Even the biscuits were good. Veronica and Paul, thank you.
Enjoy yourself: it's later than you think
There are high, winding roads and lakes:I love this kind of scenery, the kind that doesn't take any shit from anyone and refuses to be tamed or to become some kind of North Wales theme park.
It's hard to tell the scale, to tell how big the mountains are. If you look on the top photograph, very near the bottom you will find some tiny white dots, and these are sheep. When you see them on the mountain they look the size of hedgehogs.
Though I acknowledge that it's just possible that the Wales Tourist Board has spent the past fifty years colonising their mountains with specially-bred hedgehog-sized sheep, just to intimidate the English tourists.
"So you think Helvellyn's big then, do you? HAH!"
Though they'd be saying it in Welsh, though, obviously.
Anyway, North Wales. Gorgeous. Don't tell anyone. Let's leave it alone.
And here's an exciting photo of Leeds University Sports Centre, where I was again involved in tormenting some student doctors with an exam:
Never mind the things on the ground, look at the sky.
Just to remind anyone who can't remember, that's what it looks like when it doesn't have clouds in it.
And I'm off to Tenby in search of some more of it tomorrow. The Communist is coming out of hospital and going to a nursing home: my brother's here from Amsterdam to look after him: the rest of us are going to Tenby in South Wales for a week, where there are clean seas and golden sands and beautiful walks, and where we've been many, many times for rest and restoration. This year in particular, we could all do with the break.
But tonight when I visited the Communist he was sleepy and weak and I didn't want to go away and leave him behind. So I'm planning to wait until he's in the nursing home and then visit him before we leave. And I still feel terrible: though even through his sleepiness he knew exactly what was happening, and is pleased to be moving from the Ward of Doom.
So perhaps that was my last visit to that ward. Mad George was asleep. Polite Ted was nowhere to be seen - the staff were beginning to wonder where he was. When I arrived the ward door was open, unusually. I like to think that Polite Ted had made a run for it and is even now on a train chugging along to somewhere lovely.
All it consisted of was avocado, mango - both perfectly ripe - various green leaves, some croutons, shavings of Parmesan cheese and French dressing.
It was both simple and delicious. Okay, so Education is dumbing itself down as fast as possible, and the NHS is a crumbling mess, but on the salad front, at least, things are looking up.
Something going on in the foreground, which is the photo I thought I was taking, and lots of people watching in the background.
Also, the light is not often where you wanted - just sometimes it gets it right and the last rays of evening sunlight hit in just the right place:But sometimes one actor gets more light than another:
Usually there's a little beach at the edge in some places, and it's good to skim pebbles and look at the view, for indeed it's difficult to find a view round Ullswater that's not worth looking at.
No beaches at the moment though. As anyone who lives in England knows, there's been lots and lots of rain recently and the beaches have all gone. In fact, even the trees round the lake are now paddling:
I have never seen the lake so full. More to the point, neither has my mother who has spent as much time as possible in the Lakes throughout her eighty-three years.
Ullswater's something like nine miles long and three-quarters of a mile wide. How much rain was needed to make the lake several feet deeper and wider than usual? After careful thought and a few calculations I can give you the answer and it is LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS.