Just a quick update re the floods and Cumbria’s recovery. The slogan going around is ‘Cumbria’s open for Business’ to which I would definitely add ‘… for Pleasure too!’ Today the new footbridge, Barker Crossing, was opened in Workington. Well done to the Army, Royal Engineers for getting it put up in only a week. The BBC have given it great coverage here – note the rain is still pouring down!
There is a rather lengthy and earnest article on Cumbria Tourism’s website from Ian Stephens, their CEO, which gives details of what’s going on in the bigger picture – riveting stuff about NWDA and how we are leading the country in Tourism – yay! Read it here …
However, as Christmas is coming, I was much more drawn to how we are going to celebrate the festive season. I especially love some of the quirky and fun events going on around the county. All the towns and villages are bedecked with lights and decorations and the shops are full to bursting with hand-crafted gifts and delicious food. I went Christmas shopping in Kendal on Sunday and found lots of quirky and beautful pressies - and FREE parking! (Apparently all South Lakeland Car Parks are free each Sunday until the 27th December.)
Holker Hall is hosting loads of great things including their Victorian Christmas extravaganza. The Lake District is such a lovely place to visit at this time of year – there’s plenty to see and do so why not come up and see us sometime
This weekend has been a really awful one for Cumbria and other places in the north of UK. Following torrential rain for many days, rivers finally burst their banks and suddenly Cumbria was plunged into chaos. Cockermouth and Workington suffered the worst, but many other people and places were badly affected. The death of PC Bill Barker was a dreadful shock to all and made everyone realise the seriousness of the situation.
This picture was taken by Linda Mellor , a local photographer who was out taking photos before things got really dangerous. This shows the road along Ullswater to Pooley Bridge, just before it was closed. For more shots of the flooding visit LindaMellorPhotos
There are awful things happening all over the world at this very moment, yet we are most affected by what happens on our doorstep. I have a friend in Cockermouth and so a big concern was that she was OK. She’s fine. And just being so connected to Cumbria and the NW makes it all so much more real …
And that is the thing for me about this disaster. It is definitely not be the worst thing to happen in the world, but it is something that is close to home … and so I care more and want to do more to help. One simple way to do that was to use Twitter to let others know what was happening and hope that by getting the word far and wide, more can be done. (Some of us even got coverage in The Times on Saturday!)
If you would like to help the people of Cumbria whose lives are currently being turned upsidedown, visit the Cumbria Flood Community Fund to donate. Alternatively you can send a cheque made out to Cumbria Community Foundation to: Cumbria Community Foundation, Dovenby Hall, Cockermouth CA13 0PN. Please write on the back ‘Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund.
Posted in Cumbria, Lake District, personal
Tagged community, Cumbria, donation, flooding, floods, Lake District, personal, photography, Pooley Bridge, Twitter, Ullswater
This week I spent a lovely couple of days relaxing in the Lake District, taking time out from a very hectic schedule to reflect and consider what next. I stayed overnight at the luxurious Waterhead Hotel on the shores of Windermere, near Ambleside, Cumbria. I will be writing about that another time but I just wanted to share with you a brief snippet of conversation I overheard in the queue for the Lakes Ferry last Wednesday.
Elderly gent to his elderly lady companion: “Where’s my camera?” “I don’t know. Is it in your pocket?” “No, I’ve looked there. Where is it?” “Maybe we left it in the hotel room.” “No it’s not there. Where is it?” “I don’t know. Perhaps it’s … maybe it’s back home.” “Where’s the camera. I never go out without my camera?” “Oh, I don’t know – why can’t we remember things these days? We used to be able to remember things … We used to have a memory; now we don’t have one between us.”
Five minutes later the elderly gent asked his lady companion, “What day is it today?” “I don’t know. Just a minute – let me see …” She go out her mobile phone, peered at it and said, “It’s the 11th of November. Oh, it’s Remembrance Day. It’s 11.30 on the 11th of November.” “I said, ‘What day is it?’” “I told you dear, it’s the 11thof November. Remembrance Day.” “NO – what DAY is it. I mean, what DAY is it?” “I’ve TOLD you, it’s the 11th of November …” “NO… what DAY…? “Oh, what DAY? Oh …” She looked at her mobile again. “Oh, I don’t know … What day IS it? …”
I whispered “Wednesday” to her and she told her husband. “Thank you dear. So silly, but I am 88 and he’s 91 and we can’t remember much these days. But we’ve been coming here since 1946 and we do know we love it here… So many happy memories.”
And I pondered on the companionship these two have shared as their collective memories gradually fade away … What happy memory might you share today?
“Excuse me, could you tell me where the … er… people from Twitter are meeting?” Well, you feel a … Twit, asking that, don’t you! I was meeting up with a group of complete strangers, some of whom I FELT I knew from our connections, but still – a rather strange, definitely quirky and slightly daunting prospect. The venue was The Lounge, a very chic hotel bar in the centre of Penrith (with great food – thank you!). Linda Mellor, a local photographer, had organised the event and about 12 of us turned out last Wednesday evening to meet the personal face of Twitter.
It was a really enjoyable evening. We were from all walks of life, with a wide range of jobs and interests. Tweeps included Julie, a friendly bee fanatic, there with her husband Graeme, ubiquitous John the writer, my mate Ali the apostrophe obsessive (quite right too IMHO!), Lee the bag fetishist and even a very friendly representative of Cumbria Police – (who did not seem able to get me off my fine for overtaking a Penrith copper with my mobile jammed to my ear, in spite of blatant attempts to bribe him with extra peanuts …)
Nick, a journalist from a local newpapaper group, interviewed everyone about why they had joined Twitter and what they got from it. I think I told him that I couldn’t remember why I had joined, but it brought me lots of new friends, information and advice, that it is a very generous place to connect and that it was also helping me to create a completely new business around the Quirky Traveller persona …
Friendly Twits relaxing ...!
By the time we left, there had been a lot of laughter, some great connections made and a renewed enthusiasm for the phenomenum that is Twitter. Don’t ask me HOW it works, but it does – and last Wednesday proved that. Nick has written a great article all about our night out in Cumbria News & Star so you can read it for yourself!
I am very much looking forward to the next TweetUp, whereverand whenever it is… and if you have any Twitter tales do share them here.