20.05.2015 - 20.05.2015
We have two days left in England. Then we cross to Scotland.
Today we enjoyed a visit to Cockermouth, approx 1hr drive from Penrith. When we set of this morning we had already travelled 1170 miles in our now very muddy Audi hire car.
I sat back and enjoyed the scenery as we drove through the Western Dales. Once again the lambs were all bleating on the roadside, clouds were coming to meet the mountain tops and we seized photo points along the way.
It was the temptation of William Wordsworths home and the list of things to see that drew us to Cockermouth. Wordsworth's house backed onto the Derwent River and having crossed it we discovered Antique stores ranging from Treasure troves to well appointed displays. The two we spent most time in were run by people who opened up conversation and chatted freely about their life, the country and their families. Rob found a Cranstoun tie which opened up a lengthy conversation with the first store owner, who is also a Shepherd and has 4 children, one of whom lives in Perth. The second store only dealt with cash so an elderly gent behind the counter enjoyed whiling away time with Rob while I found an ATM. When we left the store, with our valued purchases, the man stood despite his crippling knee, looked Rob in the eye and shook his hand, wishing us well for the remainder of our trip.
A tour guide with the National Trust, doubling as a man servant in William Wordswoths home, presented a very honest recount of life in the Georgian times. He called it the horror stories, as opposed to those told by Jane Austin and the likes. Our appreciation grew for the hardships people of the time endured, including Wordsworth who was paid a sum by Lowther (who owned almost everything and everyone in the village at the time) to entertain and benefit Lowther's guests to the village to keep up appearances. Despite that the Wordsworth's lead a life of basic food, hygene and assistance. It was a home with a warm feel to it. The bedrooms, his and hers were adjoining and the childrens room was very basic with wooden toys and clothes of the day hanging on pegs. The rooms at the rear of the house overloked a large garden which is lovingly attended these days with rows of blossoms, annuals and raised garden beds. Rob admired the book collections housed in writing bureaus and bookcases. The kitchen has been restored using some of the original features and other pieces such as the bench table and stools that have been reproduced locally. The maid and man servant spoke freely about their roles and privileges working in the home. There was a procedure manual for all things housekeeping to be adhered to by the maid, from cleaning, careful use of fuel to setting the table with silver service for guests.
Along the street, a bakery (smelling like West End bakery used to In West Perth), served home made pasties and other pastries. There was a wide selection of cakes that we admired, but strong willed to be 'good' we left them on the shelf. A sample would have been yummy though.
We found yet another church to photograph and then spied an old castle, Cockermouth Castle we later learned, through a thick tree lined fence that is now used as a family home. Unfortunately the boundary made it impossible to see what is left of the castle so we have looked it up and discovered it was a castle there in 1134, additions were made until 1640s when it was dismantled by the order of parliiament. Occassionally it is open to the public, but is now privately owned.
Behind the castle we found Jennings Brewery. Another friendly chap talked to us and encouraged us to take a shortcut through the brewery back to the river and over the bridge to the town. It has itsniwn water well that is used in the beer manufacturing today.
Rheged Centre, 5 minutes from Penrith, looked like an inntersting place to have a peek at. It is a modern centre with shopping, arts, workshop facilities, conference rooms, playground etc that is all built underground. The roof is a grass area with a sign that asks you not to walk over the roof! We definitely prefer the old places with character and charm though.
We went to Wetherspoons pub named Dog Beck for dinner tonight and were asked to leave! Id like to say it was for being drjn6k and disorderly and dancing in the table tops, but alas no. ... they had an electrical fault and everyone had to evacuate the pub for OH&S reasons....it happens here too. So we walked the streets to find another place to cook for us.
I have not cooked a meal since 30th April.....or done dishes, or washing, or gardening and I don't turn up at work and I get paid.....I like my life!!!! To top it off, Rob and I get to spend 24 hrs a day together .. blissful.
Back in the real world, Ally has an exam tomorrow, good luck darling, Erik is busy tending the cats and the house for us, much appreciated, Am has had twin boys and the three of them are working hard to thrive, being prem. She now has 3 boys under three... and we have been having some chats with people reading our blog. Glad you are enjoying it.