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Friday, March 17, 2006


This weekend I was joined in Askam by old school friend Jeff Andrews. We were in the same class in Colchester Royal Grammar School 1955 - 1962 where we were also members of the school's First XV Rugby team.

Friday 17 March broke with low cloud, so thoughts of an assault on one of Cumbria's mountains were abandoned, and a coastal walk south from Bootle embarked upon. Several waterfowl species were identified, and we were fortified by Mabel's meat and potato pies (still warm) and fresh tea brewed in the Kelly Kettle.

After lunch the skies cleared and the sun revealed itself and so we drove to Wasdale Head and commenced the route up to to Great Gable. We reached the "snow line" where common sense dictated that we were ill-equipped to continue and so, invoking my ancient family motto Discretion is the better part of Fowler we retreated and returned to Maalie Court for beer, wine and home-made lasagne.

Jeff and Jim make an assault on Great Gable
Saturday Morning dawned bright and sunny and the objecive was to introduce Jeff to the art and science of catching birds for ringing. At Roudsea Wood by 8.00am with plenty of snow still remaining we captured several tits species, including Marsh Tit, the subject if my research study.

Jeff holds a tit in each hand

(Long-tailed left, Great Tit right)

Then it was back home for a greasy fry-up for lunch and then settled down to watch the rugby all afternoon on TV with a few beers .

Sunday started bright and sunny and Jeff's command was "lakes and mountains" so a leisurely drive up the east side of Coniston Water was undertaken, stopping at some of the picturesque viewpoints. Arriving at Coniston we parked and decided to take a look at the lower slopes of the Old Man of Coniston. Following the previous loosening-up on Great Gable, we made surprising progress through the snow (quite deep in some places) and arrived above the tarn of Levers Water in time for lunch. The walk down to Coniston villiage was comparatively leisurely and the day ended with a pint of Coniston Bluebird real ale in the Black Bull where we studied details of the impressive art-work on the pub sign.

Jeff battles through the snow drifts on the Old Man of Coniston


Anonymous jill said...

Wow, I would not have recognized Jeff if I hadn't been told. Let me know next time he comes up and I will make a big effort to come up too. Must say he is looking very well. xx

6:02 pm  
Blogger simon said...

I am utterly jealous.. mables pies, beer, snow, tits...

11:39 pm  
Anonymous Worzel said...

More great pictures! Can we please book some snow for Easter?

2:02 pm  

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