November started off with a gorgeous day down in Wales. It was the final two fingers up from the great British weather as its been utterly horrid pretty much ever since.
The following weekend we headed up to High Close Hostel in the Lake District for a gathering of some 60 people, all friends and family of my good mate Mad Malcs. Despite the fact it was a year late it was a celebration of his 50th Birthday. Despite being out of the country on business and holidays for several weeks beforehand, he made a superb job of arranging the whole deal including meals and breakfasts, ably supported by his other half (who I’ll now refer to as The Good Doctor) and many other people
There were friends going back to my University days who I hadn’t seen for over 25 years and it was nice to catch up albeit very briefly with most. As you can imagine, trying to look after my own brood and with people mingling everywhere, it was hard to grab more than a few minutes chat but it was nice to see everyone and in most cases their families. Quite scary really to see friends who I knew as walking and drinking buddies now with kids approaching GCSEs in some cases. I was a little sceptical about how the whole thing would work but it was great fun. I ended up wishing we could repeat the event and disappointed that it was all over so quickly. The weekend was helped in no small part by the fact that High Close is wonderful hostel, a huge rambling manor house with a stunning covered verandah (that I remember well from a long stay here doing my Degree Thesis) and expansive grounds set amongst the fells
Such a shame that the weather was so appalling. Saturday was wet and windy with only a few brief dry intervals. Sunday was much worse with heavy rain and stronger winds that heralded the start of the water deluge that continued through November and beyond causing the heartbreaking damage that we’ve all seen on the news. I managed a few photos from a wander up Loughrigg on Saturday in the rain, enlivened by a visit to a huge mine cavern on the north slopes that I had no idea was there. If nothing else it was relatively dry! The kids all went shopping Grasmere, worrying for those of us funding them.
Sunday we took an enforced walk down through the grounds to Skelwith Force just to get out but whilst the falls were impressive the weather was truly awful and the camera stayed safely tucked up in the hostel.
A weekend for friendships and chat rather than the outdoors but well worth it for that. Huge thanks to MM, TGD and all their co-opted helpers for a really great time