Wednesday, 11 August 2004

A Day at the Lake

On Sunday, Providence sent respite from pages of accounts and worries about the Felting Lads, in the form of a camper van full of Patsy123 and her friends from London.

The weather could hardly have been better, so after the obligatory visit to stand at the feet of Gormley's
Angel of the North, we headed off into deepest Durham, ending up at the Derwent Reservoir.

It's years since I've been to the Reservoir. It used to be a favourite of my parents. They'd wait until a Bank Holiday came along, then join the other motorists filling the little roads up into the hills of County Durham. Never could see the point, and the Reservoir held little attraction for me then.

But now I'm older and perhaps a little wiser, and there's a great deal of fun to be had laying out a picnic of pasta salad, green salad, prawns with a sweet chilli dip, some crusty bread and a couple of bottles of red wine.

And even more fun in wandering down to the edge of the water where the beach of millstone grit gives way to rather sticky mud. We added to a small pile of stones someone had left there until we had our own
Andy Goldsworthy, then carried back on our shoes rather more of the mud than we might have liked.

After driving from the Reservoir to the campsite at Acomb where Patsy123's friends were staying, we walked to the nearest pub. It was one of those country pubs which seem to be stuck in a time warp; forever 1950. Fizzy beer, no food and a box of Liebfraumilch.

But it was a beautiful evening, so we sat with our fizz at a table outside and watched the sky dim.

No sunset to speak of but I assured Patsy123's friends that they could look forward to another gorgeous day the following morning.

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