These are my grandparents, all the way from Australia, on a boat in Derwent Water. I think you can see from their expressions how much they like traveling, and boats, and how happy they are together. When they got on the plane in Adelaide a couple of weeks ago, they celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. In the past few years they have conquered, between them, pancreatic cancer, bowel cancer, a big heart operation and a knee reconstruction. We had a weekend with them in the Lake District, and now they’re meandering around Scotland, before boarding a ship to explore the Scottish islands. Wow.
They came over three years ago when I was doing my masters, and took me to Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg. Grandma has often repeated to me an old saying of her father: ‘Be happy, dear, there’s enough unhappiness in the world’. I’m pretty sure my grandparents have increased the balance of happiness in the world.
I don’t have any other pictures because our camera was playing up and we took most of the photos with G&G’s camera. Hopefully I’ll upload some when they drop past to visit me in July on their way home. It was supposed to rain all weekend, which it didn’t do, and we had a great time scouting around the little villages and eating cake. Especially in Hawkshead, the home of Beatrix Potter and the most amazing collection of freshly cooked tripple-decker cakes (strawberry and chocolate, blackforest, raspberry and pistachio, mmmm…). More on that later.
I really love the Lake District. I like how the colours of the hills echo the sky, and how incredible they look when the shadows of clouds move across them. It is a watercolour landscape – slate grey and copper, misty greens and pale blues. The mountains are not as tall or spectacular as some in the world, but they are beautiful and unique, quiet, magical. It is a place to come back to. A heart country.
We arrived back in Norway last night, after braving a taxi, a train, a bus, a plane, a ferry and finally the comfort of the snuggle-car. This whole land is covered in leaves now, it’s quite different from the place I left four weeks ago. Driving into Halden felt like coming home. It is strange to have a life split between two countries. I must now ease my way back into this Norwegian life, and use its peace to rewrite my chapter beautifully, while G&G meander around Scotland, and Leeds hums and bustles without me there to witness it.