17 January 2008

Paddle for Clive

On the 21st January it would be my dad’s, Clive, 52nd birthday and I think it only fitting that we mark my father’s birthday by going paddling on the 27th January, the first Sunday after his birthday, which is a day he would usually head to a river, lake or canal. One of his favourite areas of the world was the Southern Lake District and it would only be fitting to base paddling activities on the 27th January in this area. He spent many days in his childhood at the Brathay Pool eating picnics and skimming stones and in later years his first river experiences came from descents of the River Rothay, which flows through the town of Ambleside, which he loved to visit. Days were also spent on Lake Windermere with his wife, and my mum, paddling there two person kayak.

It is only fitting therefore that anyone who knew my dad – or even people who did not, but want to help his friends through this hard time – come out paddling. There are many options available depending on conditions and paddling abilities and these include descents of the River Rothay or Brathay, a play at the Brathay Pool or a potter along the shores of Windermere. There is always the option, for those who are happy to paddle the River Crake, to paddle the river and show the river it hasn’t won this time.

This will be one of the first times in which I get back in a kayak and return to the river after the tragic events of New Year’s Eve on the River Crake. It’s what he would have wanted and I think it may be one of the best ways in which I can come to terms with what has happened. Paddling in the past has provided me with much solace when things in other areas of my life have not gone to plan. Let’s just hope it helps when I’ve needed it the most.

For those heading to the Ambleside area there is excellent parking at the northern end of the lake where plans can be made to paddle the Rothay or Brathay or even go straight for the lake. May I suggest things kick off here at 11am. Those that are happy with the idea of paddling the Crake can I suggest that meeting at the Brown Howe Car Park at 10am could be a good idea.

Once the days paddling activities are over I think it would only be fitting to head to a local hostelry (to be announced) where the two different groups can meet up, discuss the days activities and be with friends in one of my dad’s favourite areas.

There will be donation buckets going around at both venues in the hope of raising some money for the village hall at Spark Bridge, which is a regular sight for paddlers to base themselves for a weekend away with a boat.

We will be meeting at the Church Inn, Torver on Sunday after the paddling activities. We'll be in one of the back rooms. The Church Inn is south-west of Coniston and is at the junction of the A5084 and A593. It's about 10 miles from Ambleside and 8 from Spark Bridge.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

1 comment:

Robson said...

A group of us are already paddling North Wales that weekend but our thoughts will be with you.