Jordan Taylor

London .1

Posted by on Nov 03 2016

Back to Paddington! Not really. One travels into Euston for the return from Cumbria, so a change of scene. And it was a change of scene in more ways than one. It was, to put it mildly, shocking.

By lunchtime, I had been whisked by train from walking around here:

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To walking around here:

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I have an extraordinarily low tolerance for crowds, and urban situations in general, to the point of actually having tunnel vision in crowded places and sometimes being unable to find my way around. I’m sure there’s a name for this. It’s not exactly fear. I don’t feel terrified or like I’m going to suffocate. Which is why I actually don’t mind cities. If anything, I’m very fond of many. London, New York City, and San Francisco are definitely top attractions in my book.

I don’t feel scared going into them. I just can’t see. And sometimes can’t hear either. Which can be a problem in public places, even in the best of circumstances.

So thank you, A, for being there at the station to meet me and seeing London with/for me.

First day, we visited a couple of antique markets (thank you also for humoring me on this one:), including the famed Portobello Road, which, on Saturdays at least, is not an antique market at all. It’s a general street market, including lots of food, that happens to have some antique places at one end. But no less a fascinating experience:

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Did I mention there was a lot of food?

 

Goodbye to the Lakes

Posted by on Nov 02 2016

Okay, need to finish up this log.

It was mid-October and time to say goodbye to the Lake District. It is, really, the only bad thing about being there—having to leave.

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Goodbye to the enchanting tarns, like something from a storybook, and impossible trails, rising out of slate, sometimes in sliding patchworks under your feet, sometimes in “steps” two or more feet high, sometimes in slabs like rungs on a ladder up mountain sides.

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Goodbye to the views, to Coniston, my favorite place in the world, and my own memories of what seems like lifetimes ago.

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To the lakes themselves; Windermere (below), Coniston Water, Thirlmere, Ullswater, Derwentwater (above), and the rest.

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To the clotted cream. I know clotted cream is divine, but I did not expect it to be the subject of the most questions and interesest from my American friends reading this!

For the record, clotted cream is basically like a cross between heavy cream and pure, unsalted butter. Yet, unlike either. It can be eaten on either savory or sweet baked goods, on potatoes or with fruit, or—if you happen to need the calories while traveling and only get clotted cream every few years—by the spoonful straight from the carton.

Here’s the clotted cream story.

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And goodbye to my friends there. This story has been mostly about the scenery, but I could not have gone at all without D and L. A cheap plane ticket is like a cheap car. Now you have to replace the transmission, the tires, the brakes. . . .

If not for having a place to stay, and wonderful hosts, this chapter would not exist in my life. Thank you.

Looking forward to seeing you—and you too, K, A, and M—on this side of the pond.

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Easedale Tarn

Posted by on Oct 22 2016

Walking with an old friend up to Easedale Tarn.

Around Grasmere:

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Climbing toward Easedale Tarn:

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On our way up to the tarn, we saw the sheep being gathered from the fells!

Three men and seven or eight dogs brought down a herd of Herdwicks from a very rough and steep area—all with apparent ease.

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And up to the lovely Easedale Tarn, the largest, and most beautiful, tarn I have seen!

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So wonderful to see you again, K. Thank you!

 

Catching Up

Posted by on Oct 21 2016

Time to backtrack for some last Lakeland photos and the final leg of the trip, going down to London to stay with friends there for the last few days.

First, a few more moments from the Lakes.

Below is Castlerigg Stone Circle outside of Keswick, visited with D and the Whippet. This circle, in its wondrous setting, helps illustrating something people often ask me who have never been—Why the Lake District? What makes it so special?

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The abandoned slate mines and caverns around Coniston, where many a footpath is still sliding or uneven slate and trees grow from rock walls:

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Sheeps of the Lakes

Posted by on Oct 14 2016

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Cumbria is known for sheep farming and wool production. In fact, in recent years, the Herdwick, a native breed, has become quite famous. Even when I was here four years ago these sheep were only a normal staple of the Lakeland countryside. Now they’re something of a fad. There are sheep cartoons, plush toys, figurines, books, and much more filling tourist information and gift shops all over the area. Even Herdy Shops dedicated to sheep gear.

I’m not sure what sparked this interest, but the distinctive Herdwick has certainly made a name for herself.

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A young, dark-wooled, light-faced Herdwick—or “Herdy”—ranging on the Old Man of Coniston.

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Sheep on trails.

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Sheep at attention.

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OMG sheep wants to know what human is doing in sheep space.

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Sheep with a view.

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There is a right side and a wrong side of the fences, but sheep don’t seem bothered too much about which is which.

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Hiding sheep.

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Sheeps in the Mist.
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Noble sheep.

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I even succumbed to the Herdwick mania and got a real wool sheep of my own:

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All Creatures of the Lakes

Posted by on Oct 13 2016

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My host dog, Zepp.

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The proverbial chicken question. . . .

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A puppy drive-by. The only shot I could get.

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No tail-docking in England!

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Pheasants everywhere.

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Cats by night.

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Dozens of pub dogs, but hard to get a picture!

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Swan wants noms.

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And a rabbit.

Sheep will get their own post.