Autumn on Blencathra

Partner and myself went up to the Lake District yesterday to try and squeeze in one more decent hike before the clocks go back. We did Blencathra (AKA Saddleback) by Sharp Edge – it’s not, technically, a rock climb, but exposed and rather scary. P had an attack of vertigo halfway and I had to talk him through it step by step – probably it’s the only kind of situation where I am braver than him. I think his big mistake was turning round to admire the view, that sort of thing is best saved for the top of the mountain. But it was a good view – Thirlmere, Derwentwater, Crinkle Crags and, over to the North, the Solway Firth.

I’m not a courageous person so it gave me quite a sense of achievement to do a hike like that. I just look at the rock under my feet and take it step by step.

This summer we’ve done two or three long day hikes and it was well worth him taking the day off work for the way it cements our relationship. It gives us chance to talk, and to unwind. Coming home, there was a stunning rainbow and vivid sunset over Shap Fell on the M6. I wish we could have stopped to take a photograph of the wind farm silhouetted against the flaming peach clouds.

Today the Labour Party conference comes to Manchester and my daughter has gone off with a PEACE banner to attend her first demo. Feel quite proud of her, really.

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