Friday 31 March 2023

Long Meg and her daughters


A few miles to the east of Penrith in Cumbria, lies England's third widest stone circle. Constructed in Neolithic times, it consists of 69 rhyolite glacial erratics (the daughters) and a huge block of local red sandstone, Long Meg, who stands to one side watching over them. This was to be our destination for a night of wild campervanning. Elvis had had his leisure battery replaced and the electrics were now working, and so we set off, without a care in the world. It was a beautiful sunny day, Long Meg was looking her best, and a buzzard wheeled overhead. Perfect.

We parked up, less than half a mile away, and there were plenty of hedgerows to explore en route. Apart from the daffodils, which were attracting a host of Muscoid flies, the Red Deadnettles were providing a splash of pink in the undergrowth. Elvis did his bit by attracting a Green Lacewing as well. In the meadow, a rabbit came out for his evening meal, but refused to be photographed. Dusk decended, we turned on the lights... and the electrics failed again. We'd packed emergency lights, so we could at least see what we were doing, but it was a bit chilly when we got up in the morning.

We decided to go into Penrith for breakfast, and this is when the fun began. In the middle lane of Penrith's busiest roundabout, just at the onset of rush hour, Elvis decided to blow his head gasket. The police had to be summoned to prevent a pile up, recovery vehicles had to be organised, and seven hours of alternate waiting around and hectic activity later, we finally collapsed onto the settee at home, surrounded by bin liners full of campervanning paraphenalia.

Two days later, after we had recovered somewhat, it was Ishbel's birthday, so we went out to the courtyard brasserie at Armathwaite Hall for lunch. A lovely stately old pile that stands on the north shore of Bassenthwaite lake. We took Mattie for a walk in the grounds beforehand and I found a more photogenic rabbit. It's my birthday on Monday, and I'm looking forward to a quiet walk along the shoreline looking for mermaid's purses.

All the best,


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