Hummed Low …

The green truck hummed low
Oh, we took only back roads
We drove miles of country
We saw an old barn burning
Skies were a light blue
All the billboards read untrue
I read them, each one
We passed by the thousands
Was a full sun and I knew
That up rose a bright moon
Casting shadows like dancing sparrows

It is my Blip birthday today ūüôā – 1460 entries and four years on Blip.¬† In some respects it has got in the way of blogging on WordPress, the constant daily quest for a new image.¬† The upside is the incentive to use a camera everyday while the quality of images across the site provide a constant source of inspiration.¬† In some respects it has enhanced my enthusiasm for photography while feeding my sometimes obsessive-compulsive tendencies.¬† In celebration, these are a few images taken recently – at this time of year and in this weather, I probably would not have bothered but for Blip:

On Windermere, from Waterhead

The view from Stock Ghyll Lane, Ambleside

More from Stock Ghyll Lane – inspired by John Martin ūüėČ

The longhorn dreaming of sunlit prairies.

Fawcett Hill on a snowy day

A bend in the North Tyne between Barrasford and Chollerton.

The loneliness of the long distance golfer – Tyne Green, Hexham

The light has gone

A blizzard blowing in


The Lakes

A few days in the Lakes has become an almost annual ritual.  Spectacular though it is, in the summer months I find it intolerably busy, the hotels over-priced and the car parks full Рhence my preference for late February. The problem with this time of the year is that the only thing predictable about the weather is its unpredictability but that is probably true of the Lakes at any time.

Consistent with tradition, one night was spent at the cinema followed by dinner at Fellini’s. This year it was Lion, a remarkable true story designed to exercise the tear ducts – casting the human equivalent of Bambi as the the five year old Saroo only serves to enhance this¬†effect. ¬†It certainly put things in perspective – compared to some people’s lot, moaning about the weather doesn’t seem¬†appropriate. Anyway, who wants blue-skies in every scene – except for the first two sunsets at Waterhead, the remainder were taken on a walk between Ambleside and Skelwith Bridge:

The sun going down ...

The sun going down ...

Lily Tarn ...

Ranbows over ...

Loughrigg Tarn ...

Snow on the tops ...

Windermere ...

What time …

do you call this! ¬†From nowhere my mum came back to life this week when these words rang out from my PC speakers¬†– ‘What time do you call this’ was the constant refrain of my upbringing. ¬†It started with my elder sister who was subjected to this interrogation every Friday and Saturday night¬†throughout her teenage years. As the irritating (much) younger brother I took quiet delight in her scolding, little realising that I would be subjected to deeper hot water when my time came. The price of schadenfreude.

My teenage reaction was ‘how can parents be so unreasonable, were they never young, were they never just a little wild and carefree!’ ¬†And the answer for my mother’s generation is, almost certainly not. ¬†Only just sixteen when war broke out, mum was married with a one-year-old by the time of VE Day, seventy years ago yesterday.

The picture was taken by my dad somewhere in the Lake District in 1942 Рa few days escape from fear and conflict.

057-The Lakes-1-wordpress

The context of the lyrics is not right but the repetition of the phrase is perfect. I have seen no reviews but a film that also features The National on the soundtrack at least has to be good to listen to:

Groundhog Days

In late February we stayed overnight in Ambleside at the Salutation, walked up to High Sweden Bridge on the first day, went to the cinema in the evening, ate at Fellini’s after the film and walked up to the head of Stockghyll Lane in the morning.

This week we went back to the Salutation at Ambleside, walked up to High Sweden Bridge on the first day, went to the cinema in the evening, ate at Fellini’s after the film and walked up to the head of Stockghyll Lane in the morning.

The differences:

Back in the Lakes ... Back in the Lakes ... Back in the Lakes ...

I spotted this on the return leg¬†and was reminded that I will not be seeing Top Gear this weekend ūüĎŅ

Kankku Defender ...
(click on the images to enlarge)


Travel theme: Shine – Last week, in celebration of my birthday (nothing significant, one of many), we drove over Hartside Pass, down into Penrith, across to Keswick and south to Borrowdale. ¬†The sun shone the whole time which disproves the theory that it shines only on the righteous ūüôā

We had one night in the perfectly located Borrowdale Hotel, walked, ate, drank and were merry before returning home the next day.  A short and sweet break in a fine location Рmuch quieter than Ambleside:

Borrowdale Home on the range ... Perfect Day Borrowdale



Travel Theme: Wood. This week we escaped to the Lake District, staying for two nights in Ambleside. There is much to be said for visiting out of season: the roads are quiet, the shops almost empty and there is no problem getting into restaurants, always assuming they have not put up their shutters for the winter. The downside is the weather but wet weeks in the Lakes are just as likely in August as in January. Nevertheless, this was a particularly sodden few days Рthe sound of running water was inescapable.

On Wednesday we went for a six mile hike around Elterwater where the primary objective was to find a route that was reasonably solid underfoot.  Elterwater is almost onomatopoeic or should that be mimetic. Either way, helter skelter water describes and sounds like the place and its weather perfectly.

On the OS map, Rob Rash is marked as adjacent to the village. This, it turns out, is a National Trust wood and not a skin complaint.  The woodland must appear in these photographs (click on the images to enlarge):

Rob Rash wood