Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lake District - Day 3

Woke up to yet another heart achingly miserable morning, with rain and wind of the likes I’ve not seen for many a long year. Decided to go into town and get a few bits, and stopped in one of two local photography galleries to have a browse of the incredible photos on display. Having the Lakes on your doorstep must be quite amazing.

After walking out in a dishearteningly sombre mood, the profound feeling that I will never, ever be able to get images like those coursing through my troubled veins, I picked myself up with a visit to Booths, one of the finest shopping emporiums I believe has existed anywhere and at anytime, in the history of all worlds.

Well, maybe that’s a slight overstatement, but let me make it quite clear, this is a very fine supermarket. Very fine indeed. In fact I think it should be the template for all supermarkets across this land of ours, perfectly laid out, very keenly priced and a genuine pleasure to purchase life’s essentials from. I seem to remember that the last time I was here it was a tawdry dump, so whoever was responsible for such a positive sea change should deliver themselves a hearty pat on the back.

Ashness Jetty with Catbells behind

After returning to the flat for a spot of lunch I drove to the eastern shores of Derwentwater to visit Ashness jetty. The weather was by now improving so I was looking forward to getting out my Big Stopper and seeing what mischief I could make. I should probably clarify the Big Stopper is a monster of a filter that reduces the amount of light that enters the lens by a huge amount, thereby making long exposures possible at times when they wouldn’t normally be. Also, it was not my Big Stopper, I had borrowed it for the day. So know you know.

The reason I had borrowed it was because I wanted to calm the savage water and give it a smooth glassy finish, instead of the endless choppiness the infuriating wind was causing. I managed to get off a couple of shots, before the rain started spitting itself at me and the camera. This obviously makes getting photos quite difficult, especially when the exposure times are in the minutes and you’re engaged in a vexatious battle every second, with every cursed drop that’s making a beeline for the front of the lens.

The image may look serene but I was engaged in a furious battle with the elements
After giving up on that I decided to head over the other side of the lake and go for a stroll. Luckily one of the things I purchased that very morning was a pair of waterproof trousers, and after I had parked up on the side of the road I was soon slipping them on, in an effort to keep out the rain that the clouds were beginning to tip out in ever larger volumes.

Even as I walked through woodland to reach the waters edge, I was bombarded by rain as it was being carried down in blistering sheets on the back of those tempestuous gales, which made for an interesting stroll. You may be thinking why not just go back to the dry, warm interior of the car, well let me tell you, that’s not the kind of man I am. When faced with adversity I look it squarely in the face, the type of squarely that that sports corners and edges of the knife-edged and needle-pointed variety and I tell that adversity who’s boss. Plus, it had taken me ages to worm my way into my waterproof trousers, jacket and boots and I wasn’t about to let all that effort go to waste.

So after a couple of hours enjoying the scenery and stretching my legs I had ascertained that my new acquisitions were indeed waterproof, which pleased me a lot, but unfortunately my jacket, which I’d had for a while, was not so resistant to the weather. Despite the fact that it also boldly proclaimed its prowess in combating all things damp, my top half was an interesting shade of drenched.
A few snaps taken with my phone. I didn't take my camera as I don't have a waterproof housing for it.
Once I got back to the car I was immediately confronted with a problem. I had to get into my car but not get the seats and the interior too wet. This was somewhat of a conundrum, as the rain was pouring down and I was soaked. If I just got in the car as I was, I would saturate the seat and have to live with that for who knows how many days, every time I got out the car it would look as if I had a serious bladder control problem. But if I took off my outer garments, including boots of course, so I could remove my trousers, next to the car then my normal clothes would get a soaking before I managed to get in.

How about I open the car and quickly take off my waterproofs while sort of half in and half out? This would not do either, as the inside of the car would be blasted with rain, all over buttons and knobs that do things with electricity. I really was in a pickle. In the end I settled with taking off my jacket, as that was the quickest thing to remove, then jumping in the car and driving back with my trousers around my ankles. Just to be clear I am only talking about my waterproof trousers. My normal trousers I retrieved from the back seat and drove back with them draped around my head, because that’s what I like to do sometimes.

As I guided my car back to Keswick I vowed to return when the weather was more clement. Arrived back at the flat and hung various items of clothing about the place, which afforded me the pleasure of having everywhere smell of damp, and then made an absolutely spiffing spag bol for my tea.

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