The weather forecast caught us out and delivered yet more rain instead of the dry sunny spells promised, so we ended up passing on the climbing option. Doh! It’s a good job there are plenty of efficient mountain streams in the Lakes or else I’m sure we’d be under feet of water by now. When will the rain stop and summer arrive?


It did brighten up a bit in the afternoon, so a brisk walk along the beach at Allonby with Anna and Ian was interesting; beach combing and watching the kite surfers. Check out the picture of one of the kite surfers making a jump as he came into the beach to take his board off his feet in fine style; poser! 😉

After that we were joined by Sarah for dinner before getting the whisky out to watch the bollywood movie on C4.

Turf Lifting + Forgotten Limestone


It was our turn to pay back some of the sweat Dave had suffered digging the ground for our patio a couple of years ago; today we helped lift the turf where the new green house is due to rise from the ground next week. It was hard work, lifting the turf whilst keeping the ground solid to provide for the foundations. A team effort, Laetitia cutting the turves, Pete lifting and Dave stacking quickly got the job done!


Green-winged Orchid
After that we went off to discover some local climbing.

Firstly we went to Windmore End – but that was living up to it’s name – (more) windy, and a biting easterly too! So a quick reassessment took us to Helbeck Wood Crag – which the guide suggested was sheltered. It was. But, it clearly doesn’t see much traffic. The whole place, even with being located in a ‘private’ wood, felt like we were intruding and obviously doesn’t get visited that often. Everything was overgrown. But it does have a pleasant south westerly aspect and was well out of the wind.

Laetitia got this nice picture of a small wild Green-winged Orchid en-route to the crag situated in fabulous open karst country.

Oh, and we also enjoyed a little steep limestone sport…


Dave + Fiona’s Scottish Wedding

There is no better party than a wedding – everyone is always in such a happy mood! So how much better is it when the guy getting married has been your mate since age 11, and you’re his best man? Well, the answer is a lot. Although there were actually quite a few of the old school gang there! So the best man’s speech was a real privilege to deliver. I managed to cover everything from caving & climbing to motorcycling & Dave’s dislike of vegetables in the 10 minutes allotted to me. So I was quite pleased with that…

Check out the pictorial prop from the speech here…

The whole event was held at Auchen Castle near Moffat. How cool is that – a whole Scottish castle to get married in! We had the whole castle to ourselves to accommodate all the guests and, for couple of days, feel like Scottish aristocracy. In fact Dave was asked if it was the family home. He wishes!

We also had some Scottish touches to the celebrations – sword dancing, a massive great sword to cut the cake with, ceilidh dancing, and haggis for breakfast – to mention a few!

Check out some pictures from the day here…
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Dave and Fiona are off to Ecuador now to climb a mountain for their honeymoon… And as I’m sure they’ll check this blog from some internet cafe of another – “have fun guys”!