Muncaster Castle today - because who doesn't love a castle! I certainly do - including the World Owl Centre with some amazing owls. I mean, I knew there were a lot of kinds of owls in the world, but still not this many. There were noble owls, noisy owls, intimidating owls, owls that looked like Muppets, owls that had clearly been coloured in by a children's craft class. Loads of fun.
Clapped for a performer who can do an escalator (a diabolo move that is insanely easy but very effective on unknowing crowds) but who did have some amusing jokes, and toured a haunted castle, bumping into the owner too. Later that night is Uno gone mad, ruleless Scrabble and some very weird dance moves.
Half hour car ride to Whitehaven and the sea. It's good to see the greeny-blue deep again, stretching out from the little town harbour to the horizon. Leicestershire is a land-locked county and I couldn't actually remember the last time I'd seen the sea. I like things that make me feel my proper size... the ocean, the sky, vast landscapes.
Had lots of fun in The Beacon museum with my sister, stroking plastic dinosaurs, tying sailors knots and playing Roman (Roman!) draughts. Fish and chips with the Grandparents and then home for a pub quiz. We came 5th, which was actually a pretty respectable position.
Today was the challenge, the big one, Scafell Pike - England's highest mountain at 978m of walking straight up. And up, and up. Me, Mum, Dad and Emma - my youngest sister- made it to the top in 3 hrs 15 mins, and then 2hrs 30 mins more to get back down again. I was spared the backpack in case my leg cramped up like it did when I attempted Scafell last year. My right foot has always turned out and now that I'm older it seems to be making a different to how my weight is distributed on that leg, particularly when I'm carrying something heavy. But with only my own weight and a walking stick to even it out I made it to the top!
It's weirdly like walking up the flight of stairs in your house and then back down again... and then doing that repeatedly for 6 hrs. But the satisfaction when you reach the top is well worth the effort.