Our walk on Sunday, a circuit of Haweswater, was always destined to be gently paced, since S was walking rather than lording it in his own personal houdah. But then we found so many distractions to hold us up still further. There were the snowdrops already mentioned, but the principal form of entertainment was provided by sticks. Picked up at the start of the walk as walking sticks, they quickly became, briefly, weapons – first staves, then guns, before mutating into gates: “What’s the password Dad?”
But it was when they fleshed out into horses that the fun really began.
We had to find smaller sticks to use as crops. And somebody has clearly been subjecting S to that sentimental Rolf Harris number ‘Two Little Boys’ (do the NSPCC know?), because he soon joined A on her mount…
Progress never threatened to rise as far as a canter – there were no ‘legs furiously pumping their stiff green gallop’ here.
Eventually we left Eaves Wood at Waterslack, crossed the railway and the road, into the Sixteen Buoys field. S particularly enjoyed clambering over all of the stepped stiles in the drystone walls.
In Sixteen Buoys our sticks underwent a magical transformation…
The three horses were very pleased to see us.
Well, very pleased to see our apples, which didn’t remain on view for very long, since they were soon snaffled.
A scrounger to perhaps rival a Fatdog, a cairngorm reindeer, the aggressive Mam Tor sheep or my mate Uncle Fester, the largest of the horses was eyeing up S once the apples were gone, or at least that’s what S seemed to think.
Into Gait Barrows National Nature Reserve, the moles are thriving here and the molehills have spread across the field. There are plenty of rabbit holes too. A ‘fell’ into one, but didn’t report any White Rabbit experiences.
Back in the woods around Haweswater, S helped me to photograph the snowdrops and then took a well deserved rest…
Further round, where the path crosses a boardwalk by the lake and there are benches, we stopped for a snack. The sun came out and it felt positively balmy, not like February at all, quite spring like in fact.
B had collected a motley assortment which he referred to as his ‘powers’, (because he is a ‘power ainjer’) – a couple of snowdrops, an interesting piece of bark, some pine cones and some snail shells. We bumped into his friend C and her mum as we headed for Moss Lane. He gave her his snail shells, retaining the largest for himself naturally, she fished in her pocket and produced a stone and tuppence to give him in return. All the children had been flagging by now, but B perked up and he and C wandered up Moss Lane together chatting contentedly. A meanwhile helped me with S who had finally decided that we were walking in the wrong direction and that we really ought to explore some of the gardens along the lane. This often happens – he doesn’t seem to trust my route finding.