Nov 12 25
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No I haven’t been reading Proust this weekend. I went for a long walk up Skiddaw instead.

It is ages since I have been up Skiddaw even though, or possibly because, it is the closest big mountain to home. But it was the scene of my very first fellwalk on the first day of my first youth hostelling holiday many decades ago, when I came to Lakeland with my best friend Elspeth. We were about 14 and it was our first holiday without grownups and was great fun.

The main drag up Skiddaw. Last experienced in blisteringly hot sunshine.

I had a new pair of walking boots, and an ancient canvas rucsac from a junk shop. So I didn’t have “all the gear”, and I certainly had “no idea”. Most of my socks were nylon school socks and I developed blisters very early on. Sunscreen wasn’t a given in those days and my arms got terribly sunburnt. That wasn’t going to happen yesterday because it was freezing cold.

Some were suitably clothed for the conditions :)

There had been quite a crowd of walkers on that first day and it was pretty busy yesterday too, although no-one was hanging about on the summit for long.

On the summit ridge

We continued north along the ridge then east and south past Skiddaw House to return to Keswick.

Looking back south whilst descending to the north

Skiddaw House – former shooting lodge, now a hostel (not open all year)

No need for a trip to a teashop as Frances put the kettle on at home. I had taken along a cake and for once remembered to take a photo. A first try at this recipe, it was deemed a success – not so hard really as it is full of lovely things like chocolate, cream and ground almonds. Very luscious and sticky and approximately 1.5 million calories a slice.

Pity it sank a bit in the middle, but cake is more about taste than appearance!

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