Tuesday 3 March 2020

A bridge too far......

Snow was nearly blinding us as we set off from Ilkley past fields rapidly turning white.   As we drove farther North it cleared to reveal a flooded landscape with large lakes where none had previously existed, products of Storms Ciara and Dennis.  Storm Jorge hadn't yet arrived but was hurtling towards us and would no doubt raise the water level even higher.
Lakes where none should be    (Click to enlarge)
  The sun came out briefly as we lunched in the quaint little market town of Settle with its Grade 2 listed Shambles, an arched. picturesque block of six shops and houses I'm told were designed by a bridge builder!  That figures!
The Shambles  (picture from Internet)
When I worked in that area I had friends that dwelt in the Shambles and very cosy it was.   With an excellent Fish and Chip shop underneath them, a market square in front and a pub just across the road, I reckon they'd found the ideal place to live!
Tourist information
We motored on through Ingleton, Kirby Lonsdale and Shap until pretty soon we reached our turn-off to Pooley Bridge.   At present it could be simply named Pooley for the Bridge bit was washed away by Storm Desmond in 2015.  A new all steel bridge is scheduled to be completed in Spring of 2020 but a local shopkeeper reckoned 'not before June'.
Parts for the new steel bridge have arrived
Meanwhile pedestrians can cross the River Eamont by a temporary structure where one can watch ongoing work or gaze pensively down Ullswater.  Whichever turns you on!
Looking across Ullswater with snow clouds approaching
We carried on to our destination, a luxury flat midway between Pooley Bridge and Howtown.  The lake had obviously burst its banks for there was debris strewn across the road but thankfully it was still passable.
Breach point with debris on the road
We stopped to take pictures during a brief lull in the weather and were glad we did.  From then on it rained and sleeted, snowed and blew a gale.  Storm Jorge had arrived.
Snow on the tops
We made a quick visit to Pooley Bridge the following morning for a newspaper, milk and biscuits. Higher Lakeland hills were covered in snow and as we left the shop we too were caught in a freezing flurry that numbed us to the bone.
Trees getting their feet wet
We were glad to scutter back into the car and head to somewhere warm.  Not much happened after that.  We attempted The I cryptic crossword but Lohengrin's clues were mostly beyond us.  We prefer Phi whom we've got used to. 
Feeder of seeds and nuts
We were intrigued by a man screwing something to a tree and scattering stuff around just off our driveway.  We waited till he'd gone before going to investigate.   We assumed it was a feeder for red squirrels he'd been fixing up, then throwing a few seeds on the ground to attract these charming little creatures that are known to live in the area.
clean up
What else did we do?  Well, nothing really other than a little clean-up around the property.   On Saturday night I was rather ill, nasty cold, trying to cough my lungs up, unable to speak properly, etc...
"We're going home tomorrow" my wonderful partner declared. 
And we did.
I can't remember much about it, except the horrendous wind, a huge wagon blown onto its side over Shap Fell, Motorway signs advising 50mph but few drivers taking any notice.....
It was good to get home.