We’re back home after a mammoth drive from the Lake District last night. After years of driving there and back, first from London and now from even farther away, we prefer to do the drive at night when the roads are mostly clear. The only downsides are eating on the road (I don’t want to see another burger for a long while) and arriving in the small hours of the morning does knock us out of kilter somewhat the following day. All of us have been feeling a little fragile today but, gosh, it was a memorable trip.
I was in my twenties the first time I went to the Lakes. David and I walked, climbed and camped there before children, we stayed there with first one small child, then two, then three. We’ve had large family holidays there and ones with just the five of us. And as the children have got older we’ve been going on longer and longer walks of increasing difficulty. This week we all pushed ourselves. I had to steel myself several times and overcome my anxiety at potential danger (‘Come on, you’ll be fine. Really.’) while ignoring my cautious inner-voice, my ‘what on earth are we doing’ voice. Once we reached the summits, though, all the uphill slog was forgotten. Reaching the summit is marvellous. Standing at the top, looking down into the valleys, you do feel on top of the world and there is no feeling quite like it. The landscape is majestic and being in it is exhilarating. These long walks are also a great excuse to eat sweets and chocolate, hearty pub meals and puddings… Back to normal eating now, sadly!
It’s the end of British Summertime tonight and although I’m not looking forward to the evenings getting darker, I am looking forward to that extra hour in the morning. I’ll leave you with this little snapshot of my family life: I popped into the kitchen earlier (about an hour after dinner) to find my eldest standing there munching chocolate biscuits. ‘What are you up to?’ I asked. ‘I’m thinking about what to eat while I’m eating,’ he replied. There you have it – the inner workings of a 16-year-old boy.