Monday, June 26, 2006


Story contd.

The Lake District has always been special to my family. Granddad had been born in Cleator Moor and spent his happiest hours round Ennerdale Lake. We had had magical holidays, as children, camping by Lake Windermere and I used to cry every time on the way home. Later in life my mother made me promise to scatter her ashes round Ennerdale Lake to be near her beloved father. In the event she died at my sister’s house in Portugal (her main domain was the States) and Maddie thought she should be scattered there. However Mum’s wishes prevailed – fortunately- as Maddie later sold her house in Portugal.

Ginny and I were travelling by bus and were to meet Jamie and Alec at the Youth Hostel. We were tickled pink when we caught a glimpse of them striding past our bus at Lancaster bus station. They looked like Greek gods and – like the silly young girls we were - we cowered down in our seats so they wouldn’t spot us. We saw them again in Kendal, hitch- hiking – their preferred mode of travelling.

At the Hostel Ginny and I chatted to everyone we met and then sunbathed in a field where we could spot the boy’s approach. Our meeting went off smoothly and the shyness soon wore off. The weather was heavenly and after supper we did our duties – washing up- and went for a walk in the fields. Alec annoyed a bull which gave chase and, inadvertently Ginny kicked my left eye as we both scrabbled over the wall. No great harm done and we sat and chatted in the evening sun. I wrote, as promised to Andrew.

The moment of truth came the next day when Ginny and I staggered when we attempted to put the rucksacks on our backs. The boys were brilliant – Jamie taking charge – and said we should take out what wasn’t absolutely necessary and this would be put in my rucksack which we would leave in Ambleside Bus Station. The light stuff would be put in Ginny’s rucksack and carried in turn by us girls. Any extraneous stuff which we wanted (like my diary) the boys would put in theirs.
Were they not true gentlemen? Yes I am ashamed but it was truly a different age.

We blessed them later – when we were struggling up Red Screes in a heat-wave. We had cherries, peaches, crisps and packed lunches but no water and the heat had dried up the streams. We had a treacherous descent down the other side with the tantalising sight of the Kirkstone Pass Inn which we prayed would be open.

It was and we celebrated with ice cream, milk and cider. We were very thirsty. As we weaved our way (the girls somewhat unsteadily} towards Patterdale we came upon Brother’s Water and sobered up with a refreshing swim. An icy swim! We stopped at a farm and scrounged some milk and then forgot it. Food and drink became paramount and the diary records we had raspberries and custard at supper. Our excuse was we had had years of going without the more delicious eats and had a lot of catching up to do. We repaired to the White Lion where, no doubt more cider was consumed. We had become a close-knit unit of four and both Jamie and Alec had proved themselves to be ideal climbing companions.
I wrote to Andrew.


AndrewM said...

Nice one.

Now keep concentrating on those names!

PI said...

andrewm: tomorrow - just for you there will be an aide memoire.

Mom101 said...

Your stories are so wonderful. A life so different than my own and yet I'm right there with you as if I'm heading down the pass sucking on a peach myself.

PI said...

mom101: wow! I like that. Thank you.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

"Were they not true gentlemen? Yes I am ashamed but it was truly a different age."

In my 'umble, i don't hink you need be ashamed for being helped by a gentleman. A true gentleman will always help somebody they see struggling with something, to make things easier. A true gentleman is driven to act from within, not because it is expected, or not expected, of him. That thought came to me very young, from watching my grandpa, although it took my granny to help me put it into words at the time.

I like that smiley photo of your grandad - he looks jolly.

PI said...

Sam: you are right of course. That's me kowtowing to the sisterhood - not very convincingly.
I love courtesy and good manners which, of course, are rooted in thoughtfulness for others. There are a lot of gentlemen in blogging and it is a shame thatin present times it is generally considered uncool.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Bliss. Makes me think of Enid Blyton for some really strange reason...

PI said...

GG: I think i know what you mean. I think it's the spirit of those times.