Caught by the River

Garden Of Eden

22nd May 2010

From Phil Thornton.

It was our anniversary. A woman in work had recommended Nunnery Walks. By Armathwaite. Westmoreland. I booked it. We drove up the M6, came off at Penrith. Old country. Old county. Not spectacular. Not ‘Lakeland.’ Not tourist-y. Proportionate. Subtle. Dramatic. Drove through Lazonby, Kirkoswald. Old names. Saxon. Viking. Found Armathwaite eventually. Booked in. A musty building in need of dusting. Nice bedroom though. Toile wallpaper. Crows cawing in the trees outside. Atmospheric. Put on our walking gear. Packed a picnic. Followed the trail through woods till it met the Eden. Sat on the bank. Popped the cork on the Cava. Ate the smoked salmon. The river flowed. The sun shone. The birds sang. The insects hummed. Adam and Eve here. Garden of Eden this. Is right!

The carved faces in the sandstone. The 1855 inscription:

‘Oh the fisher’s gentle life
Happiest is of any
Void of pleasur full of strife
And belovd of many
Other joys are but toys
And to be lamented
Only this a pleasure is
Timber Fishing’

I didn’t fish. I don’t fish. I wish I did.