birthday treat

Birthday grape hyacinths on the windowsill at our little cottage

Well what an amazing time away we have had. Thank you all for your kind wishes. The weather has been just perfect: sun every day, hardly any wind and not a drop of rain. It's hard to remember the last time March was this lovely. We have been walking on the fells in t-shirts and wearing sunglasses nearly all the time.

A row of cottages in Cartmel overlooking the Priory

Highlights of the trip included...

Walking through beautiful woods and fields to Holker Hall and sitting outside to eat a delicious lunch in the sun before an afternoon's walk by the saltmarshes along the Cumbria Coastal Way, stopping now and again to pick up driftwood and odd things washed up by the tide.

Visiting Cartmel Priory, beautiful Furness Abbey, the very strange and quirky Roa Island, and other crumbly remains of the monkish past of the South Lakes.

Cartmel Priory

A birthday drive into the 'proper' Lake District along the exquisitely lovely Dunnerdale, lunch in the sun again at Chesters in Skelwith Bridge... in Ambleside, and a lazy late afternoon ramble along the shore of Windermere, watching the sun go down and making little boats out of sticks and leaves.

After a long impatient wait, the excitement of watching five beautiful badgers trotting out of the semi-darkness and scoffing a bucketful of kitchen scraps at the Glen Rothay Hotel in Rydal. The fulfilment of a long-held dream for me to see badgers in the wild.

No badger pictures sadly but I liked these lovely cobbled walls of a fortified building on Roa Island

A lovely drive home that took all day: along the beautiful shores of Ullswater to Penrith and lunch at the Village Bakery, followed by a visit to Long Meg and her Daughters, a look round Little Salkeld watermill, and wholesome afternoon tea in hand-thrown cups. Winding home through the pretty Eden Valley via Appleby and Orton, then a blast along the M6 as the sun dipped behind the fells and we remembered all the lovely things we had done.

Align Centre
Long Meg and some of her Daughters

Two important footnotes:

1. I often think that blogs can make our lives appear deceptively perfect. You should know that at times during our week away I was horribly grumpy and premenstrual, and on the last morning we had a stonking row.

2. Cartmel Priory isn't Cistercian as I mistakenly wrote in my last post, it's Augustinian. The Cistercians did build Furness though, and were generally very busy in the South Lakes, which has sparked my curiosity and I'm longing to find out more.


Jackie said...

I enjoyed that so much. You are too honest..we all have imperfections! Thank goodness the violent mood swings are over for me.It was awful at times.You were so lucky with the weather.

Cathy said...

It's so nice that you had all that lovely weather. The photos are beautiful. Long Meg is intriguing.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I just discovered you...what a beautifully written blog and you are so talented...I love your gorgeous bags! Sounds like you had a great time away, lovely pics.

Love, Tina :)

Gigibird said...

Fancy getting Cistercians muddled up with Augustinians! I shall never read your blog again!!

However as you argue with your husband I shall forgive you.....thank you for having feet of clay.

Glad you had a lovely time.

PG said...

I am glad you put that last bit in, I was turning a deep shade of green! Love your little boats. :)

Jo said...

So glad you had a lovely time. The photos are beautiful. Happy belated birthday!

Wild Rose said...

I just dropped by from Sweet Myrtle and I am so glad that I visited. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos of the Lake District. It is many years since I last visited the area, but I have always loved it.

Your blog is just lovely and I will visit again soon.

Marie x

Gilly said...

Wonderful photos as usual. You seem to have visited a totally different Lakes from us when we went to the same area.

But I still think you are great!!

Sue said...

It's just getting worse and worse with the whole monk business: now I have been reading the monastery book Mum lent me I've discovered the Cistercians didn't even build Furness they just moved in when some other monks decided they'd had enough. Look, please don't come to me for your monk history, that's all I ask.

Menopausal musing said...

I SOOOOOOO loved the honesty in footnote one. . . . the honesty made me grin quietly. :O) x

summerfete said...

I agree about the perfect life thing.
Maybe we use blogging to escape, a bit like playing dress up, only with clever photography.


Frances said...

Hello Sue,

Everything about this post was a delight. The footnotes were the seasoning!

Like PG, I truly loved the little boats.

Years ago, I was so intrigued by stones like Long Meg (keep in mind I have never seen any up close) that I painted lots and lots of watercolors inspired by their shapes, colors, textures.

As always, thanks for your comments.


Hens Teeth said...

Oh I did enjoy this post Sue.
I adore the photo of the chicken, the outline shape of that chuck is just great.
Glad you had a good week and the weather!

Menopausal musing said...

PS: I swear, AND I eat biscuits. . . bloody, bloody, bloody digestives........

*Marie* said...

Oh no Sue I missed your birthday:( .... But I send you belated birthday wishes!!!!!We had so much to do in the garden and we enjoyed the sunny week outside, so I had no time for blogging!!! The pictures are beautiful....... love the one with the chicken:)......good to have you back safe!!! *Marie*

elizabethm said...

I love everything about this blog, from the photo of grape hyacinths, through the chicken to the confession at the end! You are so right, blogging can produce an unreal perfection if you want it to. Fabulous photos though.

Poshyarns said...

A gorgeous post and when I got to the end and read your "you should know" I laughed out loud.