Today is the first ‘real’ day of our holidays.
The actual first day was yesterday, but a holiday never quite feels like a holiday until I have actually woken up in a place.
This morning we woke up to a gloriously sunny day in Keswick and dressed for church. One of the really nice things about Sue’s Mum and Dad’s house is that it is in walking distance of church (we normally have to drive) and on a sunny day like today that was fabulous. We arrived at an early (so we thought) 10:15, only to discover that they had recently moved church earlier to 10:15. The place was packed because it’s the Keswick Convention. It was Steve Brady, who is always really good.
Having been to church we grabbed a sandwich and set off to walk around Buttermere. We all love Buttermere, there is something about the place that is both restful and awesome. We also planned for a bit of a paddle and perhaps a bit of a swim, so had the backpacks full of enough gear to allow everyone to get thoroughly wet.
Half way around we paddled in a waterfall. At the end of the lake we watched the local shepherd bringing the sheep down for shearing and grabbed a well deserved ice-cream. Just before the tunnel at Hassness we stopped for a proper paddle, and all got changed to go in for a swim.
By this time Emily was absolutely bursting with excitement. Jonathan was equally as excited but at 13 is trying to show it in a more adult way (and not doing too good a job of it yet, thankfully).
So in we went, straight in, well not actually because lakes in the UK aren’t very warm. The kids always go in first and try to fool us by saying that it’s not cold. Their faces always tell a completely different story. Despite the cold (and it wasn’t that cold) in we went; in deep; in over our heads; in out of our depth.
One of the challenges with swimming in Buttermere is that it slopes off dramatically; at 45 degrees down into a 20 metre deep abyss. Within 5 metres it’s too deep for any of us to stand.
It is cold, it is clear and it is glorious.
Now to those of you who might be thinking something along the lines of “But Graham isn’t that a bit dangerous, you’ve got young children” I have this to say – life is an adventure, live a little. In order to live a little you need to adventure a little. Much of life in the UK seems to be about squeezing the adventure out, but all that does is remove the life from it.
A swim in a lake that is surrounded by glorious mountains, trees, rocks and lake, is a treasure of great value. Doing it with my loved ones multiplies the value to make it a treasure beyond value.