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Category Archives: Outdoors

Xmas Eve

As Xmas Day itself draws ever near, the Cumbrian weather has been all the more soggy and gusty. However, it’s nothing that can’t be endured by wearing an extra layer or two. The big grocery shop went well, with no instances of trolley rage to be reported – although I’m sure if I was in the shops today I might not be able to withstand the crowds and lack of orderly queues.

I’ve managed to resist the traditional panic buying brought on by supermarkets closing for a whole 24 hours. As I’ve got older I don’t suffer the need to test the limits of my body’s ability to consume food/drink anymore, and I reckon I’ll feel all the better for it by Boxing Day. Even with a dash of portion control, I’ll still need to take a brisk walk in the afternoon to aid the digestion. Luckily the scenery is fantastic, so I won’t find it hard motivating myself to step outside.

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Posted by on December 24, 2013 in Clothes, Food, Health, Holidays, Outdoors, Shopping, Travel, Xmas

 

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Grey Xmas

I’m already resigned to it being a rainy Xmas this year rather than a snowy one, though brief bursts of hail have whitened to hill tops of Cumbria. With enough warm and waterproof clothing, none of this is a problem at all.

Whilst some people might enjoy activity filled holidays, I prefer to wind things back a notch and slow down when taking a break. Laying in bed each morning is allowed, breakfasts last longer and lunches take place whenever they can be comfortably slotted in. Rushing is never allowed and everywhere is explored at a steady pace. Plans for the week are loose, with only a big Xmas grocery shop being the immovable object in the calendar.

It seems that every time I pay for something in a shop the person at the checkout asks me if I’m ready for Xmas yet. I think I’ve been ready for it for some time – I have no worries about last minute travel plans and frantic trolley dashes round the stores. So I’ll be ambling around the Lakes, taking the occasional photo and making sure I meet my daily quota of mince pies.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2013 in Clothes, Food, Holidays, Outdoors, Shopping, Travel, Xmas

 

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All Good Things

After a week in the West Highlands, eventually it was time to pack up our things and leave the rail carriage behind. It had been a great holiday, with no particular agenda from the outset. Being so far away from built up cities and the conveniences they bring hadn’t been too difficult and despite it being October the Scottish weather had been quite forgiving too.

The journey back to England would be long, but broken up with an afternoon stopover in Edinburgh. It was busy, being a Saturday afternoon and all that, but once our suitcases had been stored at the left luggage facility in Waverley station, we set off for some Japanese food at Yes Sushi (of course, everyone goes to Scotland for sushi…)

Once we were well fed, we wandered around the shops until our feet were tired and our train home was finally due. It was full because of an international rugby game that had been played earlier that day, but station by station the seats all gradually emptied. By the time we made it to our destination, we almost had the whole carriage to ourselves. 

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2013 in Food, Holidays, Outdoors, Shopping, Sport, Travel

 

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Wandering About

As the week has progressed, the weather has improved and today we decided to try going for a walk around the nearby area. There used to be a pub, but that’s closed though there is a local store that sells groceries and Puzzler books. Aside from that, you’ve probably got an hour or so to walk to the next place you could buy a cup of tea and a biscuit.

I’d printed a few recommended walking routes from the Internet but they didn’t particularly resemble anything that looked like where we were. Half a mile trekking in the wrong direction got us nowhere, so we doubled back and found a nice woodland area that hid a picnic table in a small clearing. This was much more like the kind of thing I was hoping to find, so once sandwiches had been eaten and tree-dwelling birds had been photographed, our spirits were on the rise again.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2013 in Food, Holidays, Outdoors, Travel

 

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Bugged

Unsurprisingly, a 60 year old railway carriage stood next to an open body of water is an inviting home for mosquitos and spiders to move into. Nobody seems to have taken the time to explain to them that this spot has been claimed by humans and they need to shift themselves down the shore to another place.

Generally speaking the spiders have the decency to stay smaller than the ones Doctor Who fought in the Jon Pertwee years. They haven’t demonstrated any psychic powers or plans for world domination either, so I reckon we can make this week work.

There is an old British Rail map of the network on the wall here though and I did have to do a double take when I saw a spider the size of Dublin crawling across the Irish Sea. Thankfully he allowed me to assist him on his way through the exit (scooped up in a cup and shaken out of a window).

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2013 in Holidays, Monsters, Outdoors, Sci Fi

 

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Rainy Days

Today we woke up to torrential rain. Funnily enough, 1950s rail carriages are quite cosy when the weather outside is horrible. A quick breakfast of eggs on toast fuelled us up before we braved the elements.

Luckily the train from our (almost) private station arrived on time and we were soon whisked away to the costal town of Oban. The skies cleared a little and the afternoon dried up, allowing us to get on with shopping and eating – all the important things in life! Now if only there wasn’t such a long wait for the train back home.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Food, Holidays, Outdoors, Travel

 

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The Key Master

After almost a day of travelling, we reached our home-from-home for the week, a converted 1950s British Rail carriage. Located by Loch Awe, the longest freshwater loch in Scotland (apparently) this is a fairly remote place to stay, though there are pockets of civilisation around and the next town is just a short distance away.

The caretaker who was supposed to be waiting here with the keys had a flat tyre so couldn’t make it on time. Luckily, the local store keep a spare set so I was able to collect those. Unfortunately I put the wrong key into the main door and bent it in the lock. Thankfully a very kind chap from the store was able to get the key back out without breaking the door. My grumpiness lifted immediately as the holiday could begin properly!

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Holidays, Outdoors, Travel

 

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