Sunday, 28 August 2011

Tat shops, Poppy Red and a close shave.

7th July 2011

The second met up with Sal was a nice leisurly affair. We decided before hand to cut down on the driving and just go local so we headed out of Coniston and up and over Hawkshead Hill.

We had intended to have a bit of lunch in Poppy Red but it was busy and we weren't all that hungry so our visit was basically a wander around the tat and souvenir shops of the town. Apart from the bookshop, Poppy Red and the little deli, most of the shops of Hawkswead are much the same. They all have loads of Beatrix Potter tat, Wordsworth tat, obscenely overpriced pottery tat and the usual tea-towels, key-ring and thimble tat.

I must admit though I did enjoy the stroll around Poppy Red mainly because Sal seemed to be in her element! It's a good shop to come back to for Christmas present ideas.

Somehow or other I managed to lose her in the Book Shop so I presume she had gone to explore the upstairs part. Once I have had a look at the "outdoor section" in a bookshop then that's me finished I'm afraid so I ended up pacing up and down waiting for her to reappear.

We then had a pint each in the Kings Arms Hotel, a place that Janet Iand I had stayed in many moons ago. The only recollections I have of it are both negative ones. Firstly we had a room right over the bar and there must have been a late party on so consequently the noise levels were pretty high. Secondly and even worse, we came back to our Hotel room on the second day only to find eomeone else's clothes in there. When we went down to reception the girl feebly said " oh we wondered why there were still clothes in the drawers". I dont think I have ever been back to the place until now.

We wandered back through the village, calling into even more tat shops and then had a drive out to The Drunken Duck at Barnsgate where, I should add, I only had a coke. I know this might be hard to believe but I can assure everyone it is true.We sat outside in the sunshine over looking the fells above Ambleside, just passing the time of day together.

When we finally left for Coniston it would be about five oclock which was way too early so we drove to Tarn Hows. No national Trust man, no dogs, no kids and only about half a dozen people about. It was heaven!

We plonked ourselves down on the grassy slope overlooking the tarn and chilled in the warm sunshine. The tarn is partly artificial, being three tarns joined together in the 19th Century. When the Tarns and its setting came up for sale in 1929, they were bought by Beatrix Potter who sold the half containing Tarn Hows to the National Trust, and bequeathed the rest of the estate to the Trust in her will.Thank you Beatrix :D

We had an eventful drive back down to Coniston as well. A small deer ran straight out infront of the car which caused for me to brake and for Sal to squeal loudly with excitement. We fortunately missed it and scampered off into the woods.

To steady my nerves, we popped into the Sun Inn for a final drink together and sat in the beer garden which ended our day perfectly.

A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...