"". Sentence a Day: May 2018 | Is This Mutton?

Fashion for the over 50s with books and beauty

Thursday 7 June 2018

Sentence a Day: May 2018

As you may remember, May was a Big Month for me because I was walking the 190-mile Coast to Coast route for 15 days with Mr Mutton (J) and his sister K. I had been training and buying suitable clothing for months. So the holiday mentions will be a bit longer than the usual sentence format.

May 1 Tues
Working at home. Published April SAD.

May 2 Weds
Received an invite to a Dove blogger retreat. Never been able to attend an event like this before because of working. Actually able to attend because it falls during time off! Exciting.

May 3 Thurs
At work; lunch walk became painful. Got home, voted in local council elections, then went to  see a GP about knee. Have a sports injury - me! Never thought the day would come. Too much walking apparently.

May 4
Had an ultrasound guided cortisone injection. Didn't hurt. Finished handover at work for holiday. Had a delivery from Dove - some of their "Summer Revived" and "Visible Glow" gradual tan products to try. Had a fish n chips supper.
May 5 Sat
Hot weather!! Gardening. Knee feels fine.

May 6
Walked to my gym class, four miles. First time I have walked since I had the injection 48 hours ago.  Told J it's a miracle. Leg fine! Read article about Charlie Puth. Big Instagram star. Never heard of him. Finished packing for the holiday.

May 7 bank (public) holiday
Set off on the holiday, Euston to St Bees via Carlisle on board a train called Matthew Flinders. Captain Flinders RN was an English navigator and cartographer, who was the leader of the first circumnavigation of Australia and identified it as a continent.

J had splashed out on First Class tickets. Free drinks and sandwiches. Wonderful sunny day. St Bees is a tiny village on the coast which does brisk business from Coast to Coast walkers. Our bed and breakfast (B&B) was very close to the station. We had dinner at a place called The Manor. Crispy batter fish n chips.

May 8: Day one - St Bees to Ennerdale, 14 miles (turned into 16)
High standard set at the St Bees B&B with a big breakfast, plus for our packed lunch, a plastic bag with our name on and home-made flapjack.  As is the tradition, picked up two pebbles on the beach to carry to Robin Hood's Bay (one to take home). The first few miles were along the St Bees coastal path. Saw a lighthouse and a bird hide to view gannets. Cloudy in the morning and became very overcast and misty in the afternoon.

First 10 miles were OK but soon we had to climb a horrendous fell, Dent hill, by which time visibility was very poor. K set off very fast and we couldn't see her after a while.  A local gave us a longer route to avoid a very muddy steep descent, which added another mile. Had to walk through about 12 wild horses who were in the middle of the path and refused to move.

Our farmhouse accommodation was reached via meadows. The lady owner rushed out to meet us and liberate us of wet clothes. Her husband drove us to a local pub, the Fox and Hounds, for dinner.  Long wait for the main course and we were very tired.
Three pictures showing St Bees at the start of the Wainwright Coast to Coast walk
Left: three pebbles; top right, setting off from St Bees; bottom right, striding out along the coast path
May 9 Day two - Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite, 16 miles
Set off at 8.20. Proprietor of the B&B drove us to the village. Saw cockerels on the road as we walked to Ennerdale lake. After walking round the lake, we had a long walk along a straightish road to Black Sail Youth Hostel, in the middle of nowhere. It seemed to take forever but then the isolated building appeared like a mirage.

Had sandwiches inside and tea with millionaires shortcake. Left money in the honesty box. Joined by other walkers. After lunch, which was poor  (slices of tasteless cheese in boring bread with crisps and a Mars bar and nothing home-made), had a very steep ascent followed by a worse descent as it had rocks and stones which jar my dodgy knees. Windy and cold.

Finally got to Honister slate mine. Ordered drinks but didn't get chance to have mine because I'd decided to catch the bus rather than walk another three miles. Aching with sore feet.  Got to our accommodation, the Langstrath, around 4. Had a cup of tea in bar. We've stayed in the Langstrath before so I knew there would be a bath. Bliss!

Dinner in their restaurant was delicious:  haggis/black pudding croquette followed by trout and then a cheese board. J was so tired he went to bed before the cheese and biscuits arrived. The first few days, in the Lake District, are tough.
May 10: day three, Rosthwaite to Grasmere, 9 miles
Better weather, sunny intervals. Long ascent up Borrowdale valley. Boggy beyond. J fell in the mud, up to knees. Lunch from the Langstrath was pleasant, smoked salmon bagette and wild thyme crisps, although there was no drink. The descent was long and hard on the knees but not too bad. Was excited to be going to Grasmere. A proper town, with shops! After just three days I'm missing retail therapy.

Got to Grasmere at 3. Had coffee in an art gallery coffee shop,  and did a little shopping. Dinner at The Jumble Room was excellent. Lively, crowded place. We all had something different. I had the "thriller from Manila" - spicey noodles with seafood -  and a starter of crab crostini. J had the dessert speciality, gingerbread sponge.

May 11: day four, Grasmere to Patterdale, 7 miles
The initial ascent was long but fairly gradual. K decided to walk a more challenging ridge route. J was anxious as he watched her in the distance, as it was getting very windy.
My feet are prepared every morning with plasters! Bottom left, setting off from Grasmere.
Arrived in Patterdale about 2.30. Tiny village with a general store, couple of pubs and a school. Walked to the next village, Glenridding, for coffee. Then back to our accommodation, the White Lion Inn. Dinner was good. I had beef chilli followed by syrup sponge. I'm eating the sort of calorific food I wouldn't normally have.

Noisy, busy pub full of walkers. Good atmosphere. Saw Michael from Herts and the 2 young Americans. We've been seeing them each day although the youngsters have a rest day so we won't finish at the same time.

J booked all the evening meals and it's becoming a hilarious trend that nearly every time our name is wrongly spelt, even though he insists he spells it out. Below, Hanlon has become "Landlen"

May 12: day five, Patterdale to Shap, 11 miles
J and I went off the official route, getting a steamer across Ullswater to Pooley Bridge and following a fairly benign mostly flat path. This took around 4 miles off the route, mostly for my benefit. Such beautiful views across the lake.
Ullswater Lake

The baguette from the White Lion was very good. Meals are extremely important on this type of holiday!

The weather was great until about 3.15 then clouded over a little and rained around 5. Unfortunately my feet were hurting very badly. Particularly left ankle. Became very weary. Then we had a long walk to the  B&B. I was lurching like a zombie. Margaret, the B&B owner, who's been doing this for 50 years, made scones for us presented with tea and served on Victoriana Roses crockery. How lovely.
Brookfield House B&B in Shap, Cumbria, presents walkers doing the Coast to Coast walk with delicious warm scones and lemon curd with tea

Had dinner in the Kings Arms. Scampi and chips.

I had been mulling over whether or not I could carry on, for a couple of days. Decided to go home tomorrow. While the walks may be flatter now, some are still very long. I would be fine if there were rest days, but we couldn't fit any in because I didn't want to use up too much of my holiday allowance.

Some of the walks are 19 -20 miles and I can't contemplate it. I knew everyone was going to try to talk me out of it so I quickly booked a one-way train ticket. No arguments. I figured it was best to leave at this point because from tomorrow the walk takes us into Yorkshire and a long way from train stations.

Sunday May 13
I took the usual "starting off" photo for J and K. They were already arguing about the route. Then I  waited for a taxi to take me to Penrith station. Home by 4pm. I felt irrationally happy to see dear old London.  I'm a city person when all's said and done. Those hills frighten me.

Meamwhile J and K have arrived in Kirkby Stephen, Yorkshire - looking cheerful!

May 14 Mon
So now I've got two weeks of holiday! I did think about going back to work but it was only a passing thought. Lovely weather. Went to garden centre and bought lots of plants. Spent most of day in garden. Called J around 5pm to see how he was doing.

Tues May 15
Still good weather so planted the rest of the plants I'd bought.

Weds May 16
Collected Molly from the cattery and took her straight to the next door vet to get her annual booster. This was handy, removing the need to catch her and pop her in the basket a second time. She doesn't like being handled by strangers so sometimes the annual visit to the vet is a nightmare. Fortunately she was OK this time.

K is now walking on her own doing more difficult routes. J had worked out easier routes for my benefit months ago, so he is happy to stick to the original plan. He's meeting other people along the route and isn't too perturbed.

Thurs May 17
Decided to surprise J by booking a train ticket from London to Scarborough for the last day of the walk. From Scarborough I will get the bus to Robin Hood's Bay in Yorkshire, the final destination.

Went into London to look round the shops, but couldn't find any clothes I liked. This is odd because when I look online, I find plenty.

May 18
Having some back end issues with the blog. Google is currently not indexing nearly half of my pages. Spent ages trying to find the problems. Installed a new template and started a new analytics account.

May 19
The royal wedding! Installed myself on sofa from 9am having been to the shops and made lunch early. By 10.30 had eaten lunch!
Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon getting into the Royal Wedding spirit as she prepares to watch the nuptials of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
J hasn't had any company the last couple of nights. K decided to shorten her holiday by a day which meant doing extra miles during the day and  staying at different accommodation.  Normally J sees people he knows at the pubs for dinner, but the last couple of nights he hasn't. I feel sad for him.

May 20
Another hot day. Cooked the usual roast dinner for just me. Planted purple petunias and bright pink geraniums. Wrote a blog post with my thoughts on the Royal Wedding, here.

Tues May 22
Early start, train to Kings Cross then York followed by long wait for the Scarborough train and then a bus to Robin Hood's Bay.

I got there around 1.30 and had a toasted sandwich, having worked out J would get there around 3pm.  He messaged me to say he was coming into RHB, and I got into position and jumped out at him. He was so thrilled to see me. There were even a few tears.
Road sign showing a walker the mileage to Robin Hood's Bay on the final day of the Coast to Coast wak
J sees the first sign to Robin Hood's Bay 

We had a fun dinner at the Victoria Hotel, with two Aussies Sharon and Cliff from Perth (still no bath). J was amazed to learn how much I know about Australian cricket in the 1970s, having had a big crush on Jeff Thomson.

Lots of other walkers were there on their final night too. Had a pate starter (huge) and fish and chips (again!). The fish was from nearby Whitby and melted in the mouth. Sharon and Cliff were going to a Dire Straits tribute evening but we gave it a miss.
Arriving at Robin Hood's Bay in Yorkshire, the last day of the Coast to Coast walk
Final day: top, view of Robin Hood's Bay from our hotel. Bottom left, J at the finish. Right: we started with three pairs of feet in the sand. Just one pair at the end!
Weds May 23
We left RBH by taxi to Scarborough. Train on time, lovely to get complimentary food in 1st class. Hot when we got home. Exofoliated and applied Dove Summer Revived gradual tanner.

May 24 Thurs
To Bath for the Dove #SummerRevived event. Was stressing a bit about what to wear, and pack, as I knew I would be among "heavy hitter" fashion bloggers. Had a wonderful time. There were eight of us altogether, only one that I had met before (the lovely Laurie from Vanity and Me).

After brunch we enjoyed a massage and the spa facilities, followed by afternoon tea. There were gorgeous flowers in our room. After a class making cocktails we had a lovely dinner with a  tasting menu and matching wines. Then sank into the wonderfully comfortable bed!
Dove's gradual tanning products and beautiful flowers left in hotel room at Dove bloggers spa retreat

Fri May 25
Quite a challenge to get the huge bouquet safely home on the trains, with my case and bag! Went out for a drink with J in the evening. View my Dove post.

Sat May 26
Did usual shopping and picked up my new glasses: tortoiseshell frames. Then did some gardening.
Sun May 27
Power Plate and a walk. J has toothache. Pasta for him, roast chicken for me. Good weather. His daughter and her fiance are in the process of moving house so they didn't come round.

Mon May 28
Bank (public) holiday and day off. Cloudy morning, then sun came out. Our small garden teems with wildlife and we have seen a lot of blackbird activity in the hedge. The female is sitting on four eggs. J managed to get a photo when she left to find food. Just hope there will be a happy ending - last year magpies destroyed the nest and chicks. It was so upsetting.
Close up of blackbirds' nest in the UK with four blue green eggs, May 2018

Tues May 29
Back to work after 3 weeks holiday. A lot of emails to get through! Weather cloudy and cool.

Weds May 30
More reconciled to being back at work. Did a walk at lunchtime and PP abs class in the evening.

Thursday May 31
Worked from home.

Sharing this post with Weekend Blog Hop at Claire Justine, Saturday Share at Not Dressed as Lamb and FakeItTillYouMakeIt at Fake Fabulous



  1. Busy! Your poor feet Gail! All the better for the pampering day eh? wasn't it great. Enjoyed spending time with you.
    Laurie xx

    1. And it was great to see you again! I loved the whole experience. Amazing!

  2. So excited to read that you did the Coast-to-Coast walk! We have that on our radar for the summer of 2019, believe it or not. Did you use a company for maps/lodging/luggage transport, or did you do it entirely on your own?

    The Royal Wedding was a big deal here in the States, so I can only imagine what it was like in the UK. Looks like you made a grand time of it! ☺

    1. Hi Tamara - yes, we booked the holiday through a company - Mickledore - that provided us with maps and arranged the accommodation and transportation each day for the luggage. It was very smooth, I recommend them very highly. We did a self guided holiday but there are also guided versions.

  3. I think you made the right decision to cut the walk short, not worth risking injury when your poor feet and knees were already complaining. I bet that pampering day went down a treat after all that!

    1. Thanks Debs! Now that I've done the Lake District section, J and I might go back another time to do another section, with rest days. That would work better for me! The pampering was an absolute dream I can tell you!

  4. Thanks, Gail, for sharing your Coast to Coast walk and the lovely photos. You were wise to cut the walk short for your knees and feet to recover. The Dove event sounds wonderful, just the flowers in the vase alone looked gorgeous.

    1. I couldn't believe my luck in being invited - it was truly a wonderful experience.

  5. I'm glad the cortisone shot worked for you. I had one last week and it's made things worse. Your poor feet look so sore, I hope they heal very quickly. I like how you record a sentence a day, much more manageable than a whole diary entry #weekendbloghop

  6. Wow, just wow! You are amazing with all the walking! It looks like you saw some beautiful places & scenery!

    Natalie @ Cindy's FTD Journey

  7. How exciting with that Dove event, Gail!! That's the best thing ever!
    And how amazing are you to do that coast to coast walk!! Gosh, girl!! I'm so impressed!!

  8. I was very impressed by your, and your hubby, coast to coast walk. Very well done!

  9. Your glasses are so cute...and holy cow...so much walking, you did great! Glad your knee held up. And yay for blogger event, how fun!

  10. Well done on the walking and the writing. Those feet surely suffered. Glad to see you dancing since though. Laughed at having eaten lunch by 10.30 on Royal Wedding day. Was it supper done by 2pm?


  11. Wow! What an amazing experience!


Blog Design Created by pipdig