If you are down in the town with no bus fare, start walking and smile, in a while you’ll be back home…- 7th April 1994

Here I am playing catch up again. Wakey, wakey – wrapped up in cotton sheets and Bronwyn, both naked for the first time since Wednesday night. Lovely kisses and hugs wake us slowly even before our morning call. Slow we rise with spectacular view outside, mountain snowy with last hailstorm, over the lake where we walked yesterday. We wash and wake up more (unfortunately we have to put clothes on) and go down to breakfast where we feast on toast, juice, coffee, cereal and scrambled egg. Bloated we packed up and paid, buying the owners poetry booklet which is very good and very funny.

Drive back around the lake and mountains to Keswick, parked up and checked up on the weather before setting off one our 25 pence walk. It was a quiet walk till we got to a beck with the bridge and walk across, and one upways off our map. We opted for upways – climbed steep slippery stone as the wind gathered strength, approaching top, beck still water tumbling to our right. And the view from the top gob-smackingly stunning.

Back down, marshy green, boggy brown, singing and playing, chanting and running burping and farting, ears a-chilled with the wind. Down to Ashness bridge and over to the surprise view – across the other end of Derwent lake.

In the shelter of rocks we cooked Pot Noodles and ate that with bread and water. Despite the basicness of our food we feel well fed and makes me realise what a pig I am at home, stuffing myself full-a-food. Back round by the lake, us favouring the rocky shore than the road, the water is beautiful and clear. We picked up an old sheep feedbag and Broni collected rubbish on the way back – us quite exhausted.

Still on a high though, back in tin-tub, over to the coast – where Broni can’t believe the houses in this different kind of suburbia.

Into Whitehaven, my home town for several young years, past my old infant school, whose name we had to put on my Visa application only a few weeks back and down my old street where I used to run and play, as do the kids there today. Backtracking to Cockermouth, we take the road that leads through Buttermere and Borrowdale, me in search of a road I remember my mum taking me down. This little route is probably the best in the whole district, past Buttermere you head up, up, up, round twisty single-track tarmac, stone lined walls, valley stream in centre rolling down, boulders as big as houses left where they have fell sometime in a different age maybe.

At the top of the rise we park so Bronwyn can relieve her desperation behind a rock or three. Big smile of relief we get 50 yards down the other side of this huge hill and car screams at us and across the valley. Oh my fuck! Please don’t break here!

I contemplate cruising down this hill 25% gradient and twisty turny as the road up. Two hikers come along and give advice – one pokes around under the hood and the car works again. I guess we were closer to heaven than we thought.

Slowly, slowly we glide down the hill and limp back to Keswick by the most beautiful river we’ve seen so far. We look around for a campsite and find a good one by the lake – unfortunately the people are a bit queer, it is expensive, the ground is sodden and it’s more of a family park – no river for us to camp by. We set up tent and hiking up into town (only a quarter of a mile away!) and get war, with delicious pub grub. A bit drunker we head back in crash out at the tent.It’s raining all night but we pack up the tent and leave in a break and I’m glad to leave this place – no character, charm or soul.

We figured on Windermere next stop, nearer home by some 30 miles! We stocked up on food and drive carefully down into Windermere and find a spot to park near our walk. The weather clears as we set off and catch a ferry across the water. Walk by lake, forest then up an old horse and carriage track made of stone’s roughly plumped on the ground – no way! Must have been in the dark ages! But we can visualise it. Up through a forest plantation and under the pines where the light hardly reaches, through bogs and broken walls, by small ponds and dinner ate by a peak sat with views of beauty two seventy degrees. Down past cows and calves, sheep and lambs, tractors and farmers and into Sawrey and by road, wrong turn taken, back to the ferry.

Back at Bowness we sit in the pub, resting weary bones and then find the campsite round the lake, a beautiful view across. Tent set, we open up wine and watch the darkness and rain coming in, as we sit by the still water, me skimming stones until the whitest white swan comes to check is out, and a pairs of ducks land by us on the water. Back to the tent and sleep, rain a-pouring all night, all night. Bronwyn up an out at 4.00am feeling queasy, into the wet, but us soon back asleep.

In the morning we drive back to Windermere and to the camping exhibition where we barter and buy a beautiful tent! I check out my bank balance and realise we can’t afford anything! I’m broke, we’re broke but we don’t really care – it’s been such good fun.So we’re sat here in the pub, overlooking the lake, grey outside but not all unpleasant. Just about to go play golf, like all the other lovers. I love Bronwyn, she loves me, we love each other and we love all we do and love life together.

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