9th March 2013 Damp Ramblings

Until a few days ago we had been fortunate with the weather and had been able to walk and even sit outside as it had been dry and sunny albeit a bit chilly.

Now we are experiencing what can only be described as typical Lake District weather! Wet, overcast, and damp.

As we have been coming to The Lakes since the early nineties we are well accustomed to the weather patterns here and have acquired over the years decent walking gear.

We had an easy day on Thursday apart from cycling to The Black Bull Inn in Coniston for a pint and a packet of crisps (we know how to live) so yesterday we planned to do a walk along the shoreline of Coniston Water up to Torver and back into Coniston along the disused railway line.

We awoke to typical Lake District weather but undeterred we donned our waterproofs and headed off into the drizzle.

Most of you will all be aware of the saying that there is no such thing as bad weather but bad clothing! This is true and although it was raining during our walk we still enjoyed ourselves. The scenery was lovely and we started out on part of the Cumbrian Way along the shoreline watching a few boats bobbing along and some birds including a grebe and possibly a diver. The path left the shoreline and we headed into a wooded area called Torver Common. The smell of the pine trees was lovely and it was so peaceful apart from our heavy breathing! (We were going uphill)! The scenery was reminiscent of Middle Earth and at any moment we expected a band of Orcs to come running towards us!

We eventually came out into the open and the landscape became typical of the area. A patchwork quilt of drystone walls, rolling hills, moss and lichen covered old crumbling buildings from a bygone era and farm buildings dotted around. Beautiful and why we like it here so much.

We carried on until we crossed an old railway bridge at which point we headed along the disused line back to Coniston.

It was at this point that our topic of conversation was all about our alternative lifestyle and how lucky we were to be doing what we are doing. To only work for six months and have the other six months off is brilliant. On our time off we have so many options available to us. We could drive down to Spain as we did two winters ago, we could stay in our Yurt as well as do a bit of travelling in the UK as we are doing now or we could put the van into storage and fly off somewhere for a few months (something we have discussed).

Having got rid of our house (and mortgage) in 2008 we have no regrets in doing this and we are still finding other ways of earning a living. We have recently been staying on the Caravan Club sites and have been talking to the managers and assistants to see what they do. One couple do the opposite to us and work through the winter and then go to Turkey where they have an apartment……..food for thought!

It is amazing how far you can walk while talking and before we knew it we were back in Coniston.
We headed for The Black Bull Inn and had a jacket potato and a beer. Angela had a pint of Infinty IPA and I ordered a Bat of beer! This was three 1/3rd pint glasses on a bit of wood shaped to hold them all and it gave you the option to try three different beers. The pub is the home of Coniston Brewery Co

After our lunch we went to the Coop for some provisions and then headed back to the van and had a nice hot shower in the wonderful facilities before having a relaxing evening.

Today was raining again so after a nice long breakfast of egg on toast and a couple of coffees we walked into Coniston and visited the Museum which at £5.25 each was great value for money. Amongst other things the museum displays exhibits from the local copper mines, Slate workings and linen making.

The two main displays are about John Ruskin and Donald Campbell who sadly lost his life as he attempted to beat his own speed record in the famous Bluebird K7. I won’t give anymore away as you should visit it sometime and see for yourselves.

After lunch in Holland’s Internet cafe (half an hour free wi fi) we headed back to the van for an afternoon of Rugby.

Tomorrow we are having a lazy day. Angela is cooking a nice roast dinner and we will be watching rugby.

About Dean

Angela and I decided that there was more to life than working hard to keep up the payments on the mortgage, to pay the gas, electric, phone bills etc. etc. SO............ In 2008 we sold our house, I initially took a year off (Unpaid) and Angela handed in her notice! We bought a motorhome and set off for a year of travelling! This was the best thing we had done in our lives (Apart from getting married) and we have no regrets. During the year I managed to secure a redundancy package which felt very strange. Almost sad as I had worked for the same company for 19 years (BT). It was always our plan to have a whole year off before thinking about the 'W' word. We began applying to the Camping and Caravanning Club (CCC) for the position of Holiday site assistants in August 2009. After the interview, work experience and induction we were finally given a contract at the CCC site in Inverewe (Scotland). Our plan is to work through the summer in the UK then head to Europe to overwinter before coming back to work the following summer season. Hopefully these few words and our blog will inspire others to get off the hamsters wheel and see that there is more to live than having a house and material things. A cliche I know but this is not a rehearsal, life is too short!!! Since our first contract in Scotland we have worked a winter contract in Oxford (never again!) not Oxford but a winter contract. Hereford for two years, living in a yurt for one! And Cornwall. In between our working we have also travelled a bit. Hopefully this website will give you an insight into our alternative lifestyle. Get out there and live the dream!
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