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Wednesday 28 July 2021

Hill Walking in a Heatwave

 Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon describes a Lake District holiday in the north of England: hill walking in hot temperatures, gourmet cuisine and a capsule evening wardrobe trial

It was blazingly hot last week in the UK - and there was Mr Mutton and me, hill climbing in the Lake District, in the north of England. 

On the first day we foolishly tackled a very strenuous route with a lot of ascent, and boy was it tough. Even Mr Mutton, who is as fit as a flea, had aching muscles the next day.  After that, we chose routes that were more gentle. One of the best ones started in the Whinlatter Forest, where the trees gave us some cool shade. I loved the different shades of heather. 

On one day I sent Mr Mutton off on his own to do a challenging walk and I caught the bus into Keswick to buy a swimming costume, having forgotten to bring one.  I had an enjoyable swim in Derwentwater, one of the "lakes" that give the Lake District its name,  although strictly speaking, hardly any of them are natural lakes.  I expected the water to be very cold but it was pleasant: no gasping when I went in. I swam alongside a family of ducks, and when the ferry went by, all the passengers waved.

Is This Mutton bloggerr Gail Hanlon with husband on a hill walking holiday in the Lake District, north of England

This was a great place to cool our heels each day! 

I wasn't too sure about the new Tilley hat - it looked more like the type of hat you'd wear to a wedding. But it did its job, with that and the SP50 my face stayed pale! 

Over 50s blogger Gail Hanlon walking in the meadows alongside Derwentwater in the Lake District

Our Hotel and Delicious Food 

We stayed in a hotel we've been visiting for several years, the Borrowdale Gates, and enjoyed top notch breakfasts and dinners.  Those of you on Instagram will have seen the sumptuous dinners. Here's a quick montage of some of them. I actually lost 2 pounds on holiday, thanks to the vigorous exercise. For breakfast I had Greek yoghurt and prunes followed by something hot, eggs Benedict or a full Cumberland (sausage, bacon, fried egg, tomato, mushroom). For lunch I had a protein bar.  For dinner, a starter and main course. I didn't drink any alcohol which is normal for me. 

The Monday of our holiday was so-called "Freedom Day" where the final Covid restrictions were lifted in England. Masks no longer need to be worn  (although there are some exceptions, such as public transport in London), social distancing does not have to be observed and large gatherings can now go ahead. As a result, the breakfast buffet was reinstated at our hotel. Hurrah!

Capsule Holiday Wardrobe

On a UK hiking holiday you have to be prepared for all types of weather so you can't get away with too light a wardrobe. My case was fairly full with fleeces, deluge trousers, rain jacket, hiking boots, a fresh top for each day, shorts and trousers.  Unusually, I didn't need a fleece or rain jacket at all - probably a first!

I tried to keep my evening wardrobe to the minimum by packing a capsule wardrobe.  I've never tried this before because I'm a maximalist packer. It ruins my enjoyment if I have hardly any clothes to choose from.  I was never too popular on business trips because I could rarely manage "carry on." But now that I've built a good wardrobe of the basics in colours that suit me, from Kettlewell, I thought it would be fun to try taking just a few items and mixing and matching.

People dress up a bit for dinner - you wouldn't wear jeans or shorts and a tee. I love this. 

I took two "bottoms,"  a pair of black and white polka dot trousers and a midi skirt in the same pattern and colours. These go with everything.  I took 2 pairs of shoes, polka dot kitten heels and black sandals with jewelled heels.  I only wore the kitten heels once because I had a blister on my big toe and they were too painful to wear.  I also decided I didn't like the skirt very much.  So the trousers were worn to death. 

I wasn't too adventurous with my Kettlewell pieces:  I could have taken jewellery and mixed it up a bit more, but instead I took four infinity scarves which I wore long, to give me contrast. I had five tops and two short tie wraps.

Keeping Beauty Products Pared Down 

I also intended to keep my beauty products to a minimum. Usually I take everything. I am not good at decanting things and I like all my home comforts  - my Clarins shower gel and body lotion for example. 

But this time I packed a wash bag with samples and trial sizes of skin care products. Since lockdown started and I haven't been travelling, I've accumulated lots of these. It was fun each day to rummage through and select a serum and moisturizer. I also had a few samples of body lotion and loved the Kai Body Lotion sample and may buy it later.

I also bought four stackable products from Trinny London to replace some of my make-up:  two lip products, which can also be used on the cheeks;  a concealer and "Miracle Blur," which is a Polyfilla type of product for lines and wrinkles.

I loved the Just a Touch product, in shade Alison, which covers dark circles and imperfections.  It's very effective. I found it even better than my usual Charlotte Tilbury Magic Touch concealer. The Miracle Blur is also fantastic:  I use it on the lines around my mouth and in the groove between my eyes.

The lipsticks were less successful. Lip to Cheek in shade Pia was a lovely colour,  a flush of pinky orange, but while Trinny, in her IG videos,  has plump pillow-like lips, and effortlessly smooths it on with her finger, on my less generous lips it went over the edges and didn't last for very long.  The shade Bunny, a shimmery peach, is nice to wear on top, but neither of them lasted well.  I went back to using my all-time favourite lipstick, Guerlain Indien Rose. 

Llamas and Para Gliders

On our last night, as we enjoyed our dinner two paragliders descended gracefully in front of us, landing in one of the fields in front of the hotel.  We might do this ourselves next time.

Llamas and alpacas seem to be everywhere and we saw some llamas strolling across one of the hills with two guides and a walker.  As you do. They carry the lunch. I also saw these alpacas at the foot of Whinlatter Forest. I had to Google the differences between an alpaca and a llama. And what they eat  (surprisingly little, which is why they're so popular). 

Sharing this post with:  Beauty by Miss L, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness  at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile  at StylesplashStyle Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in PinkLizzie in Lace Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireRena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey Brunette #TheWednesdayLinkUp at Claire JustineFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday, the link-up where bloggers find great posts to read, and bloggers find new readers.

#WowOnWednesday Favourites

In the last link-up the most popular posts were from Anna of Looking Fabulous @ Fifty, Cargo Pants and Boho Blouse, and Laurie from Vanity and Me with her post: "Baukjen Ivy dress. No cheap frills at 58 thank you". 

Here's Anna in her cargo pants and boho blouse: 

And Laurie in her Baukjen dress: 

My favourite was by a newcomer to the link-up, Wendy, below, from The Inspired Eater, with her post "Brownies for Breakfast: How This Powerful Eating Style Uplevels Our Intake." Wendy is a breath of fresh air to those of us who struggle with post-menopause pounds, food shaming and confusing diet advice.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

1 comment

  1. Gosh your photos make me even more,, homesick,, then I already am! How I would love to stroll around in the gorgeous UK nature. I have tried Trinny makeup and want happy with it at all. I though I was the only one on earth.


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