'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Friday, April 22, 2005

Here There Be Wolves

The life of a temporary part-time rural IT consultant is not without its small pleasures. I spent this morning labouring on a data model of truly awful complexity, then found myself with three hours to spare before a review of said model in a nearby town. The afternoon was the Cumbrian spring at its most heavenly: bright sunshine, haze on the fells, the blackthorn in the hedgerows just beginning to shoot. You could almost live here, as Renaissance Man says.
So I loaded the boots into the car and drove off round the back of Skiddaw - a gorgeous area of rolling hills, heather moors and quiet streams where the tourists never go because it involves approaching the hills from the north, and they always come in from the south. The names hereabouts - Whelpo, Uldale, Ullock Pike, all tell one story: in the past, wolf-packs roamed these hills. I parked off a one-lane backroad and walked up to Whitewater Dash, a spectacular cascade enclosed by the ominously named Dead Crags. Then up above the Crags and along a grassy ridge to the top of Skiddaw. There were patches of snow and ice on the northern slopes and the wind, in contrast to the balmy breezes of the valley, blew sharp and cold. The summit was deserted, lashed with ferocious winds beneath a clear sky. All below me Cumbria was warming to spring.
The descent took less than an hour and then it was a dash to Cockermouth and data model reviews. Very successful, not many action points. The week-end starts here.


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