Monday, 23 February 2015

Quiet days

Really has been quiet around here for the past week or more. That means time off and training and not much more. Some more newbies have arrived over the weekend and there was a day group in today who just wanted study sessions so that kept us busy in our department.

Still the most exciting thing recently was nearly getting stuck on top of a hill in the Forest of Bowland when the drizzle suddenly turned to snow, but my little car made it back down safely.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Lakes, Breaks and Busy Days

Internet issues have prevented me from blogging for a few days, but anyway, things are settling down here after a busy couple of weeks. I’m still picking up new stuff and running different sessions, as well as assisting with the evening entertainment, which is mostly playing silly games with the kids for an hour and a half.

On Wednesday I spent my day off in the Lake District mooching about in the mist. I stopped by in Windermere, which looked calm, cold and mystical, but was slightly spoiled for me by the vast quantity of buoys distorting the beautiful visage. After a dramatic drive over the mist covered Kirkstone Pass I stopped again by Ullswater and walked along the shore for a few miles. I passed through Patterdale to relive some Coast to Coast moments from 2012 and then climbed a little way up the hill beyond.

Grey Windermere

Similarly grey Ullswater

Patterdale from above

Whiteout 1500 feet up on the Kirkstone Pass

Since then there have been more sessions, housework (bed making and vacuuming) and site work (anything from fixing the tyre walls on the quad bike courses to sorting wires in Study, oh and more vacuuming). Still it keeps me busy.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Week 1 - Kids, Cameras and Cold Days

Today ends the first week of the season at Winmarleigh, although I've been here two and a half now. The place has been packed with small people (5 groups in the week and two more over the weekend) and all of them wanting study sessions which has kept the few study instructors (like myself) very busy. Mostly it's been PGL TV, a double session of music video making and TV presenting! So while everyone else was complaining of the cold, we were turning on the air-con (12 computers with a child each makes it quite warm).

There's no rest yet either as the new week begins and the next groups arrive, but I did sneak in a visit to Blackpool, which considering it's less than 20 miles away, takes a ridiculously long time to get to. For a while I became certain it wasn't by the sea at all, after I'd been driving through the town for 10 minutes and hadn't even seen a sign for the beach let alone the unlit illuminations. I found it eventually and had a stroll along the promenade, although when I went back to find my car all the buildings had moved round and I lost it/walked straight past it.

Tonight there may be a child-free bonfire/chance to learn some more songs (I'm still working on them), or there may not, it's hard to tell with these bonfires.


Sunday, 1 February 2015

Emus and Woodpeckers

Driving north today, on my day off, I was rewarded with some spectacular views of the distant Lake District covered in white, with the sun shining off the sea. Sadly I didn't get any closer or get any snaps. What I do have is some pictures from the top of the abseil tower, where I've been for most of the week, of the hills closer to Winmarleigh, also topped with snow.


It seems that being down on the low ground and close to the sea, with all its salty air, that while it may be snowing at the top of the abseil tower some times, none of it lands on the floor. So, to compensate, the snowdrops have come out!

The highlight of the week was passing my Abseil assessment, which has given me my first ropes qualification, and set me up for my first session on Tuesday. I've had a lot of training in other sessions too, but I'm still working on them. The first groups arrive tomorrow, which is exciting, although I have been enjoying the peace! I think the birds have too, there's plenty of them zipping around. I also discovered the woodpeckers that live just outside the staff accommodation. Then, next door, there are the Emus. I'm not sure why anyone who isn't a zoo keeper wants an Emu or three, but they're always interested in what we're doing on our side of the fence!