Inside Lowther Mausoleum
On our way back to London, [ profile] wintrmute and I visited a mausoleum, two churches and a castle, which had even more scaffolding than the last. Details of these have already begun to fade in my mind, but fragments that I do remember include strawberries for breakfast; the suggestion of sticking glow-in-the-dark stars to the mausoleum; being amused at the similarity of our toothbrushes; imagining the Swallows and Amazons still on one of the little islands on the lakes; the first night we spent in Arkham - a moonless night with a full array of stars.
Waterfalls are trickling down from the mottled hills, down through the wisps of mist and drifting sheep, and past the third highest pub in England, the Kirkstone Pass Inn.

That morning, she applied [ profile] turnedoffneon's Spider-Man tattoo to her leg, as preparation for hill-walking, as she thought super powers might be able to help with tired feet.

The boy with the long dark red hair scrambles up a nearby slope and she follows him as he begins to disappear into the thickening fog. The gusts of wind make even a brief walk up the hills seem somehow exhilarating, but she shivers slightly, despite the thick coat she wears that reaches down to her ankles. There is no spectacular view, there is nothing to see here, as the fog has enveloped the valleys.

In the car, when the voice of Tim or Ken is quiet, he tells her tales of takeaways and teenage romances, and she remembers the last time she was in the Lake District, more than a decade ago now, and how strange and magical kissing felt back then, and sometimes even now.

And then there are more lakes to gaze at and scones to eat, and boat-rides to go on past little islands dense with trees, while eating ice-cream and holding each other's hands.

And later still, there is a pub in Arkham, decorated with hunting memorabilia and a solitary old man sitting at the bar. The boy with the red hair and the girl with the Spider-Man tattoo sit slouched in the corner and she tries to avert her eyes from the deer head on the opposite wall, and instead look into his eyes, but then she notices the deer head above them, and it is creepy and unsettling.


Apr. 21st, 2007 09:55 pm
Lowther Mausoleum
'We were sitting on a dilapidated seventeenth-century tomb in the late afternoon at the old burying ground in Arkham and speculating about the unnameable.'
Tree near Aira Force
The tree trunk lies still on the ground, leafless and branchless, but not bare. Tuppences and wishes glint in the sun, just slightly now, as the light begins to dim.

A girl who arrived in the Lake District just a few hours before, stands near to a guy clutching a tripod, and they both pause to look at the trunk studded with coins for a few moments.

She thinks the embedded coins look a little like scales and then she wonders about the fallen tree, what it would wish for, if it could wish.

They walk further into the woods and there are more unusual trees to stare at, some striped and mossy and some looking as if they were struck by lightning. When they reach the waterfall, they find it roars in places and trickles in others, and they step from rock to rock to get closer to the pools of water. Later, when they look at the photos they took, the waterfall itself seems to be perhaps a bit forgettable, but there is a slight dreaminess about the streams that flow past the moss-covered stones and the tangles of tree roots.

Nothing stirs in Arkham when they get out of the car they had been zooming down motorways in earlier, listening to CDs they'd forget to change, so the songs would repeat over and over again; listening to the voice named Ken or sometimes Tim, that gave them directions every now and then; listening to the beeping noise warning of speed cameras, that she'd hear rattling around in her head for days after that.

But Arkham, Arkham is quiet at the moment, as they try to find the 17th century cottage they are going to stay in. After the motorways and after being in London just a few hours before, the village green with stone cottages around it, two pubs and a post-office all seems far too still. There is no answer at the cottage when they knock on the door. There is no answer to the phone that they can hear ringing inside.

They stand by the green and wait, and maybe she's just tired, but Arkham doesn't seem like a real place, even after Londa arrives and leads them in to the B&B with hunting scenes depicted on the bedroom walls.

They leave again soon, to find Ullswater, and watch the silhouettes of boats drift across the lake.


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October 2017



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