Today’s ride was a commuting ride to my volunteering post at Nurture Lakeland. I live in the North Lakes and the offices are based in Staveley (about 25 miles south of where I live) – which is a bit lengthy for myself in terms of a morning commute. Today though, myself and the project lead were meeting in Grasmere to do some data collection from the case-study cottages – meaning I could commute by bike there!
It felt glorious to be on my bicycle today – it was a humid day, with low clouds that threatened rain. I did get rained on en route to Grasmere, but just a small amount, and when it’s humid like this it’s not as horrible as when it’s mid-January – where you are wet AND freezing! Warm rain is a novelty that I actually find quite exhilarating to ride in, though. (You know you’ve been in Britain too long when different ‘sorts of rain’ make you happy!).
After we zoomed around to a couple cottages to collect the data, I set off for home from Ullswater area, where our last cottage was located. The ride around Ullswater wasn’t too bad in terms of traffic (as opposed to the other day, where it was horrible!) – and I stopped at the side of the lake to have a bit to eat and a look at the view. I got to thinking about living here in the Lakes.
I am still amazed sometimes that I live here, I feel very lucky to call such a beautiful place home. I love how I get to live year-round in a place where most people go on holiday. I love that I don’t get to be ‘on holiday’ for just a few weeks a year – I can do the things I love and be in the mountains every day. It’s a wonderful feeling, but one that does come with some compromises.
How could you leave a place like the Lake District? Look at all the adventures to be had on your doorstep…
The Lake District (like my Canadian home, Whistler) has its faults – lack of proper ‘career’ jobs, difficult to find affordable housing, and sometimes seems like a circus as it’s so tourist-oriented. These complaints need to be looked at in a wider context, though – which I think many locals tend to forget. The high prices, the lack of ‘proper’ jobs, the oodles of tourists – all make this area much more affluent and culturally vibrant than many other small rural towns. It also provides towns like Keswick with far more amenities than it should have for it’s size – in terms of transport links, access to quality food (BOOTHS!), and entertainment venues/ events.
And that is why, despite working in the service industry while very much wanting to use my environmental degree, I still love living here in the Lakes. Maybe a job will come up outside the area that will be too good to pass up (I’ve seen a couple lately which has really got me to thinking…), but until that time I will relish these days – where my commute to work/volunteering includes mountain passes, grand lakes, sheep on the fells, and beautiful woodlands. Lucky me :).