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Friday 29 September 2023

September Sizzled! {2023}


Gail from Is This Mutton cycling at Buttermere Lake in the Lake District, September 2023

Dear friends. A glorious and busy September is nearly over. We're off on another adventure today (29 Sept) cycling the Coast to Coast challenge in Cumbria and Yorkshire. More on that next week! 

Summer returned in September after a fairly dismal August and we had a holiday to remember in the Lake District. There was also a wonderful seaside trip with friends from the Kettlewell Colour Club; a seaside walk with Meetup, and an art gallery visit. 

Friday September 1

Not bad weather-wise, rained in night. Did Pilates. Packed for Lakes. We set off tomorrow for a week's holiday, cycling and walking. J has had a major job to do, dismantling my ebike and putting a roof rack on the car for his bike, while making sure he's taking all the right tools. Watched final episode of The Tower. Very good.

Sat September 2

To the Lakes! We left home at 9.30 and had 1 charging stop, leaving the car perilously low on battery by the time we got to Borrowdale, but the hotel where we stay has EV chargers. Got there at 4pm.

We're lucky to be in a huge family room with two bedrooms. Wore new lime sequin top to dinner. Had salmon/crab starter followed by ribeye steak. Below: the view!

Sun September 3

Hot day. Summer is back.  Had porridge.  Did a 38 mile bike ride to Cockermouth via quiet country roads.  Had coffee at Sykes tea room, Buttermere. Saw a huge horse fair. We didn't stop in Cockermouth as there didn't seem to be anywhere to sit and rest in the town centre. 

We had another stop at Old Sawmills cafe on the way back, as I was flagging. Beautiful scenery and saw it all from a different vantage point, being on a bike. For dinner had chicken liver parfait and roast pork. 

Is This Mutton and husband cycling in the Lake District September 2023

Mon September 4

Hot and sunny. J still tired after drive so we had a relaxing day. Got bus to Keswick to buy sun hats. No charge for bus, the system wasn't working. Had coffee in Booths and then walked back to hotel via Derwentwater.  Very pleasant.  23 degrees.  Had sandwich lunch. Dinner was a roast pork starter followed by beef with potato puree. Difficult to sleep, very hot and no air con. Below: the launch which stops at various places on Derwentwater.

Tues September 5

Another glorious day. Did bike ride which took in two extremely hilly passes, Whinlatter and Honister, via Buttermere Lake. Felt a bit nervous, although it was no challenge for the ebike, which raced up those hills.  Honister Pass was closed to traffic because of roadworks, which was a boon. 

Afterwards had a shandy and crisps at the Langstrath Inn.  Dinner was scallops with ham hock,  and hake with leeks, very nice. V hot in bed again.  Below: reaching the top of Honister ahead of J. Relieved.

Weds September 6

The scheduled blog post and email went out as planned.  Even hotter today, a walking day. Drove to Rydal and walked 6.5 mile Loughrigg Fell. It was around 26 degrees and felt tougher than it should have done. My fingers were swollen, couldn't get wedding ring off. Has never happened before.  Apparently it can happen during exercise or walking in hot weather.

Back at the hotel in time for lunch. J had a sandwich and I had crisps with a shandy.  

Dinner was crab and hake fishcake and then turbot. I only have a dessert if I really like one, so tonight I did have the clotted cream pannacotta with berries, which was delightful. Below: a restful lake spot below Loughrigg Fell. 

Thursday September 7

Hot but overcast.  We were out early for 44 mile cycle ride. Went on former Keswick railway path and deserted country roads including Threlkeld, where we met a nice couple doing the Coast to Coast bike ride, and Caldbeck where we stopped for coffee. There was a wonderful shop there called Woolclip. Had I not been on the bike with no means of carrying anything, I might have done some serious damage there!  Not far from the hotel, on the way back, we spotted a little pop-up coffee stall called Harry's, a veritable oasis. I had an iced coffee.  

Dinner was blue cheese pannacotta and a sort of curried chicken with apricot and onion bhajis. Very tasty. Below: the coffee stop at Caldbeck.

Friday September 8

Hot and sunny.  Did leisurely bike ride with time for photos.  Through Threlkeld again, saw the Castlerigg stone circle.  Coffee at Costa in Keswick. Managed to buy 3 pairs of earrings while J drank his coffee.  

On our way back, had an ice cream at the Grange Cafe and then a shandy in the hotel grounds. J dismantled my bike and put it in car, ready for tomorrow's drive home. Dinner was smoked salmon and pork loin. Below: the old and the new: our bikes and Castlerigg stone circle.

The old and the new: bikes at Castlerigg stone circle near Keswick, north of England

Saturday September 9

Initially cloudy but sun soon out. Saw an elusive red squirrel in the hotel car park, which was busy at the time with people preparing to leave.  (I was the only one to spot it but sadly didn't have my phone to hand). Set off at 9.30. Stopped at the same charging stop on the A1 M for a charge. Home by 4. Nipped round to Tesco to get a few salad things for dinner. England football, drew 1-1 v Ukraine,  useless. 

Sunday September 10

Four hours sleep thanks to a party. It wasn't in the immediate vicinity but very loud drunken singing.  Very hot again. Did forest walk, 5 miles. Shopping delivery.  Roast chicken (why??? on such a hot day!). Endless cycles of washing.  Won £200 on premium bonds.

Monday September 11

Slept a lot better. Fan was on all night. My sequin top photo is on the M&S website. Went to post office to collect a pre-loved parcel of 2 KW shirts, it's been there more than a week. Ironing, weeding, cleaned fridge. Rachel and baby Olive came round. Spoke to mum who was cockahoop after unexpectedly getting the Covid jab after word spread round the Co Op that the nearby Well Pharmacy was vaccinating. Salmon fillets for dinner.  

Tuesday September 12

Set off on bike ride and had only gone a few metres when my chain jammed and I couldn't do anything.  John can normally repair bikes but doesn't have the necessary tool. We had to go home and he's booking my bike in for a warranty repair.  Did a forest walk instead of the bike ride. Saw 14 cattle on the plain. The two miniature sheep, whose adventures I watch when I walk past their garden, have had a new arrival!  

Wednesday September 13

Walked to Sainsburys for a few things (2.5 miles). Had an adventure on the way back,  got on wrong bus. Did a shoot, both for  blog and for KW challenge.  Have posted every day so far. We booked to do the C2C in the Lakes at the end of September. Finished a book blog tour post for tomorrow.  Curry, onion bhajis.  

Thursday September 14 

My bike was booked in at Fettle in Finsbury Park for a warranty repair. Had to cycle there, pretty horrendous trip with a lot of traffic, mercifully only 5 miles. J had repaired chain temporarily so that it would get me there (and fortunately did). The repair was done while we had a coffee. We weren't home until 12.30 so it was a good job I had regrettably cancelled Pilates.  

Amazon invited me to join their Vine programme, but when I did, got a snotty message saying I didn't meet all the criteria! 

Friday 15 September

Glorious weather for the a trip to Whitstable. 12 attended. Caught 8.29am train to get to Whitstable for 10.30. After meeting at Jayne's house for coffee, we had a lovely lunch at the Marine Hotel and then went swimming in the sea - not too cold. It was a long trip home owing to signal problems. Got back at 9.30. Absolutely starving and attacked houmous, crisps and chocolates!! Finished book The Drowning Place (apt for a visit to the seaside!).

 Below: the first four venture into the sea, followed by group pic. Some of the ladies left after lunch, so this isn't the full group. 

Ladies of the Colourful Croydon Coffee Club before swimming in the sea at Whitstable, September 2023

Saturday 16 September

Still hot. We did a bike ride to the Lee Valley. The Whitewater centre, where we have our coffee stop, was busy, getting ready for world championships. The UK team was there training. 

Spent afternoon on late books post. Shopping delivered. 3 free gifts. Quiche and salad.  Started re-watching the BBC comedy 2012. It's hilarious and even more so now, with the mentions of Boris (who was then Mayor of London). 

Sunday 17 September

Weather is starting to break, cloudy and cooler. Gammon ham for lunch. with jacket potatoes. Did some housework. Sounds of the 70s wasn't on,  Radio 2 were doing some live concert nonsense instead.  Sold a handbag for £130 and also tickets for the Chanel exhibition at the V&A, as we will be away. Watched first episode of Wilderness. Won't be watching again. Russell Brand scandal broke. 

Monday 18 September

Rained overnight but sunny start. Added some ritual cacao to porridge, which I regretted. Ordered pair of wet weather overshoes for upcoming cycle trip. Did forest walk with J.  Ordered a couple of pieces from the new Paco Rabanne make-up range. Can't resist pretty palettes.  Took the bag I sold yesterday to the post office, waiting for a shower to pass. Macaroni cheese and salad for dinner. 

Tuesday 19 September 

More autumnal.  Cloudy.  Did forest walk. 

Wednesday 20 September 

Meetup, Broadstairs to Margate.  Did over 10 miles in all. Small group, 8, because of threat of bad weather. It was actually good all day, albeit very gusty, until we got to the train station, and it started raining.  Had nice lunch at pub Captain Digby. Below: beach huts and golden sand at Broadstairs.

Thursday 21 September 

Overcast and much colder. Pilates, hadn't been for 2 weeks and it showed. J did a bike ride and saw the cattle being moved, quite a few people involved and tractors with trailers. 

Friday 22 September 

Chilly but sun came out. Cycle ride to Olympic Park. Smelt something awful as I was putting bike away and saw dogs' dirt all over the wheels. Hose came out. Shopping delivery. 

Saturday 23 September

Much cooler today. Went into London and everyone on the train was wearing jeans with a jacket or light coat, no shorts around now. Met Oxana and toured the Courtauld Gallery. What an amazing place it is, and we were early and enjoyed looking at famous pictures by the likes of Van Gogh, Renoir, Manet and Cezanne without being crowded. The gift shop is extremely tasteful. I bought an advent calendar (the windows show a painting from the gallery) and some soaps for Christmas gifts.

Afterwards we went to the German konditerei, The Delauney, and  I had very retro black forest gateau. Back home, we watched The Arrival, a 2016 sci-fi film. Enjoyed it, thought provoking. 

Sunday 24 September

A quiet day at home as I have a bit of a cold. Did some ironing and cleaning, and we had roast chicken. Prepared my Style Not Age post for tomorrow. Sowed my nigella seeds, a lot this year. 

Monday 25 September 

Quite pleasant, 22 degrees (71 fahrenheit). The foxes had been having fun in our garden in the night, having dragged a plastic dog's toy from two houses away, and pulled its stuffing out. Did forest walk. The swans are still with their seven cygnets, now fully grown but still brown.  J had a wisdom tooth extraction so had to think about "soft food" for the next few days. Received a refund for the delayed train trip from Whitstable.

Tuesday 26 September

Spent most of the day working on two blog posts. Did a workout, first time for ages, but not as bad as I feared. J still on soft food.  Weather better than forecast, quite warm and sunny. Storm Agnes apparently on the way tomorrow. Secured a Christmas shopping slot for 24th Dec. Invited J's children and their families for Boxing day lunch, and they said Yes. 

Wednesday 27 September

Warnings about Storm Agnes have diminished. Walked to Tesco for some groceries. Warm, took jacket off. J gave me a lift to tube station so I could get easily to Leyton for my 3 yearly breast cancer screen. Took a while to get back as the buses weren't very frequent. 

Thursday 28 September 

Storm Agnes blew a little during the night but not too bad, the wheelie bins were still in position. Mostly cloudy and warm today. Sorted my packing for our cycling mini adventure. Changed the beds and tidied (I always do this before a holiday!). Spoke to Mum. 

Friday 29 September

Set off to Newcastle, leaving at 7.30 with our bikes in the car. My ebike is too heavy to go on a train - they're hung from racks and at 25kg it's heavy to lift up, plus the tyres make it too bulky for the space allocated. 

I'll be writing specifically about the mini break on Wednesday, so no more updates about the cycling holiday until then, unless you're on IG, where I'm @is_this_mutton_

What's Been on Your Calendar?

I'm joining bloggers in the southern hemisphere for the #WhatsBeenOnYourCalendar linkup.  Here are our lovely hosts:  Deb from Deb's World, Sue from Women Over 50  Living Well,  Donna from Retirement Reflections and Jo from Slices of Life.  If you've got a post about your month, come and share it! 

Sharing this post with #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Rena at Fine WhateverTalent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer, #SpreadTheKindness at Shelbee on the Edge,  #Neverendingstyle at The Grey Brunette, Final Friday at Marsha in the Middle, #FridayCoffeeShare at Natalie the Explorer, Senior Salon Pitstop at Esme Salon 


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