I was thinking about it, and I feel bad for you Reader. I bore you with stories that are all feet sores and walking. What could I do, I asked myself, just for you Reader, to make this tome a little different for a change, to throw a little surprise in for you. Just for you. When I hit Derwentwater and saw the lake sparkling like scattered diamonds being sorted for carat and clarity by sailboats, I knew what I should do. I would stop on a pebble beach, take the pack off, go for a swim and then dry off while reading the book I just bought at the cafe (everyone is selling it because it is written by a local—The Fell Walker by Michael Wood), and then catch the ferry the long way around the lake to Keswick. It meant that I didn't do the last few kilometers into town, but as I said, for you, I needed to change it up a bit. And that is just what I did—except for the swimming part, it was freezing.
Sorry about this next sentence in the context. I walked to the next ferry point and found a beach within cooee. Tested the water and found two things: one, bit too chilly to contemplate throwing myself in, and, two, bit too rocky to be able to launch myself in with the speed that the chilliness called for—I could barely hobble between my sitting rock and my backpack which was three steps away. Damn rocks. I thought England was older than us, why haven't they developed sand? Never mind, I had a beautiful reclining rock that allowed feet dipping while reading—until the ferry went past. I waved and lots of faces waved back at me. Did they seem to know what was going to happen? Next minute I was scrambling up my rock while anxiously trying to grab my boots and hoping like mad that Wesley would escape the wake of the boat. I'm sure those waving faces laughed. Ha! Next boat I waved at them from the top of the rock. Fool me once ...
The book is great. It starts in Keswick (I'm there), at the mountain rescue headquarters (passed it on the way up the hill from the ferry), about a person who dies on Skiddaw (aka, the larger range that incorporates High Pike and the walk I decided not to take, and here is my decision justified). I can see into the mind of the author wanting to be his protagonist though, when he is happy to have sex with a young Elizabeth Taylor look-alike, even though he is married, because he tries to 'live a life where opportunities are taken when they present themselves'. His wife won't understand though, so she needs not to know. Hmmm. I will have to watch this guy, but I love the setting.
The ferries were fabulous; quite small and they would pull into the end of tiny jetties to load and unload. The person throwing the rope onto the jetty was a magnificent woman. She reminded me of a villain from the old Batman TV show. Mainly it was the layers of Joker-like make-up and the thing she had done with her hair. It was short, but she had blow-dried the sides and applied, I would say, quite a lot of lacquer so that they stuck out in a perfect curve from her head like diaphanous wings or like the ears of some monkeys that are round and project from the exact centre of their faces. It was a strange look and I feel mean calling her a villian because she was far from villainous (unless you take the cost of the ferry into account).
I am residing for the night at the youth hostel. I like this one because it is right on the river and you don't have to put your own doona cover on. (I'm not lazy, but I think I would rather grate the cheese for tomorrows dinner (see below) than put on one doona cover.) Twenty-seven ten year-olds just arrived in the same dining area as me. Loud. Tomorrow they have a choice of jacket potato, chicken curry or macaroni cheese for dinner. I was surprised at the number of hands that went up for chicken curry, but the mac cheese was the outright winner. It seemed a tie between the sticky toffee pudding and the strawberry gateau. I put my hand up for the latter but I am not sure the chef saw me. I was impresssed that he remembered the numbers for the five options without writing them down. Maybe he just thinks in terms of 'some jacket potatoes, a quantity of chicken curry and the biggest pot full of mac cheese'.
There is part of me that would like to go to the pencil museum tomorrow. It had me stumped until the pamphlet put it into context—Derwent, water; Derwent, pencil.
Good night to the twenty-seven ten year-olds who are just about to go upstairs and brush their teeth, good night to Keswick, good night to you.