Category Archives: Family & Friends

Muker Show Day Rounds Out the Visit

Well, we’ve left Whitehaven and the family behind us – but it was a lot of fun spending a good deal of time with nearly all of my family over the past month. We had time to climb several of the mountains of the Lake District and Dales and finally managed to get Kate and Dustin onto the boat for a somewhat blowy and cold sail outside of Whitehaven.


Our visit culminated the most enjoyable Muker Show day I have ever experienced.The show sports judged displays of arts and crafts from local folk, flowers and vegetables, walking sticks, handwriting and of course sheep! Swaledale being at the center of breeding Swaledale sheep – the males (Tups) fetching huge amounts of money occasionally. Apparently the standard this year was very high…


There’s also sheep dog trials, but unfortunately that was a bit of a mess as the field in which they performed was not secured properly and nearly every shepherd lost sheep to a poorly constructed wire fence! Muker Silver Band (including brother Steve, his wife Sue, sister Kate and her husband Dustin) plays tunes throughout the day to accompany all the various activities.




The highlight of the day is the Fell Race. Competitors come from far and wide to participate in Muker’s fell race – which leaves the showground, heads across the river Swale (try not to fall in) and up Ivelet Side – a stupidly steep incline of about 45%, across the top of the hill and then back down and across the river to the finish. Daughter Abigail made her debut this year and I’m proud to say she finished – and not last in the 61 strong field. Way to go Abigail!

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The show winds up outside the Farmer’s Arms in the village (the pub my parents owned for quite a while) and the band plays a series of hymns and local songs – and the whole crowd participates. A wonderful finale to a wonderful day.



We departed Whitehaven, which turned out to be a very nice little town (unfortunately inundated with seagulls and way too much litter) – it is ready to be a busy tourist town, but somehow didn’t quite manage to capture the tourists. We headed next to the Isle of Man that sits in the middle of the Irish Sea…



Dinner Aboard

Last night we had niece Hannah, Mark, Nicky, Jenny, Molly, Abigail, myself and Laurie sat around the dinner table enjoying Laurie’s magnificent Lasagna with Salad, followed by home made apple (from Simon Mardel’s garden) crumble and ice cream. Talk about gourmet cooking! Way to go Laurie!


Great Gable

Today we were going to go sailing with niece Hannah’s lot today, but the weather was not particularly favorable for 3 kids aboard – with gusts to 35… so instead we opted for a walk – up Great Gable… England’s second highest mountain I believe.

We arrived at Wasdale Head and met Hannah, Nicky, Jenny and Molly there and set off on a blustery day. The mountain was in cloud – would it lift for our arrival?  Would it heck!

An enjoyable if taxing day – it’s a bit of an all UP followed by all DOWN walk – but the pints at the bottom tasted ever so good!


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More Family Fun

Great times at the river (Rainby), exploring the ruins of a 2nd century Roman Fort s and then yesterday climbing England’s third tallest ‘Hill’ Helvelyn – remembering camping on top as idiot teenagers with Simon Mardel. We went up via Striding Edge – an arret between two glacial valleys with very steep drop offs on both sides – and with countless kids bouncing from rock to rock while us old geezers held on for dear life!

Swimming and fishing (and avoiding Midges) at Rainby waterfall…

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Hardknot Pass in the Lake District

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And climbing Helvelyn

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Graduation Day

Made it to Boston with the heat wave on Thursday morning and got ourselves situated in a slip at Waterboat Marina – right on Long Wharf in downtown  Boston. Now we’re living!

Dressed the boat in her finery to accept Abigail and her friends for a pre-graduation party aboard Toodle-oo! Friday I watched as Abby graduated – very proud – well done Abs!

Abby party 2


Abby Party 1