Sunday, September 10, 2006

We made it back!

Got back yesterday from a great trip to The Lakes!

The holiday started off OK but on the way up we visited Mum who talked mysteriously about an email and my brother and so far I'm none the wiser. Hopefully that'll clear itself up in the next few days. We then had a tortuous journey up to Cumbria as it seemed that every rroad I wanted to use was somehow hampered with problems. I hadn't realised that England were playing at Old Trafford and half the country was on teh same road as us trying to get to Manchester! That'll teach me for not keeping up with current affairs!

We got their safely in the end and settled into our new home for the next week. Now, don't get me wrong the cottage was very nice but the owners seemed a bit funny. There were little notessaying things like "Please don't leave the tidying up until Saturday morning", "If you break anything leave the appropriate remuneration on the dining table", "There are 2 plastic beakers in the kitchen cupboard that you could use for your toothbrushes. If you do use them please put them back in the kitchen cupboard before you leave" and so on.

The biggest thing that annoyed me was a little leaflet about their water problems (their tank is nearly empty) and that we should refrain from taking long showers, using the washing machine or dishwasher or even having baths, but (rather magnanimously of them) we shouldn't let it ruin our holiday too much and if we must do any of the aforementioned things we could. It just seemed so patronising and unnecessary. And quite frankly the kind of people who could afford to stay in a place like this (its wasn't exactly budget friendly) would be doing those things anyway! Also if you're going to shoehorn 4 flats into a single building (that being my other complaint, the living room was tiny) and install incredibly powerful showers, baths, washing machines and dishwashers in them all then you should have been better prepared for water difficulties!

Besides, given the almost constant rain we had I think it was a bit rich! For the first few days each morning was greeted with a couple hours of rain but actually it didn't bother us too much. I don't think either of us had realised how much we needed this holiday. Until Tuesday I think we were asleep until at least 10 every morning. I know that doesn't sound late but for me & K it is. Fortunately this sleeping time coincided with the rain so we were OK.

We took it really easy the first couple of days. The position of the cottage was great as it was a leisurely mile stroll into Grasmere village which, much to our delight was full of tea shops and places selling cake.
We did a fairly easy walk around Grasmere (the lake) itself and then enjoyed a cream tea.

The nexy few days were raining so we did a mix of short walks and visits to other towns (Windemere, Keswich, Ambleside) in the area. To be honest they were all a bit towny so we didn't stay long. We did visit a place called Lucy's in Ambleside which took itself a bit seriously but did do a nice lunch!

We did also manage to go into the flagship Lakeland store at Windemere and visit a museum called the Puzzling Place in Keswick that was pretty cool. Most of the rest of the time was spent reading, watching TV or playing on the DS. Managed to finish The Eyre Affair and got stuck on both Final Fantasy 4 and Super Princess Peach, sigh!

Thursday rolled around and we kinda realised that we had not much time left so we should make the most of it! Fortunately the rain had completely stopped by this point of we had 2 great days of sunshine. We started with a visit to Greystoke Gill Pottery where we were both able to have a go on a potter's wheel and create something. I made a bowl and K made a vase. Once the potter has glazed and fired them for us, he'll pop them in the post. I'll take some pictures when they arrive!

We then did a walk up to Alcock Tarn near Grasmere. Strenuous to say the least but it was a great view! We finished the day with a meal and cinema visit at Zeffirellis. We didn't quite realise it was vegetarian until we were seated but it was highly enjoyable nonetheless. My Rain Forest pizza was delicious! This was followed by The Sentinel which was actually not too bad at all.

Friday was a no car day and we did 2 walks. the first a strenuous climb to Easedale Tarn and then a more sedate (but not much) trek around Rydal Water. Also of note is the fact that Rydal Mount is a house and not a hill! Didn't we feel stupid! We also managed to pop into Williams of Grasmere for breakfast AND lunch (although you can't really call a bowl of fries and a cream tea lunch, can you??)

We then tidied the flat and left nice and early on Saturday. The journey back was going great until we discovered that junctions 1 & 2 of the M6 were shut. Our detour via Coventry and the A45 turned into a nightmare when the A45 was closed. When we did finally get around that diversion we discovered that the M45 only joins the M1 going southbound (we wanted it northbound). Fortunately it worked out OK in the end and we diverted through Northampton and finally rejoined the A14 at Huntingdon. Phew!

Oh and despite being away for a week the bathroom isn't finished. I can't be too cross however as the new toilet, bath and shower are all in and usable. Just waiting for the sink, extractor, boxing in and cupboards to be done. I must say the floor and walls do look pretty damn good though!

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