Snow, Sun and Snowdrops
It is difficult not to think about the devastating effects of the winter’s storms and floods. We in Loweswater were not badly affected, our main problems tended to be access along the local roads. We even maintained our electricity until Storm Henry at the end of January when a tree fell on a power line. Amazingly, even in such dreadful weather, the electricity engineers had us back on in four hours. However it is a different picture for many, Cockermouth and Keswick suffered badly and we must not forget the farming community whose stock was endangered and land damaged. Shops in Cockermouth, such as the Bookshop, reopened within days for December but then had to close in January again to have all the necessary repairs done. On a wider view, the damage to and closure of the A591 effectively cutting the Lake District in two will have long term consequences beyond its re-opening. Much is spoken of and written about Cumbrian resilience and community spirit: it is very true but it is also very hard for many.
It has been lovely to see the sun again this week and on Tuesday morning we woke to blue skies and snow on the high fells, so I obviously couldn’t resist taking a photo!
There was excellent news on Friday when I read in the local paper that a shuttle bus will be starting this next week from Keswick to Grasmere going along a relief road that has been built to bypass the damage at Dunmail Raise – I think I will have to go for a ride on it!
There are plans over the summer for a Herdwick Trail of fifty decorated fantasy ewes in aid of the Calvert Trust. Many of them will be along the route of the 555 between Keswick, Grasmere, and Ambleside. I hear there are going to be lambs as well sponsored by businesses in Keswick and Ambleside. It sounds a lot of fun!
Herdwicks seem to be high profile at present, one of the Theatre by the Lake’s Spring Shows is ‘A Shepherd’s Life’ based on James Rebanks’ superb book of life as a Lakeland farmer. The Studio production is about Millican Dalton, the Borrowdale hermit, who lived in a cave under Castle Crag in Borrowdale. Lots to look forward to!
I am sitting writing this looking out over the garden, where the snowdrops are flowering, to the snow topped fells: I am very lucky to be where I am.
Yesterday I took the shuttle bus to Grasmere! It was quite an experience: two buses full of passengers went in convoy through road closed signs to cross Thirlmere dam then we were slowly driven down the far side of the lake with the bus’s hazard lights flashing all the time. At the end of the lake we crossed what used to be the road and then the bus climbed carefully up a narrow tarmacked forest track to rejoin the A591 at the top of Dunmail Raise – it was then downhill all the way!
After ten weeks of being cut off from Grasmere and Ambleside it was very special to arrive in Grasmere. We celebrated with a coffee and a piece of delicious orange drizzle cake at Baldrys and then walked up to Easedale Tarn in the sunshine! A great day out!