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The Lakes

Oh blimey.

How has a month gone by without me writing anything at all?

I’m sure we’ve done loads of stuff, we have certainly been down to Cornwall to our mate’s luxury self catering cottage New Forge. That was at the start of September. I think we had the last of the great British summer that weekend.

I was treated to a night in a lovely boutique hotel as well for my birthday. Called The Old Coastguards, Mrs BB and I had a fabulous dinner and a comfortable night in a huge four poster with the windows thrown wide open and the gentle roll of the sea lulling us to a deep and beautiful sleep.

But right now we’re in the Lakes, in Ambleside’s Salutation Hotel. After heading up a few hills this morning Mrs BB is taking her reward in the form of a massage in the spa, and I thought I’d catch up on a bit of story telling. It’s a shame I didn’t think of this before.

I even had a swim yesterday morning in a lake just up the road called Rydal. The chef told me about it and said that he often swims there in the dawning light before he starts service in the kitchen. It’s supposed to be the warmest of the lakes, but it was still pretty chilly to me, but I was the only one swimming without a wet suit.

The hotel breakfast is amazing, but the place is full of old biddies. When I said that to Mrs BB she pointed out that they aren’t any older than me – older in spirit though I think!

Less rant, more joy.



View from Y WarrenThis is the view we have woken up to for the last couple of mornings.

It’s pretty spectacular. And the scenery around us is even better, there’s mountains and the sea, and if you’re lucky, both together.

I can’t initiate another rant when I’m looking at this. We have had great company, and some pretty deep and interesting conversations, including one on our understanding of gender – that was sparked off by an essay title and catching a news item that had us all in stitches.

It was a piece on the American Serviceman called Bradley Manning, the guy who leaked three quarters of a million state secrets (that takes some thinking about doesn’t it? can you even contemplate 750,000 of anything?). So Manning’s trial must be a pretty serious event in the US, tantamount to treason I guess, but then he came out on Thursday and said that he considers himself a woman and from now on wants to be know as Chelsea! What the heck is that about?

It’s so completely off the wall that it’s a story in itself.

I guess unless you know someone close to you who has a trans gender crisis it is a difficult situation to understand or believe, and as we aren’t in that category I have to admit we’re just going to sit back and laugh. Sorry Bradley, or is it Chelsea.



Frack off.

I’ve been interested in the whole fracking debate unfolding in the south of the country and the mounting pressure the drilling company is coming under.

I don’t like the idea of fracking, but then again I don’t really understand it. I remember seeing pictures of Canadian tar sands burning years ago, but I don’t think that our potential reserves are likely to deliver anything as exciting.

To my mind if there are reserves of a resource that we need for the continuation of life as we know it, and one that we are currently being held to ransom over by the scary Russians, then we should do what we can to get the damn stuff out. It would be nice to limit the environmental damage, but that’s not very realistic a hope I doubt.

This morning there was some professor on the radio from Keele University saying that fracking has been going on in over 200 sites in this country already, and I guess until it goes wrong then no one is likely to get that concerned.

But also this morning they were saying that operations were being scaled back down south as there was a perceived real threat of direct action from the protesters.

I reckon that it’ll all eventually quieten down and the work will just go ahead as they wanted it to. But I’m sure that there were supposed to be much bigger reserves in the Lake District than down south anyway.

We’re all just far too dependent on our fossil fuels and powered stuff. I heard of friends renting a completely off grid place in the north of Scotland for a fortnight holiday and saying that it was the closest they have felt as a family ever.


What is important?

I’ve been dwelling on this potentially deep title for some time. I can feel a series of BeeBeard ponderances coming on.

I think it has a lot to do with being in my sixties that I even think such things.

I remember my father saying to me, and horrifying me, on my 35th birthday that I’d reaching my middle years. I was still so vibrant, bursting with life and only just beginning to learn what it is all about, and yet the old man was telling me that it was half done already. I guess he was working to the old three score years and ten life expectancy – that has changed a bit these days, though he conformed almost bang on (I avoided saying dead on, I still miss him).

I never had philosophical discussions with Dad, it’s a shame as I’d love to look back on his gruff responses to my youthful questions about life. But I’m confident he’d tell me to work hard. Never owe money. Repay debts of favour as fast as I could. Finally I know he’d tell me to find a good woman.

And although there’s no soft edges to these points, it’s not a bad basis for life. And now I want to spend some time considering what my thoughts to pass down would be.

That point of “Find a good woman” would be phrased a bit differently these days I guess. It’s probably my first point rather than anything as worthy as working hard. So let’s start there:

Find love. I’m lucky. I have. It has grown on me in the most wonderful way. And the older you get the softer its edges. You forgive faster, appreciate more deeply. So whatever you need, be it a man, or a woman, I hope you find the right one. But don’t expect it to happen by magic. You both have to work hard, it’s the most important team you’ll ever join.

I know I haven’t written a word in ages, but I hope to be back with more on this topic soon.

Smokin’ Baby!

I used to actually enjoy smoking, but that’s probably because I only ever when through periods of smoking full time, generally I’d have a little mellowing tobacco with friends, generally buying some flavoured Virginia rolling tobacco if we were off out, then leaving it in the pub deliberately, or giving it to a mate.

I graduated onto smoking silly fags just because I thought they were cool, Marly Reds were only a fall back if I couldn’t find filterless Camels, or some French blend.

Even writing this now I have a great taste memory, which I know is a deception brought on by my silly belief of how great life was when we were young and nobody cared, and no one could possibly get older.

I haven’t yet tried any of the electronic cigarettes, although I am certainly tempted. I have a few friends who go out for a puff on one, even though I think you can smoke them inside, yet the taboo against smoking probably makes people think that they need to go outside anyway.

I remember one particular work trip when a mate and I had to drive over to Belfast for a two day event and we just smoked ourselves silly all the way – I can’t imagine we smelled too good by the time we got there, but that was to only get worse as we then proceeded to try to drink the country dry of Guinness!

So I wonder what happens? I guess you just get that slight relaxing sensation from the nicotine. I’m going to have to try soon. I’ll let you know!



Loyalty is a strange concept.

Loyalty to your friends? Loyalty to family?

Which matters most?

There are of course people in your family who you have chosen – and therefore they are hopefully both your family and friends.

But  parents? Aunts, uncles?

And to what point? How big a test do we need before we cave in and back down.

There was an old boy on the radio this morning, talking about his fighting in the Korean war, I think that was late 50’s.

He was talking about a mate being shot down, and how he went to get him, then ended up getting his arm blown off. I wonder how much of the courage he showed that day would have been there if he had the chance to reflect on the danger. Are great acts of courage acts of loyalty, or driven by adrenaline.

Should you be loyal to a company?

Especially knowing that when the time comes to make cuts it is unlikely that loyalty will feature in anything but the size of the payoff they hopefully give you.

I’d like to keep this concept in mind and share it in type at least over coming posts. But trouble is my posting is a tad erratic at the moment, I do try to keep to every few days – but I’m just not loyal enough to the cause!