I seem to have been talking about snow for ages – but then, they do tell us that this is the coldest winter for decades! Last week saw an abundance of snow fall overnight on the Lake District fells, with the most glorious, brilliant blue skies by day. On days like these, we really appreciate our new house in Wallthwaite, with its fantastic views up to Blencathra.
Unfortunately, it’s all rather less convenient for the sheep who seem to go by the calendar rather than the temperature; the first of this year’s lambs have knocking knees and a slightly forlorn expression (...well, I think they have...). Still, the weather forecast says that the snow has packed up for this year and whilst this week is hardly tropical at about nine degrees, at least those lambs have reason to cheer up.
We took a trip out to Eskdale last week to have a chat with a few owners and cleaners, and to see what’s new. This was a good excuse to pay a repeat visit to the Brook House Inn, which was an absolute delight for two reasons: the fab food and the lovely Diana, who was brilliant at entertaining baby Daisy! The Brook House Inn is very convenient for no less than seven of our cottages, so I hope you’ll pop in and find out for yourselves.
Marie, the farmer at Wha House Farm, let us into a secret. She loves having visitors over lambing time, as no-one can resist helping out bottle-feeding the tinier and weaker lambs. The visitors get to see something they never would, and Marie gets willing and cheerful helpers. Result! (Marie’s lambs are due in early April, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll oblige to deadline!)
A quick nosy around Fisherground Farmhouse was pretty interesting for a number of reasons. For one, it’s where my sister and I were brought up, and I can’t step into the attic bedroom without thinking about a childhood incident involving an open window and a slightly naughty trick... ! Secondly, I’d forgotten about the world’s biggest dining table. I’ve no idea how Elizabeth, the owner, got it into the house as it’s bigger than most people’s entire dining rooms! Still, it’s a house for sixteen, and sixteen could certainly sit round that table in comfort.
Those of you who know Eskdale will realise that the closer you get to the coast, the milder the weather. We could see the snow on the distant central Lakes fells, there wasn’t a flake nearby, and the first of the daffs were putting in an appearance. I love winter, but roll on Spring!