Sunday, 4 May 2014
..... does you good!
We thought we had it sussed. A week away after we both were made redundant at the end of last month. But no so far 'away' that we couldn't get emails (himself can't live without emails) or internet access. Armed with his '3' dongle for his laptop and my O2 3G card in my tablet, we head northwards to the Lakes.
The journey from hell! The monsoon like rain didn't stop until we were almost there, the M6 is best described as a work-in-progress with no sign of anyone doing anything in the coned off roadworks but at least we arrived to dark clouds and not a downpour. Hardy travellers, we had packed our wellies - last time we went we went to the Lakes, we got stuck in floods, the car engine was practically written off (it blew a cylinder within days of getting home and went to the great scrapheap in the sky). And arrived just before the site manager was leaving - close call!
With good views from our little loft apartment, we settled down to watch the sunset over Bassenthwaite lake (not always as lovely as this one). Just a bit about these apartments, I think some of the others might be a bit more swish and comfy than our Loft, but the views, location and the site manager more than make up for it. We will be back!!
A bit of useless info for you, did you know that Bassenthwaite lake is the only lake in the Lake District? (The rest are all meres or waters, not lakes).
The bit of not-so-useless info if you go to that area - you can't get O2 3G in much of the Lake District. 3 cover should be much better, but not if you are standing near a mountain. We took to leaving equipment on in the car in case we passed a signal somewhere. Then we gave up and realised we were isolated.
Ospreys are nesting near Bassenthwaite Lake. Spot the Osprey - I've marked the tree with an arrow. Surely you can see it in the tree? In fact there were two of them in the tree. I have to say I struggled too - and I was peering down a super-dooper 'better than I have in my glove box' pair of binoculars. we had walked through Dodd Woods to the Osprey view point (OK, I huffed and puffed, not good on hills) but could see so little. The Osprey folks told us the walk to the higher viewpoint would be worth it (couldn't they hear me wheezing?) so off we went. It was worth the climb! Using the Osprey team's equipment and with a lot of guidance, we could clearly see one osprey on the nest and another on the branch beside - but they are miles away across the valley, hence the fuzzy photo.
But then the clouds lifted, the walk was now downhill so my mood lifted and we went to Mirehouse, opposite - lovely little house, open under the Historic Houses Association scheme. The gardens are also pretty, with plenty of places to shelter from showers.
We love fritillaries - we usually go to North Meadow in Cricklade - it's full of them, but sadly we've somehow forgotten and missed them this year. They are over their best in Cricklade but not in Mirehouse.
Boy's toys - he seems to have lost his pair of horses!
There's a pretty walk down to the lakeside and on to a remote chapel, but what struck us was that this poor little black lamb is the only one in several fields of white sheep. Clearly he is the black sheep of the family.
But I did a bit of digging and now know that in sheep, a white fleece is the result of a dominant gene that actively switches colour production off - that is why most sheep are white. This means a black fleece in most sheep is recessive, so if a white ram and a white ewe are each heterozygous (have the black and white forms of the gene for fleece colour), in about 25 per cent of cases they will produce a black lamb. This is quite a rare occurrence though, and in most white sheep breeds only a few white sheep are heterozygous for black, so black lambs are usually much rarer.
These 2 look comfy and the best of friends ........
The site manager where we were staying recommended La'al Ratty to us, and with Himself liking a steam train, off we went. We started from Ravenglass, stopped at Boot, had lunch in a pub, then headed off towards the signposted 'gallery' to find it had closed 6 months ago! But the ice cream at the station was very acceptable - we know how to party!!
We'd seen turntables before but never seen how they worked. Here they drive the diesel train onto the turntable, the driver gets out and turns the train round,
drives along a parallel set of tracks until he's beyond the front of the train, then changes the points and backs on to the front, ready to go.
Yes, I know the train above is diesel and the one below is steam - my camera died mid series, by the time I was sorted the train had left the station (just like my life) but you get the idea!
And what's this tunnel got to do with anything?
On the way home we stopped for lunch at Hanbury Hall (NT) - always a good lunch to be had at an NT property.
This is Snobs Tunnel - it goes under the Cedar Walk so servants could walk between the main house and areas of the garden (such as the ice-house) unobserved. The lengths some people will go to to avoid looking at the people who work for them! I found it amusing.
So, now we are back to reality - wonder when our next escape will be? Even our cats were pleased to see us this time, now there's a first!