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" Christmas Carols and a Walk"
Date & start time: 20-24th December 2019.
Christmas Carols : Two evenings, Thackthwaite to Loweswater, Scale Hill to Buttermere.
Start of Walk : Maggie's Bridge car park, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 134 210 )
Places visited : High Nook Farm, Watergate and the Bothy
Walk details : 2 mls, 100 ft of ascent, 50 minutes.
High point : Finding someone enjoying The Bothy over Christmas.
Walked with : Myself and our dogs, Dylan and Dougal.
Weather : Misty and grey.
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The final run up to Christmas which sees the completion of our pre-Christmas revelry as we (try to) serenade the valley with Christmas Carols.
However, the weather is not pointing at a white Christmas if today's walk is anything to go by.
Still it is the company you keep rather than the weather which makes the season.
We hope you are able to enjoy your Christmas days too.
We more or less started celebrations with a Mulled Wine and Mince Pies evening in Lorton.
It was organised by the Vale of Lorton First Responders Group of which I'm a member
and was to promote the organisation, meet friends, chat and to raise a little bit of money along the way.
During the evening we were joined by the carol singers from Lorton who were out on their rounds this evening.
They kindly led the singing before moving on and rattling their tins elsewhere around the village.
We concluded the evening with a short quiz, organised by our newest member Peter.
with light refreshments and a welcome glass of mulled wine to wet the throat before our evening of song.
I'll not name names in order to protect the guilty (you know who you are).
. . . but we had a fine band of over a dozen to sing carols to the valley.
With the houses quite some distance apart we travelled from one to another by car.
Quite a number were dark with no-one at home, so singing opportunities appeared to be less this year, but those we met were welcoming.
This is just one of the decorations in the village of Thackthwaite along the way.
We were invited, or did we invite ourselves, to sing at the Kirkstile Inn.
A busy night with the pub serving a packed house
but we were made very welcome, which was very much appreciated . . . thanks.
On up the valley past Loweswater lake calling at houses where there was a light showing.
This one had a family get together, with nineteen expected from as far afield as America, South Africa, London and the Scottish Isles.
We sang to the first contingent, the others being due in the days ahead.
Our destination tonight was the Grange Hotel where Lorna and Keith had put on a lovely spread.
A lot of those houses we passed were quiet . . . why ?
. . . because their owners were all here at the Grange, to enjoy the evening alongside their friends and neighbours.
An evening of valley chat was interspersed by a number of carols from our song sheet.
- - - o o o - - -
Our dry weather for singing was not matched by the Christmas Eve weather,
when I took the dogs for a walk to High Nook and the Bothy.
The clouds were down and the mist swirling quietly around the fells.
It is a colourful time of year for the sheep with not only their smit marks (red) to identify the farm to which they belong,
but with their tupping marks on their backs to denote that they had been serviced by the ram.
Don't think New Years Eve, the farming year started once again with tupping in late autumn.
The nose of the Loweswater Pheasant-shaped Holme Wood can be seen on the hillside ahead.
Sadly this old hawthorn tree has succumbed to the autumn winds
and the new fence has been badly damaged in the process.
Across the fields underneath the woodland and over to the lake at Waterend.
The National Trust bothy on the side of the lake seems to be in use over the festive period.
The gentleman staying there was outside chopping wood and we chatted for a moment.
They were staying over Christmas in the basic but delightful bothy, far away from the cares of the world.
They gave me the okay for a few photos . . . I just love the light that the candles gave out . . . essential here as there's no electricity !
Time to head back . . . but not before Dougal has a swim in the water.
A raft of ducks, mallard mostly, grace the waters of the lake.
The picture of the beech tree seems to sum up the weather this afternoon.
Back across the meadows and we find ourselves at the car once more.
" Okay you can go now " . . . perhaps you can dry us out a little when we get home.
- - - o o o - - -
We've also had a second night of carol singing this week
when we met at Michael and Sheila's home at Scale Hill, prior to our drive up the valley towards Buttermere.
Sheila and her grandson Derwent toast the evening.
Michael entertains our select band of singers tonight.
The Thompson family and two guests from the Scale Hill holiday accommodation.
A warm welcome from Buttermere's oldest resident as we keep up the tradition of singing carols at Christmas.
This year we ended our evening at the Bridge Inn.
Our small but enthusiastic band of singers talking with and singing to a select band of visitors in the bar.
We were expecting a quiet evening due to empty second homes and valley residents away on holiday for Christmas
but in fact we had a lovely evening visiting houses that we have not been to previous years,
and that tin seems to have a deeper rattle now we have a little more inside.
Many thanks to all who have sung, entertained, been entertained and who have contributed to this years NSPCC fundraising.
S to close, may we say . . .
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . the spirit of Christmas alive and well in the valley.
Previous walk - 21st Dec - Scawgill Bridge and Spout Force
A previous time here - 24th December - Christmas Greetings 2018
Next walk - 25th Dec - Christmas Day Sunshine