"Moving is one of the most stressful experiences" my solicitor blithely told me, blissfully unaware that my mental rejoinder was along the lines of "because of the lethargy, incompetence and lack of communication of solicitors". Even at the end they tried to annoy. On the day we agreed to exchange contracts I got a call from my solicitor (itself amazing - usually its call them or no communication takes place) saying that they've heard there might be a problem with my sale so they've exchanged on my purchase but want the go-ahead from me for the sale. Cue several four letter words, which I managed to keep to myself. They are, or should be, well aware that my purchase requires the proceeds of the sale. Thus if there is a problem with the sale they've effectively bounced me into going ahead anyway as they have committed me to the purchase. And if no problem exists they have created a period of time in which my buyers could screw me up by changing their minds. Then how would I fund the purchase? Thanks lass. Hate to think what you'd do if you weren't acting on my behalf.
One decision I have made is to integrate the chess and walking part of my diary, so you'll now get some pretty pictures interspersed with the chess diagrams. Or they would be pretty if I could hold the camera steady.
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|Sour Milk Gill (Easedale)
Crossing the gill by stepping stones as it leaves the tarn is easy, and I start following a modest path in the general direction I wish to go. However I soon find myself electing to take a pathless route directly and steeply up the fellside until I reach the smear of snow under the rightmost dip in the skyline in the picture above. This smear turns out to lie along and alongside a path which I follow gingerly up onto the ridge which is snow covered, though not to any great depth. It is clear to me though that even if I were to succeed in ascending the snow filled gully I would find coming down afterwards very uncomfortable. So its turn right onto the ridge and follow it down to the path into Far Easedale which is one of my favourite valleys being both quiet and accessible, and thence to Grasmere and an appointment with a toasted teacake in one of the cafes.
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My faithful friend the 555 takes me past mysterious cloud shrouded fells to Keswick where I switch allegiance to the 78 which in due course deposits me safely in Seatoller. Definitely a low level walk due today, and I'm targeting the stony path on the western flank of Borrowdale and passing between Castle Crag and High Spy.
Normally I follow the road a short distance up the Honister Pass before taking a staircase path that climbs onto the fellside, so as a variation I elect to start via High Doat, skirting Johnny Wood.
|Castle Crag from High Doat
Onwards. That's Castle Crag on my right. Shall I nip up? Yes. Low cloud over Derwent Water produces a boiling effect that my camera struggles to capture, so pic of that.
|Later, fog over Keswick, from Borrowdale Road
A short stroll through Rothay Park and I'm on the back road to Rydal. This road sees little motorised traffic, but plenty of the two legged kind, often complete with four legged friends. With views into the Fairfield Horseshoe, what's not to like despite it being tarmac underfoot?
|Helme Crag across Grasmere
Helme Crag and the Gibson's Knott to Calf Crag ridge are snow free.
The Dunmail Raise face (far right) of Steel Fell shows a good covering of the white stuff, whilst in the left distance is the indistinct form of Ullscarf.