Ride no. 63 of the year consisted of a very bitter-sweet ride on my very well-worn local loop, Latrigg. It will be the last time I will ride this loop for a little while, as I am moving out of the Lake District very soon!
It’s a shock to myself as much as those around me really, I didn’t really think I would leave the Lake District this soon. I have been here now three years – and (other than my formative childhood/teenage years), it’s the longest I’ve ever lived in continuous succession somewhere. I have moved all over British Columbia in Canada – from the middle of the province in Prince George, to the East in Invermere and Fernie, to the Island in Victoria, and to the West, in my beloved Whistler. But it’s always been a hopping tour really, moving a lot. Cumbria is the first time in a long time I feel like I’ve put down roots.
And I have put down more roots than even I realised – I was taken aback at the level of emotion I feel towards this county, when faced with the idea of leaving it. A little bit of background though… I applied for what I consider my dream job at this stage in my life, and much to my delight, I got an interview! I travelled north to Scotland, and in particular to Stirling.
The job is a year-long contract, helping to co-ordinate an amazing sustainable food growing and education project for the University of Stirling Student’s Union. It is exactly what I want to be doing: building a community surrounding sustainable food – which includes growing it (a garden!), sourcing it (a food co-operative!), and teaching people about it (food education!). It’s in a progressive, democratically & student-led environment of a student’s union at a university…. AND in a stunning location (between the Scottish highlands and lowlands) in a country I’ve always wanted to live in. So, when I got word that I was successful in my job application and interview, I was really thrilled and felt incredibly grateful to be given this amazing opportunity.
After the rush of excitement and flurry of activity though, I felt an immense sadness when faced with the prospect of leaving Cumbria. For a wee Canadian lass who has struggled to fully embrace this rainy isle, the weight of emotion really surprised me – have I really become that attached to this soggy corner of England?
The answer is a definite yes – yes, I have. I’m not entirely sure why at the point in time – there is no singular reason, but many reasons all together. The Cumbrian love, as it were, will be explored in depth – but not just here, right now. Right now I have lots of planning and arranging and moving and visiting to do – so please excuse the lack of 100-rides cycling news for the time being! I will be back though, and maybe next time the ride will be in bonny Scotland :).