Dodd, Lake District: Ruth Day 1948 – 2002

The view from Dodd, in the shadow of Skiddaw, is well worth the easy 5 km round trip from the Old Sawmill Tearoom car park.  The path takes you on tracks and paths through Dodd Wood, opening out near the summit to provide views over Derwent Water, Bassenthwaite Lake, Newlands Valley, the Solway coast and beyond.  Although this is a small fell that you might think is perfect for a dull day when the bigger fells are shrouded in cloud, it is really a shame not to enjoy this expansive and easily attained view in the sunshine.

Dodd (2)

The view over Newland Valley

The day we walked up to the top of Dodd the summit was sprinkled in snow.  The sun was shining and, as it was mid-week, we had the hill to ourselves.  Sitting on a memorial bench enjoying the spectacular view was perfect.

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In Memory of Ruth Day 1948 – 2002 who loved walking these fells.  ‘We all look at nature too much, and live with her too little’ Oscar Wilde

I like to think Ruth Day would have enjoyed such a glorious day on the fells too and she accompanied us in one way as we sat on the bench erected in memory of her.  I always stop and think for a little longer when I notice someone died young and Ruth Day was only in her 50s when she died.  I think about the years of life the person didn’t get to live and the people who loved them and are left missing a partner, friend or family member.

This memorial bench is all about Ruth Day, the passing walker is given no clue about who erected the bench in her memory.  The quote from Oscar Wilde is beautifully appropriate for the person the memorial describes and for the place.  The quote comes from De Profundis, a long letter Oscar Wilde wrote while in jail in 1897.  The letter was to his lover Alfred Douglas, a letter Oscar Wilde was not allowed to post from jail.

It seems to me that we all look at Nature too much, and live with her too little. I discern great sanity in the Greek attitude. They never chattered about sunsets, or discussed whether the shadows on the grass were really mauve or not. But they saw that the sea was for the swimmer, and the sand for the feet of the runner. They loved the trees for the shadow that they cast, and the forest for its silence at noon.

I hope that Ruth Day had the opportunity to live easily with nature.

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Lochranza: Joyce C. Orr 3rd April 2013

Lochranza Castle is superbly set on a grassy spit of land that juts out in to the sea loch.  The castle was rebuilt in the 16th century but there are remnants of the original castle from a few hundred years earlier.  Legend has it that Robert the Bruce landed at Lochranza in 1306 from Ireland at the start of his claim to the Scottish throne and it is known that his grandson came to own the castle in 1371 when he became King Robert II of Scotland, who used it primarily as a hunting lodge.   In the 15th century it was used as a base for James IV and later it was occupied by James VI and Cromwell’s troops.

Joyce Lochranza (2)

Lochranza, in the north of the Isle of Arran, was the place I loved most on our trip to the Isle of Arran and it is not surprising that other people love it so much.  This beautifully positioned bench is dedicated to the memory of Joyce C Orr.  Sitting on the bench you are overlooking a stunning view and I could sit here for a long time watching the birds, the boats and the sea.

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THIS BENCH IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF Joyce C. Orr Died 3rd April 2013 A Loving and Much Loved wife to Gavin, Mum to Alison and Nana to Stuart and Christopher “SHE LOVED THIS PLACE”

Joyce C Orr lived nearby in Ayr, on the mainland of Scotland and just a short ferry trip from the Isle of Arran.  Joyce C Orr had been treated in Ayrshire Hospice and was a member of the St Columba Church in Ayr and Joyce C Orr and her family are remembered in notices from the church.  On Saturday 21 September 2013 a concert was held at Ayrshire Hospice in memory of Joyce Orr, with music by Cantanti, a local vocal ensemble.