For the last 2 weeks, the OM office has had some interns from Taylor U here to do some IT work for them. The rest of us have had the opportunity to practice hospitality by hosting students, having them around for tea, and showing them around Cumbria. Leon and I had the group around for tea a couple of times. It was lovely to get to know them. They are a great group!

Rainy, cold, wet Keswick

On Saturday Leon and I volunteered to take the Taylor U crew down to our favourite place—the Lake District. More specifically, we went to Keswick. Let me say that we picked the best day to go to the Lake District, and I say that with sarcasm. It rained all day. It rained, the wind blew. It rained and rained and the wind blew quite strongly at times. I felt sort of bad for the students because no one was really prepared for this English weather in all of its glory.

Driving to Keswick had to be the most enjoyable part of the trip. Leon decided to take the back roads there so everyone could see the better parts of the Lakes. It was beautiful!

Once in Keswick we decided to take a short walk along Derwentwater (one of the lakes). It was going to be a lovely walk up to Friar’s Craig and then to Castlehead. Well, we go to the lake. Most everyone except Leon, myself, and 2 students decided to turn around and find a dry place to go. The rain was coming down in buckets. Where the walk started, there is a launch where you can take a ferry across the lake. It was closed, and we could see why… all the docks were completely flooded. The four of us decided to continue walking through the wind and sometimes horizontal rain. Half-way through our walk we did have to turn around. The footpath was flooded with several inches of water for about 200m or so. There was no going around it. As somewhat enjoyable as the walk was, I was glad to turn around because the wet was starting to get to me.

The world’s largest coloured pencil

Upon our return, we met up with the others for lunch. Some shopping in the city centre followed. We met up again after shopping for a trip to the must-see attraction in Keswick—the Cumberland Pencil Museum. The site of this museum was where they first made graphite pencils for the whole world. It was a bit interesting to learn about the process of making pencils and coloured pencils. Our self-guided tour ended with the opportunity to embrace our inner child: we got to draw with coloured pencils.

Playing with coloured pencils

After the museum, we had one more stop to make—Castlerigg. It’s at Castlerigg where there is a stone circle (similar to Stonehenge). Leon and I were the only ones who made the decision to stay in the car and put dry clothing on while the others went to investigate this mysterious stone circle in the pouring horizontal rain. Apparently, it was just that: a stone circle.

Finally in a warm car in somewhat soaked clothing, we drove back to Carlisle and had an enjoyable dinner. We were finally out of the rain!

I have to say that the weather here has been quite nice the past few days. The sun even made it out for a couple hours. Which begs the question, “Why couldn’t it be this nice on Saturday?” I just shrug my shoulders and say, “This is England.”