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Sunday, 22 April 2012

A bucolic encounter


A 21 mile cycle ride from home today took me on a number of tiny, grass-in-the-middle roads that I have never traversed before despite living here for 12 years, and using many minor bye-ways for walking during the foot and mouth outbreak. A couple of these with only modest elevation gave me inspiring distant views of the Lake District. 


I have a sort of love hate thing with farmers, and I have often noticed their dry and economic communication. I stopped on an old hump back bridge to look down into the pretty, bubbling and tree lined River Bela, then looked up to see I was being observed by a farmer just emerging from his domain across the road,
“A chap drowned in there yesterday” was his opening announcement.

River Bela a bit further upstream from Mr. Farmer incident
He went on to explain about a not so elderly local known to him, who had been fishing and had been found drowned. I suppose there will be more detail of this in the Westmorland Gazette next Friday.
I happened to mention my forthcoming knee operation (now scheduled for 4th May), and he had to tell me about his hip replacement which he cheerfully informed me keeps popping out. More chat raised the subject of otters which he seemed to have something against, but he did not elaborate,
“...they’re alright as long as they stay in the river”.
After this anti wildlife stance he then eulogised about recently seeing a dipper on the river, and enthusiastically told me about the abundance of kingfishers.
I left Mr. Farmer going off for his lunch, and I cycled on feeling a little confused, and welcomed a stop at the Farleton View Tea Shop for a pot of tea and a chocolate brownie.

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