Tea and books…

We’re often told that writing can be a lonely business and it is: I can spend hours sitting in front of my computer in the tiny space I call a study, plotting, scribbling or typing on my latest work. Sometimes the only contact I have all day is chatting to people online, so it made a lovely change to have meals out with not one but two writer friends during the past week.

First was sf writer Pat Kelleher, who was staying in the area with his wife. All three of us met up at Lakeland Limited in Windermere on Monday for tea, cake, and a wonderful session of putting the world to rights. Lakeland is a Cumbrian company and this is their headquarters, stuffed full of products you didn’t know you needed (but having seen them, absolutely do) and with a super café doing local produce and, er, cake. Lots of cake, in weird and wonderful combinations and very large portions. Pat had Horlicks cake (delicious – I tried a tiny corner) while I stuck (probably literally) to chocolate gateau.

DSCF7297And then yesterday I met historical author Annie Whitehead for lunch in Kendal and another nice chin-wag. We tried Charlie’s café, so-called because it’s in Prince Charles House which is reputed to have been slept in by Bonnie Prince Charlie – presumably during his march south to try to take the throne, or his mad dash back north again when he failed. There’s not much left from those days, sadly, but it’s an amazingly large building with staircases, corridors, more staircases, hallways, and yet more staircases – and you have to traverse most of them to get to the loo. It should market itself as the café with the longest walk to the toilet anywhere in Cumbria, or possibly the world!

Next week looks quieter, but then I’m booked for another lunch out, this time in Carlisle to meet some of my north Cumbrian and southern Scottish writer friends. It’s a bit breathless, but it makes a really nice change from so much screen time.

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