It is mid-September and the weather is glorious, autumnal with beautiful misty mornings followed by sunny days. There are lots of berries on the trees and it seems a bumper year for blackberries: there are masses in the hedgerows and lots of people out picking them. The swallows have been busy gathering on the wires to depart south: fortunately the second brood of swallows under the canopy in the courtyard fledged in good time to join them.
Workington’s history and past is one of an industrial port and as such it has seen better times. It is an interesting place and when I go to the laundry, I sometimes take Wattie for a walk along the slag banks by the port. It is a lovely walk with views over the whole of Workington, the port and shoreline and is a regular dog walking area. There is a stone seat at the highest point with a high central back hopefully providing shelter from the elements. At the end of July a nine foot crucifix appeared fastened firmly into the top of the seat which can be seen for miles around. It is a wooden structure with a metal figure of Christ on the cross. The man who made it did it in memory of his wife who died suddenly earlier in the year. It is well made and put together and around the base is a chain to which people have attached padlocks in memory of loved ones. It has withstood strong winds and there is no graffiti anywhere. Opinion is mixed about the rightness of it. The local authority has said it has to come down because it didn’t have planning permission but many locals support what he has done even though they maybe feel he shouldn’t have done it. It was still there yesterday.
Last weekend I had a few days away to visit my son, Ian, who now lives in Lyon in France. I went all the way by train from Penrith! It was a long but speedy and comfortable journey and, in overall time, quicker than flying. I had a lovely time and on one of the days, Ian and Emilia took me walking in the Alps beyond Chambery (just in case I needed a mountain fix!) Rather different from the Lakeland fells with the sound of cowbells on the high pastures and luckily still a few alpine flowers remaining. I couldn’t help but wonder how a flock of Herdwicks might deal with sheep bells?