My wife and I returned home yesterday, after spending some time with old friends who live in Finsthwaite, a quiet and attractive village, nestling amongst gentle wooded hills, a mile north of Lakeside at the southern end of Windermere in the English Lake District.
|St.Peter's Church in Spring 2007|
In the village stands St.Peter's Church dating from 1873, where, in the churchyard stands a gravestone commemorating the 'Cumbrian Princess', Clementine Johannes Sobieski Douglas, who was reputed to be the illegitimate daughter of Bonnie Prince Charlie (1720-1788) by his mistress, Clementina Walkinshaw. She was apparently sent to Finsthwaite as a child to live a secluded life.
Nearby is the Stott Park Bobbin Mill which was begun in 1835 to produce wooden bobbins, vital to the Lancashire spinning and weaving industries. Around 250 men and boys used to work there and it is a major Lakeland attraction. The mill was driven by water from High Dam Tarn on the heights above the village. But I digress.
|High Dam Tarn|
Following a lovely evening spent at the Swan Hotel, Newby Bridge where we enjoyed excellent food and beer, http://swanhotel.com/ , we awoke yesterday morning to a view that suggested that we might have to spend another night in this lovely spot. It had rained during the night and this had frozen on impact with the already frozen ground, producing impossible and dangerous conditions. In fact I couldn't even reach the Volvo that was parked just opposite the house.
Information was reaching us from both mobiles and the computer of crashes on the M6 and on the steep hill at Lindale, along which we would have to travel home. The decision was made to look at the situation again after lunch when hopefully things might have improved. This we did and the decision was made to give it a try.
We said our farewells and after the first section of narrow road that leads from the village to the main road, conditions were tolerable if a sensible speed was maintained. However, it is pitiful that, regardless of freezing conditions and various warning signs, so many drivers do not appear to be able to adjust their speed to prevailing conditions and we were frequently overtaken by speeding drivers who seemed oblivious to everything, probably thinking as many do, that the road was just wet and not possibly sheet ice!!!
This morning I received the Insurance reminder for the Morgan from my insurers Gott and Wynne, http://www.gottandwynne.co.uk/, with a quote of £285, a couple of quid less than last year, so I am happy with that. An additional amount of £21 has been paid to cover the cost of breakdown cover in the UK and abroad....a very small price to pay methinks!
Buying the car new on March 1st 2008, means that every year at this time we are faced with a large bill for Road Tax, Insurance, MOT plus the annual service, expenses that could all be avoided if it wasn't for that little green beast in the garage!
So I'm off to the Garden Centre tomorrow to get compost and vegetable seeds for my plot, thinking that maybe I can offset the above mentioned drain on our resources by 'growing our own'!