I have been to Sedbergh today to meet my God-daughter for lunch. It is one of my favourite journeys - around thirty miles through the most beautiful scenery and right over the watershed of the Pennines. Both the River Ure and the River Eden rise at the top - one flows into the Irish Sea and one into the North Sea.
The hedges on either side of the narrow roads are now fully in leaf and at the moment are swathed in wild roses in all shades from cream to deep pink. As they grow they stretch their tendrils out into the road so that you feel as though you are driving through an arch of wild roses in some places. The cow parsley is finished and in its place, along the verges, are ox-eye daisies and the wild blue cranesbill, which is so common up here.
There are few villages but there are cottages dotted here and there on the road side, most of them washed white and most with hanging baskets outside. I have one or two places which are landmarks in my journey and one of these is a delightful little cottage called Badger Dubb. Today their garden is full of larkspur - a gigantic splash of blue as you drive past.
On Sedbergh Moor and sheep are loose and the lambs - by now half grown - saunter across the road taking absolutely no notice of the scant traffic. Some of the sheep have already been shorn, so that they look lumpy and ungainly. The rest - probably belonging to a different farmer - wait for the shearer to arrive.
Between Leyburn and Sedbergh I went through sunshine, drizzle and heavy thundery rain. In Leyburn it was 15 degrees and very cloudy; in Hawes it was 22 degrees and bright sunshine. When we came out of the cafe after lunch (brie and cranberry sandwich with salad since you ask)there was the most horrendous downpour. I suppose we would call it a cloudburst. When it finally eased off enough for me to start my journey back the water was pouring off the fells on to the road and then down the road into dips, so that every once in a while there was deep water on the road. I found it quite scary but managed to get behind another vehicle so that I wasn#t the first one to 'dip my toe' in the water.
Home safe and sound at 4pm with delicious pieces of wedding cake for tea. We sat in the back of the car and looked at my god-daughter's wedding album - wonderful photographs which brought the day back as though it were yesterday (it is already three months away).