In response to a request from a TV crew from Quebec to explain the Bownessie phenomenon I gave the following reply: “During the reign of King Arthur dragons were commonplace in England, but they were driven to the verge of extinction by the Knights of the Round Table. In desperation the dragons sought refuge in the mountains of the Lake District and eventually found sanctuary in the tranquil waters of England’s largest and deepest lake, Windermere. There they stayed, unharmed and unnoticed for a thousand years.
“I am often asked to name my favourite view. This is hard, for…any view is conditioned by the experience of it. But I confess that nothing quite matched a late-summer afternoon on Gummer’s How in Cumbria. Windermere was glistening at my feet. The heights of the Lake District and the Pennines were spread on either side and the Lancashire plain lay as a foil to the south. It is surely the classic English view. It made me feel I never wanted to be anywhere else, in a landscape exhilarating, consoling, desperately precious and, above all, alive.” -Simon Jenkins
Simon Jenkins* has never been to my house, so it’s not surprising that he omitted to name the view we wake up to every morning as Britain’s best; but he did name Gummer’s How, a view I drive past every day. The view from Gummer’s How has that essential combination of all the best views of combining water with mountains – in this case the full ten and a half miles of lake Windermere with the backdrop of England’s highest summits.
The idea of Slow Life is to take the principles of Slow Food, which are “good, clean and fair”, and extend them to life in general.
Here in the Lake District, the air is clean, the pace is slow and the atmosphere is calm. If we don’t grow food ourselves, we can buy it in friendly small shops, where you know the quality is going to be the best.
This blog is a celebration of the Slow Life, with forays into the world of design, music, the arts, gardens, and my particular weakness, Japan.