Developing a taste for Cumbria

Given that the walking weather app that is the Gremlin had been delivering almost hourly gloomy updates along the lines of ‘12.00pm: 90% chance of rain. 1.00pm: 40% chance of rain. 2.00pm: 60% chance of rain’ (you get the gist), we fully expected the Taste Cumbria extravaganza to be a little washed out, to say the least. As…

Party of the gods

If thunder and lightning is your thing, I can recommend no better spot than Vassiliki. I rather think that rascally pair, Eric the Wind God and his old mucker Zeus, have rather enjoyed this week’s humdingers, judging by the way they were throwing our balcony furniture around. What with that and the rattling shutters, all…

Secretary of State says no

Finally, something to write home about on the planning front as Allerdale planners refuse permission for a new retail development on Low Road in Cockermouth. They had been ‘minded to turn down the plans for two retail units on vacant industrial land‘ but were unable to do so because the Secretary of State had received a…

Cows and cack

We’ve never been good with cows in our family. I blame my mother and one long-ago sunny, childhood day (I seem to recall a button-under-the-chin swimming cap and a salmon pink, ruched and waffled swimsuit were still the order of the day. I know, I know. Don’t say a word.) Why mention this now? Well, I was put in mind…

Mobile madness

Vodafone. Can’t live with ’em. Can’t live without ’em, eh? I swapped to  Vodafone a few years ago, when it looked as though I was going to be spending more time in Cumbria than Manchester and they seemed to offer better coverage than O2. So far, I’ve had little cause to complain and you learn to live…

Double yellow peril

Here’s a pub quiz question for you: When did double yellows first make an appearance on our streets? Answer: 1960. Thanks to the Road Traffic Act. Rule 238 of the Highway Code, if you’re going for a bonus. And since then, they – and the tortured souls whose thankless task it is to uphold the law – have been the scourge of the ‘just dropper-offers’, ‘the quickie…

Pokémon no go

  ‘There’s a Pokémon in the Lloyd Cockermouth fridge’, said one of the chaps on reception, returning, I presume, from the kitchen. Much bemused chortling from we grown-ups, waiting for our cars. (I assume young Pokémon will long-since have moved on, so it’s reasonably safe to reveal its whereabouts. Those Mini people are so nice, I’d…

Gateway to the lakes…

Browsing the glossy sales brochure for the soon-to-be Strawberry Grange, I was fascinated to read that Cockermouth is ‘often described as the gateway to the Lake District’. It’s not an expression I’ve ever heard and nor had a straw poll of friends who’ve lived here all their lives. Surely you have to drive through or past most…

Markets and marketing

You can’t beat a bit of creative marketing. And our decision, following last year’s floods, to delay the Big Day until our hotel of choice could accommodate us, has certainly opened up a range of marketing opportunities – some not quite as obvious as others. It’s the law of unintended consequences at work again except, on this occasion, the consequences are all good….

Weddings and water

‘Customers!’ The simple, heartfelt greeting from one very excited bar man, as the first of our friends to check in to the Trout Hotel for our Big Day, strode into his bar. His first of the day. In fact, the first two guests to check in to the hotel at all since 6 December 2015. Now here they…

Kidnapped

When it comes to stag dos, the under-25s are swearing off the alcohol in favour of ‘dry’ activities such as climbing, coasteering or generally risking life and limb over their livers. Or so said The Telegraph in June. Chilli Sauce, Britain’s largest stag celebrations company, has apparently reported a mere 30% of bookings involve alcohol –…

Footpaths and tea pods

First they came for the birds. Then the otters. Now, it would seem, they’re after our footpaths. Hackles were high again last weekend, up at Strawberry How, as dog walkers discovered their way barred – on a path, across the field from Tom Rudd Beck, which some of them have been wandering for nigh on forty years. I risk…