Monday, 16 July 2007

Knee Trembler

It is amazing how long a weekend can seem when you are free of the shackles of domesticity. Time normally spent making meals, arguing about eating the food, clearing up, and then making the next meal, can be spent on far more agreeable pastimes. H and I were away from the kids for only one day and night, and yet we crammed so much into that short space of time, it felt like we had been away for a week. Even the weather was complicit in this wild fantasy, by staying dry for the walk during the day and turning sunny for the Saturday evening party.
My new walking boots were fantastic – robust, flexible and reliable, which is more than can be said of the person wearing them. My friends and I started our heroic hike with a visit to Chesters at Skelwith Bridge to talk strategy, between mouthfuls of cake. The unanimous decision was to walk up to Stickle Tarn in the Langdale Pikes. This isn’t a difficult walk, but it is steep, and took us over three hours. By the time we got back to the car park, my knees were trembling so much that I could have been a teenager in the side alley of a nightclub.
A hot bath sorted me out, and within a couple of hours I had morphed from hearty hiker to party princess (or merry matron, depending on your perspective).
Any meal which starts with Taittinger on the terrace is going to be good, and the spectacular views over Lake Windermere were an added bonus. There were plenty of tasty little ‘amuse gueules’ which certainly amused this girl. I ate so many of them, there didn’t seem much point in going inside for the main meal. I was only persuaded to do so by the promise of a French white (Lamy St Aubin chardonnay) and a South African red (Meerlust Rubicon). Obviously I felt the need to sample them both, several times over.
Strangely, the more wine my fellow walkers and I drank, the more our ramble to Stickle Tarn took on the dimensions of an epic mountain adventure that would have had Sir Edmund Hillary begging to turn back, claiming lack of experience. By the end of the evening, one of my friends was slurring so much that we felt sure her jaw was displaying the early symptoms of frostbite. The other was having dizzy spells and kept falling over, so she was obviously suffering from altitude sickness.
Back here in the kitchen it already seems like a long time ago. I want to recapture that heady romantic feeling of being on the hotel terrace, without having to shout ‘Come away from the edge!’ to a lively child every five minutes. Perhaps I can re-enact some of the glamour with this chilled La Prendina Estate Pinot Grigio Rosé (M&S £5.59). Its crisp fruity flavour makes me think of strawberries and raspberries, and warm evenings where the glow from the setting sun is reflected on the dappled surface of a lake. Sadly, the only water I can see from my kitchen window is a fetid pool of stagnant rainwater which has collected in the yellow plastic lid of the sandpit. Not quite the effect I was after.
I think I will just sit down at the kitchen table, pour myself another chilled glass, close my eyes and dream. I can already feel a bout of altitude sickness coming on.

22 comments:

Omega Mum said...

It sounds heavenly - and so impressed that dispite what were obviously severe health issues you managed such detailed cataloguing of the wines. It's a lesson to us all. How high up are you now?

beta mum said...

Sounds like a brilliant one day and one night.
And now back to the joys of the summer holidays - or hols, as Julian, Dick, George and Ann would say. Not forgetting Timmy the dog.
If only we all had an Aunt Fanny and Uncle Quentin to take on our three excitable children every time a flu virus strikes...

mutterings and meanderings said...

Sounds fab indeed.

I think it must be a mother thing to shout 'come away from the edge' my mum still does - even on hills where there is no 'edge' ..

sufferingsummer said...

sounds so heavenly. I've had 'altitude sickness' once or twice (maybe once last night;) and I've heard it is best cured with a good strong bloody mary.

ZoeyBella said...

I can relate to the hot bath transforming you into a princess... nice :)

DJ Kirkby said...

'Merry Matron', I love it, too funny. So it was you who bought the last bottle of Tattingers before I got around to it, I should have known...

rilly super said...

drunkmummy, I feel that if an updated 'swallows and amazons' was written today, it couldn't describe windemere more evocatively. It was lovely to read because although we are only 40 miles from Penrith it is two days drive away in the summer so we tend not to venture that far west this time of year unless we have a whole week free, sigh...

The Good Woman said...

'Taittinger on the terrace' - so that's posh Vino on the veranda right? Sounds like a terrific weekend. Any cures for altitude sickness fothcoming?

expatmum said...

But how did the shoes perform?

Blossomcottage said...

What a lovely time you have had, and well deserved I am sure. You faired better than my lovely hubby did when we walked down the Swiss Alps this week, like you our legs were very wobbly when we had finished and I was fine 24 hours later. Hubby however had "tied up" as they say in the horse world and I am sad to say I was helpless with laughter when he got out of bed and I said "are you ok" "yes fine just a bit stiff" he replied as he took the tinniest shuffles towards the bathroom bent over like an old man!!
Blossom
p.s Yes the picture is of my house from the fields behind thanks for visiting.

Motheratlarge said...

Glad you had such a good time. Hoped it would go well. Walking, hot bath, champagne on the terrace... does it get any better?

Elaine said...

Well done drunkmummy - it sounds as if you achieved that tricky balance between heartiness and hedonism.

@themill said...

Tattinger on the Terrace - either my kind of party or the latest, best selling chick lit.
How were the shoes?

lady macleod said...

Your brief holiday sounds splendid, just my cup of tea, or Taittinger as it were.

Yes, just pull those kitchen curtains closed and dream...

Rebecca said...

sounds great! And your headaches the following day - most certainly the result of over-exertion!

Mid-lifer said...

Hmmm....wine.......

Hi from a new blogging mum. Wish I could have gone on same walk - how on earth did you manage to escape? Don't think we have EVER had a weekend away since birth1 ...except my girly weekend in Dubai, now THAT was great.

debio said...

So pleased you're back, drunk mummy, even though you're obviously not...

Would hate to think of all the mums on school holidays with the troops whilst you were away enjoying yourself! We should all be suffering together...

Elsie Button said...

glad you had a lovely time drunk mummy, and good to have you back. btw i just took a swig of wine from my glass and it smells like frogspawn. vile. i am still drinking it though.

Drunk Mummy said...

omega mum - I do suffer for my art!
I am fairly high up now - the view is lovely!

beta mum - hurrah! although I would definitely swap the lashings of ginger beer for something a little stronger.

M&M - ah, so I am not alone in my madness then!

suffering summer - absolutely, although I usually cure my own 'altitude sickness' with a bacon and egg sarnie.

Hello zoeybella!
Actually, I did look a bit 'boiled' for a while. Later on I just looked stewed.

dj kirkby - I should have toasted your birthday, and your new job!

rilly - you poor darling, can't you use a helicopter to escape the hordes of day-trippers? I'm sure you could find some use for a big chopper.

good woman - it was indeed posh 'poo on the patio!
An extremely large cooked breakfast sorted me out the following day.

expat mum - the shoes behaved impeccably (unlike the person wearing them).

blossomcottage - your husband has my sympathies. My knees were in a similar state the following day (a situation which was only alleviated after lunchtime drinks).
Your house is gorgeous!

motheratlarge - no, it definitely doesn't get any better than that (apart from more champagne on the terrace, maybe).

elaine - thankyou for that. I like to think I can do both heartiness and hedonism to extremes!

@themill - gosh, what a great idea - it does sound like the perfect title for a chick lit book!
The shoes were fab - and right at home on the terrace, being splashed with the occasional stray spray of Taittinger!

lady macleod - they are tight shut. If I do the same with my eyes, it's even easier to dream (although I do spill more of my wine that way).

rebecca - absolutely, you are obviously aware of the dangers of over-exertion yourself!

Hello mid-lifer!
A girly weekend in Dubai sounds like something everyone should do. Shall we all book in with Debio now?

debio - ah, I was just mentioning the girly weekend in Dubai. When are you free to have us all over? (I'll bring lots of Taittinger!)

elsie - sometimes a mum's gotta do what a mum's gotta do.
Wine smelling like frogspawn? Either you are the unfortunate victim of a heartless prank, or you are pregnant (or you are drinking really crap wine. Stop it now and open something else - life is too short!)

debio said...

just name the day, drunk mummy, and I shall be waiting at the airport hoping you stagger through arrivals suitably laden.....

Rob Clack said...

Ah yes, Meerlust Rubicon. That's a bit special, isn't it?

mcewen said...

Escapism - we all need a little dose of it now and then.
Cheers