The days are whizzing past: workshops in Gilsland

posted in: Travel, Wool | 0

I keep putting together images and then not having either time, an internet connection, or both to get them posted. I’ll need to catch up with Yorkshire and Wales later. I arrived in Shetland this morning, so let’s get up to the Cumbria/Northumberland piece, at least.

I got on another train and saw more beautiful Welsh and English countryside. I don’t have any brainless knitting with me—no time to set up a project before I left home, so what I have with me is compact but requires both good lighting and attention on every row—and I have not yet found a bookstore with anything that I want to read, so I’ve been trying to take photos. 

It’s very hard to study or photograph sheep while in a vehicle going between 50 and 60 miles per hour.

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As soon as I click the shutter, shrubberies frequently attack.

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It's not like I could see the sheep very well anyway. So I focused (literally) on what I could observe when we would stop at stations. 

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The good news is that the stations all seem to have extremely distinctive details.

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I transferred from one train to another at one point.

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I’m getting better at navigating here by train. It helps to know that even the locals are not entirely sure what to do or where to find the board with the departures listed (which sometimes, in some stations, doesn't have a display for a while, making it even harder to locate).

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Ultimately, I got to Carlisle, where I was picked up and, along with my friend Jeni, transported to Slack House Farm, an independent hostel where we stayed while I taught for two days in nearby Gilsland, a town that is half in Cumbria and half in Northumberland.

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The neighbors are charming.

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As are the residents, both two-footed and four-footed. Although Bessie (below) was not allowed inside at certain points because she tended to get into things. Sometimes she was aromatic and sometimes just wet. But she was very sweet.

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I did have some challenges getting an internet signal, but thanks to a hotspot supplied by a friend (which worked when placed not even a smidge more than 4 inches from the window) I was able to keep up with the basic communication needs, if not blog posting.

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The farm next door is where some of the sheets that end up at the British Wool Marketing Board start out.

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This one still hasn’t been filled.

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We were near a portion of Hadrian’s Wall. The visitor centre looked very interesting, but we didn’t have time to check it out.

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We did walk along a section of the wall on the way to visit some sheep. Other people enjoyed the top of the wall.

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The sheep were in the bottom land nearby, close to the stream. (I walked it.)

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Aren’t they lovely?

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Those are just some of them: the braver ones.

The site of the two full-day workshops was the Gilsland Village Hall. I had a superb time, and I hear that other folks did, too.

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There’s more to say, but no time to say it!

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