Thursday 9th August 2013: Keswick

It's over 24 hours since my parents left our beautiful apartment in Keswick. We are are really missing them although I am happy that there are 2 less people to compete against for the red chair in the bay window. A red, mock-leather single chair set against a sash window where you can watch the world and its wife walking by.

Whether walking towards Keswick town-centre or preparing for a day walking on the Lakeland fells, you can peacefully people-watch from that window all day. Actually, 'peacefully' is a little bit of an exaggeration when you have 2 children under 4 years old running around, also peering out of the window and asking why that "bad man is being shouted at by that angry woman". It was difficult to explain to Bethan why these people were having a domestic and beating each other with their Ordnance Survey maps. 

Rob, the assigned cartographer expert for our trip did try to explain to our daughter that "rookies often have this inflamatory argument when hill-walking for the first-time" an answer which seemed to confuse but satisfy her as she immediately asked afterwards if she could watch 'Princess Stories' for the zillionth time.

Yes, it was obvious that although we didn't want as frenetic a week as we did in Consiton, like wise, we didn't want to sit in our Keswick apartment all day people-watching and listening to Princess Jasmine telling us, yet again, how wonderful bloody Aladdin is.

The Red Chair. A Source of competitiveness
as well as a source of some serious
Keswick really is my idyllic place. Rob and I allowed ourselves some me-time whilst in the Northern Lakes. I chose to spend that time in an antique bookshop searching out original Beatrix Potter books. Rob used his me-time to wonder along the fells and take some breath-taking pictures of some breath-taking landscapes. 

Indeed, I found a copy of Beatrix Potter's "Tale of Pigling Bland" in the book shop which I was thrilled with because it was the 100th anniversary of its first publishing. Usually, it is very difficult to date Ms Potter's books as you have to look at the art work on the inside to ascertain when it might have been published. However, I knew this was from 1942 as inscribed it said, "To my beautiful daughter, love Daddy, 1942". 

There are lots of reasons why people are against writing in books but this particular inscription set my imagination on fire. In 1942 the Allies were being pummeled by the Nazis. Was this a final gift from a father to his daughter whilst on leave from the War? Was this a gift simply to celebrate her birthday? All of that night I kept wondering about who bought the book and who the book was intended for. 

That's the beauty of books, it's not only what is inside them that sparks your imagination but also what they represent on the outside to different people. The history of Beatrix writing 'The Tale of Pigling Bland' and the history of the relationship between the person who sent the book and the person who received it is one of my highlights of being in Keswick. 

What a place...what a picture...well done Rob!