Monday, 23 November 2015

Finally home!

The favourite storie "The singing merlaid" No that isn't
a spelling mistake on my part, nor the book's.

I had a lovely time with my daughter and her family in the Lake District. It was nice to relax with them and without her and her husband having to gather some energy together to do more renovation work on their house. The weather could have been better though. Tuesday morning we were very lazy and got up late – I was the last one up, which is rather unusual when I’m in the UK. I was treated to a full English breakfast, bacon, scrambled eggs, beans and sausage. We then set off for a soggy walk around the village of Grasmere where we were staying. I am surprised how many outdoor clothing shops there are in the Lake District, even in such a small place like Grasmere. I can understand the craft and gift shops, there are so many visitors mainly in the summer. Maybe the visitors are not prepared for the weather and need clothing shops, or maybe people combine their days out with stocking up, which I suppose makes sense.

First taste of baby rice. He didn't need
any convincing that this is the way to
go. He got the hang of it after the first
In the afternoon my granddaughter really needed a proper afternoon sleep and so my daughter, her little one and I left our son-in-law at home to supervise and so he could get on with a bit of work that had to be done. We went off to Ambleside in the, by now, torrential rain. Fortunately it eased off when we got there, which was a good job as I was struggling to pay for the car park with my card. In the end I decided on cash but didn’t have quite enough for the length of time I thought we might need. A young gentleman asked how much I needed and gave me a £1.10 that he had in his hand. I was quite shocked at his generosity, but it felt good to know there are people like that out there, especially after all the horror we have heard about this week. The rain held off enough to do some shoe shopping and when it started to pour down again we just headed for a coffee shop. We had an afternoon tea and I had a slice of Borrowdale teabread with crumbly Lancashire cheese. The teabread was a bit like a rich fruitcake, but not as rich as a Christmas cake and went well with the cheese. I do miss Lancashire cheese, as it is a cheese I used to eat a lot of when I was younger.

And of course if the camera is out, a certain little
lady wanted her photograph taking too
Wednesday was my last day in the Lake District and we had arranged to meet up with my parents since they travel up to The Lakes often to visit and I needed a lift to my son-in-law’s mother’s house where I would stay overnight before heading off to the airport the next morning, so that worked out nicely. I had fish and chips just to finish off my holiday and because I had been pretty good all the time I was in the UK and I shared an apple and cinnamon pie and custard with my mother – neither of us could eat much after our main meal. The weather though was dreadful, wet and windy. My parents told us that the rain on the motorway was so bad that people had slowed right down for quite a stretch of the time, which is really unusual in the UK. On our side of the hills the rain wasn't quite so heavy but the roads were starting to flood again. My daughter sent me a picture of what it was like a couple of days after I left, with snow on the hills and bright blue sunshine. Typical!

Not quite the UK, but a rather chilly Latvia at -9C (16F).
That is not snow on the ground but frost
We stopped off at my parent’s house for something to eat and to avoid the manic traffic around Manchester. I really do not miss the horrendous UK traffic. I much prefer the “four cars is rush hour or a funeral”, type of traffic. In fact we find from our home it is possible to go all the way to the outskirts of the capital Riga and only see one or two cars – a trip of 100km (60 miles). My parents dropped me off, spinning wheel and all – I hadn't had that long to see them, but it was all that was possible this time around. It is a little tricky trying to juggle who to see when my own family are growing so much. There was only time  to sort out the taxi for the morning and have a chat about our children growing up with my son-in-laws mother before heading for bed.

Some serious ice crystals
The next morning I was a little worried about the two dogs in the kitchen, not that they were aggressive or anything like that, but enthusiastic. When I went down in the morning they were very excited to see me at first and then I told them to go to bed and much to my amazement, they did as they were told and stayed there. I think they decided I was too boring to bother with. As I was eating breakfast I had a text to say the taxi was on its way – no time for toast then! About ten minutes later I then got another text to say the taxi was outside and gave me the details of colour, type and registration of the car. Much better than having to constantly watch for it and then wait for the horn to sound – which no one appreciates in the morning. The taxi driver and I chatted all the way to the airport. He would like to retire to somewhere hot and agreed that rush hour in the UK is not great. Taxi drivers in his company will only do one rush hour shift, they cannot take two, so they either start early and finish early or start later in the day and finish later, so that they only cover the one rush hour. Can’t say as I blame them really.

You get the idea!
Ian met me at the airport and as usual he stood near the back, but something was a bit odd. First he seemed to be holding something and also he was stood further back than normal. As I got closer I realised he was holding a paper and on it he had put Griezites Alpakas with the outline we use for a design and my name on it. Next I realised he was stood with all the other people who go to airports to collect visitors for companies and such like. I burst out laughing. He said it was so long since he had seen me, he thought he might need some help to find me, plus it was free advertising. Cheek of the man!

I love the picture of the frost on the fence posts 
Finally getting home has meant doing some ordinary things like spending time with my husband. We needed a bit of time to talk about all the things that have happened over the last month and our thoughts and plans. There was also the ordinary things like washing floors and washing clothes. Making meals. It has been nice to have some time off from all those things and in an odd way it is nice to come back home to them too. The spinning wheel I brought back from England seems to have travelled well, no breakages, but it may have swelled a little at my daughter's rather damp rental home. They will be glad to get out of there.

The frost has also transformed these logs
It hasn't all been getting back to the ordinary ways of life, we have also taken a day trip up to Estonia to see another alpaca farm. It was a last minute arrangement. They have had alpacas a little longer than we have and they have more infrastructure developed than we have. They also have a more positive local mayor who is willing to work with them and aid them in their development. Unfortunately I can't say the same about the local authorities around here. We spent a great time at the farm and chatted for ages. The Norwegian husband said it was good to talk with other "special people". We do indeed have to be a bit different to take the routes we are doing and it was wonderful to hear someone with a much more business-like mind, still working out where they are going as they go along without a preconceived plan. We all agreed that if we had done what we first thought we would do, we wouldn't be enjoying what we are doing now. The routes have taken some surprising turns.

The new fence posts in position around the paddock of the
newest alpaca house
I read a few blogs on a regular basis and one them is full of gorgeous photographs with inspirational or thoughtful quotes. The quote this week really struck a chord with me and went beautifully with the photo of the sea (so do take a look at the link and the photo).

I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.
We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.
For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.”
― James Kavanaugh, There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves
Just before putting away time the snow started. We maybe
have about a centimetre or two now.

Our youngest cat taking advantage of
the heater being on
On that note I shall finish and then take off to a friend's house who I have not seen in far too long for a nice chat and a cup of tea.


  1. Such lovely adventures you've been having despite the less than perfect weather. Thanks for the lovely mention of my blog (though if you meant to add a link, it doesn't appear to be working) ;)

    That quote touched me pretty deeply, too. I've ordered up the book from the library. I think it might be a worthwhile read.

    It sounds as though you're glad to be back home, not that you didn't enjoy your holiday, but I always love returning home after any trip. We've dipped down close to freezing these last few nights. That's pretty rare for our location. It seemed a good time to stay warm at home away from all the crazy travel because of our Thanksgiving and the insane shopping frenzies. That lovely shot of chilly Latvia is beautiful, but looks very frigid.

    1. I did add the link, but it seemed to have got corrupted somehow. Hopefully it is working now. I will be interested to hear what you think of the book.

      I am glad to be home, but also miss the grandkids already. I am so please that shopping here in rural Latvia is nothing like the crazy pre-Christmas shopping in the US or even the UK for that matter

  2. The Kavanaugh quote resonates with me. Thanks for sharing it. While I don't want to be discontent, neither do I want to lose the yearning for exploration and newly discovered knowledge. I don't want to be unsettled, but I do want to stay on a journey to somewhere.

    Our temps went over 70F here yesterday. It's been a very warm fall. Your ice crystals are beautiful, but we haven't seen any here yet this year, and I'm OK with that.

    1. I'm glad it resonated with you too and we have Gunta who replied earlier to thank for that. I think you sum up nicely how we want to be too. I have never wanted to settle for contentment but find it along the way.

      It is set to warm up here, which is normal. Our big freeze is usually February with winter coming and going a bit before that


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