With good weather forecast we planned our last day in Cumbria - a perfect day in more ways than one. We had been in negotiations with a local tradesman for some time with a view to having the guttering replaced on our little house, but we were not very hopeful that it would be fixed before we had to go south again. It really needed doing before the winter storms resumed.
Our outing for the day started in the Newlands valley at a carpark near Little Town. We walked along the valley bottom, then followed the gently rising path. On the opposite side of the valley, clear evidence of ancient mine-workings, usually expoiting a rift in the geological strata.
One of these mines had yielded gold as well as lead and had been claimed by Elizabeth 1. The story went that the landowner resisted her claim , and lost his head for his trouble. Can this be true?
As we went further up the valley so the mines continued.
We saw a number of tiny sheepfolds, each one surely the last in the valley, but then there was one even more remote still.
At the top of the pass we stopped for lunch, just by a sizeable tarn. To access High Spy we needed to make a sharp turn to the left, but none of it was overfacing. The ridge we were aiming for is a contiuation of the line starting at Cat Bells, probably the most walked mountain in the whole of the Lakes. Soon we were meeting guided parties, including a whole class of very game twelve year olds from a school in Berkshire. The small group on this rocky outcrop were older teenagers looking for a photo opportunity.
This is a summit cairn, but it alo reveals the level of erosion on the heavily frequented paths.
To appreciate this view properly one needs to have walked the fells on days where the weather is walkable but less enchanting; the sort of low cloud and grey drizzle which cuts out the longer perspective. Here, even the little pond is summer blue. My husband was amazed to see tadpoles, not only here but in little puddles on the path we had walked up.
We followed the path down to Maiden Moor and then, eventually, back to the valley bottom where we were able to relish afternoon tea at the Little Town farmhouse. We drove back to our base, taking bets on the guttering: grey and it had not been done, black and the tradesman had turned up trumps. We rounded the corner - and the guttering was black! While we were out along the tops, he had got the job done.
And what might these be? This is the start of a pair of socks from Nancy Bush's "Folk Knitting in Estonia", rather unfortunately named Tiit's Socks. ( I've spent too many years spent teaching 13 year old boys) I'm livening up the pattern with a few random coloured spots.
Finally, the start of a waistcoat, using a pattern from Sheila Mcgregor's Fairisle book. I'm hoping for a summery effect here, using a hand-dyed yarn with the plain pale grey. We'll see.