Lake District

(Not) Going Underground 1

BBC News – Cumbria nuclear project rejected by councillors.

About twenty years ago I had a Summer job entering and editing geological data from boreholes in West Cumbria.   Working on five (or possibly ten, it was two decades ago, I can’t remember every detail) metres of core sample at a time, a team of geologists were noting every vein, fissure and fracture and detailing thickness, angle etc..  They were drawing up an image of the geological stability, and therefore suitability for long term nuclear waste storage, of the rocks under the Lake District.

At the time, I was of the opinion that Cumbria would get the deep storage even if there were more suitable places to put it.  The area was resolutely Labour and the Tory government would be less worried about pissing off people who weren’t going to vote for them anyway.  When the Summer was over I went back to university and more or less forgot about the problems of long term nuclear waste storage.  So it was something of a surprise to find that it was still an issue, and that a decision hadn’t yet been made.

Given that one of the proposed locations was Ennerdale- just over the hill from my parents’ house and unspoilt but for a bit of forestry- I’m glad that Cumbria County Council have said no.  The declaration by Copeland Borough Council that they might “go it alone” is disappointing, though.

Lake District Gothic

This piece by Martin Wainwright is as much about the error of putting too much faith in statistics as the deceptive calm of the Lake District, but it also told me about some Cumbrian crimes and I’d never heard of or forgotten.

Lake District Gothic/Noir was the sort of genre I was trying to write in my teens and every so often I think of going back to it. Plus there’s the good old Frightened to Death by Fairies stuff to finish as well.

The tale of the Sadistic Children's Author

Deep down, was Beatrix Potter just a bit nasty?

I can’t remember ever reading any of Potter’s books, though I’m sure I must have. You can get them all in Beatrix Potter Complete Tales, a hardback featuring her stories in the order they were published and four others published after her death. Better than all the merchandise is The Tale of One Bad Rat, one of the most incredible comics ever published.

I just found my review of One Bad Rat on Amazon-

One Bad Rat is a beautiful comic, entirely unlike anything I have seen before. With no fantasy elements (well, apart from the giant imaginary rat) the story stands on the telling and the art. A young girl escapes her abusive father and unloving mother, running first to London and then the Lake District, where she finds a surrogate family. It all sounds like a TV movie, but is far superior to subject of the week fodder. The story is less melodramatic, the detail better observed, the colour more vivid and (yes) the acting is more believable.

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Heavensent 3.6

One of the sealed reports covered what little had been determined from the destruction of a training camp in the mountains. It was supposed that an air raid had levelled the complex, though no aeroplanes had been seen before or after the attack and analysis of the pattern of explosions and burn was inconclusive. Boran put the report aside after skim reading. If requested, he would consider designing camps to reduce the risk from such attacks.

Eventually, Janssen called. Boran picked up some paperwork which required initialling and went upstairs to his superior’s office. Janssen was in the antechamber, contemplating the large model of the fjord and great lake beyond it. He pointed at the large island that choked the sea’s entry to the great tidal lake. “They want to move command of my district to the base on Stran Island. Can you imagine that?”

“No sir.”

“I told them. It does not have the infrastructure, I told them. How can I hope to manage the logistics of the supply line if I cannot visit the marshalling yards or the docks.” Or the pross houses, his mistresses and the steadily increasing store of plunder he was accumulating, Boran completed silently.

“About the marshalling yards sir. They are having problems coping with the increased traffic. It would be advantageous to build new through tracks.”

“With what? I do not have the budget since they insisted I build defences for an attack that will not come. Of course, they shall blame me for their own short sightedness. Enough of this, what about the sabotage on the Plains? What are you doing about it?”

“I have just received the report sir. It suggests a lack of maintenance rather than deliberate damage.”

“Never. Nook is one of my most trusted deputies. A supply train derailed, that does not just happen by accident. Have some troops sent out there.”

“We do not have many troops to spare sir.”

“Nonsense. The seaward batteries are even less use than the glacier ones. Send a few of them before they get too fat to fit their gunnery seats.”

“Yes sir. Is there anything else?”

“No. No. Just go and see to these things.”

“If I may, sir?”

“What? You have things to do, you know?”

“I think the current flow of food into the city is insufficient to support the workers.” He laid a sheet of numbers on the map.

“Nonsense. The evidence of Reff shows that these people can survive on far less than I am giving them.” Janssen swept the paper onto his desk, at least having the good grace not to throw it into the bin whilst Boran was present. “Now go and do what I require of you.”

“Yes sir.”

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I’ve always fancied having an amphibian. One day I want to drive somewhere in the Lake District and avoid all the picnicking crowds by pottering out to an island. I thought a Stalwart would be best, but there are quite a few latter day Amphicars in production and at least one page dedicated to listing every amphibian ever. Or, if I was really cheap, I could build my own.

Bigger Toys

I was going to see Brian’s micro racers and raise him a remote controlled tank, then I thought why not go the whole hog. And remember ‘Part exchange is often welcome on interesting military vehicles’.

Alternatively, I could go looking for seized property such as race cars or even houses.

Deep down, though, what I’d really like to do is move back to Cumbria, settle somewhere nice in the Lake District