The weather forecast of Tuesday was cloud ad rain, so I stayed at home recovering from my conquest of Helvellyn and enjoying the cottage. I did a little local walk from the cottage to a small nature reserve which apparently was the home to nine types of rare moss.
Wednesday’s weather was better, and I drove out to a village called Grasmere for another hill walk. I was now becoming very familiar with Lake District Hill walk – there is usually a bit of walking up a gentle slope alongside a pretty stream, and then a steep climb to enjoy the view from the top of a mountain. Then a long descent, that at the end becomes more tiring (on the knees especially) than the climb.
Today’s walk followed this standard pattern but was enriched by some unexpected company. About half way up the climb, I saw a famer using his dogs to herd sheep down the hill. It was an interesting site and three of the four dogs did their work professionally. The fourth one was more interested in making friends with me. The farmer shouted “Ned, come on!” several times, but then gave up on his youngest dog team member and headed down the hill. I continued my walk up with Ned playfully running ahead of me, behind me, or following at my side.
When I took a rest to catch my breath, he’d roll around beside me on his back, tummy in the air, expecting a tickle. Ned followed me all the way to the top of the hill, from where the usual spectacular view was enhanced by a glimpse of the sea to the west.
I enjoyed Ned’s company but was getting a bit worried – surely the farmer would want him back? What would do I if he followed me all the way back to Grasmere, I couldn’t take him with me. In the end Ned solved the problem himself but attaching himself to another couple of walkers I met on the way down. I hurried off downhill and out of sight before he changed his mind.
On the way back home, I stopped in an upmarket supermarket and bought some excellent lamb and red wine for my dinner in the front of the wood fire.