Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Coniston & Grasmere - Tuesday 1st December 2015

My diary

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, that's where I'm headed. I was determined to be productive today and I got on with my work once Pauline was fed and watered. I cleared a couple of immediate tasks and then started on the Talking News accounts.

Then the phone rang. John Cassie was feeling unwell and he had said he would help Nick Lamb. I went over to Fradley and Nick and I talked for a while, then I took him over to Heartlands Hospital for what he desperately hopes is the last time. He sorted out some paperwork and collected Natasha's clothes, then I took him home. Just short of three hours and that was the daylight hours taken care of.

Tonight I went to Barton under Needwood for an enjoyable and spirited meeting of the Lions which included a presentation by CHICKS (which originally stood for Country Holidays for Inner City Kids, but is now more inclusive).

 My meanderings

Coniston Water is the third largest in the Lake District, some 5 miles long and half a mile wide. It was first important for copper mining and then for speed. Not as enigmatic as Windermere or Ullswater it is nevertheless a lovely location and brings serenity, especially to those who float on its waters

 
Coniston Water


The names most connected with Coniston are the Campbells. Sir Malcolm Campbell set the world water speed record of 141.7 mph in 1947. His son Donald gradually raised the bar until, on January 4th 1967, he went a step too far. Donald wanted one last go and thought that 300 mph would see the title his until he was too old to care. On the first leg he easily exceeded 300mph. On the return leg he was doing 320mph when the Bluebird suddenly lifted out of the water and flipped over. Campbell died on impact with the water. Neither he nor the boat were recovered until 2001.

Apart from the mountains overlooking Grasmere, this lake also had William Wordsworth as one of three poets living in the area at the same time. Wordsworth became synonymous with the Lake District. It might well be that few people can quote extensively from his works, but when I was growing up there wasn't a schoolboy who didn't know: 

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils.

Grasmere has its own beauty, especially when looking down on it.

Grasmere

They said I only had a fat chance of making the team, so I went on a diet. Now there's a slim chance.