Monthly Archives: November 2009

Cumbria Floods …

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 photogrFlooded road Ullswaterapher 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.


Remembrance of things … when?

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.

The Waterhead Hotel from Lake Windermere

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?