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Recharging the Batteries: A Weekend in Windermere

Don’t get me wrong, I love London. I actively enjoy power walking in any (and every) situation, and I have no qualms about selfishly ploughing my way through people to get to the front of a platform. It just gets a bit much sometimes. All that gutsy determination and relentless competitiveness gets tiring, and after a while I simply run out of steam. Mental batteries can only last so long, after all.

With the flashing red ‘RELAX’ sign in my brain getting more and more persistent, I knew it was time to take a holiday. I’d had my eye on the Lake District for a while. Ten miles of water and not a Tube sign in sight. What scene could be more blissful to a tired city slicker?

The Lake District, and the area around Ambleside in particular, is peacefulness personified. The water literally looks like a shimmering layer of liquid metal. Devoid of any colour with that achingly fresh, clear look that can only be found in the countryside, Lake Windermere is like the stunningly beautiful step-sister of the tired old Thames. It was a world away from the bustling high streets, packed train carriages and noxious fumes of the capital city. In short, it was just what I needed.

The sun was shining all weekend, providing the perfect shooting conditions for the keen (but very amateur) photographer in me. I’m not certain that any camera could truly capture the breath-taking beauty of the Lake District on a crisp Autumn day, so don’t expect to be blown away by the pictures below. Hopefully they’ll just serve as a gentle reminder to recharge your batteries every now and again, because getting your willpower and tolerance to regenerate all by themselves is no mean feat.

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Posted by on October 7, 2012 in Travel, Uncategorized

 

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This weekend: Getting arty in the great outdoors.

Okay, so I’m not a huge advocate of art. I appreciate certain styles and I can recognise talent when I see it, but on the whole I don’t really ‘get’ modern art. The ‘Hey, here’s a photo of my dirty underwear, try and find the hidden meaning’ type of creativity doesn’t really float my boat. Sculptures, however, are a different story. Crafting something out of nothing would, I imagine, take a good deal of time, dedication and effort, not to mention a healthy dollop of imagination. As someone who struggles to concoct a story out of thin air, I feel a great sense of admiration for artists who can pull a definedĀ image or concept out of their chosen material.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield caters for customers who, like me, don’t want to see yet another pair of dirty underwear passing as art. Set in a patch of lush Yorkshire greenery, it’s the perfect setting for an outdoor gallery. The artwork on show ranges from the strange (a giant wire woman with a hare’s head) to the kitsch (plant pots with poetic labels) and the downright bizarre (a metal tree with bin branches). Because everything’s dotted around all over the place, you’re forced to explore and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery. Some sculptures stand in plain sight in the middle of fields, while others are hidden in the depths of the woods. Even if you don’t like the look of everything, seeing other people’s imagination at work is a great way to stretch the muscles of your mind and untangle all those tight knots created by the daily grind (hell, it’s taken me just ten minutes to write this post!).

You can take a look at their website hereĀ http://www.ysp.co.uk/. It’s rather lovely, so you should have a gander even if you won’t be in this neck of the woods for a while.

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Posted by on August 11, 2012 in Travel, Uncategorized

 

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