A Breath of Fresh Air

How I'm getting back out into the countryside whilst living with MS

A Christmas Walk

A Christmas visit to relatives gave me the chance to get out into the Lake District.

My trip to Elterwater brought a new and interesting complication for my brother: how do you manage both your sister in a wheelchair and your two small children, one of whom is still more interested in doing her own thing than following instructions?

river walk, Elterwater

river walk, Elterwater

Admirably, as it turned out! The hairiest part of the outing was the 100 yards or so downhill, from where we had parked the car in the village to the start of the path. My brother’s hands were fully occupied with not letting the wheelchair (and me!) run away, whilst his eldest daughter, taking her responsibility as Big Girl very seriously, clung tightly hold of her little sister as they both ran at full pelt towards the footpath. I heard my brother give a huge sigh of relief once all parties were safely the other side of the gate that marked the start of the path!

easy footpath

easy footpath

Our route meandered beside the stream which led to the lake itself – although our expedition did not get that far (due to small legs!). It was very flat and smooth, with a compact surface of fine stone – interspersed with sections of most attractive but, as usual, more bumpy, slate paving. The path was popular with all ages, as well as, most importantly, cyclists – I made a mental note to return with the tandem!

paved path

paved path

It was a beautiful crisp day and plenty of people were also enjoying the chance to get out after a few rather damp days. We were all greeting each other with cheery ‘hellos’.

Langdale Pikes

Langdale Pikes

The scenery created pictures in every direction, all lit differently by the winter sun. Behind us, the Langdale Pikes were in full view whilst, as the sun shone behind the trees, it highlighted their dark trunks. Elsewhere, a field of frost became illuminated when light finally reached it.

looking towards the frosty field

looking towards the frosty field

Not that there was much time to enjoy the views – there were small people to chase! They paddled, pushed the chair, played Pooh Sticks … and mainly did a lot of running!

across Coniston Water

across Coniston Water

There was even time to head off to Coniston for lunch at the Bluebird cafe and watch the magical light over the lake. Some of the party also managed some more paddling (and only got their feet a little wet!).

Coniston Water

Coniston Water

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