Me and Lucky got this invite from one Briony who works for Nativve – a Manchester-based “Customer Acquisition Specialist” company. Now I often/usually ignore these things but it seemed that not only would I be fed a breakfast but also, Patagonia would repair my ancient and well-loved (and free!) Paramo jacket wot has (had!) a big hole in it where the elbow should be. And I could take the opportunity for some Synge-bagging (you’ll have to look up “Synge” – basically, they’re obscure and almost pointless Lake District tops, often on private and well-guarded land…
So we said “yes” and went.
Patagonia are currently doing a tour mending people’s outdoor gear under the label “Worn Wear” for free. We like “free”. Click this is patagonia worn wear to have a look. It’s interesting stuff and makes a refreshing change from the usual scrabble for your hard-earned spondoolies as well as avoiding land-fill and all that green stuff… They seemed quite busy and I suspect that a lorra lorra zips got replaced. Whilst they were fettling my coat, I went inside George Fisher’s to meet whoever else had turned up and scoff a bacon butty or two.
Click the pic above for the George Fisher website (also info on Terry Abraham’s new film about Blencathra)
Before being set free to roam the fells, or the shops, we met representatives from Nurture Lakeland and Fix The Fells, who lead a guided walk. Nurture Lakeland’s role is to collect donations from visitors and direct the money towards conservation projects, thus protecting and enhancing the Cumbrian environment. And one of the organisations to benefit from this is Fix The Fells. There’s still quite a bit of footpath damage from the winter storms evident around the Lakes, but also, the sheer numbers of feet over many years has a significant effect on footpaths which tend to get wider and wider and deeper and sloppier as time goes on. So Fix The Fells attempts to repair and rebuild paths so that damage and erosion to surrounding land is reduced and the ecology is protected. They need both money and volunteers. Here’s their website fix the fells click it! Gwan! More info on Nurture Lakeland is here (gwan, gwan, click it!)
After all this, me and LTD went for a walk and bagged a couple of wayward Synges and caught up with the Fix The Fells walk on Bleaberry Fell. We also joined the throngs on Walla Crag. It seems that Walla Crag is a busy crag and it also seems that Fix The Fells will be busy here for some time to come. Walla Crag, though is justifiably popular having spectacularly beautiful all-round views and relatively easy to climb. Don’t go up there if you want to be alone with your thoughts, though. There’s other places for that kind of thing.
It was sunny. It was cold. It snowed a bit. It was all quite beautiful.
Continuing with the beautiful theme, after walkies, we had a visit to Keswick Brewery who are having their tenth anniversary this year and producing ten beers to mark the occasion – named K1 through to K10. They also have an electric car for hire. It’s called “Tethera”, which as everybody knows is dog Welsh for “three” and also Cumbrian and Yorkshire dialect for “three” and is supposedly still used for counting sheep. Other dog Welsh numbers are available should there be more than three sheep. I last saw this car hurtling up the A66 at Threlkeld. Had it been stolen? And where did it’s battery run out?
Back at the brewery, there was some sampling done, although since I had to drive the knipemobile home, I got myself a three-pack and took it back to Co Durham. There was another bottle in the goody bag provided. So I had a good night.
The basic message of all this is that Keswick and Cumbria are still in business despite the flood damage (although it seemed quite busy on the day) and that they want to see you and your dog. (But they need to calm down quite a lot with the parking charges) (and some of the daft prices for what should be budget-end accomodation) (just sayin’)
And that Patagonia is a bit more radical than some other outdoor gear makers, will fix your stuff for nowt, that there gear is available for sale at George Fisher and that they gave me a nice bum bag as well as fixing my beloved but mucky Paramo (I was advised to wash it at least three times before wearing it in the rain…) Patagonia-s website: repair is a radical act gwan, click it, click it…