After the excitement of a family wedding, we have come to Coal Yeat Cottages near Coniston in the Lake District, set in 25 acres of stunning scenery (it's on the far left of this photo).
It can be hit and miss booking a self catering cottage online - you might end up next to a busy road that has been carefully omitted from a photo, or have to endure the kind of decor that even your granny would disdain. Tethera cottage is definitely a hit - it's beautifully decorated and so tranquil that all I can hear is nesting swallows, clucking chickens and Fitz blethering on. The cottage is also well equipped (dishwasher, dvd, Sky TV and even digital radio so I can listen to my beloved 6music) though amazingly the weather has been so warm and sunny that there is little call for indoor entertainment. Pop go my plans for another trip to the Lakeland Pencil Museum.
There was a warm welcome at Tethera cottage - not only were we provided with basics like tea, coffee, milk, bread and butter, there was the unexpected gift of homemade banana loaf. I was thrilled.
So far we have made friends with Pumpkin, the neighbour's dog, who is extremely good at chasing sticks and was not caught out for a second by Fitz's trick throws.
Yesterday we sunbathed on the shore of Lake Coniston across from the island that inspired Swallows and Amazons. Sadly I forgot to take my camera, so there is no photo of the clear waters or of Fitz's bright blue swimming shorts. Having worked up an appetite by lying about, we went into Coniston for a sausage sandwich in a cafe. It was there that I had this conversation with Fitz:
- "Did you see at the counter what kind of cakes there are?" (I was pretty sure I'd spied some chocolate tiffin).
- "For you, Fitz, cake is just something that other people eat, isn't it?"
- "Yes. They just sit there taking up space".
Heartbreaking. Still, it leaves more homemade banana loaf for me.