Womad living

Home for the weekend at Womad 2017


Still managing to do some work though…well one of us is…colobusyeti busy photographing festival goers…me busy laying around.

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Vegan cakes in the Lakes

Are you a city person or more at home in the countryside? Last week I got to go from my home in rural Cumbria down to London for the night and then back up for a night in remote Lake District. Talk about contrasts!

The trip down to London was a whistle-stop visit to see Adele at Wembley Stadium with my mum (potentially amongst the last people to see her perform live as she cancelled the two remaining nights after ours!). Whilst I’m not her biggest fan, Adele can certainly belt out a tune with her voice and her interaction with the crowd is some of the best I have seen. Plus my mum was happy so that for me = time well spent.

Being in London is odd for me now. Being a south-eastern girl, I used to visit London all the time. It felt comfortable. Now it is quite alien and uncomfortable. And I’m not quite sure why. I don’t think it is the current countryside living I am indulging in. I felt this way about London when I returned back from our travels. London has changed for me.

Whatever the reason underlying this odd unhappiness with London, I was relieved to be away from it again (though it was lovely to see my little mum!). Excited too as we were heading to my first vegan festival the next day and a night away in our little camper – always one of my most favourite things to do.

Cumbria Vegan Festival was a bit of a mixed bag for me. There was so much tasty food there to try. I had my first experience of jerk tofu, pulled jackfruit and a vegan meringue that was utterly amazing. Too amazing. It is seriously a good thing I don’t live near the bakery. This was all good. Thing was though if you don’t have much money to spend, there was not much else there. A few talks and films showing and that was pretty much it. I was kinda hoping for more advice and information on the vegan lifestyle. Paying an entry fee to then just buy things seems-well-a-little-rubbish to me. Maybe I expect a little too much.

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The good news was that the shop in the centre has an amazing selection of beers including the Samuel Smith brewery which does vegan beers! So we stocked up and then set off for Haweswater Reservoir on the edge of the Lake District. Bumping along single track roads in search of a spot to spend the night reminded me so much of our travels in Scotland as part of our Big Adventure – oh I want to do that again! We had hoped being a little cut off from the rest of the Lakes would mean it wouldn’t be so busy there. We were wrong.

Thanks to a little bit of patience and some fast manoeuvring, we got ourselves a perfect little spot overlooking the reservoir tucked at the end of the valley. Once the walkers (people who were walking the fells not the undead I hasten to add) had cleared off, peace and isolation reigned. And the weather rained.

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Tucked up in our cosy little home, this didn’t seem to matter and we chatted the evening away over our beers. We woke up to spells of sunshine and people arriving to enjoy the hills by foot, bike, 4×4 and motorbike (some nutters even turned up at 4am!) as we packed up and headed home.

Strolling up the hill/mountain/steep thing behind our camper was the perfect antidote to the unease of being in London and gave the perfect opportunity to take some more Haggis and Horse photos too. I regret that it has taken us till now, when our time here is running out, to explore and sleep more in our little house on wheels.

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Adventures & Photographs at Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian's Wall near Birdoswald Fort

One of the reasons we moved to our present spot in Cumbria after our ‘big adventure’ was because we would be surrounded by so many amazing places.  Whichever direction you head, wonders await ~ Scotland, Northumberland, the Pennines, the Lake District and Yorkshire plus all the places right on our very doorstep in border country. Our intention on moving here was that we would head off out and about in our little camper on a regular basis to see the sights, a day trip here and an overnight stay there. Note I say ‘intention’… we got rather bogged down mentally last year and ended up not really seeing or doing much at all.

We decided this had to change for two reasons.  Firstly we don’t plan to remain here in Cumbria for too much longer and want to see as much as we can before we say goodbye to this gorgeous area.  Secondly we have set up a microstock portfolio (Phillip photographs and I tag/submit) to aid our alternative lifestyle dream.  So once a week our trusty Bongo sets off on a mini adventure with the double bonus of us seeing our surroundings and getting photos for the portfolio. Sometimes I simply enjoy seeing and walking, other times I sit myself in the Bongo and either tag photos or tap away at some writing (at this time of year normally with a nice warm blanket round me and gloves on!).

A recent focus for us has been Hadrian’s Wall. For some reason the Wall really speaks to me. I love seeing it, being near it and imagining what it must have looked like when it was built and in use. We are lucky to have some amazing sections of the wall near us with stunning views over the surrounding countryside and some (occasionally sneaky) free places to park!

Hadrian's Wall at Banks East Turret

The closest bit of Wall to us is at Banks East Turret and we always take any visitors for a quick visit here as the views are amazing (if the weather is being nice that is, being Cumbria it usually isn’t!) and we are slightly proud of the fact that it is only about 10 minutes away from our home.  It is bizarrely where we got our Glastonbury tickets in October 2015 as they went on sale mere days after we moved and we had no internet at home!

Heading further east there are some lovely long stretches of Wall at Birdoswald Roman Fort and over the border into Northumberland.  A couple of weeks ago we discovered one of those sneaky free parking places I mention at the amazing Walltown Crags.  This has to be my favourite spot so far.  The Crags are gloriously rugged and the Wall snakes its way up and down them.  Add to this the bleakness of the surrounding landscape and well…I am a happy bunny.  I quite happily tromped around for a while relishing being there in the cold, fresh air and then settled down in the Bongo to work whilst Phillip was shooting awesome shots like this.

Sunset at Hadrian's Wall, Walltown Crags

Hope you enjoyed our little Roman jaunt ~ stay tuned to see where our Bongo adventures take us next!

All photos in this post taken by ColobusYeti and available at Fotolia