Black Eye Friday
Around here the Friday before Christmas is traditionally known , by the emergency services, as ‘Black Eye Friday’ it’s the day when the local builders, joiners, plumbers, electricians and people who work the land, finish work and start their Christmas break . Many local trades people gather in the local pubs , much drink is taken , tongues are loosened and later in the evening petty rivalries and grievances are aired, things are said that would be better left unsaid leading to the inevitable ‘wrestling and fisticuffs ‘ and the blackening of eyes !
This year however may be a bit different , the recent exceptionally severe flooding and strong winds has meant that houses have been flooded , roads and bridges damaged, trees felled onto tracks and paths , walls and fences.
Some of our National Trust staff have been affected; flooded out of their houses, possessions damaged beyond repair.
Like our own NT Rangers , many of the local builders are now busier than they have been all year , working hard to repair the damage caused by wind and water, hoping to get people back into their homes before Christmas .
As I write this we have Rangers and teams of volunteers assessing and prioritising the damage , repairing tracks and removing windblown trees from paths. Builders and joiners are delaying their Christmas break ripping out damaged kitchen units and furniture trying to dry out properties quickly so that re-building work can begin. This work will continue well into the new year and some of it will take months !
All this paints a bleak picture, but the reality of life in the Lakes is that we have faced severe weather challenges before; repaired, rebuilt and carried on with our work and our lives and this time will be no different. Most of the businesses are open as usual , the majority of roads and bridges are open , the countryside is accessible , if a little scarred in places .
Moody and magnificent
So come and visit Cumbria and the South Lakes we are open for business and we could do with your support now more than ever. If anything the Lakes is looking even more moody and magnificent , the becks and waterfalls are certainly something to behold, and Christmas is a great time to be in the Lakes whatever the weather.
Do check our NT website for opening times and info as some of our properties close for a Winter break to prepare for the new season.