Making the most of it: the 10 things I want to do whilst in the Lakes.

I’ve always been a bit lazy when it comes to setting and then attaining goals, I get easily distracted, have little patience and let’s just face it, life gets in the way.

But, one of the main reasons I chose to move to the Lake District was to discover more, explore more and just all in all do more. I was instantly drawn to the outdoorsy feel to the area – everyone here does something, whether that be climbing, mountaineering, biking, paddling, you name it the lakes have it.

Having been born and raised in the suburban streets of London (slightly cringing at this wording, as it makes it all sound way too edgy….it wasn’t), I always craved the outdoors. Actual green fields that rolled on for days, mountainscapes and wide open lakes, were just never things I found in the city, and consequently I never quite felt at home there.

With this in mind, I am determined to make the most of my time here, as I have no idea how long i’ll stay, currently i’m thinking anything from 6 months to a year, but things could change. So, I decided to compile a list of all the things I want to do, see and experience whilst i’m here, and hopefully once my time is up i’ll be able to look back and see what I managed to accomplish.

Here goes:

1.Go up Scafell Pike, after all it is England’s tallest mountain, I feel it would be a shame to actually live in the area this mountain looms over and cease to ever experience it, ya know?

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2.Wild camp. A lot. Okay so it is currently hardly the season for wild camping here with the weather being pretty much every shade of gloomy, and i’ve never been one to really relish sitting in a soggy tent, watching the clouds pelt it down all around me. But, once summer rolls around and the temperatures start to stop feeling so frosty, then i’m definitely down for just parking up by a lake and setting up camp for a night or two.

3. Climb outside more. Again this one is also a little more weather dependent, but I really want to get more experience climbing on actual rock. I’ve only been climbing a few months since Andy introduced me to it, but i’ve definitely got the bug a little. Heights have always been one of my biggest fears, and I like that slowly but surely I’m starting to be less overwhelmed by them, climbing outdoors is definitely a way to help overcome this all a little more, as well as get to see some seriously breathtaking views.

4.Go to Keswick Mountain Festival. It takes place in June time and basically is a giant celebration of climbing and mountaineering, with a bunch of stalls, talks and a mini film festival dedicated to these topics. It’s meant to be a real event and is pretty hyped up so I feel I don’t want to miss out on this one.

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5.Get more into trail running. I’ve always been a road runner, again growing up in suburbia does that to you, so finally being in an area with so much to offer in terms of scenery I really want to get more into trail running and experience what’s around me a lot more.

6.Related to my last point, improve my map reading skills. Okay so i’m kinda embarrassed to admit this one, but when it comes to reading maps…I suck. Poor Andy has done pretty good and taught me the basics, but I still lack the confidence to just get out there, map in hand and make up my own routes. This is something I definitely need to overcome, as it holds me back when it comes to planning runs or walks, as i’m reluctant to try out new routes.

7.Save. So this is directly related to moving to the lakes, but I feel its something I definitely need to go and do more of. Spending money on things I don’t need really has to stop if I plan to have more adventures further afield in the future.

8.Spend evenings doing interesting things. So I have a horrible habit. Oftentimes after coming home from work and cooking dinner I end up collapsing on my bed and watching Netflix to my hearts content. Now there is nothing wrong with that at all, but sometimes I can’t help but feel that as much as I love grandma life, I could occasionally try and do something interesting with my evenings. The town we live has an arts centre that is always putting on shows and gigs in the evenings and we’ve decided to start going to these shindigs when we can, broaden our horizons and so on.

9.Visit as many towns in the lakes as I possibly can. Seriously, I want to see it all!

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10.Get involved in the local community. As cliche as it may sound, there is an overwhelming sense of community in the town in which we live and the surrounding area, and having lacked that growing up, I would love to feel a part of it all. Whether that be by taking part in town events or joining a club here, either way I want to meet and get to know the people in my area.

So that’s it, for now anyway! Here’s to the next few months of hopefully getting stuff done!

 

xxx

 

 

Mountain day: Blencathra and sharp edge.

So i’m currently a little behind here, but having just started back up on the blogging, I really want to include some of my adventures and bigger days out, and now seeing as the weather has taken a turn for the worst (think horrible drizzly rain and dark gloomy clouds), that means that currently, i’m spending a lot less time outdoors. Sucks…I know.

But, one of the main motivations for moving to the Lake District was mine and the boyfriend’s (Andy’s) love for the mountains. And when I say love, I mean more like intense fascination and adoration. In fact, we both pretty much see mountains as our favourite landscape. And along with that comes an intense and inexplicable desire to be on top of them.

Cue the Lake district, home to some of the most stunning (and few) mountain ranges in England, alongside being the home to the tallest mountain (Scafell Pike) you can find in our little, fairly flat country. Alongside this, expect to find some stunning lakes, cute little cobble stoned villages and some of the most outdoorsy people you will ever meet. Afterall, the lakes pretty much invented fell running.

Moving here seemed pretty much inevitable for us then. And to be honest I will probably dedicate a future post to just how awesome the Lake district is, but for now back to the point of this post.

So, me and Andy found ourself a few weeks back with a free day on our hands, where for once the weather seemed to be playing ball. There was literally not a single cloud in the sky, and for January it was pretty balmy and distinctly un-snowy. Consequently, a mountain day seemed inevitable and we set our sights on Blencathra.

Blencathra all in all is a fairly unassuming mountain, set literally right behind a busy road leading to Keswick (what some might consider the capital of the lakes), honestly you could drive past and barely know it was there.

But, we had our sights set on it, as it has a slightly more interesting way to get up it than the usual generic, curving tourist path – a little grade 1 scramble known as ‘sharp edge’.

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Sharp edge is essentially a ridge walk leading up the summit, classified as a grade 1 scramble, as occasionally the use of hands or feet are required to manoeuvre yourself along the path. It’s pretty easy going, although you can make it as hard or easy as you want by choosing different lines along it. The only thing that might put people off is how exposed it is, but even then there is still a fairly distinguished path along it and it’s pretty touristy, so nothing too crazy.

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Despite my reservations (think fear of heights) I actually really enjoyed sharp edge, it was easy enough that you don’t become overwhelmed by fear, but also interesting enough to keep you thinking too. And once we finished the scramble, we felt obliged to take a typical, cutesy couple photo at the top.

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Honestly, I would say sharp edge is what really makes Blencathra a little more interesting, as the summit itself was fairly, and I hate to say it, missable. And honestly I really dislike saying that, because nature is always stunning, I just more mean that compared to other mountains in the area, it’s definitely a little less breathtaking. But hey, a mountain is a mountain and it’s still an awesome feeling to be stood at the top of one.

All in all it was a pretty fun day out, even if we got a little lost on the way down and ended up waddling down an incredibly steep, poo infested field. That bit was not so great.

Another day off well spent:)

 

xxx

 

 

What happened when I learned to let go.

I don’t know what it is about rainy days, but does anyone else find that they just seem to make you super contemplative?

Just me?

Anyway, it’s currently a very drizzly afternoon here in the lakes, the type of drizzliness (is that a word?) that makes you super damp without even realising it, and somewhat reluctant to even venture outside at all.

A much as I love a good old explore, there is something about snuggling up in a cafe, drinking endless coffees and staring outside at the rain on the window pane (hey I made a rhyme) that is weirdly comforting. And, like I said, it always seems to get me thinking, which is not always a good thing, but for whatever reason today it left me feeling a little bit inspired.

So, what is this post all about. Well, I guess what I wanted to get thinking about was the whole idea of expectations. We all have them, we all can let them dictate how we see things too. I know I always struggled with  building things up in my head rather than just accepting them as they came.

And, it can be hard. Expectations can be everywhere, and with people working longer and harder, we all want to make the most of our time off. That time off then becomes so precious to us, to the point where we fear wasting it, or it not living up to the idea we initially had. Whether that be a day off, holiday or even a meal out.

In fact, I used to live solely based off of my expectations, as if I always wanted to be let down by them. In fact, I know that there were times I actually relished in being let down, like it gave me even more reason to be the epitome of doom and gloom.

So what changed?

Well, for starters I was always very uptight, I hated spontaneity or saying yes to anything even remotely unplanned. because you can’t have expectations when you randomly decide to follow an unmarked path, or try out a new coffee shop on the spur of a moment.

I guess you could say that I learned to let go (cheesy I know). I stopped aggressively pushing against life, like it was out to get me, and instead just let it surprise me. I get that all sounds very new age-y and away with the fairies, but truly it was one of the best things I could have done for myself.

Because, it doesn’t just apply to time off or a holiday. I no longer expect so much of myself. I don’t need to keep pushing myself to the breaking point physically and mentally. I no longer expect to have a career that’ll earn me lots of money and a big house. I no longer expect a boyfriend who will give me endless love and attention and security. I no longer expect that my boss at work will notice how hard I am working and give me a promotion.

Now this is not to say i’ve lost all ambition and drive in life, because I can definitely attest that I haven’t. It’s more that by no longer focusing on needing to have these things, i’ve found that if they do happen I can actually appreciate it that bit more. And by lowering my expectations, i’ve learned that I do have a lot more than I ever realised.

You’re life is what you make it. It can be a prison weighted by expectations and needs, or a blank canvas that welcomes whatever comes its way.

Wouldn’t you rather have the latter?

 

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And to end this post, a picture of me staring contemplatively at a waterfall on a rainy day

Thoughts always welcomed and appreciated 🙂

 

xxx

 

 

Introductions.

Who am I and what’s this all about.

Starting a blog isn’t exactly a foreign concept for me, it’s something i’ve dabbled in from time time, starting off enthusiastically before sadly deleting any efforts I may have made.

The truth is, I was never quite ready to blog about the things I truly wanted to discuss, and I wasn’t quite at a point where I was living authentically or in line with the person I wanted to be.

But, a year on from my previous efforts and a lot has changed. I am finally at a place where I am living a life in line with who I have accepted I am. This life may not be glamorous, it may not always be filled with adventures or incredible stories. But, it is a life I am content with. In fact, scratch that, it is indeed a life I am extremely happy with, a life I have carefully cultivated, full of the things and people I love.

But, before I get ahead of myself I guess I should start by introducing the very basics of who I am…

My name is Amy (in case you hadn’t already guessed..), I am 21 years old and have just moved up to live in the Lake District, England, for a bit. I am a cat loving, coffee fanatic and mountain lover. I strongly dislike strawberries, crowds and grumpy people.

If you’re the type of person who would rather spend a Saturday night cuddled up in bed with tea and a good book, than my guess is you might just like this blog, and perhaps you should give it a chance…. not trying to sell myself here at all am I….

If not then that’s cool, I can’t expect to be everyone’s cup of tea coffee, and I respect your decision to politely skip on over to someone a tad more exciting than me.

If you’re still interested however than you can expect to see upcoming blogposts all about life in the small towns surrounding english mountains, coffee ramblings, climbing and walking adventures and my general life musings on how I came to be where I currently am now.

Moreover though, I know this blog is going to act as a way for me to just let it all out, because lets be real, as beautiful as life is, it’s also damn messy sometimes. And I want to include it all, the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

for now though I will end these introductions before I get too ahead of myself,

sending love x