Tag Archives: Buttermere

What to do on a Wet Sunday in Cumbria

Things to do on a Wet Sunday in Cumbria

It is Sunday, the Sunday before a bank holiday Monday no less, and I am in Cumbria. Of course it is like this. If I am going to get wet, I might as well do it properly. Somebody told me the day before that Buttermere was the wettest place in England, officially. But there’s a reason why swimmers are always saying “it’s lovely once you’re in”, it’s because it’s true.

And yes, my friends, I freely admit that that is me with the neoprene gloves and socks on. I have become a convert to them in the last month, in this unseasonally chilly spring when yesterday’s 8.5 degrees was not as bad as I was actually expecting. I shall forgo them as soon as we hit double figures, but until then, I’ve become impatient for small creature comforts.

What to do on a Wet Sunday in Cumbria

What to do on a Wet Sunday in Cumbria

Buttermere, by myself

Buttermere, by myself, 28th October

Buttermere, by myself

Buttermere, by myself

The last of my Lake District sketches (for a while). This is me, swimming the length of Buttermere, and somewhat over half way back again. At which point I finally spotted Mum, who I was unaware had followed me along the lakeside on foot for the whole length of the lake (a little over 2K). I wasn’t looking out for her because she hadn’t been going to do that, and she was wearing a nicely camouflaged forest-green waterproof…

I wimped out at this point and admitted that by now it had got a a teeny bit boring swimming all on my own in the cold and the rain. I am not particularly a fan of swimming in wetsuits, but it was only about 10 or 11 degrees, and passing by the torrents pouring off the fells it was quite a bit colder. Walking was a dubious idea, since I did that in cold wet feet with only little plastic ballet pumps on, through a number of merrily gurgling icy streams: with hindsight not the wimpy option, but the company was better 🙂

People have been confused as to how I can draw a picture of myself and have asked whether I have used photographs. This is odd, because nobody is confused when I turn out pictures of fairies and demons. People, it’s very simple: there are no photos and I make it all up 🙂 It did happen like this, but this is only how I think it might have looked.

One exchange between other walkers and Mum is worth relating I think, as some passers-by noticed her watching me:
“Is he with you?”
“He’s a she. Yes, that’s my daughter”
“Oh. How old is she?”
“44”
“Oh… oh dear, that’s the same age as me” …said in the voice of one who was hoping to be told I was something silly and frivolous like 25 😉

The shoes were in the tow-float, by the way – the orange thing that was slightly irritatingly bouncing on my bottom for a lot of the swim, but is actually an awesome object for being visible, and for carrying stuff. The very nice Chillswim people make them.