We spend the next four days recovering from our long trudge. I’ve never been this sunburnt in my life. I didn’t even know you could get sunburnt in the UK. I would dearly love to have a shower after our hot, sweaty hike but the best I can manage is a sponge bath a couple of days later. When I first get up in the morning and the tender, sunburnt skin on the back of my legs stretches as I move, the pain is enough to make me gasp and stand still for a few moments until I’ve recovered enough to move very slowly and carefully.
Originally, we’d planned on exploring Ambleside’s achingly pretty, slate-grey streets before heading off, but the drizzly rain and my painful sunburn make this a less appealing activity today. Instead, we head out to pick up a couple of coffees and croissants before leaving. We enter the first cute café we see and are momentarily taken aback when we’re asked if we would like milky coffee, Nescafé, or percolated. We take a moment to parse these unique categorisations of coffee and request a “milky coffee” please. Apparently, “milky coffee” is made with Nescafé. Good coffee and Bonds knickers are pretty much the only things I really truly miss about Melbourne (not including loved ones of course).
Friday — the day we scheduled for our next hike — comes around all too soon. It’s raining and neither Mike nor I feel up to it. The relief we feel when we decide to postpone until Monday is exhilarating. It reminds me of when I was working as a social worker back in Australia and would spontaneously take an RDO (Registered Day Off) and the resulting wave of immense relief and sense of freedom.
We spend our week “off” contentedly working on our respective projects; something that has become the highlight of this technomadic lifestyle of ours, even more-so than the travel, most of the time. I begin creating a mixed media art tutorial for my blog and continue work on a small triptych of owls — something I’ve been dying to paint for a long time.
One day, Mike is a bit stuck on his massive project of overhauling an old iPhone app of his, Loopy, so we take a very rare day off from projects and indulge in a Castle marathon. In the evening, I do something I haven’t done in a long, long time and take some time out to read a good book (something I usually only do in bed of a night). I’ve started reading the Sherlock Holmes series after a friend mentioned that one of the books is set in the Lake District. In my mind Sherlock Holmes is a sexy Robert Downey JR and Watson is foppishly handsome Jude Law. I don’t know how much I would have enjoyed the books before that movie came out but I’m having a smashing time now. Also, does anyone else get the impression that Holmes’ and Watson’s “intimate friendship” is… well, intimate, or is that just me? While I’m sequestered away in the nook with a good book, Mike delves into a nostalgic romp down computer game memory lane with an evening of Heretic playing.
The weather is rainy all weekend but by Monday, just in time for our next mammoth hike, it clears and we’re graced with warm sunshine once more. We’re still at a loss as to what all these Poms are complaining about. We’ve lived in the UK for almost a year now and the only difference I can see between weather here and in Melbourne is a blessed lack of 40° days in summer and a bit of snow in winter.
Bloody whinging Poms.
We’re feeling much more ready to tackle another hike than we were on Friday, although it hasn’t been quite long enough for me to forget the discomfort of the last one in order to look forward to the one ahead.