The last few Ullswaters have been rainy and cold and so we were due a sunny one. This year's sailing club hootenanny was warm and lovely! We hadn't taken a boat, because we have been just a little busy, and weren't entirely sure that we were going to go at all, as both kids are exhausted, but the weather (and our love for the sailing club!), persuaded us that we must go. The journey didn't start well - having left after school, we ran into traffic and had to take a detour all the way down Wensleydale. It was very picturesquew and we enjoyed spotting all the yellow bikes (le tour will go down there in a few weeks. And we got to travel up a very fine bit of M6 with mountains on either side.
We did all the standard things - chose entertaining places for our tent, played in the playground and amused ourselves putting up the gazebo.
The next day was sunny and warm again and we headed down to the lake and didn't move! Ian and I both got a sail in the topper which was entirely pleasant. I think I got the better slot - there was just enough breeze to poddle gently along with a few minutes of proper hiking, and a few quiet moments to admire the view. And the view was pretty ace. The visibility was really good and so you could see fells peeking out between fells even further than normal, and the hummocky terrain of the hills that fall into Ullswater was properly lit so that it looked like it might be constantly pulsating and had just been frozen in the second you looked at them.
The kids just played in and out of the water all day.
In the evening, we had our usual mass barbeque and we sent the kids off to collect wood for later on. Will (not a child!) found some rather large logs so Nathaniel got to do some sawing as well.
There was much playing. Steve, Steve and Hugh played a long game of travelling boules all around the campsite, narrowly missing the rocket launching done by Nathaniel, Thea and Megan.
As usual, a highlight of the weekend was getting to spend time with the sailing club people. Nathaniel is now big enough to really enjoy chatting with the adults, and became very fond of Will, the nephew of Steve, who has started to appear annually with his converted AA van (which we all covet!). Steve Hogg let Nathaniel drive the safety boat right across the lake to the sailing club on the opposite bank, and gave him really clear instructions on how to bring it into dock.
It was June 21st and we definitely got the most of the light! When I went to bed at 11:30, the sky was still bright enough to see without torches even in the shadows.
The next day saw more of the same - paddle in the lake, play with sand, have fun, and that was that - Ullwater 2014 completed.