Sunday 4th of Feb
Today has left me feeling totally inspired. I haven’t had my mind as full of potential ideas as I have today. I think weekends away are the way forward – especially away from London and especially away from the thronging masses.
We rose early as I wanted to make the day as full as physically possible and Alex was desperate to have an English breakfast ‘traditional style’, it was good but not amazing! By 9am we were making our way to Kendal Castle something we hadn’t managed to fit in the day before. I was really impressed by the site as its not run by the National Trust or the English Heritage and its in really good ‘keep’ (do you see what I did there) ok there was one dirty bit of toilet roll (who poo’s in a castle?) but I was graffiti free and had loads of signs telling you all about it. I also quite like a ruin – you have to use your imagination more. Already you can hazard a guess my mind was whirring away thinking of what aspects I could use in a book, so made sure to take lots of pictures and make some notes – Alex always looks at me with slight despair when I get a whim and we’ve not been seeing each other long lol.
We then headed back for a couple of hours in the Spa at the hotel before the first train to Windermere. Yet again sat in the Jacuzzi my mind had started to spin with all these ideas. I already knew this wouldn’t be ‘Dora’s Legacy’ for a setting – this was all very much going towards the third Miriam Perry tale as the first two are done and dusted (in my dead at least). The title dawned on me later, but I shan't spoil it for you right now.
We caught the 12.20 train to Windermere and its true what they say about Kendal not really being in the Lake District as only a few miles later it becomes less hilly and much more mountainous. Alex was in his element just looking at the scenery – I was lost in my own world. We couldn’t get a bike (shame!) at Windermere station so walked to Bowness and grabbed some Scampi on the way. Now I used to come to the Lakes EVERY summer as a child, I’d canoe, walk through Rhoda and Tony’s woods and just love it – its not lost any of its charm. Ok Bowness is tackier than my childhood memories but so is Matlock Bath when I go home. It’s just so beautiful it really leaves you speechless.
We got on a cruise around Windermere which is a 35 minute trip to Ambleside and back, you can get off if you want and have a wander but we thought no we have too much to see (like Hilltop – which was closed so I ain’t discussing it further, get the attitude) but just the 70 minutes on water and I had the opening sequence to ‘Miriam Perry and the Witches of Windermere’ firmly stuck in my head. It amazes me how something like that can just inspire you so much, its also made me think maybe my London time is coming up? Have I had enough? Do I want to become a country bumpkin? Ray Castle is vacant – maybe I can hire that of the National Trust? Ha ha ha! Just sit in my castle on the edge of the lake for a few months, have mates over for long weekends – do no work! No seriously, it’s made me think.
Finally we had lunch (do NOT go to Sutherlands Restaurant, all the vegetables tasted like water) and then decide to risk ‘The World of Beatrix Potter – The Attraction’. Now all my cousins have been and visited so I felt I should… I should mention they are all under ten – but I quite enjoyed myself. There was an informative film, then you met all the characters (I had a lovely chat with both Miss Tiggywinkle and Jemima Puddleduck – my fav character) and finally got to do my favourite thing – shop for rubbish and I didn’t leave empty handed, I got stickers, stationery, books the works! It was brill. What I have most gained from the day though is to get away – go places and just relax, suddenly your mind is open to endless possibilities!