On our recent trip to Cumbria, we had unusually fine weather. So fine that we were able to contemplate tackling the front door. Our property is in a coastal settlement and corrosive sea air seems to weather surfaces faster than normal. Last year I used sandpaper to rub down the blistered varnish and applied a new coat. However, all this did was varnish over a scabbled surface. This time we were determined to do a good job and laid in supplies of Nitromors.
This is one of those tasks which you wish you had never started. After all a scabbled surface is of no real consequence. But once we had started we had to finish. Working in shifts, we removed the stained surface of the door, sanded it down and restained the wood. Then we needed two coats of varnish, which takes twelve hours to dry. So we found ourselves working in shifts to watch paint - or in this case, varnish - dry. But we were very pleased with the finished result.
So, on to our last walk - Bleaberry Fell and High Seat. We drove to Keswick and parked in the carpark near Ashness Bridge. From here we climbed the steep Walla Crag path. It was a gloriously sunny day.
We turned right towards Bleaberry Fell, following a clear path. Towards the summit a set of very steep steps has been helpfully laid. It was a stiff pull up the last stretch.
The views across Derwentwater opened up. You can easily see how much the water level has dropped in the recent dry weather.
Between Bleaberry and High Seat is an expanse of boggy ground. We were relieved to find that the dry spell had done its work here too, as we hopped from tuft to tuft. High Seat too offered expansive views.
We headed back down towards the gorge of Ashness Beck. Here, a narrow path led vertiginously around the rim. It was wild terrain, quite unlike the chocolate box image of the lower beck by the famous bridge. We were relieved to get back to the car.
Taking tea at Brysons in the middle of Keswick, I was surprised to see an older, but not frail, lady counting the steps down from the toilets.
"Just keeping a record of all the stairs I've climbed" she chuckled in a self-congratulatory manner. Perhaps she lives in a bungalow?