Evidence that my enthusiastic attitude towards activity is as yet undiminished

Four questions I posed while holidaying in the Lake District last week.

1. Why do people very keen on walking make it harder for themselves by going to a mountainous area to do so?  Why not walk in East Anglia where it's on the flat?  I don't get it.

'Look, I agree with Fran.  I've got more blisters than a 36 pack of aspirin.
Next year it's East Anglia or you're on your own, sunshine.'

2. Is six pieces of Grasmere gingerbread in one day excessive consumption?

Fran agreed that making TWO pieces of gingerbread look like ONE  was a great help with the guilt.

3. If you take a bus up to the top of a steep hill, is it duplicitous to pretend to wipe sweat off your brow when people walk past?

If only those walking past knew that she'd only just got off the 43 from Grasmere and that the rucksack was
crammed with gingerbread.

4. Does 'looking out of the holiday cottage's window at least once per chapter' constitute 'appreciating nature'?

Fran's husband had said, 'Are you coming out for a walk, dear?'
Phew!  That line about the anorak and wellies not matching her chosen outfit was always a winner!


  1. You, my dear, are a classic armchair rambler.

    (All the best people are.)

  2. I'm sure the firm of FRAN & FRAN, (COMPLETELY) UNLIMITED would vacation very well together. You could be the tour guide & select all the important stops, like the gingerbread shop. I would then wake up & follow you. AND, no matter how high the goodies are piled on the plate, 1 plateful = 1 serving! (It makes it easier to remember.)

  3. That gingerbread sure looks yummy!! And so do the views, I would walk up hills to see that view. And burn off some calories from all the gingerbread.

  4. Steve - I believe that if one keeps changing position in the armchair, one is going some way towards aerobic exercise.

    fishducky - this all sounds like such a good idea. I like your thinking very much. I do hope you like bus rides.

    KarenG - Burn off calories? Please explain this phrase. I am unfamiliar with it.

  5. This is so funny. We were just in the mountains of Colorado, and I thought the same thing. Why did we come to the mountains to walk and explore when we don't do that in the flatlands? And, while I was reading, I gazed out the open door of condo where we stayed and told myself that the cool air and sound of the water in the creek was the same as experiencing nature.

  6. Sounds like you are in good form after a great vacation. Personally I like to experience nature from a climate controlled area...like the plush seat in my car as I drive by the sites.

  7. Anonymous16/8/11 22:15

    I would definitely be on that bus stuffing my face with biscuits... In East Anglia!

  8. the ginger in gingerbread counts as one of your 5 A Day
    six pieces of double-wides per day for as long as you stay means you don't have to eat another fruit or vegetable until 2013
    Result eh!

  9. I think you probably had your Kendal Cake, and ate it...along with the gingerbread.

  10. Retired English Teacher - my theory is similar - if you are using at least 2 of the senses (eg listening to the birds/smelling the fresh air) then there's no need to go further. Sensory overload is no good for anyone.

    Nana - 'climate-controlled' - exactly right! Wise woman.

    Eternally Distracted - and I would be on the seat next to you.

    tedandbunny - I love your thinking.

    Martin H - ah, the Kendal Mint Cake. Another story there ...

  11. I think I've caught Armchair Explorer Syndrome reading your blog. Instead of thinking, 'Oh what lovely views of the Lake District, I must go explore!', all I can think is 'I want gingerbread.'

  12. I'm still laughing about the gingerbread-stuffed rucksack!

  13. Chris - it's viral, my particular brand of pig-idleness.

    I'm Crayon - if only it weren't true .... I carried that gingerbread around all day and just kept nibbling bits off it.

  14. We've just spent much of the morning walking round some hills. Not really up them. One has to conserve one's energy. We made the mistake of failing to take gingerbread with us.

  15. After so many years in Holland , I don't think I could even endure the rigors of the bus trip without coming over all faint .
    I found trudging over tussocky Oxfordshire fields last week quite enough of a workout.... and not a mobcapped gingerbread maid in sight .

  16. Isabelle - honestly, how would you EVER manage if stuck on a desert island? No gingerbread?

    SmitandSon - ooh er, no, I don't do tussocks. Doesn't that mean lifting your feet up higher than is natural to get over them? Ooh er.

  17. 6 pairs - is it that good? Your young lady has a bizarrely uncomfortable looking chest? Combining 6 pairs of gingerbread with a faint inducing Empire waistline.

  18. For once I agree with you whole-heartedly. Sorry, no sarkiness today.
    Who in their right mind would trudge up a hill when they know they've only got to clamber back down again. I ask you!

    I am sure that you found out that gingerbread and books go together beautifully and if you look out of the window occasionally, then that is plenty of exercise, isn't it?

  19. Elephant's Eye - see what you mean about the chest. I think that's where she's hiding the gingerbread.

    Friko - and sometimes I actually got out of my chair to look out of the window. So, that's virtually aerobic.

  20. Anonymous22/8/11 12:50

    No 4 is a winner for me - the others I would discount on grounds of "exercise" thereby needing Kendall Mint Cake in large dosages (horrid stuff and very fattening - just chill out with your book and you don't need it)

  21. Hello Fran:
    We have discovered you via the fabulous Friko and are so pleased to have done so since we recognise a kindred spirit immediately.

    We must confess that on our very first visit to the Lake District [many moons ago]we anticipated it being somewhat similar to the Italian Lakes. It is not. One is blue, the other grey but not necessarily in that order!!

    We do not 'do' mountaineering but do travel by bus everywhere including Brighton to Budapest which takes the best part of two days. We love coffee shops, tea rooms and all the delicious things that they offer although we would only venture near soft gingerbread as dental work is so expensive these days, even in Hungary.

    We do 'do' reading.....lots!!!

  22. imagespast - we brought back a bar of Kendal Mint Cake the size of an Arctic ice floe. I know all about Kendal Mint Cake.

    Jane and Lance - nice to meet you! Are we long-lost siblings, by any chance? Thanks for following - appreciated.


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