We didn't make it to the coast this weekend, but we still found ourselves by the water. We decided at the last minute on Thursday night to join John's family who were staying in the Lake District over the weekend. We drove up on Saturday, stayed one night, then back to Leeds on Sunday. A flying visit, but still a very restful one.
We walked to the edge of Lake Coniston, Bella and Angus taking turns to hold the dog's lead. We collected treasures not usually found in the city, like wool or "sheep fur" as they called it, and white feathers. We climbed and explored. Back at the campsite, we sat outside drinking tea and chatting, listening to the silence. There wasn't a breath of wind, it was so quiet. Not wanting to cook much, but knowing we were in the middle of nowhere, we'd brought lots of nice M&S food with us, posh ready meals. We sat around chatting with John's parents and drinking wine, feeling cosy in our mobile home as it got darker outside.
On Sunday morning we woke to sheep wandering across the campsite. We pottered in our dressing gowns and I actually read the paper for the first time in ages. We did the crossword while we drank our coffee. At home I wouldn't make time for that, I'd be too busy doing something non-essential. It was nice to be fully in the moment. After breakfast we drove into Coniston and wandered around some more. The lake is quite hypnotic - we must have spent an hour just sitting in front of it while the kids threw stones, watching boats come and go, looking up at the hills.
The Lakes are such a magnetic, calm place, quite unlike the Dales. The mountains are all around you, all of the time and you are quite literally in their shadow. It all feels a bit Arthurian. On a grey day I can see how it might feel oppressive. But this weekend, in the hazy, cloudy warmth, with the leaves and fern just beginning to turn from green to brown, with autumn just around the corner, it felt calm and tranquil. Restorative.