Monday 22 February

We weren’t up in time to see Steve off to work as he left very early to cycle about 18 miles to work in the centre of Newcastle.   It was quite frosty this morning and we could only admire his dedication!

After breakfast we waved ‘cheerio’ to Jo and Frank who had one more day of half term to enjoy as today was a teacher training day.

Today we’re heading to the South Lakes to do our bit to boost Cumbria’s tourist industry which is flagging thanks to the Christmas floods.   We haven’t been to the Lake District for about 18 years which is amazing because at one time we used to spend every spare moment there.

We headed first to Morrisons in Morpeth to pick up sufficient groceries for the next 24 hours. As we filled up with petrol there our friend Lawrence rang to confirm that he and Mary were at their second home above Ullswater and invited us to join them for a bite of lunch.

It was a lovely sunny morning and we drove through the very scenic Northumberland Dales via Corbridge to Penrith, and saw hardly a soul on the quiet roads.

It was good to catch up with Lawrence and Mary and as it was sunny we had a nice walk round their caravan park.    We left them late afternoon to drive south to Coniston.  As we drove through Glenridding we spotted the enormous mound of spoil washed down from the fells during the Christmas floods. It was a staggering amount. Everywhere the attempts to repair flooded homes were evident.

We’ve booked a timber lodge for four nights at the Crake Valley Holiday Park but on arrival noted that no trees have been felled in the making of the lodge!

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On arrival we were a little surprised there was no-one to welcome us and instead we spotted a note addressed to us in the reception window telling us which lodge was ours and where we’d find the keys.

We spent the first hour working out how to turn the heating on as we couldn’t find any instructions but later the owner’s daughter popped by to check that we’d found everything and that all was well.  She told us that her Dad is seriously ill in hospital after an accident.

By the time she popped by we’d worked out how to get everything working, including the WIFI and were watching University  Challenge with a glass of wine in hand, having eaten and were feeling quite settled.   We’d even managed to answer three of the specialist questions and so were feeling quite smug.

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