Saturday, 12 July 2014

A sojourn to the Lakes

I listened, motionless and still; 
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.
William Wordsworth
We are back from a week to the beautiful Lake District, welcomed back to Hazel Cottage by streams of swifts careering over the house and garden.  When we arrived at our very remote cottage we were rather charmed by the swallows swooping over us so it seemed quite right that the swifts welcomed us back home again.  This was my first visit to the Lakes and it served to prove that no photograph can ever do the majesty and scale of the mountains and hills and lakes justice.  I took hundreds of photos and although they remind me of the holiday they cannot really show what it was like - especially as I never managed to get a single swallow in a picture, even though they were always with us!
Before we went to the Lakes, I wanted to have seen a few of the lakes and mountains, as well as seen something of the lives of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter and what had inspired them.  We visited two of Wordsworth's houses, and saw his grave and some of the places that had inspired him, but it was Beatrix Potter who was ever present.  We went to her house at Hill Top of course, and saw her beautiful paintings in the Beatrix Potter gallery.  Her influence on the lakes however is immeasurable - the thousands of acres of farmland she donated to the National Trust which is still being farmed to this day, and the remote farms (including the one we stayed at) where she encouraged farmers to open their cottages to visitors at a time of financial depression. 
She was all around us it seems, and when I was surrounded by the countryside she loved so much, and saw the rabbits in the fields and the swifts swirling around our heads, it felt as if she was there, ready to paint he scene!
In the week we were there, I never tired of the views we saw, even the view outside our cottage was inspirational.  Now we are back home and planning nice things for the next few months to get over the shock of going back to work on Monday...