Summer? Is it really?

I can`t believe we are at the end of June already. I am still waiting for what I would regard as summer weather here in Carlisle. There have been brief appearances made by the bright shiny thing in the sky but they have been few and far between. I am longing now for some warm sunny days, when I can get some of my summer clothes out of the wardrobe …without the additions of cardigans on sweatshirts. I even have had to resort to wearing socks on occasions recently…and I hate socks! I was told by a friend the other day that I would never be a Cumbrian when I complained that I was cold…the temperature was 18c! I still had my cardie on! We have managed to eat in our garden once or twice, but then we headed back inside for coffee. It is all so disappointing…and very annoying when our French friends are messaging me about the heat wave they are enduring! Could we share some of that heat please?? Pretty, pretty please??

Despite the weather, we have done quite a bit of gadding about again this month. Ill start with where I left off last month…my birthday celebrations! We really enjoyed our celebratory trip to Northumberland and I loved visiting some of my favourite places such as Rothbury, Seahouses, Alnwick & Bamburgh. We spent a lovely couple of hours sitting on the wonderful beach at Bamburgh looking at the boats going back & forth to the Farne Islands. Geoff was brave and got as far as ankles in the sea…but it was very cold, so we were not tempted to have a dip! We stayed in a gorgeous little village called Ellingham, which was full of lovely cottages with equally lovely cottage gardens. Our journey back home the next day, took us through the villages of Ford & Etal before driving home via the Border towns of Hawick, Jedburgh and Kelso. It really was a trip down memory lane for me, as my dad loved all those places and we visited them all many times when I was young. On the Friday of that week, we drove to Lowther Castle for a great meet up with all my family ay last. It was a great day seeing my children and grandchildren together again. Ethan and Hadley loved the wonderful adventure playground castle in the grounds and so everyone had a really good day…. especially me as it was yet another birthday celebration. My last celebratory event was a wonderful lunch with our friends Mike and Linda at Lyzzick Hall near Keswick…which was really to celebrate both of us turning 70 this year. It was splendid…the setting, the food and the company were just perfect and we appreciated it very much indeed. I would highly recommend Lyzzick hall to everyone as a place to eat and the hotel looked really nice too. It just so happened that the day we went was Fathers day so Geoff & Mike celebrated that event in style too. We ate again at Hazels in the evening so Geoff could receive his Fathers Day gifts. He had a very good day :blush:

**The Jubilee weekend followed that excursion and we went to the small event in our local park, all decked out in red, white and blue of course! We ended that day with a BBQ at Hazels…and yes, we did manage to eat outside for once! The next day there was a celebratory lunch after the service at church which again was very good. I tried to convince everyone that I was allowing the Queen to gate-crash my 70th too…but not all were convinced! My knitted Queen was raffled off though, and raised £70 for church funds which I was very pleased about. In the afternoon we got a surprise invitation to go to a small event in one of the fields on my friend Sandras farm. It was lovely…a local old-fashioned fete with games and races for the children accompanied by a very elderly (they were in their 90s) couple who provided the music. This pair still entertain in local old folks’ homes…where no doubt some of the residents are younger than them! It was a lovely event and we thoroughly enjoyed it…even if it was a bit cold out there again!

Our Wednesday “date day” lunches have also continued this month as usual…but not as many as we have been busy with other things too. We ate very well at the lovely Wheatsheaf Inn near Wetheral one week and had a lovely pic nic in Hexham en route to visiting friends, Gill and Charles, in Whitley Bay on one of the other Wednesdays. That trip was another overnight stay, as Charles was performing in the local G&S societys performance of Yeoman of the Guard, in Tynemouth…and we couldnt miss seeing hm resplendent in his Beefeaters uniform! It was very good and we really enjoyed it…although I dont think Geoff appreciated my singing all the way home the next day! Yesterday, we went to Bowness on Solway & ate at Hunters Bistro there before going to try & see some dragonflies at Drumsbough Moss nature reserve. Not much luck once again, but we did see a couple of small damselflies …before getting thoroughly soaked in a very heavy shower. Nothing nicer than driving home in cold, wet jeans :frowning:

Hazel and I had a nice “girly” day out one day too, driving down to Barrow where Hazel had an appointment and a meet up with a friend. Of course, we had to have a stop at Tebay on the way home. I love the farm shop there and always end up buying goodies! Another day out we had this month, was to the Cumberland Show which we enjoyed very much. Fortunately, it was a nice day and we were able to wander round slowly watching all the events in the show rings sampling lots of food and looking at all the craft entries and demonstrations. Geoff especially loved seeing the heavy horse competitions as they brought back memories of his Grandad, who was a shire horse man himself. I entered lots of raffles and big surprise, actually won a prize that I really wanted in one of them…some local ground coffee, tea and a MW Craven book. I love his books as he writes about places we know in Cumbria and he has two fantastic characters in Washington Poe (don’t ask!) and Tilly Bradshaw. If you haven’t read any of his books, I do recommend them.

My visits to the eye clinic have continued this month. I now have a very expensive steroid implant in my right eye and a repeat implant of the other drug in my left eye. I suspect the right eye implant blew the ophthalmology budget as it was implied Id not get another one of those until next year! Hey ho. I am still waiting to get my driving licence back after having to re-apply following my reaching the grand old age of 70. It seems that if it is a straight forward application, (as Geoffs was) the licence comes through reasonably quickly, but as soon as you declare a medical or sight problem it takes ages and multiple form filling in. I got very fed up with all this as they ask the same questions over and over again. However, I had to go to Specsavers last week, for the test I knew I`d have to do right back at the start of all this and now I am hoping that will be it and the licence will arrive.

We ended the month with a new experience for us when we were invited (along with the rest of our church congregation) to attend the ordination of an Anglican priest, who has been very active in one of the missions our church is involved in. It was very interesting to be there and watch her becoming ordained and anointed by the Bishop of Carlisle. There was also a super lunch provided afterwards too :blush:

I am awaiting my second appointment to get the results of my annual medical review, which I suppose will not be good, as always. I didnt have a very good experience with the first appointment where the health care assistant took the blood sample etc. I really wonder just what they teach these nurses and health care assistants these days…certainly not good interpersonal skills. I was so angry by the time I left the clinic my BP must have been off the scale! I was very close to making an official complaint. I know Im not an easy patient but her manner was awful! Hopefully this second visit will be better…we will see!

So, June has departed…is it me or is this year passing us by very quickly? Our calendar for July is beginning to fill up already and we have a couple of very exciting trips planned for the rest of the summer…that is if summer does eventually arrive! - so we could be very busy again. Also, now I have my next eye clinic appointment date, we will be booking our flights to France ready for September and keeping our fingers crossed that Easyjet keep on flying!

I do have one last thing to say though. The stats on my Wordpress site were very poor last months. The number of views and how many people read it (none!) after the day it was posted, were odd, and I don`t believe them at all. Please, if any of you have a problem accessing the site this month will you let me know. Until the end of July…

…A bientot mes amis


Just to let you know, the strange formatting on these very interesting blog posts seems to be because of the type of apostrophe you’re using. As you can see from my example below, if I delete the one you used and replace it with a standard one it immediately reverts back to normal text.

I don’t know if it’s something you’re choosing to do (use a specific type of apostrophe I mean, you’re obviously not choosing to do the formatting) or if it’s a setting on your keyboard/ software you type it into, but that seems to be what’s doing it.

Anyway, perhaps you don’t care in the slightest, I just thought I’d mention it just in case it helps!


Thanks. I have tried several times to sort this but either don`t have the skills(very probable!) or the right keyboard to do this. I do post the same blog on wordpress in the UK…using the same copy & paste method from a word document & this doesnt happen. I have no idea why it does it here :frowning:

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You are getting backticks - ` rather than apostrophes - ’

Discourse then interprets that as a switch to a monospaced font (which looked like `monospaced font` when I typed it).

I’d been vaguely wondering what was causing it but I don’t generally read your blog posts I’m afraid.


Thanks again. I shall try to reform next time…having found the other symbol on the keyboard! As you can tell IT skills are not my forte!

[quote=“billybutcher, post:4, topic:40023”]
but I don’t generally read your blog posts I’m afraid.

For effective communication, one must always choose the most appropriate medium to target your desired audience, and unfortunately, it may just be that as SF is primarily about French concerns, not many people who contribute to it are sufficiently interested in what’s been happening in Carlisle. Maybe a Cumbrian audience would engage more…


As per Dr MarkH, as soon as I see ‘Carlise’ I move on.

I have skimmed thru this latest and I see mentioned Barrow, Whitley Bay, Hawick, Jedburgh. Kelso, Seahouses, Bamburgh, Alnwick.

I’m familiar with all these places but like Dr Mark feel that this content is in the wrong place. SF is a forum about life and living in France. Some connections with UK are appropriate if they relate to matters here but otherwise …

Thank you for your comment but I will continue to post this blog here for as long as people continue to read it. We do spend time in France still & the numbers who read the blog each mont on here continue to be higher than on the Woredpress site where ist is also published…so some people must like it!


Thank you for your comment I do find that the numbers of people who read this blog on SF are usually more than those who read on the Wordpress site.

Christine is one of our longest established posters and I for one am always happy to read her contributions.

SF has many UK based readers and after 13 plus years of allowing posts on anything and everything, we’re certainly not going to start policing content now!


Thanks for that Cat. Although we are now UK based some of our hearts will always be in France & I still write about France whenever we are back there. I started writing this blog long before we actually moved to France in 2006 & have often thought about stopping it but whenever I suggest it a lot of people ask me to continue. As I said in my replies to they guys who say it is irrelevent here, just look at the reader numbers & the traffic it gets from folk all over the world (some of them our past guests when we had the gite & B&B) to the SF site.


If you are happy writing your blog then there’s nothing wrong with that, if someone doesn’t want to read it, they can scroll on by. We moved from near lockerbie before coming to eastern France, so when I read Carlisle I got more interested not less. I don’t mind the weather that you’ve had at all and I struggle with it too hot! We are here as climate refugees, we need lower air pressure for my husbands health, had we stayed where we were he might not be alive now. We are happy in France and grateful he has a solution to a health problem which many don’t. Keep up your blog if it makes you happy.


Again…thank you. Writing the blog does keep me happy & I know from feedback on Twitter & FB that a lot of folk still enjoy it. We loved our time in France & it was with very heavy hearts that we eventually sold up & moved back to the UK but we have been surprised by how much we are enjoying living here in Carlisle with all thes lovely places on our doorstep. Mind you we are also looking forward to slipping back into our French life in September again…& a bit of that heat would not be a bad thing :slight_smile:

I was never suggesting that SF ‘police content’, in fact my response was prompted by Christine’s comment about her posts on the Wordpress site and I suggested that she looked for a site where she might attract more readers

I wouldn’t wish to see postings on Cumbria proscribed (even though I might not bother to read them, as it’s an episode in my past ) but I lived there for fifteen years and have published several books and book chapters on historical aspects of visual culture in the former counties of Cumberland and Westmorland. Also, as mentioned on some other SF thread, I was one of the initial advisors on the shaping of the Lake District’s successful bid for World Heritage Site status.

However, I feel the blog isn’t really about Cumbria, but about someone renegotiating their identity having returned to the UK after many years living in France and that might be a good reason for also blogging on a Cumbrian site

i probably won’t return to the UK again, even for a visit, but I know a few people who’ve returned permanently (mainly for family reasons) and I wouldn’t wish to judge their decision.

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I wasn’t actually referring to your post :wink:

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Thanks, but it was still useful to clarify in order to avoid unintentionally causing offence!


Reverting back to Carlisle and weather -
I’m very grateful for the weather in that part of the world
We went back to Carlisle mid June because we had entered the Amazon in two regularity rallies - including HERO’s 3 day Summer Trial

When the temperature back home in your village is 40 42 42 42 41. You really appreciate the change of temperature. And it didn’t rain in our part of north Cumbria/ south Scotland until two days before we left :rofl:

Thanks for your comment. The sun seems to have gone back into hiding here again. It is still warmish though. Most of the locals think it is too warm at 23c here! I don`t envy the 40+ temperatures though. Courage.

I read it Christine.
It gives me joy to hear about folk going to places in the North.
I hope all goes well with you b oth.

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All these little asides can be so interesting.
For instance Katie Fleur and myself found out that we have family in common.

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