Haweswater and High Street

Sunday before last we decided to have a look at Haweswater and weather permitting go up High Street.  Kelly, Alison and me threw our walking kit in the boot and headed off.  We drove down the edge of Haweswater and parked at the very end, at the foot of Mardale.  It was quite busy even though the weather looked slightly dodgy.  Didn’t realise Haweswater was made after the old village, Mardale Green was flooded to create a reservoir, apparently the buildings were demolished by The Royal Engineers and the church was dismantled brick by brick and the bricks were used to build the pier at the side of the water.  So in 1935 it was created and has grown into the picturesque water that can be seen today.

So we walked over the inlet stream coming down from Small Tarn (pictured above) and hit the footpath for a couple of hundred metres along the side of Haweswater.  Alison set the pace and even though it was overcast, the heat was quite unbearable and it wasn’t long before a vent stop was needed.  We took a sharp left and had a steep climb onto Rough Crag and set off for High Street along some pretty rough terrain.  It wasn’t the steepest of climbs but definitely got your lungs working and thighs burning.  I enjoy a good scramble and like to get hands on the rock.  It wasn’t as severe as Striding Edge but could get a bit arse twitchy if the weather turned.  Before long we had Blea Water (right) in sight and a cracking bit of low cloud to welcome our first sight of the top of High Street.  The route was littered with walkers and I had to chuckle to myself as the ones ahead, trundled off into the low cloud and out of sight, it made me think how committed hikers are at ‘bagging’ peaks.  After a few ups and downs we reached the last climb to the summit.  We decided to stop for a bite to eat and a quick rethink about the outer layer.  We sat down and started to eat, I wasn’t exhausted by any stretch of the imagination but was glad of the rest and the refuel.  No sooner had I taken a bite out of my ham buttie when a figure appeared behind us, who appeared to be travelling quite fast.  Within seconds this figure got closer and we had in our sights the first Fell runner of the day, running up the Crag faster than I run on flat ground.  He thundered past and headed off into the low cloud.  They amaze me, I couldn’t begin to get that fit again, I did spend the mid 90’s heading off to south Wales with my mates and running up and down Pen Y Fan and sleeping under my Jeep after downing copious amounts of Guiness at the end.  I was very fit then, but now have a dodgy right knee for my trouble.
Anyway, Alison had finished her sandwich and wanted to crack on.  Even though she and Kelly are sisters, when it comes to food, you do not rush Kelly.  She has every meal and snack planned out well in advance in her head, and if you try and scupper those plans, or even interupt her eating, you run the risk of been thrown off the mountain.  Eventually we packed away our kit and started the accent to the top of High Street.  Amazingly the cloud lifted as we etched our way to the top.  The route was now quite a decent scramble and Long Stile certainly was a very satsifying and the sight of the top was well received.  The cloud was still quite low, about head height which was quite spooky.

The summit was very flat and quite a size.  There were people milling about at the top, some had come up the Roman Road from the south west and some from the route we intended to take down.  we had a surprisingle good view all around the top and the surrounding fells.  The cloud was still very low but kept off us.  Time was pressing on so we headed south towards Mardale Ill Bell, I really detest the decent, it puts pressure on my knee which I do not enjoy.  But the craic was good, kelly was still having a go at Alison (in good humour) about being rushed to finish her bait and now, as we made our way down towards the dip between Harter Fell.  The summit of High Street was clearing up and the blue sky was peering through.  The views of Blea Tarn were looking quite good, but Kelly wanted the shots from the top, and as we were a considerable way down, she blamed Alison for rushing our break.  If we’d stayed at he foot of Long Stile and Kelly had finished her sandwiches, we’d have been at the top and Kelly would have got her much sort after piccys. 
We took a left down Nan Bield Pass and headed towards Small (water) Tarn. This route is littered with waterfalls and is quite a pleasent decent. The view of Haweswater is stunning and the surrounding peaks. Kelly was dotting about with the camera, trying her hardest to get some good shots, but still having the time to have a (light hearted) pop at Alison about her short lived bait stop and the cloud cover. On route down there are cheeky little shelters made from slate, have no idea what they’re or was used for but they are standing the test of time.  The entire route I was eager to see the Golden Eagle which apparently has made it’s home in and around Haweswater.  I never knew we had any of these magnificent birds of prey in England, the bird is a male and lost his partner about 9 years ago and hasn’t left the water since.  The RSPB have a view point on Riggindale but we didn’t get chance to have a look.  (Blea Tarn on left from summit of High Street)
We made our way down and took in the sights of Small Water Beck and the numerous waterfalls.  One of the better decents we’ve done and not too much pressure on the old war wound.  The cloud had cleared almost completely and the view of Rough Rigg was stunning from the bottom.  The tempreture rose again and we were back in short sleeves and looking forward to the bottom.  A view between the bases of Harter Fell and Branstree was spotted by Kelly who took advantage of the stunning blue sky and a small puffy white cloud perched in between.  With sight of the carpark we sped up slightly and headed towards the car.
At the bottom we took our boots off and jumped in the car.  I’d spotted the ‘Le Mardale’ hotel on route to the car park and we decided we’d have a pint there to chat about the day.  Nice little bar there and a beer garden with a cracking view (left).  The conversation reverted back to the bait incident and Kelly had 2 bags of crisps on the go.  We all definately enjoyed the day and Alison had managed to get rid of the hangover she’s aquirred trying to keep up with Kelly on the Pinot the night before, another thing you don’t mess with Kelly about.  Two pints went down a treat and we drove back to the caravan to meet Stuart (Alison’s Hubby)  and Bruce the German Shepherd.  For the views it was really nice, but I bet it could be quite naughty in the winter.  Two more Wainwright’s in the bag!!

Appleby Agricultural Show.

Last weekend Kelly and me decided to have a well deserved weekend at sister Alison and brother in laws static caravan at a site near Penrith.   It’s a gorgeous place ideally placed with a great view of the Pennines and the lakes.  It’s a lovely site which doesn’t allow anyone but the owners and close family to visit, which is ideal so it’s quiet and everyones friendly.
On the Saturday we decided to have a run out to the Appleby Agricultural show as Kelly had never been to one before.  I love these places, a great atmosphere with loads of animals ranging from cattle to horses and dogs.  Also a tent with poultry and wildfowl that was slightly noisy but the range of birds there was remarkable.  We spent a lot of time in the poultry tent cos we both love chickens and want to keep them when we relocate.  Anyway Kelly got her camera out and started shooting straight away.  The cows were obviously the pride and joy of many of the farmers with a variety of breeds and functions.  Kelly especially liked these as she once owned a cow when she was younger and she spent about an hour looking at them. 
Also on show were a selection of tractors and old motor vehicles which people obviously took great care and time to restore.  It amazes me how much patience some people have in the restoration business, the smallest detail is researched and painstakingly brought back to life after sometimes, many years of neglect. 
The highlight of my day was lunch, Kelly went for the option of ham and Cheese toastie which was quite nice apparently, which for the fussiest eater in the world was quite a compliment.  I however took a chance and paid best part of 3 quid for a bog standard chip buttie with a splash of gravy, for which i had to explain what a splash of gravy was and why i wanted gravy on my chip buttie.  The lady who served me said, “It’ll make your bread go soggy” to which i explained that’s why i want just a splash, not soaking.  Still got stung for the full price of the gravy even though i got 1/5 of the amount, robbing gits.  Anyway the chips were the ones you get that have a skin, but no fluffy potato inner.  I was gutted, but still ate it, once a Squaddie, always a Squaddie! 
So, full of grease and bread i wandered off to explore the rest of the show.  My favourite was the dog show, i love all animals but dogs are one of my favourites.  Love the game/gun dogs and always pester Kelly for a Springer  Spaniel or a Border terrier but she’s having none of it.  There was a cross between a Chiwawa and a Jack Russell which although about 8 inch tall wanted to fight all the other entrants.  A cross Poodle and Golden Retriever got best in show which was nice, but there was a black Springer Spaniel that was equally deserving but didn’t get near.
Anyway we left both wanting to attend another show, both enjoying it apart from the 7 quid each to get in, and 6 quid for lunch.  But hey I’m a tight Yorkshire git and like my food.

So we left happy and headed off back towards Appleby village centre which i thought looked a lot like Barnard Castle, very picturesque and touristy.  But i was really shocked, i always here and watch stories about Appleby horse fair which has a bit of bad press, but the town centre is very nice and has a very nice riverside and buildings.   Had to drive to Penrith for supplies (vodka and wine)  and dropped back to reality with Morrison’s supermarket and tracky bottoms tucked in socks, if  you know what i mean. 
 So we headed back and met Alison at the caravan and headed off the Pooley Bridge for a pint and some food.  I would recommend Pooley Bridge Inn for food but they don’t let dogs in which is a bit of a downer, especially in the lakes where a lot of people take their dogs.  But hey ho we had a great time and i think Kelly wants to go to more shows. 


This wont be a long blog as I’ve only been working and not doing much else.  However i do feel i need to say something about the riots.  I can remember the riots in the 80’s, i was a lot younger then but still couldn’t understand why they did it then.  I wasn’t an angel but i was respectful, if a cop looked at me I looked down and felt small, very very small.  My respect was down to my parents, both very much working class, dad was in the steel industry and mom was a dinner lady, so not much money coming in but they did their best and had to save for birthdays and Xmas.  I respected this and respected them. The early 80’s was quite a tough time and jobs weren’t easy to come by.  I left school in 1983 with one O level and even then wish I’d done better.  I had no money and no transport, i ironed a shirt and trousers and put on my best togs and walked into town.  I went to ever single shop, stall and business and asked if they had jobs going.  I must have done this for weeks, going into the job centre every hour to see if anything had come in.  I did not blame anyone or anything for my struggle to get work.  I felt ashamed that i didn’t have a job and it was only the first 2 weeks of leaving school.  I was friends with a few lads who were in the same boat but decided to turn to criminal means to find money.  I will admit, i did a few things myself but the guilt was unbearable so decided i need a job.  After numerous interviews i finally go a YTS position in the water board, i was delighted.  At this time, one of my friends went to prison for burglary and for some reason i felt a massive weight off my shoulders.  He was away from me and i could crack on with life, I’ve never seen him since.  His parents were uncaring and unemployed.  He had no role models or reason to work as his parents took everything from the state and his dad was a criminal so he thought it was OK to be the same. 
I looked at him and saw the ‘people’ i see on TV now rioting in the country.  It’s not because they are hard done by or stop searched to many times, it’s because they are lazy ignorant and don’t want to work as they can earn enough from the state. 
I was having a coffee with my future mom in law about the miners strike, i had left school and the water board i worked for had to close as the union had come out in support for the miners.  One day i went to Orgreave and watched the miners fighting with the police, i felt so embarrassed to be working class when i saw the miners rolling telegraph poles set alight at the cops at the bottom of the coking plant hill.  The cops just stepped over it and stood straight and proud.  The miners were drunk and smoking and i looked and thought no pride, no allegiance and no connection to these people.  If they had any pride they would have done what i did and looked for work, it was this occasion i realised i was working class, but not a socialist. 
My dad was a labour supporter but wasn’t a socialist, he just believed it was right to vote labour as he worked in the steel industry.  But he was never a socialist, his views were very British.  He was pro Jewish (which is probs where i get it from) but believed a man had a right to work, but didn’t think it was a god given right. Basically you had to find your work, not be given work.  My mom was the same and on numerous occasions said to me “get out there and find it, no ones gonna give a job to someone who’s not bothered”.
I see Tweets about the riots stating the ‘kids’ have a point and there’s nothing been done for them, so they have a point!?!?  No they don’t, they are molly coddled by a country who don’t wanna offend them.
The riots in he 80’s had no point as far as I’m concerned, neither do these riots.  But what do i know being ‘working’ class, not sponging looting class!!