National Bass Day is on Saturday (16th). I shan’t be celebrating; it’s a callous and poorly conceived attempt to distract attention from my birthday (22 December) and of course Doom Bar Day.

I didn’t find any Bass in Cumbria last week. No doubt someone will check the Wickingman’s master spreadsheet for me to find out what I missed.

No Bass, but some very good beer in the South Lakes.

Just get those pubs in the godforsaken bits done, will you ?” said Mrs RM, not fancying any more long slogs along the A590/595 past Barrow and Millom in this century.

Which is a little unfair on pubs like the Derby Arms in Witherslack, agonisingly just out of reach when I visited Grange-over-Sands last month.

At 17:00 the Derby was filling up with village life, most of it canine. Mrs RM is scared of dogs (it’s the licking she don’t like), so hid in the corner.

Lovely little corner seat, mind.

A smooth pale Fell (NBSS 3+), an expensive but gorgeous apple and blackberry juice made in the village (NA&BJSS 4,5), Damien Rice on the wireless, folk debating Bridgerton. A proper pub, pleasingly busy.

No time to dawdle, we had to reach our pitch for the night before dark, and nearly didn’t make it in or out of the maze of lanes leading to the Wellington at Loppergarth (aka Pennington aka Greater Ulverston). When you look at the map it looks easy, could have walked it from Ulv Station in March, but I got horribly lost which must be Mrs RM’s fault as men don’t make travel errors.

Keep the engine running” I said to Mrs RM, in a desperate attempt to squeeze an Arcade Fire reference into the blog. Obviously I didn’t, leaving the engine running is up there with requesting tasters as an offence in my book, but parking was at a premium.

The leaves were being swept from the door in recognition of my visit,

the fire had been stoked,

the scatter cushions carefully arrayed under the rustic paintings,

so they may have been a little disappointed at my 3:32 min visit and sinking of their excellent homebrew (NBSS 3.5).

But they didn’t show it.

Google then recommended a route to the Brown Cow in Waberthwaite (near Seascale) that involved narrow lanes, high hedges and approaching horses.

FIND US AN EASIER ROUTE” we shouted at Google Maps, forgetting it’s not human.

The Brown Cow looked a picture, the late night nuclear radiation setting the night aglow.

Mrs RM parked up next to the vehicle with a periscope. She wants a periscope now for when we take the campervan across the sea to the Orkneys.

And inside another community local packed with village life, despite the lack of a discernible village of any size.

Ambitious beer range, but the local Windfall was again a smooth 3.5,

and we enjoyed our traditional seat near the legs of farmers dogs near the fire.

Plenty of food trade, lots of children, much talk of cricketing prowess.

But fishing is the main activity here, anglers drawn by Bass as big as men to Drigg Sands,

where we returned after a peaceful night here last Autumn.

I am possibly now the ONLY man to have spent two nights, voluntarily, at Drigg Low Level Nuclear Waste Repository, and strangely proud of it.


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