On our trip to Windermere, we walked up the steep track to Orrest Head. It’s a short walk - about 25 minutes for us – but it is very steep and quite rocky near the top. The climb is worth it, however, as you get an increasingly panoramic view over Lake Windermere. When you reach the top, you can see across all the main peaks of the Lake district, such as Scafell Pike and Wansfell Pike (excellent photos on this site). Orrest Head is also known as the place which inspired the Lake District writer Alfred Wainwright to undertake his walks around all the Lake District peaks and valleys, and to inspire thousands of people to walk these routes, using his extensive collection of books. After his visit to Orrest Head, Wainwright wrote “‘I was totally transfixed, unable to believe my eyes. I had never seen anything like this. I saw mountain ranges, one after another, the nearer starkly etched, those beyond fading into the blue distance. Rich woodlands, emerald pastures and the shimmering water of the lake below added to a pageant of loveliness, a glorious panorama that held me enthralled”. Photos 1-3 below show the view across the peaks from Orrest Head, the sign showing the list of peaks, and a view of the undulating Switzerland-like countryside behind Orrest Head.
View across Lake Windermere from Orrest Head
Orrest Head Guide
Behind Orrest Head
We took some relatives on a day trip to Peebles, a historic town in the Scottish borders. It’s a very attractive town with the river Tweed flowing just near the town centre, and there are many interesting walks near the town (See site for good photos). On this trip, it was signs in or near the High Street that caught my attention. Photo 4 shows the door of a painter and decorator business, but this door is ornately decorated with the scope of the original business, and includes decorator, paperhanger, gilder, glazier, sign writer and bellhanger. I looked up the latter and it is indeed someone who hangs bells, I tried to pursue my research on this but found very little – maybe this firm installed bells in churches?
Ornate door in Peebles
Photo 5 shows a sign which is on the walls of one of the buildings in Peebles High Street. It shows Greenwich Solar Time. I looked up Greenwich Solar Time and, if I understand it correctly, solar time relates to the apparent movement of the sun in the sky, but this is not regular, as the sun seems to speed up and slow down at different times. So, the website explains, “That is why it is necessary to take an average, or mean, of the length of all the days in the year. It is this Mean Solar Time that we set our clocks too”. I stand to be corrected on this – and please do correct me – but I think that the photo shows that Peebles’ latitude and that the sundial is showing 12.85minutes difference from GMT.
Photo 6 shows a sign which is above a door in a courtyard just off Peebles High St. The courtyard contains an ornate war memorial, with a mosaic Celtic cross and a copper roof (Photo 7). The sign reads “He that tholes overcomes”. The word thole in the Scots language means to put up with adversity. Doing a search for the phrase, I found that the 1835 book The Spirit of Chambers’ Journal states that “He that tholes… he who, however sorely afflicted, however sorely tried with calamity, suffers his pains with patience and manly fortitude, triumphs over them, and is in reality the same as if it were not his fate to be so tried”. So we Scots – probably of a certain age – will say that we’ll just have to thole it, if something bad happens.
Sign in Peebles’ courtyard
War memorial in Peebles