow and then, back at it. Back down south next week but for now, as I see the queues for the loos growing outside, time for a cheeky stout or two.

lady walking reflected in water in the lake district national park



“One step at a time is good walking”

  • Proverb (maybe)



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