Through the Viewfinder
And What Alice Found There
After what feels like a million years I am finally back to blogging - and it's nice to be back! It hasn't really been a million years (obviously) but for the last 5 weeks I've taken a bit of a break from blogging, website/Facebook updates in general, and also from photo editing. Everything was getting a bit too much - after working an 8 hour day in an office sometimes the last thing you feel like doing is spending another 4 or 5 hours in the evening sorting through hundreds of photos and trying to type up a blog post that's even remotely interesting. Don't get me wrong, I still love photography as much as ever but sometimes a break is the perfect way to clear your head and just do something different for a change. There's been some family matters to attend to recently but as well as that it's been nice to just relax and enjoy our very short English summer by heading out to different music festivals, visiting friends across the country, a spot of wild swimming when the sun makes an appearance and just spending some time with my family.
Anyway, I'm back now and hope to keep up the regular posts again like before. I'm still trying to catch up with a backlog of photos that need editing so for now I'm just going to use this post as a quick catch up and share some photos of what I've been getting up to lately...
1. Birthday Camping Trip
At the beginning of June I celebrated my 23rd birthday (getting old now) and what better way to celebrate than to go camping and hiking! Me and Greg packed up and headed over to Buttermere where we camped at Syke Farm Campsite - a lovely little spot where you cross a small wooden footbridge then choose anywhere you like to pitch your tent! This made a nice change to a lot of campsites who have pitches set out so you end up being in a line with everyone else. This way we could choose a quiet, secluded spot with the best view possible of the surrounding fells. After an evening hike up Rannerdale Knotts we returned to the tent to drink wine wrapped up in a blanket, cook sausages on the stove and watch the sun turn the sky red as it set.
The next day which was my actual birthday, we did a full day hike over 6 Wainwrights which were: Whiteless Pike, Wandope, Crag Hill (Eel Crag), Sail, Ard Crags & Knott Rigg. We had pretty good weather all day with the occasional cold wind up on the tops but fantastic views over Buutermere, Crummock Water and the surrounding valleys. I thought that after this hike I would be up to 80 Wainwrights so on the last one (Knott Rigg) I got excited at reaching such a good number. Turns out I calculated wrong and I had actually only done 79 - how annoying! Either way it was a really good hike after so long of not being able to get out and about! There's so many more fells to explore in that area and I can't wait to get back there again sometime soon.
2. Acorn Bank Birthday Outing
I actually went on this trip before my birthday camping weekend but I only remembered after typing out all of the above and couldn't be bothered to change it around, so I'm putting it here instead! The morning before reaching the campsite with Greg I went out with my dad to Acorn Bank. It's a lovely National Trust place kind of near Penrith. I'd been once before but a while ago so it was really nice to go back again, this time with my dad. We don't often spend much time together anymore now that I'm working full time so it was good to be able to go out somewhere with him for a change. The weather was fantastic and we were one of the first cars to arrive so it was pretty quiet to begin with. As both of us are members of the National Trust we got in for free (I highly recommend joining if you haven't already) and had a good look around the house, followed by the gardens which have so many parts to explore! We wandered around the orchard, had a look in the greenhouses, strolled through the herb garden, went to visit the beehives, and watched the newts swimming around the pond. After that we explored the woodland and the old gypsum mine, then spent some time sat in the bird hide where we spotted blue tits, great tits, a nuthatch, a woodpecker and even a little mole-type creature! We then followed the river back through the woods to the watermill and followed the trail up to the house spotting little fairy houses in the trees along the way. We finished off with a light lunch in the cafe - I had the quiche which was really tasty! Overall a great morning out and somewhere you could quite easily spend all day.
3. Evening walks in the sunshine
We've had some lovely weather over the last few weeks so I've been making the most of it and taking advantage of some beautiful walks very close to home. Helsington Barrows and The Helm are some of my favourite places to walk on a nice night, with beautiful views over the little town of Kendal.
4. More Wainwrights!
The last Wainwright walk I did was exactly 1 month ago yesterday, which makes me sad that I've gone that long without doing a decent hike! Summer can have some great walking weather but it also means that other things are going on, leaving less time for hiking sometimes! Anyway, the last hike I did was with my dad and we covered Hallin Fell, Steel Knott, Wether Hill, Loadpot Hill, Arthur's Pike & Bonscale Pike. After my miscalculations with the previous hike thinking I was on 80 when in fact it was 79, I was pleased that this walk took me up to the nice round number of 85 Wainwrights! I can't believe I've already done so many this year - since January I've summited 29 new fells, with only 15 more needed before I reach my target of 100 by the end of 2017. If I keep on track I will hopefully get above that target which would be even better! The hike we did over these fells was really good - we struggled to find the path at first and the initial climb was quite steep but as usual it was so worth it! It was also a great feeling to conquer Hallin Fell with my dad. It may not be the biggest fell (it's actually one of the smallest out of the Wainwrights) but months ago we did a different hike in the same area with plans to do Hallin Fell last. However, we were so knackered after the hike that we couldn't be bothered to go up Hallin Fell aswell, it was too easy to just climb in the car instead! It's been nagging us for weeks though, the thought that we should have just got it over and done with at the time. We planned to go up after work a few times to do that one on it's own but bad weather kept getting in the way, so now it's finally done we can at last stop thinking about it!
One other Wainwright that I actually did back in May but forgot to blog about was Hartsop Above How - a fantastic evening hike again with my dad. The weather was beautiful and we had a really nice evening wandering up from Brothers Water. As a few of you know that area is quickly becoming a favourite of mine, so this is another short walk that I highly recommend!
As well as all this I've also been embracing the summer festival season with a trip up to Glasgow for TRNSMT music festival, and this weekend was Kendal Calling - the best local festival you could ask for! There's also been a trip to York and Cambridge to meet up with friends, and some weekends just relaxing at home.
As I mentioned earlier I'm ready now to get back into blogging again, and for anyone that's wondering about the USA film that I promised...I'm still working on it! It's taken a bit of a back seat recently due to more important matters but work will resume this week so hopefully something will be ready to share sooner rather than later! Watch this space...