Day Thirty Nine

Having been steered clear of the Beatrix Potter display late in the
day yesterday, I am determined to make it there today…but first we
have a cruise planned on Windermere Lake which stops at the town
of Ambleside.

The lake is reminiscent of the Lake Como area; little villages dot the
landscape along the water’s edge and it’s clear that the locals are
keen sailors with yachts moored and on the water. There are a few
brave souls waterskiing too, and one who surprises himself with a
large jump through our backwash. The cruise is packed – very
touristy, but we get a seat on the top deck and a great view.

Ambleside is on the opposite side of the lake and the village is high
on the hill. Before we go up, we have lunch on the lake and set the
off. The buildings here are different to those we have encountered
before. Built out of stone, but what appears to be slate stacked
sideways so that the thin edge forms the outside presentation. They
are trimmed with white and jet glossy black which sets off the
charcoal slate, it’s chocolate box pretty. Explorations complete we
head back down to the lake for the return trip home, but on a much
smaller boat. It seems there is a storm brewing and they are
attempting to clear lake traffic before it hits.

Back in Bownes on Windemere, admittedly I am on a mission…
Beatrix Potter’s world awaits. I wonder whether the name Potter is
set to impact me forever. First Beatrix and then Harry. Beatrix Potter
certainly shaped my love of animals from a very young age. This
display, we read, is the only approved display of her stories,
although there is a National Trust run gallery and her home, Hillside,
which is open to the public. I’m not sure what to expect, but when
we step inside the display, it’s enchanting. Each of her 23 stories has
been brought to life, in 3D, either with exquisitely modelled
dioramas, holograms or triptych displays. Its enhancing; the
Japanese lady that comes in with us is beside herself, as am I. Chris,
good naturedly, endures. The Tale of The Fierce Bad Rabbit has
been brought to life scene by scene, ending with his fluffy white tail
sitting on the bench. Love, love, love. I snap everything in sight and
have to do a second take to actually see it.

At the end of the display, Mr McGregor’s garden has been brought
to life; a flower and vegetable garden, complete with a small
scarecrow wearing Peter’s blue jacket and slippers, lost crawling
under the fence. Gorgeous. I think it’s my favourite picture of the
trip so far. Again, I have to be dragged away. I would have gone
through again. And perhaps again.