The novelty of being back in the UK is wearing off. My first few weeks home were filled with life admin and fun excursions, and true to form the first 2 weeks of September (when the schools go back) as always were uncharacteristically beautiful. The next chapter is taking shape and ideas of where, what and how are starting to form. But for now I’m stuck in the north of England for a while as I accumulate some funds.
I’ve managed to score myself a part time job until I head out to Meribel in December to “work” a season. I’m picking home delivery orders in a warehouse, which is boring and repetitive, but it serves a very important purpose – money. I’m also volunteering 2 days a week in a primary school, I thought it might be a good idea to actually experience the career I’m signing up for before committing! I am not enamoured with the UK education system at all, but that’s another story. The children I do like, however, they are funny, quirky and tell the most fabulous stories.
In between finding myself work, actually doing some work and school, I’ve managed to squish in some decorating, Lake District explorations and, I am not to forget some very important socialising. I’ve spent a bit of time at Ullswater with friends. This is my favourite lake in the whole of the Lake District. I’m probably a little bit biased as this is where I learnt to sail and I have many fond memories of childhood summers spent playing on the lake. But it’s also less crowded and touristy than it’s infamous friend Windermere whilst still being nearly as large.
My oldest friend and I created some makeshift roof bars, attached 30 year old kayaks to the roof and headed off for an afternoon paddle and swim in the sunset. It was the hottest day of the year peaking at 26 degrees with us. We frolicked, laughed and played until the sunset disappeared behind a mountain and the temperature started to drop. Oh, top tip – make sure your kayaks don’t have cracks in before putting them on the water! We made this mistake. But you have to work with what you’ve got!
Soon after this trip my friend Olivia, who you may remember from my Australian road trip adventures, came up to visit me. She’s from London and has never been to the Lakes. Needless to say I rectified that fairly swiftly! Back to Ullswater we went! We planned to go for a short walk but it was such a beautiful day we ended up hiking 11 miles. We caught the steamer to catch a different view of a place full of clean air, muddy boots and green fells. We filled Olivia’s second day with a climbing excursion, the weather had turned so we headed to Lakeland Climbing Centre – the highest climbing wall in the UK. We had a great time. And the next day neither of us could hold a pen! A great day climbing I’d say!
I also dragged one of my school friends on a walk to do some wild swimming. I say dragged she came along willingly, but I did get us lost many-a time! So she may have regretted her decision! My memories not what it used to be. We swam in a tarn which I’m fairly sure is fenced off from the public, but what are rules therefore if not to be broken?
I’m starting to get restless, as always. Living in your childhood home is hard, especially as an adult. My parents have made it easy for me, they have given me freedom with a car and I obviously am not expected to stick to any curfews etc. and also FOOD IS FREE! There are definitely some pluses. But suddenly living with 4 other people you have to coordinate with after living with one other person for a year, has definitely come as a shock to the system. And this is only added to by the fact my brothers are both in their teenage years and seem to take it in turns to fulfil the difficult teenage role. So despite the fact we are all essentially adults the bulk of the housekeeping seems to fall to me. Which is draining, boring, never ending and altogether quite a thankless task. I guess I’m fed up of being skivvy – after three weeks – how my mother managed for 21 years is quite beyond me.
Now the English winter is starting, read 6 months of rain, cold winds and grey skies. The newness has worn off. The banalities of life are settling in. My friends are returning to university. And I’m left, lonely and longing to be back surfing, going to yoga and being silly with my friends. I still have several of my best friends and Lachie to see and I’m going to Canada in less than a month, I’m desperately clinging to bright sides over here! So there are always silver linings. Also this situation is only a temporary stop and soon I will be elsewhere.