Lake District, UK – September 2007

Day 2 – our first day on holiday

Sunday 2nd September

We had a rather gentle start to the day – in so far as that is now possible to do so with two children that are going to wake up early and start screaming until someone gets them out of bed – like it or not. It was raining on and off again all morning but this wouldn’t dampen our spirits. We planned for this eventuality and decided to take the kids into Windermere to see the Beatrix Potter attraction. Beatrix Potter lived much of her life up here in the Lake District, which formed the inspiration for much of her work. The exhibition does a good job of representing her life’s works and the kids seemed to enjoy all the depictions of anthropomorphic animals as we walked through the attraction and back again – twice. All the time, Sandy was doing her best to perch the children on the various displays with the animals, so that she could try to capture that all important ‘cute’ photo that might ultimately typify the visit for us as we look back through the albums in years to come. This endeavour wasn’t helped at all by the children, neither of which had any concept of what their Mother was trying to achieve and who each time seemed to resist posing as requested – much to Mother’s frustration.

Much like the rest of the Lake District, the town of Windermere is perched on a steep incline and is riddled with quaint winding roads and slate stone buildings. We, by whom I mean ‘I’, laboured to push our two-child, laden, double buggy up and down the steep inclines as we tried to simply meander about the place, taking in the atmosphere. Eventually, we picked up some local fish & chips and munched away in the car before setting off back to Glenridding and Chapel Cottage. It’s funny how one picks up on little things but I couldn’t help but notice that they wrap their fish & chips differently to how it’s done back down in the South of the country.

With lunch out of the way and nothing much else to keep a family of four lingering in Windermere, we set back off through the now rapidly becoming familiar mountain pass. This time, with the weather having brightened up a bit, we stopped at one of the scenic viewpoints to let the kids out for a bit of a climb – more footage to add to the camcorder’s 100 Gig internal hard drive.

We stopped just shy of the cottage and went into the town’s tourist information office to gather yet more tourist leaflets to aid us in our quest to figure out what to do for tomorrow and the remainder of the week. We’ve decided to head North in the morning with a view to exploring some of Hadrian’s Wall. We may also take in Carlisle Castle on the way home depending on how we feel and what the weather is doing.

Aside from having a terrible time getting Joey to settle down for the night, the only other distraction for the evening has been the noise of what we think might be a search & rescue helicopter that either landed or hovered, quite invisible to us, very low to the ground just a few hundred meters from the cottage on the other side of a tree line – possibly over the lake itself. It must have been there for a good half an hour before it took once again to the skies and flew directly over us and eventually out of earshot.