Friendships & food, gardening & going out

Our week off together is going very well, thank you. On Tuesday, Jo and Kate came for a flying visit and today, we’ve had a bit of a slow gardening day & a night out. And the sun shone!

Victoria sponge to die for – and I didn’t even make it. But I ate the lot 🐷. Thanks, Kate!

I used to work with Jo and Kate at St Martin’s College – before it became the University of Cumbria – and all our work lives changed. We lost the sense of small college intimacy and informality when we ‘upgraded’ but the friendships have endured and for that, I’m very grateful.

For her sins, Jo spent many happy hours trying to explain the rules and processes of AP(E)L to me and still managed to retain a sense of humour despite much bad language. And I don’t know how Kate did it but her gentle encouragement & support to run got me into my first competitive event for years, despite terrible nerves, and I stuck with the sport until the knees finally gave out.

Choc chip brownies also courtesy of Kate. I haven’t eaten a single one. πŸ™ŠπŸ™‰πŸ™ˆ

Women with kids to sort out after school don’t mess about! I should have remembered that. Jo and Kate arrived punctually and left when they said they would after lunch. Except they didn’t get any lunch because we went for a walk round the Tarn after a cuppa and a Tunnocks Caramel Wafer & because I’d totally lost track of time, there was no time for eating. I am obviously the worst / most disorganised hostess in the world 😒 but it was bloody wonderful to see them. And the furries thought they were in heaven.

To be fair, the Tarn was magnificent. There wasn’t a breath of wind and the reflections of the hills were just amazing. Dukey and Luna had a fantastic time – she barked at him constantly as he chased after his ball (which he later lost in the Tarn)…

By evening time, after even more fun outside, all 3 dogs were sparko in front of the fire. Result.

Today’s skies were incredible…

Days like these we both have good intentions of doing jobs – and there are a lot of them to do…The gales have blown bits of tree down all over the place. It’s my job to gather these up so that over time, after they’ve dried out, they can be used for kindling. Did I do that? No. The pots need sorting out and tidying up ready for the bulbs to come through. Did I do that job? No. The bit of garden in front of the kitchen needs a serious overhaul. Mr Pat and I have made plans. Did I do any of the prep work? No…

What I did do was have a lot more fun doing a Blea Tarn House version of Ghyll scrambling which involves wading up the beck collecting up big bits of wood and assorted debris which clogs everything up.

Nope, couldn’t be bothered to tackle any of this lot
Much more fun
Ended up with a big bag of rubbish, too!

The other thing I did was help Mr Pat a lot by pointing out the digging which needed doing, then taking pictures of him doing said digging. He wouldn’t take his shirt off, though. I also, very helpfully, took lots of photos of the sky and a few of the house…

My hero
Getting down deep & dirty…and rocky….
An unimpressed Princess

I also enjoyed clocking some colour emerging – these little changes are wonderful. But too soon. Winter has not finished with us yet I’m absolutely sure…


Tonight we splashed out on a meal deal / cinema ticket at Zeferellis in Ambleside. Such a treat! The food was wonderful – I had Mozzarella-stuffed arancini, followed by baked canelloni, and then the most fab fig & raspberry frangipane. Yummy.

Alas, I hated the film – The Knives Are Out or something. I’m trying to forget it, frankly. Big plot holes, appalling acting, and about 90 minutes too long. The sets were great and the dogs were superb. Avoid it like the plague.

Still, who cares, we had a very lovely evening out after a very good day at home.

I forgot to mention another high point. The plumber came this morning. We’ve only had a dribble of hot water coming out of the tap in our bathroom for over 2 years. No-one had managed to fix it. So, for 2 years, we’ve washed our hands in cold water post-loo. When I say cold, I mean bloody freezing. And today, he fixed it! Okay, you have to run the tap for 5 minutes before the hot water comes through but hey, hot water!! Life is good.


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.

3 thoughts on “Friendships & food, gardening & going out

  1. It was so lovely to come and find you and meet Mr Pat properly (rather than just waving at you both on some running event somewhere)! Would much rather have walked the Tarn than be fed, though will definitely come back and picnic with you when the days are longer and there’s no time restrictions 😊
    And I’m terribly impressed that you remember the right acronym for our job!!
    Much love xx

    Ooh, a picnic would be excellent! Just let us know when xxx


  2. I went to see Knives are Out with Kama while I was over there, and loved it. We also went to see Cats, which was comprehensively slammed by everyone – and loved that too!

    Pat thought it was ok. I missed Cats but all my cat friends loved it…


  3. Such a memorable day Sue . You certainly packed lots in, even if you didn’t do lots round the garden. Meeting up with old friends is priceless isn’t it? πŸ’–πŸ’–

    Absolutely! I’m very lucky with my friends x


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