The anniversary had been a time for resolutions and one of them was to make much better use of the natural delights that surrounded her.
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She felt an almost pagan euphoria at the burgeoning landscape, vibrant with flora and fauna at the start of another cycle of life. The late morning, with a sunny afternoon still ahead of her, brought feelings of richness and privilege that were almost shameful. But she had earned it, she reminded herself. The winter had been grey and protracted, interspersed with a number of unpleasant adventures.
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She had been repeatedly drawn into events that demonstrated the darker side of human behaviour, forced to confront far too much reality. Now that spring had arrived with such a colourful crash, she was determined to shake all that off and concentrate on her flowers. The plan for the day was to meet her father, Russell Straw, for a long-promised fellside walk after a modest lunch at the Mortal Man.
The full walk, along Nanny Lane and up to the summit of Wansfell Pike — and back — was easily four miles in total, with some steep sections of stony path. Neither of us is fit enough to do anything rash. There was no suggestion of rain, the sky a uniform blue in every direction. It was, in fact, the most perfect day for very many months and Simmy was duly thankful for it.
Her father would bring water, map, and dog. She would provide a camera, mobile phone and two slabs of Kendal mint cake. The fells above Troutbeck were stark, dramatic and uncaring. There were barely any flowers or trees adorning them, other than the tiny resilient blooms that crouched underfoot. This explained her morning stroll, taking a zigzag route from her house to the hostelry along lanes that had been colonised by humanity, with gardens and houses taking their place in the picture.
The bees at least agreed with her. Azaleas and rhododendrons were in bud, reminding her of her startled surprise at the vibrant colours, the year before. Not just the natural purples and pinks, but brilliant orange, deepest crimson and a wide array of other hues shouted from gardens all over the relatively balmy area around Windermere and Ambleside. Even the wilder reaches of Coniston boasted spectacular displays. Aware that it might be foolish to expend energy on this pre-walk stroll, she nonetheless felt the need to exploit the sunshine and the flamboyant floral displays.
It was semi-professional, too — she ought to be apprised of the full range of seasonal blossoms in gardens, in order to echo and embellish them in the offerings she stocked at the shop. Flowers were her business, and any lateral information she could acquire would always come in useful.
Her father was waiting for her at the pub, sitting at an outside table on a lower level, with his dog. She kissed the man and patted the animal. His forebears had failed a purity test, it seemed, and poor Bertie had found himself rejected as breeding stock and consigned to a rescue centre until eventually rescued by kindly Russell Straw. His feet will be sore for weeks. He spends all his time digging up stones. His feet are as tough as iron. He could easily outwalk both of us. I want to set off by one at the latest. That gave them forty-five minutes to eat a hearty pub lunch with beer to wash it down.
And listen to those birds! Her habit of feeding garden birds had attracted another pair of doves to her own little patch, a few hundred yards from the pub, and she had grown used to waking to their call, imagining that they were deliberately asking her for some breakfast. Russell cocked his head. I mean recent. I was about ten years old when the first ones settled here. The BBC put them in a medieval radio play by mistake not long ago.
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Lots of people wrote in about it. She laughed again, after a wary glance around. In Troutbeck, the red squirrel was verging on the sacred and the grey accordingly considered devilish. Anyone overhearing Russell was liable to take exception to his views. But nobody at the neighbouring tables was reacting. Nothing could sully her delight at the carefree afternoon ahead with the best of all possible fathers.
It took a lot to disturb Russell Straw — but then a lot had happened in recent times, and his daughter had certainly caused him some worry over the winter. His wife was the powerful half in the marriage, leaving him to contented pottering and sporadic researches into local history. They ran a somewhat eccentric bed-and-breakfast business in Windermere, in which Angie Straw broke a lot of rules and earned a lot of profound gratitude in the process.
Her reviews on TripAdvisor veered from the horrified to the euphoric, depending on how much individuality her guests could stomach. The sun was as high as it was going to get, and the afternoon stretched ahead of them with no sense of urgency. The sky remained an unbroken blue. The views from the summit of Wansfell Pike would be spectacular. At least two lakes would be visible, and any number of fells on all sides. Russell knew the names of most of the main landmarks, and had a map with which to identify others.
Simmy had only a rudimentary and theoretical knowledge of any of it. Bertie whined and pulled annoyingly. So dreadfully dependent and needy all the time. It had come as a surprise when her parents rescued this little specimen, and even more so when Russell developed such a fondness for it. Catch up with Ms. Tope on rebeccatope. Girls are not detectives. But in the summer of , in the small western town of Hope Springs, Rose Delacroix is bound and determined to prove them all wrong.
AACT ". Ochs Mrs. Scichilone Mr. Clark Mr. Powers Ms. Coats Mr. McClellan Mrs. Vanderpool Mrs. Musni Booster Club Ms. Costello Mr. Naughton Mrs. Porter Mr. Batcabe Weight Competition Mrs. Deschenes Mr. Meinert Miss Rahming Mr. Liessmann Mr. Students will.
Learn, understand, and utilize the different uses of the following literary terms: protagonist, antagonist, allusion, conflict, irony in all forms, Point of View, characterization, figure of speech, slap stick, pun, satire, exaggeration, understatement, poetic justice, genre, and flashback.
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HMSS 0233 David Branson Papers
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