Beautiful nature

The magic Lakes

”Imagination, which in truth
Is but another name for absolute power
And clearest insight, amplitude of mind,
And reason, in her most exalted mood.”

William Wordsworth (1770-1850), British poet. The Prelude.

A couple of weeks ago, Lee and I went on a weekend break. We live in the north west of England and we are lucky to have some great places around to visit. A great one is the Lake District, most commonly known as The Lakes.

The Lakes is a mountainous region famous not only for its lakes, forests and mountains but also for its associations with the early 19th century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth and other ‘Lake Poets’. The Lakes became a National Park on 9 May 1951, becoming only the second National Park in the  UK with the Peak District. It is the most visited national park in the United Kingdom with 15.8 million annual visitors and over 23.1 million annual day visits.

All the land in England higher than three thousand feet above sea level lies within the National Park, including Scafell Mountain, the highest mountain in England. It also contains the deepest and longest lakes in England, Wastwater and Windermere.

Now that you know what I’m talking about and you can situate yourself using Google Maps, I have to tell you what the Lakes is all about. I have been there a few times and to different places and I can say that the place is amazing.

People walk around looking amazed by what they see, you can just tell by looking in their eyes. They know they are lucky to be there, being able to appreciate nature at its very best. It’s almost like nature is greeting you, smiling at you, welcoming you… ‘walk on my grass, sit by my lake, walk around my woods and feel the water of my waterfalls on your hands’. No wonder poets have been inspired to write great work when living or visiting the place.

On one of the days we were walking around Ambleside, for example, we were heading towards the lake and walking calmly, with not much rush. We were walking on this busy road where the back of a building faced the main road. On the back wall there was a sign facing the road, where all the cars were going past at great speed. The sign said…

I mean, this is the thing with the Lakes. When you least expect it, a little insight comes from nowhere. The sign above  is badly placed if you asked me, but then if I think again, I would probably say that the sign is strategically positioned to reach those that need to read it. In that particular moment I was thinking abut something and that was really the answer. Listen to your heart… Again, the magic of the Lakes amazing me.

One of my favourite things in the Lakes are the little book sellers, mostly people that open up their house to the public to sell books. They make the books look so special, so carefully placed and it’s all so inviting. I absolutely love it.

And then there are the many lakes… stunning and glittery and calming…

And to box it all off, how is this for a sunset?

One of the most famous poets of the area is William Wordsworth. He once went to visit the Lakes and, on his visit, spotted a cottage up on the hills. He fell in love with it straight away and moved in there. The 8 years he lived in that cottage was when he produced the best of his entire work.  Next to him was a big lake that goes all misty when it rains, giving that magical feel to it. It’s one of those places where you find yourself gazing into the sky and then realise it’s gone dark and you haven’t even noticed!

The Lakes have so many places to visit. So many waterfalls, walking trails, lakes, villages and also such nice people. If you are visiting England and are a nature fan, I’d highly recommend it.

I always say that visiting places is something very personal. There might be a place that you visit and just shrug your shoulders thinking: “Yeah, it’s alright”. But then, there are places where you just feel this sense of belonging and just feel so carried away walking and looking around that it feels amazing to just be there, inhaling the air and stepping on that ground. Travelling is amazing, but truly connecting with a place is surreal.

Categories: Beautiful nature, Living away from home | Leave a comment

What the sun brings…

Well, well, well… the sun is shining and it’s hot! This is a rare event in England, so people do make the most of it. From my lovely balcony, I can see everyone on the beach. Some bring tents, some bring chairs, some bring bikes and some just bring themselves and walk around everywhere. I actually did the exercise of watching one single person for about 15 minutes and this guy simply walked around the beach aimlessly, with no intention of getting anywhere in particular. I guess this is what the sun and the heat do to us. They make us feel free to just let the legs and arms and mind do whatever they fancy. I’ve been to the beach today too and it was great! I put my towel down and just sat there for some time, with no time to watch and nothing to do… I just wanted to feel the rays and the light breeze on my skin… what a nice feeling! It makes you feel like anything is possible somehow.

After a pub sesh with Lee and two good friends, I came back home. And then did something that I’ve been planning to do for a long time. I sat and wrote something that I have been waiting for inspiration to write for a long while and I felt so good for it. It’s not a big deal, but I felt the inspiration going through my veins, I could feel the words coming out from my core to the paper. I handwrote everything as well, which is something I do when I’m not so sure of what I’m doing. I like to review it and then scribble all over it, but keeping my silly ideas there,  so I can always look back and see where every single bit came from.

This little dream might come to nothing, but I’m glad that the sunshine made me take a first step. The sun is such an almighty presence and it makes things so much clearer and happy. Bring on sunny days… my font of inspiration at the moment.

Categories: Beautiful nature, St Annes living | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sun is shining, the weather is sweet…

Oh, what a glorious weekend we were blessed with! The sun is shining and EVERYONE seems to be out and about! From our lovely balcony, that we are growing to love more and more, we can see and hear kids, dogs, cars, people, sea and happiness all round. It’s amazing the effect of the sun in this country. In Brazil, because we are so used to the hot weather, we kind of take it for granted, I think. Here, when the sun comes out, everyone goes automatically from grumpy to happy.

I can see how the sun just makes things look better… it’s almost like everything around is lighter, more touchable even. And then there is the fact that the sun makes us feel free. Free from the layers and layers of clothes, free from closed doors and windows, free from the winter blues. Now, everything is yellow, yellow, yellow, the colour of vibrancy, warmth and happiness.

It’s funny that after this long living in England – over 10 years now -, I feel just like any other British person in respect of sunny days. I jump out of bed when I notice a bit more light than usual coming through the curtains, I relish any possible time taking in all the rays and I pull a face when the weather man says that the cold weather is approaching once again.

Seeking for sunshine tells us that we are all the same, somehow. We are all in the same boat, rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy. When it comes to the weather, we have no power at all – although some may argue that the hotter summers and colder winters are actually our doing (which I’d agree with!). And because none of us have power over it, we all  feel blessed when we have a big yellow ball in the sky. It’s the one thing that unites people anywhere in the world, the one thing that we all treasure. And in England, this is even more exacerbated because, in a country where the three months of summer usually present us with 10 days of actual sunshine, we all know very well that it doesn’t happen very often. And this is why every sunny day makes us celebrate and enjoy it as much as we can.

Categories: Beautiful nature, Living away from home, St Annes living | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The real house by the beach

We moved! After quite a few posts about the preparations of moving from one place to another, I can now say that we have actually done it. Lee and I transferred our little lives from a house to a flat, from sharing accommodation to living all by ourselves. OOooo, I’m scared! (nah, not really).

I’m most excited about being able to do whatever I want to the place. Ok, it’s rented so I may not have all that freedom, really, but I can have it as we want it and I can do one of my favourite things: change stuff around without consulting anyone. Well, the quick word with Lee helps, I guess, but he always grunts some “fine” and I carry on.

The new place is great. It’s at the top of our budget and let’s hope we don’t lose our jobs, but we are quite amazed that we were lucky to find a place that is just literally opposite the sea and that we could afford. My new morning routine now consists of having a coffee watching the sea from the sofa before going to work, as opposed to dashing off in a hurry, and this kind of thing is what I call improved quality of life.

Now let me just say this… I’m not bragging… we have been thinking about doing this for quite some time and we had to plan and save pennies to be able to do it so, if anything, I’m proud of our little achievement and just thought I’d share my happiness here. Life is not easy nowadays and when you achieve something, however small, I reckon it’s worth celebrating!  hehe…

The strangest thing to get used to is all the different noises of the building. You know when you have been in a place for a while and know all the sounds? By this I mean all the stair noises, all the cracking when you walk around, the sound of the heating going on, etc. Small things, really. Well, this takes some getting used to and I’m still in the process. I’m naturally quite jumpy and seem to live in a world of my own sometimes, so when I hear a different noise, one I haven’t heard before, I go and investigate or kind of make a mental note of it for next time. I like to know my surroundings quite well.

The place where we live now is an old building of 8 flats that was refurbished entirely, apart from the back of it. Therefore, the old staircase of the building is still there and people still use it. In our flat, we have a door with glass panels at the end of the corridor, so if people use the stairs at the back and turn the light on, the light makes our corridor a bit more illuminated. This, in the beginning, used to make me jump and I considered blocking that door with something, but now I’m kind of used to it and don’t even mind.

Also, the neighbours above us are a couple of lovely oldies and they like their tv… a LOT. And they like to watch it as loud as possible, so this is something I have to get used to. Having lived in a house before, we are not so used to the noise, but in just a week I can tell you that I don’t mind it anymore, which I find kind of strange. It seems like this place has so much to offer that a bit of a muffled tv sound can’t really become a big deal.

I started this blog in January and at that point we were not sure where we were going to move to yet. I named the blog housebythebeach and this was because living very near the sea has always been one of my wildest dreams. How funny is it that when we actually write about it and make our goals in life very specific (and graphic), they kind of make a way to actually happen? I didn’t have any idea that I’d be living by the sea, especially not this soon. And then life kind of makes its own little movements and makes things fall into place. It’s good to feel like the universe is moving in your favour sometimes and I guess I appreciate it because I know it doesn’t happen all the time.

It’s priceless (well, not quite) to get up in the morning and watch the sea. It’s even better to enjoy a Saturday morning watching how the sea changes… we had a high tide today and it was great to watch the people walking their dogs give space for the sea to come forward and cover the ground like a blanket. And then as the evening comes, the sky changes and looks amazing with all the yellowy shades going pink, then red, then blue, followed by a dark night. I absolutely love watching the nature at my doorstep and feel quite lucky right now. And by the way, I feel quite generous at the moment too, so if you fancy a visit to Lytham St Annes, just let me know. You’ll love it, I’m sure.

Categories: Beautiful nature, Home, St Annes living | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Big cheese

The moon tonight looks absolutely amazing here in my little corner of the world! It looks like a massive cheese full of holes and wonderful yellowy shades. I’m in love with it at the moment and have been going to my window every five minutes to check it out (as if it would disappear any second!).

I saw a beautiful sunset yesterday and today the moon is making my night. Lucky me! I’ve been really tuned into nature stuff lately, especially what is on the sky. I must like looking up, which is not bad, but I have to be careful not to trip up! Oh dear, where is this post going?

My point is… we have blessings every day, we just need to open our eyes and welcome them into our lives.

Categories: Beautiful nature | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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