I am painting a series of beauty spots in The Lake District National Park, Cumbria UK. I partly grew up near Keswick, Cumbria and Skiddaw is etched into my being. More about Skiddaw and why I featured it.
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Skiddaw continued . . .
Skiddaw was a big part of my childhood.
As a child, I could have had it worse. I lived in a happy enough family in the Vale of Glamorgan in a small, pretty seaside town that was replete with friends, a promenade, a pier and an Italian cafe expert at making cappuccino (I didn't like the taste back then, but I liked the sound of the steam machine).
When I wasn't home, is was in The Lake District where my grandparents lived - huddled into the Jaws of Borrowdale where you could see Skiddaw from the kitchen window just passed the tiny, slate built chapel.
When you walked over the top to Watendlath, the village in the mountains, it was just skip down to Ashness Bridge, where you could see her in all her glory.
Did I know then it was a world heritage view? Nope. I just wanted to climb the mountain to add to the other peaks I'd conquered (all the top 5 before the age of 10).
My dad, an expert on the fells, all of which he knew by name, told me Skiddaw was not a great climb. I was long, higher than high, laborious, windy and straight-laced - with no surprises on the way to entertain. Just walking and walking and more walking.
Still, undeterred I insisted and we did it. It was all of the above, with bells on. We could lean into the wind and not fall over. I added my own family entertainment though, because on the way down, I started running, got blown over by the wind and went to catch myself on a barbed-wire fence. I ripped the palm of my hand open and, well, still had about 3000 feet to descend.
I insisted not to have stitches or any treatment apart from to tie it around dirty old handkerchief. I lived. Still have a small scar to remind me of her everyday. One day , I'll go back.