I was very frustrated by the weather last week, by this I mean the fact that it was pretty fantastic for the time of year and I was stuck indoors, completely unable to take advantage of it. So, I ruled that we would be making an early start on Saturday morning and at 0600 routed Harrogate's most grumpy and bad-tempered female grizzly bear out of her pit, destination the Eastern Lakeland Fells. We were on the road by 0700 (some growling and nastiness was involved, unfortunately) and by 0820 were pulling up alongside the little institute (= village hall) at Kentmere. I planned a clockwise circuit of the entire Kentmere Horseshoe, going over the tops and taking in Harter Fell. It was gorgeous weather, cold to start with but clear and well worth getting out of bed for. I was testing out a pair of Inov-8 X-Talon 200s and these proved to be very good, I've not been able to do this until recently, as the X-Talon just won't accommodate my wide feet, but the 200s have a very wide forefoot and I found them an excellent fell shoe. Don't know if they're going to be as good as my beloved Mudclaws (I'm assured they're better on rock), but definitely worth a go. The weather started closing in as we got to Nan Bield - the inversion in neighbouring Mardale wanted to pour into the Kentmere basin - but we still plugged on the Harter Fell and then down to Kentmere Pike, before following the fell race route back to Kentmere. Am a bit annoyed with myself really, I should have hopped over the wall at Kentmere Pike and done Goat Crag and Shipman Knotts, but just forgot really .... will have to do it next time. And there will be next times, I don't know why we don't visit Kentmere more often, it's easily the most accessible area of the Lakes for us and on a good morning I can get there before Helen has had chance to make more than a few cursory clawmarks in the car dashboard. We dropped into Staveley afterwards so that I could slobber over the latest bike porn at Wheelbase, then it was back home for cuppas and domestic chores.
Sunday was a bit more relaxed, but I did persuade Bobs that she wanted to go for a bike ride. This is a rare occurrence, despite her being in possession of a suitably exotic piece of bike hardware. I took her round my standard timed loop and it went surprisingly well, though she's very rusty on the thing, the clunks and grinds from the nice Shimano chainset clearly don't cause her as much distress and they do me. Back home without too much trauma, then out fairly sharpish to watch the new "Everest" movie. The film is about the much-vaunted (and disastrous) 1996 expeditions led by Rob Hall and Scott Fischer and by some coincidence I have just finished reading a book on the subject. Despite me knowing the ending (it wasn't a happy one), it was all a bit stressful and harrowing. Go and watch it, but please be prepared for a bit of heartbreak.
Anyhow, the only other news of any note is that the f*cking washing machine chose this weekend to commit hari-kiri, so we are know on the hunt for a replacement. I suppose I shouldn't complain, it was 15 years old and has never had any maintenance whatsoever, it was the first thing I bought for myself when I got my own little flat in Knaresborough, seems like an eternity ago. It was a Bosch by the way, so that's what I will be looking for to replace it. 15 years is pretty good isn't it? Mind you, the water IS pretty soft round here. When I used to live in Portsmouth, the water was so hard that everything self-destructed very rapidly indeed.