Soul Survivor 2004

Got back yesterday from spending 10 days down at Soul Survivor, and am still feeling pretty tired! It pretty much rained nearly every single day, and it ended up getting quite muddy!

For the first half of it, I caught up with a couple of Reach guys…Dave Bateman was DJing in Lift (the skate park), and also saw Rob Kay who was DJing on one of the nights with thebandwithnoname.

On the changeover day, I went up to Bristol to visit Ali and Pete (and to stick my jeans and towels in their washing machine!), and that was the only day when it didn’t actually rain!

Then for the second part, some guys from Tamworth were there – Andy, Tom, Dave, John, Fiona and Sophie, and I spend a bit of time hanging round with them.

I originally planned to stay until yesterday morning and return, but after waking up on Wednesday morning, decided I couldn’t stick staying another night in my tent, so left late that night and got back to Manchester at about 2.30am yesterday morning!

There are some photos of this year’s Soul Survivor here.

Camping in the lake district

Just got back from a camping up in the Lake District, and it was a really brilliant weekend.

Me and Jamie drove up on Friday night to Borrowdale, which isn’t too far from Keswick, and eventually found a camping field to set up on, so we put up the tent in the dark, and then had a quick drink before settling down for the night.

Woke up pretty early yesterday morning – and it was gorgeous outside… the sun was out and the sky totally clear. Now we could actually see our surroundings, you could see how stunning the place was. We’d camped pretty close to a river, which we’d kind of guessed because we’d heard running water, but we discovered that what we’d heard was actually a set of waterfalls coming down from the mountain that we were planning to go walking up.

So we set off, with our aim to make it to the top of Great Gable, which is pretty close to Scafell Pike which we climbed back in April. I found it a bit of a struggle doing the first bit of the ascent… it was boiling hot and the sun was pretty relentless on us! We were so hot that by the time we came to the first waterfall, I didn’t take too much persuading to stick my head into the flow of falling water!! We then walked up a bit further, and arrived at above another waterfall, and this time I decided to lie across a rock and tip my upper body backwards into the water, totally immersing my head into the cold water – much to the amusement of Jamie! Managed to pull myself out of there, but somehow had managed to also totally soak my shorts, as well as my t-shirt, so ended up walking a bit funny until I dried out a bit!

We eventually got to the top of Great Gable around lunchtime, and the views were amazing. We sat up there to eat our lunch and then started to head down a different way, and eventually came back to the river which we managed to cross by walking over some rocks, although I slipped and ended up soaking my boots and socks! We sat down there for quite a while, catching some rays, and hoping that my boots would dry out a bit!

That evening, after eating out at a nearby pub, we started driving back over Honister Pass, and pulled up at the edge of Buttermere lake, and ended up being convinced by Jamie to go for a swim! It was really smart, though I was a bit apprehensive because I hadn’t been swimming for about 10 years! And it wasn’t until I was in the water that I realised that there were millions of dead flies on the surface of the water so I had to keep my mouth shut when swimming or I’d end up with a mouthful of insects!

We waited until the sun set behind the mountains, and they dried off and drove back to the site. When we got back to the tent, Jamie ‘aquired’ some wood from the nearby fields, so we got a campfire going – which helped to keep the midges away which had already spent most of the day attacking us! It was really good spending a couple of hours chilling out around the fire, and just having a drink and chatting.

Woke up this morning, and it wasn’t as nice weatherwise as yesterday – it was still dry and bright, but quite windy. We packed up and then drove over to a place called Watendlath Tarn, and then went for quite a fair walk over to Dock Tarn above Rosthwaite, where we sat on a rock overlooking the lake, with the wind blowing a pretty intense gale!

We then walked back to the car (it seemed even further this time – especially ‘cos I was starting to feel a bit tired after all this walking!) and then drove down to a place that overlooked a massive lake and grabbed lunch before heading back to Manchester.

I forgot to take my camera with me, but I did take quite a few photos of the weekend on my phone, and they haven’t come out too bad, and you can view them all here.

Dining room finally painted!

The decorating’s definitely coming on!

I’ve finished painting my dining room (apart from the woodwork) and have moved the furniture back in so I can actually use my downstairs rooms again! The other things that need to be sorted in there is some shelves need putting up, and I need to get a new carpet for the room and stairs, but I think I’ll wait until I’ve had the fireplace in the living room finished, ‘cos I don’t want it to get ruined when I get the builders in to do that! I’ve got a day’s holiday off work today to do some work on my kitchen… I’ve undercoated two walls, but there’s still a bit of wallpaper that needs to come off the other two, and I need to paint the ceiling as well. Don’t know how much I’ll be able to get done today, but at least I’m getting something done!

Other stuff – supposed to be going camping this weekend with Jamie. Not sure where we’re going yet… were talking about heading off to somewhere in the Lake District so we can do some walking and stuff. Hope the weather improves though… after a really hot couple of days last weekend, it’s been miserable this week. We’ve had thunder and lots of rain – I know some parts of the country have had floods as well, so I’m really hoping it gets loads better by the end of the week!