Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Family Traditions - Lake Windermere



As I mentioned in this post, on the 16th November it was nine years since we lost my mum. She'd been ill for a long time and we'd had plenty of time to say our goodbyes and for her to tell us what she wanted to happen. She asked us to scatter her ashes at Lake Windermere as it was her favourite place in the world. We had holidays there as a family and she and my dad had been several times with their best friends whilst she was ill too.

So on her birthday in 2004 we took her ashes to her favourite spot and scattered them as she'd asked. We go back to that same spot to visit twice a year - on her birthday and the anniversary of her death. When our family dog, Max, died a few years ago we took his ashes there too so we could sort of send him to my mum to look after


This is definitely not a morbid post - at least I hope it doesn't come across that way. We three enjoy our trips to Windermere and it's a chance for us all to spend some quality time together and share our memories of my mum

We have the same little routine every trip. We stop at The Olde Naked Man Cafe in Settle for brunch (she loved that name!) We go to the hostel where we used to stay, right on the banks of the lake. We have a memorial bench there with my mum's name on it, so we always sand and oil it to keep it in good condition. We have coffee and cake at a little cafe on the lake. It's always freezing!


I feed the ducks and my sister and I make a wish at the little wishing well

We go home via Wetherby and stop at The Wetherby Whaler for the best fish and chips in the world

This comforting little routine has been part of my life for the last nine years and it's hard to imagine a time when we won't do it. We managed it even when my sister lived in Nottingham and I lived in Milton Keynes - the logistics were just slightly trickier!

The only exceptions have been

* Two years ago when my sister's waters broke at The Olde Naked Man and we had to turn around to fetch her home. My nephew Finley Joe was born the next morning :-)

* In May just gone, my mum's birthday, when I'd been out for dinner with friends the night before and got horribly drunk. I was terribly hungover and was sick in the car - my dad turned around and dropped me off at home and he and my sister went on their own. I'm not proud of that but they both had a good laugh at my expense!

I love family traditions and this one is particularly special to me. I'm looking forward to the day when Finley Joe is old enough to come with us and maybe my children will come one day too. I think my mum would like that.

32 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful little tradition.. and what a lovely resting place for your Mum! I may have teared up a bit about sending the dog to her haha. My Dad is scattered in the derbyshire peak district because he enjoyed walking there.. we hardly ever visit (me, my mum and my brother can't drive and my grandad has gotten a bit old for the climb up the hill) but it's nice to know his final resting place was somewhere peaceful

    On another note, I love those bird pictures! xx

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    1. Ah the Peak District is one of my favourite places too, it's so beautiful. I think it's lovely to have somewhere peaceful to remember your loved ones. We used to take the dogs there for the weekend quite a lot when we had a camper. Hopefully we'll get to go again next summer when the house is done.

      That bird was really naughty! xx

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  2. This is a lovely tradition Rachael, Lake Windermere is a beautiful place, as is the whole lake district. It sounds like you've made some lovely memories :) xxx

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  3. This is so lovely - Windermere is such a beautiful place. I spent a weekend there for my 20th a couple of weeks ago and can totally see why you'd choose to remember your mum there xx

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  4. Adore this post! Myself and my siblings have similar traditions in memory of our mum, such comfort! I particulatly enjoyed the first exception :) much love
    xxx

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  5. Hi! I'm a new reader, I found your blog through Charlotte's Web. I have to say I was blubbing a bit as I read this. I am so terribly sorry to hear that you lost your dear mum but this is an amazing tradition, I'm sure you really make her proud with this! And I cannot believe that your sister's baby came whilst on the way to Windemere, that was clearly a little helping hand from your mum!
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks Sarah! We thought she must have been with us that day too :-) xx

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  6. This isn't a morbid post in the slightest- it's a beautiful tribute to your Ma :) your trips to the lake sound so lovely, and I'd like to have a taste of those fish and chips! Hope you are well blog friend, feel like I haven't spoken to you in yonks! Sending you lots of love xxx

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    1. Thank you blog friend :-) they are awesome fish & chips, we always go home groaning with waistbands popping! xx

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  7. This is a really lovely post. I think it's great that you and your family have this little tradition. I haven't heard of Windermere Lake before, but from your pictures I think it all looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing xx

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    1. Thanks Vanessa. It really is beautiful, the whole Lake District is really pretty xx

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  8. Family traditions like these often mean alot and can be a real comfort, i think its wonderful that you do this. Lake Windermere is such a beautiful place as well :) xx

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  9. What a lovely, thoughtful tradition. Little traditions like this make me smile. x

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  10. What a beautiful tradition, and such a beautiful place to celebrate a life. You must have so many treasured memories <3 I had to laugh at the last part, I think we've all had particularly inappropriate hangovers that we'd rather forget!

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    1. I'm not a big drinker, I think it was my third ever hangover! It was a shocker though xx

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  11. What a beautiful tradition! I think it's lovely when someone can remain a part of your life and allow families more time together to just be. What a special way to honour and remember your Mum. Love xx

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  12. This is so beautiful. My dad passed away just over 6 years ago & we have little things that we do to remember him. Its a nice way to remind us all how important family is.

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    1. I think so too, it keeps them a part of your life and it's a real source of comfort xx

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  13. What a lovely, non-depressing way to remember your Mum, it's the healthiest thing to do. My Mum died within a few days of yours, albeit six years ago, and usually I just go into a spin and get really stressed and drink lots, not what she would've wanted! Getting better though. :-) x

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    1. Probably not what she would have wanted for you! I do feel a bit sad around this time and get upset more easily than usual so I know what you mean. Maybe you could start some little traditions of your own? xx

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  14. What a beautiful tradition Rachael, it looks like such a gorgeous place.

    Lovely post xxx

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  15. Ah, Rachael. I can't believe I have only just discovered your blog (your dad tipped me off and I am thankful he did!) It's just beautiful! Your home looks the cosiest thing ever but I think this post is my favourite. The Lake is such a very special place and your mum really was the most special of people. I have so many lovely memories of us all being together. Have the best Christmas and hope to see you soon xx

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I have emailed you xx

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