Warning to those in a hurry: this is a very picture heavy blog post.
Saturday was another of the brilliantly sunny, blue sky days that have become commonplace here recently. There was however a brisk wind which didn’t look as though it would help my slightly suspect breathing. I didn’t go cycling as I was due to play golf in the afternoon and I didn’t want to jigger myself completely. I did have time for a quick wander round the garden after waving off our latest end to end cyclist, Dave. He was heading north and looked to have a hard day in store. Fortunately he had planned a fairly short day and was headed for Peebles.
So after a restful morning I went up to the golf. Unfortunately, circumstances dictated that I had to play in a fourball. When we had taken forty minutes and still not completed three holes and I had already had quite a lot of difficulty in concentrating, I realised that there was no useful purpose to be served in annoying my playing companions and hurting my chest so I packed it in and headed for home. I don’t approve of not completing a round that you have started but equally there is no point in making yourself and everyone else miserable.
It also entered my mind that Mrs Tootlepedal and I were due to go to Keswick for a concert and I could see the round not ending until it would be rather late for us to start out.
In the end, we set off to Keswick with plenty of time in hand and we chose to go over Caldbeck Fell on our way to see if the view was any better than a couple of weeks ago.
We went through Caldbeck village and Hesket Newmarket and then we clung to the east side of the Lake District fells and were rewarded with some wonderful views.
I love these unfenced hill roads. There was a map on the noticeboard in the picture which must give the unwary a lot of difficulty as it is placed on the board with north facing south. Still you can’t miss the hills.
We certainly intend to come here with our bicycles soon. There were lots of people out on bikes and we navigated past them with great courtesy (of course). Finally we reached the A66 and turned right to Keswick. We paused in a handy lay-by to capture Helvellyn and Blencathra.
You can see that we couldn’t have had a finer day for our jaunt. We arrived in Keswick in plenty of time and after a wander up an extremely busy High Street, we found a quiet place and had a meal. I had scampi and chips, described as being in a traditional basket. They also offered chicken and gravy in a basket and I wondered how they kept the gravy from leaking through. As it turned out, the scampi came in a basket but it was also in a bowl in the basket so I think that was a bit of a cheat.
After our meal, we headed down to Derwentwater where we were going to visit the theatre by the lake. We were still in good time so we took the opportunity to have a stroll round the lake side, camera in hand.
Just before we went into the theatre, we sat on a handy bench for all the world like two old people on an outing. Because it was on NT land, it was a fine old oak bench and it was supplied with lovely views across the lake of course.
We had come to hear Simon Mayor and the Mandolinquents. He is a fine mandolin player and a very amusing man as well. The Mandoliquents are a quartet of two mandolins, guitar and bass mandolin. They play a wide range of music, including some wonderfully flashy pieces requiring jaw dropping technique. They mix the playing up with a variety of songs and diversions onto the violin and banjo, all accompanied with a dry wit from the players as they introduce the numbers. Mrs Tootlepedal and I have been to a good many of his concerts and once again we were not disappointed. It may not be high culture but it is enormous fun and good music too.
We got away sharply and were back in Langholm in just over an hour, driving within the speed limit on empty roads. Even the M6 was more or less deserted and were passed by less than 10 cars on our 55 mile journey and had to pass only 3 ourselves.
Altogether it was a wonderful jaunt.