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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Cumbrian welcome has become warmer

IT’S hard to believe, but I’ve now lived in Cumbria for six years. To be honest, I was hoping for at least one summer during that time, but at least we don’t get much snow... Oh, right. Yes, we do.

EM Peter Grenville column
Peter Grenville

On this very day in 2006, we pulled on to the road into Arnside from Milnthorpe, in the kind of Biblical rainstorm that would have made Noah put the staff on overtime.

The previous occupants of our home had thoughtfully left the windows open, and with all their cosy furnishings removed, and ours not due to arrive until the following morning, we huddled together for warmth, and bedded down on the floor.

Neither of us slept. My dreams were haunted by someone who looked just like me, leaning in so that their/my face was inches away from me, and bellowing repeatedly “What have you done? You haven’t even got a job!”

Unbeknown to me, my terrified wife was equally awake, listening to the wind and rain batter the 100-year-old sash windows, whilst a fair bit of the former got in and had a bit of a waltz round the room.

The curtains would have blown in the breeze, if there were any. There weren’t.

She was having visions of the removal lorry getting stuck under the railway bridge on the edge of the village.

It didn’t, so I just needed to persuade the elderly neighbour to move her car so they could unload. Alarmingly, she told me she’d need to have a shower and get dressed first.

Christmas was fun – I was unemployed (for some strange reason, there were no jobs in the paper that week) and the central heating would randomly turn off before the house was anywhere near warm. It was only when a bath was run to try and thaw one of us out that we discovered the whole lot turned itself off when the hot water tank was up to temperature. Useful.

My in-laws came to stay, based upon the fact we’d said they could come at Christmas, long before we moved. They enjoyed a chilly stay amongst the boxes, furniture, and our complete lack of knowledge of the area, but at least they had two TV channels that were sort of watchable.

Trying to search for a job online with a dial-up connection only became bearable when I planned my day carefully – click on something, go off and try and work out why bits of the house didn’t work, come back, page hasn’t loaded yet, go away again and try and warm up, come back etc.

The roof still leaks, and we’ve spent a fortune trying to undo years of bodged DIY, but I wouldn’t change things even if I could. Arnside is my home and I love it here.

Does that make me a local now? Thought not.

Have your say

Six years in Cumbria!Surely you must be up for release soon.

Posted by Barrow Lad on 10 December 2012 at 02:47

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