I saw this whilst away in the Lake District this weekend – how metal? The sheep’s skull was nailed to a replica stone-age turf-roofed hut by the Youth Hostel in Eskdale. As one chum has already pointed out to me, we were lucky to make it out alive and not be butchered by the forgotten race of ancients we had unwittingly stumbled upon. I was, and am still, particularly taken by the moss growing on the horns.
Eskdale is an incredible valley, we’d not been there before tucked away from the busier end of the Lake District and accessible through means of the Wrynose Pass – which was the scariest, steepest piece of road Mrs 1537 had ever driven on*, which in turn served as an appetizer for the Hardknott Pass … Just picture a twisty, turning ribbon of road painted over the top of a mountain, scarcely wide enough for one car, provided with the occasional passing place for traffic coming the other way, with a genuinely precipitous drop constantly on one side. Eek!
We lived, but it was a hairy experience. the best bit is when you drop down the other side into Eskdale and find yourself right next to the remains of a full-on Roman fortress. The fortress at Hardknott was only marginally smaller than the ones we’d explored on Hadrian’s Wall a couple of years back. To see the intricately planned buildings, including the bath house with, hot pool, cold plunge pool and (effectively) a sauna erected by a regiment from modern-day Croatia** in AD137 (1877 years ago!!) is to be humbled and to wonder at the thoughts of these men constructing their creature comforts in a hostile, inhospitable territory so far from their homelands and civilisation. They were so far advanced as to be, effectively, aliens to the primitive locals at the time.
Anyway, much hearty walking, eating and drinking was to be had for all of us amongst some beautiful, rugged scenery and revelling in the sheer beauty of Autumn. Apart from a man on a bike passing us in pitch darkness when we took the kids out star-gazing (by way of the pub) singing ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ we barely heard any music, not even listening to the car stereo all weekend – too busy looking, grokking the scenery and the season for that. Although on Saturday night I did listen to most of Z Visions of Dune in the dark as I was dropping off to sleep, as recommended by a trusted friend and, fabulous not-quite soundtrack album that it is, it fitted perfectly.
Did I mention we made it out alive yet?
455 Down (Still)
*she’s the go-to balls of steel driver in our household, I just shriek and faint like a particularly drippy Austen heroine when placed under driving-related stress. And it was her birthday.
**then called Dalmatians.