We are just back from a week’s holiday in the Lake District. Our last fling before reality steps in yet again as the kids go back to school on Tuesday. Before we know it our lives will once more be guided by the clock. Alarm off at six. Out the door by 0830am on the dot with the packed lunches done. Tea prepped. Washing on and the previous day’s put away. Plus any housework that can be fitted in. Eye on the clock all the time to make sure we are running on time. School run. Walk round the village eye on the village clock to make sure I am on schedule. Work for the day. Home and give the dog his second walk. Make tea to the sounds of Brian Burnett on Radio Scotland. Tea with the kids and a chance to find out about their day as we sit round the dinning room table. Clear up and the dishes and usually the washing machine is put to use again. Time for bed routines with stories to be read and tales to be told of what they don’t want their sibling to know actually happened in their day. Bath a chance for a de – stress and a read. (a key reason why I will never give up books for the Kindle you can’t take the Kindle into the bath). Make tea for husband returning from Edinburgh and a chance to finally sit down with him and find out how his day has gone. Bed hopefully for at least eight hours and then repeat all over again.
It is no wonder after 10 months of this routine that we all get rather tired of it and crave something different where we don’t constantly look at the clock to see that we are on schedule and on time? Which is why we love our holidays so much. A chance to step out of our routines and relax for a bit. We all love exploring new places and enjoying new experiences but for me I also like to return to well-loved places. For us the Lakes is the top of the list. As we are lucky that my parents have a home there allowing us to return there holiday after holiday.
As a child I was aware of the Lake District. It was somewhere we visited on the way back from holidays down south usually to Keswick but it wasn’t a significant place to holiday when I was growing up. That changed when I was about to leave home for University and my dad wanted to treat us all to one last weekend all together. He discovered the Glenriding Hotel and in doing so discovered the small village of Glenriding on Ullswater. My parents fell in love with the place instantly. So much so that they returned to the hotel holiday after holiday before finally buying a house there which they now live in much of the time.
For me it was not a case of love at first sight. I guess I was probably nervous about going to University and leaving home. But I was a real pain on that holiday and in particular moaned all the way round the lakeside walk about how cruel it was to take me on this impossible walk. In defending myself I do feel I must have been out of sorts as the reality is I have always loved walking and was the principle walker of our cocker spaniel Snoopy before I left home. However that said it still makes me cringe that my dad had so kindly given us this break and I had repaid him with moody Fiona. I particularly feel this now as a parent though every time I have walked the lake walk since a little feeling of guilt always steps in.
Normal service for me resumed quite quickly though as I love the countryside and breaks to the Lakes were a highlight during my University years. Particularly after meeting my now husband who also loves walking. We were therefore delighted when my parents bought their Lakeside home. It has been a home from home for us too. When we lived in Edinburgh we used to escape there as often as we could in our little red Peugeot lovingly named the wee red beast. The wee red beast took us to the Lake District and home many times though preferred it when we didn’t drive him on the Kirkstone Pass as did the other drivers behind us. There is a walking book of the lakes written by a man called Paul Buttle and we have done all the walks in the book he wrote for Ullswater not just once in some cases over and over again.
Moving to the Scottish Borders did halt our holidays to the Lakes. We still did go but we now had our own rural home and two kids. We quickly found that the Lake District can be very expensive when kids are under a certain age and not able to walk.
Normal service though has resumed for the past few years now. Well not quite my daughter can get to the top of the fells before we have started practically and my son is catching up fast. So these days we are the ones trying to catch them. But the Buttle book has been reopened and though we haven’t quite done all the walks again we are not far off it. A love for the Lakes and particularly Ullswater has passed to another generation.
For me the Lake District is like a well-worn pair of slippers. You slip into them and immediately relax. They know you and you know them. They fit you like a glove. They have given you so many memories and although they are old you return to them time and time again as you love them.