This past week bank holiday weekend, Laura and I went to the Lake District via my folks place in Manchester. The plan was to relax, take in some mountain air and mountain lakes, walk a lot, sleep late and eat real good. That’s pretty much exactly what we got. We stayed at a proper authentic guest house, dating back to the 1600's called Hornby Hall. Everybody always talks about the Lake District like it's some kind of magical land in the North, a land of elves, fairies and other mythical beings, essentially what every kid imagines when they read Lord of the Rings and tries to imagine middle earth. In actual fact the inspiration for middle earth comes not from the dramatic landscape of New Zealand, but from Tolkien's home town of Hogs Head in South Africa's Eastern Cape. In any case, I digress; the Lake District is in short, sheer beauty and perfection. It's as if a covert sub-division of the English National Heritage goes around every morning diligently applying dew to blades of grass and moss to rocks while holding tenor bleating classes for the local lamb and sheep population. The landscape is so perfect one need only snap a camera arbitrarily in a few different directions and enough material would have been gathered for an award winning exhibition and photographic book deal with Random House. It really is picturesque to the point of looking suspiciously fake and one feels a definite compulsion to bring chaos to the order by dotting a few oddly formed tulips around granny gardens and asking for a fine grappa at the local inn. For a short break, the Lake District is highly accessible and good value. Highly recommended!