A sense of place

We live here. It’s the most beautiful place on Earth and I can’t believe that my dream came true. Like all dreams, the reality is different, and unexpected in many ways – but in the main, I am very happy here in the midst of my furry family and my patient and loving other half, Mr Pat.

This is Blea Tarn House – at the top of the Big Hill. One of the highest farmhouses in the Lake District. Our postcode says Little Langdale but it’s Great Langdale we belong to historically, and in spirit.

The house is 17th Century with a 19th century extension. We aren’t a working farm anymore – our lovely neighbours, Isaac and Kerrie Benson, from Fell Foot, farm the land. I take a keen, totally novice, interest and am always keen to help where and when I can. I suspect it’s an act of patience for them, rather than any real assistance. I ask lots of daft questions and often need a translation….But I like to bake and someone’s got to eat it…

The house looks quaint from the outside – and in summer, it is just beautiful – pure Lakeland. But it is quirky, to say the least… we are totally off-grid. No mains electricity – just a little diesel generator (Ivor the Engine) for lighting and power, and calor gas for heating. Our water comes straight off the Fell and we have a septic tank. We rent from the National Trust and pay ridiculous council tax for almost no services. There’s no street lighting, an occasional rubbish removal service…Our washing machine is outside in the wash house – access via the lane. We have no freezer, no electric kettle, no dishwasher, no hairdryers, no tumble dryer and no telly (despite the satellite dish), no mobile phone signal and the slowest internet connection in the northern hemisphere.

And we love it.

Mr Pat works a mile down the road at the Old Dungeon Ghyll. He has the best commute in the world. I am very jealous. I’m a nurse, working in Kendal. It takes me 40 to 60 minutes to get there and always longer to get home. We both love our respective jobs but I love staying in the Lakes on my days off. And I love being at home. We walk a lot – I like to be outside. The garden is a challenge this high up – it’s a constant battle…I’m never going to win, all victories are small but I’m stubborn…

I was brought up in Cornwall – another beautiful place. My mum first brought us up here when I was about 7. It was a defining moment – I love the sea but the mountains called to me. They still do. Mr Pat and I might be offcomers but this place is in my soul.

Published by Sue Lee

The challenges of living off grid at the top of The Big Hill at Blea Tarn in the Langdale valley with a few furries & my other half, Mr Pat.

8 thoughts on “A sense of place

  1. I love reading your blogs Sue. Long may they continue to spread happiness to all who read them 😊

    Thank you, Chris – I really appreciate your support x

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  2. Always love your stories and where you live. Would love to be part of your blog/ story writing and would definitely love to buy your 1st book.

    One day…Thank you so much, Mick

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  3. Blessed to be able to come and visit you in your little piece of heaven! ❤️ Love your Tales and can’t wait to read more 😎

    You’re always welcome here xxx

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  4. How exciting Sue, I love reading your Tales of your life..my son lived off grid in Northumberland, so I understand how hard life can be, especially in winter.. but challenges are there to be overcome aren’t they? As you and Mr Pat are able to do. Looking forward to many more Tales love. THANK YOU 💖💖

    It’s really kind of you to say that, Kath I do love a challenge – but support is important to me x

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  5. I’ll be looking forward to reading more of your beautiful writing. Ann X

    Thank you, Ann – that’s a lovely thing to say xxx

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