I’d forgotten what a good place the Lake District is – much more Alpine in atmosphere than Scotland.  But it is crowded in a way which makes one yearn for the wide open spaces.  I’d forgotten too how rich in the material of childhood it is.  Up the road is Coniston where much of Arthur Ransome’s story of the Swallows and Amazons was set – Titty tacking up the field to Holly Howe and Mother rowing across to Wild Cat Island with long steady strokes …  Beatrix Potter is nearby as well with all the childhood material of Jemima Puddleduck and the others.  And finally Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage – evocative not so much of Wordsworth as because it is the proper name of Blogstead na Mara.  I could happily retreat into all that, however nice these clergy are!

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