How often do you meet somebody that you consider to be a good friend, then realise that you haven’t seen each other for months, or even years? It’s something that’s all too easy to let happen, especially if you are away a lot.
Sometimes, the people that live closest are the ones we end up seeing less, as it can feel like there’s no need to organise a particular date to meet up, as you can do so anytime. With friends that live further away, we are forced to make a conscious effort with, and so the friendships often can grow a lot stronger as a result.
A group of my pals from down South and I had been talking for ages about making the effort to go away for a week together, rather than just sort-of falling into seeing each other for particular social events (the last twice had been down to weddings!). With Grace having moved over from the US, we booked a cottage for a week – somewhere near Penrith, in the Lake District. I say ‘somewhere’, because it really was in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, both Hannah and Matt, and Paul and Charlotte had cars, as the nearest shop was a half hour-ish drive away.
The place itself was a nice, renovated old… farmhouse of some description.
This was the dog from next door. He was French, and had a name that I can’t remember or pronounce, but that sounded something like ‘EE-YES!’
There was also a trampoline in the back garden.
More on that in a following post…
The surrounding scenery was beautiful, as one might expect from the Lake District.
See that hill in the background? Well, it’s a lot higher than it looks. I know this because for some reason, it seemed like a great idea to climb it at midnight after some beverages, in the pitch black. The girls disagreed, and so the men amongst us went on an adventure.
It would have worked out fine, had we followed the path. Cutting through the field at what felt like an upward 85 degree angle was probably not the wisest decision, especially when we had to come back down. Not only did I find out exactly how unfit I am, rip my jeans on barbed wire, get soaked to the bone, and lose the bottle of cider (a tragedy), but I also got stung all the way up my legs by nettles.
There was definitely a sense of achievement afterwards however.
Do holidays in the Lake District mean that we are now officially old?
Old or not, I’m fine with it. One of the highlights was trawling the various delis in Penrith to find a selection of fancy cheeses, chutneys, meats, and wine. We then spread these out in an impressive platter.
You can’t go wrong with a cheese night.
One not-so-amusing thing about the Lake District is the number of properties owned by the National Trust. Whilst entry to the trails and parks they own were free, you had to pay £5 to park there – with no other options available. It felt like a bit of a sham, especially as there was no need for a gift shop at the bottom of a woodland trail.
We were unimpressed.
but that didn’t spoil things.
For the most part, the weather was nice… which meant we could explore round about where we were staying.
even though a journey of 2 miles felt like it was really closer to 5.
and of course, we always managed to find our way to somewhere for a bit of a rest…