Saturday, September 24, 2022

The good, the bad and the very impressive

We went away for a long weekend - last weekend - with our walking buddies. For the third - fourth? - time we hired the same lovely house in the English Lake District - Wordsworth country. It's so beautiful there. This is the view from the sitting-room window. We have a finely-honed routine: arrive Friday afternoon, lasagne and salad plus Sheena's sticky toffee pudding for dinner (building ourselves up for walking in the fells, we tell ourselves). Then a hillwalk on Saturday, which is always billed as not too testing, and isn't, apart from six miles of climbing hills and usually finding the odd bit of rock-scrambling not entirely designed for people in their seventies (and early eighties, and one aged 91 who is the fittest of us all). Baked potatoes, salad, cake and soft fruit on Saturday night, another, marginally less hair-raising, hill walk on Sunday, dinner out on Sunday night, a shorter, flatter walk on Monday morning, and home. 

Simple! Except...

The minute that Sheena arrived, she was very sick (in the British sense of throwing up, not being elegantly wilting). She went immediately to bed and was much better in the morning, Saturday, putting it down to food poisoning - she had had some prawns. She joined us in our jolly, 15-person walk. 

The weather was perfect - not hot, no wind. 

We happily tramped into the hills

and admired the views of the valleys below, where we'd come from. 

You can see why Wordsworth wrote poetry. 

And we got home and had dinner and then in the course of the evening, five others became inelegantly unwell. 

So the next day, Sunday, only 10 of us tramped into the hills. It was beautiful. 

We climbed up, 

Then towards the end of the walk, two others began to feel ill - including my poor husband. 

Back at the house, these two vanished to bed and we phoned the hotel where we'd booked dinner to say, sorry, there were going to be 8 of us instead of 15. Then, shortly, another bit the dust. So we phoned again to say, look, there were only 7 of us left - maybe it would be better if none of us came? But they said no no, just come. So we did, dubiously.

By the next morning, Monday, we were down to 3 - 2 of whom were beginning to feel a bit dodgy. I was the only one feeling fine. 

We all managed to get home and recover. I was still ok and by Tuesday night was congratulating myself on my superior immune system. Then at about 11.30pm on Tuesday... and all night... and a bit of the next morning... . 

I slept most of Wednesday and then felt sort of ok. 

So we convalesced in front of the tv and watched and wondered (retrospectively) at the Queen's funeral. There's no doubt that the British do pageantry well. The red uniforms! The furry hats! The feathery helmets! The marching and the bands and the processing and the multiple lifting and putting down of the coffin by very young men (I couldn't look, in case they'd dropped it a couple of days before and it had somehow not made the news), the solemn faces, the singing. I can't even begin to imagine what it all cost (and our economy's in shreds anyway). But it was impressive, you have to admit. 

Which is why (thank you for your concern, Virginia) I haven't posted for a while. And also of course, quilting. 



  1. Oh, my, that illness swept through all of you SO fast. It sounds extremely unpleasant. I dislike feeling sick but I especially hate throwing up. The walks look beautiful although I'm scared of heights so I wouldn't have done well on any scrambles. The pageantry was impressive. I keep reminding people here that we aren't the only country having economic troubles, inflation and high gas prices. I feel a little guilty that I'm doing fine; I don't drive much and have the money to buy what I want.

  2. Oh, that illness certainly got shared generously!! I'm sorry to hear you were unwell, but relieved you're better now. Your jaunt away sounded like such fun - good company, good food and well organised. Shame about the bug!
    We watched the ceremonial for HM's passing with amazement. The British do such things so well. And although there would have been a lot of overtime being paid, most of those involved would have been on the payroll one way or another already. I was impressed by how orderly and respectful everyone was - if that was America there would have been protesters left right and centre - anti-government, anti-abortion, anti-black rights, Trump supporters etc... and I'll bet plenty of violence.
    Of course, now King Charles has to cope with the very real problems the UK faces. It won't be easy.

  3. Well, apart from the sick people, your little getaway sounds amazing. I'm glad for you that you were at least in the comfort of your own home when you fell ill. What a wonderful place to go for hikes with friends though! Now ... onto that quilting ... ;-D