Upon leaving Helmsley and the Castle Howard area we were blessed with several minutes of sunshine. All four of us rooted around in our daypacks looking for our sunglasses that had quietly settled to the bottom. At one point I thought Ann was even going to pull out the big guns: Her sunscreen and bush hat. But such draconian measures proved unnecessary however.
We were on the road again. And on the road, and on the road, and on the road headed toward (generally speaking) the Lake District whicvh turns out to be on the other side of the country. But thankfully the country is skinny up here. As I’ve gotten older I’ve developed an aversion to long car trips. But in this case, my role as navigator, constant round-abouts, senseless road signs, and increasingly breath-taking scenery kept me occupied. We were bound for the little town of Kesswick come Helmsley or high water. We had both.
We arrived in Kesswick in four pieces (one each thankfully). We were a little behind schedule (it was nine o’clock in the evening) but surprisingly we still had a couple hours of daylight left. Joan was staying in town. Ann, Mike and I opted to stay out in the countryside at a place called Gil Brow Farm. Both options had their advantages. Kesswick is a pretty little town which proved to be very walkable but virtually undrivable. “The Farm” was plopped down in some of the most gorgeous scenery known to man and sheep.
We whiled away our time in The Lake District looking at the pretty vistas, walking the little streets of Kesswick, shopping, eating, and looking for a parking space. We did manage to plug ourselves into the local scene by attending a play one evening. “Dry Rot” is a comedic farce set in the 1950’s. I would describe it as energetic, a cross between Benny Hill and Mary Hartman, and perhaps about 30 minutes longer than was truly necessary. I especially like the part where they made fun of the French.
The English are good at several things. They can make a pretty decent cup of tea. Some of them live in really pretty houses. The can manage to use a whole set of matching china even for the simplest snack. And, I believe that with a few hints (and perhaps a little dental work), they could master the American language. Well, perhaps the English could, for the Scots, it’s totally hopeless.
Next post from Glasgow. In the meantime, here are some parting shots of the Lake District.