Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Just Reminiscing

J had me stumped for a while. The only place in the South Lakes beginning with J that I could think of was Jack’s Rake, a steep gully climb traversing Pavey Ark in Langdale. However, as I’ve never done this climb, it would be cheating to pretend I had!

Instead, I decided I’d ‘just reminisce’ about some of my memories of our caravan years that don’t fit into any of my other A-Z categories.

Our caravan stood with 4 others in a field belonging to a farm just outside Hawkshead village. From the road, you couldn’t see it at all, as the ground rose in a small incline from the gate , and the caravan was in a dip at the far end of the field. The small incline caused huge problems at times. If the weather was (or had been) wet, then the ground was muddy, of course. The trick was to turn in through the gate (a sharp turn from the road) then put your foot down to reach the top of the incline without getting stuck. Sometimes I managed it, and breathed a sigh of relief, but it didn’t always work. Several times, the car wheels spun relentlessly, churning up and flinging mud in all directions. Then it was a case of having to ask the farmer to drag us out of the mud with his tractor!
A few feet from the back of the caravan, there was a steep drop down to a small steam (known as a ‘beck’ in Lakeland). My daughters used to spend hours playing among the stones in the beck, paddling and trying to build dams (unsuccessfully) – what is it about kids and water? When the water was low, it provided a gently soothing sound at night when we were sleeping; when it was high, it sounded more like an old steam train going right past the caravan window.

The same view of the beck, this time in full flood
The caravan was under some old beech trees. The sap from these necessitated frequent cleaning of the sides and top of the van. When it rained (as it does frequently in the Lake District), we didn’t get the gentle pitter-patter of the rain on the roof of the van. Instead, the leaves dripped water on to it, in a very uneven pattern – ‘plop… plip, plop, plip …plop, plop..’ etc. Definitely not conducive to falling asleep easily!
Just a short walk (or an even shorter drive) up the lane from our field brought us to the start of a pathway leading up to a small fell (only 800ft) called Latterbarrow. At the top is a very large obelisque, but its main claim to fame is the wonderful view of Windermere. I’ve lost count of the number of times we went to the top – once was with a group of about 12 Girl Guides, another was at about ten o’clock on a beautiful June evening, when it was still partly light and we watched all the lights come on in the houses and hotels around the lake. Magic!

I could go on with many other memories - the late night cooking sessions, the frogs we bought on each visit (pottery ones!), the card and board games we played (Sorry, Uno and Newmarket were our favourites), the domino games with the 'locals' at the Queen's Head pub in the village, squelching through mud and basking in sunshine, and the clear night skies with millions of stars (and sometimes we could even see the Milky Way),

But enough for now. I’m smiling as I remember all the fun we had up there, in all seasons and all weather. Happy days!


  1. Wow--when it rains--it really makes the stream dangerous I bet-- but still--looking at the water in its calm state is rather inviting. I would love to climb to the top of Latterborrow and take in the view of Windermere. Thanks for reminiscing!!

    Cheers, Jenn

  2. It's amazing what humans have to go through now to get close to nature. I guess, most of us yearn to be one with the earth. Not the mud though. I'm squeamish about getting dirty. Wonderful shots of your caravan and surrounding area. I caravaned around Australia in the 70s, but now I'm stable and living near London.

  3. Hello, Paula! These are beautiful pictures. What wonderful memories you have from this lovely area!

    Hope you're having a great week and happy A to Z!!

  4. Gorgeous pictures. I was stumped with "J" too. I finally got a post up too. UGH! LOL Great post!! I enjoyed your many memories.


  5. Loved the post. Your memories of your caravan revived mine of ours. We had 18 years of good fun in Norfolk. Dominio games in the local pub was one of them!

  6. Thanks you all for visiting me today!

    Jenn, yes, when the stream was full, the water flowed very fast. I always loved the view from the top of Latterbarrow (and it was such an easy climb too!)

    Francene - I used to hate the mud too, but we got used to it!

    Thanks, Claudia!

    Laura - I have millions more memories, and so have my daughters. They used to love going up there.

    Kathy - I pulled out every book I have about the Lake District, but coulnd't find any J's! Anyway, I really enjoyed remininscing for this one!

    Glynis - what's better than playing dominoes with the 'locals' an an English vllage pub!

  7. Not much, Paula. However, I did try and play backgammon with an old Cypriot man in the coffee shop. I am sure he cheated. LOL.

  8. I think the lcoals sometimes cheated with the dominoes in the Lake District, Glynis!

  9. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting, so I'm returning the visit. I enjoyed reading about your caravan. Sounds like wonderful memories indeed despite the mud and spinning tires. Sometimes those minor hardships are just part of the fun.

  10. Beautiful pictures!


  11. What a beautiful spot to spend time. The photo of the mountains is so inviting. I know about the slip and sliding mud under your wheels. We moved to Darling's Island before the roads were paved. Every Spring it was a battle to make the hill to our home. The city slickers living here, now, would be lost in those driving conditions.
    Thanks for coming over to play jigsaw puzzles with me.

    Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

  12. Again...just fascinating. ♥

  13. Wendy - the spinning tires might not have been fun at the time, but fun to look back on now!

    Thanks, Dana.

    Kathy - the field where we had our van now had five luxury lodges, and a wide gravelled drive up that slope - but they won't have as much fun as we had!

    Thanks again, Jo :-)

  14. Love the pictures - beck, creek, brook, or stream, whatever it's called, there's something hypnotic about moving water.

  15. Despite the mud, I'd call this post a "Jolly Good Time." Great one for J.

    Catch My Words

  16. thank goodness for memories.... sounds like a good one..... :)

  17. Nice photos! Thanks for visiting my blog, and good luck with the rest of A to Z.


  18. That brought memories of our one and only stay in a caravan when the children were young - in the Lake District! And oh that mud when it rained - couldn't keep my poor son in clean clothes as he still played outside in the slippery grass.

  19. How beautiful, Paula!

    I'm sure its not like being there but thanks for the pictures!

    Just a lovely place to reflect upon and reminisce!

    Glad you had such a wonderful time there!