Out early with singular black dog into the most spectacular crisp morning and dawn light. The corny term, roseate glow, does actually (and I suppose literally) apply as I see for the first time the five clean cut gable ends of the new Art & Design building sharply defined against the backdrop of a most stunning dawn sky, layered in strips of red and grey, behind them – the big gable neighbouring Steephurst first then the four smaller ones beside.
Ambling past the theatre there is a clunky splash as eight Canada geese shuffle off their bank roost and onto the lake. Walking along by Emma’s Walk, I applaud the fine work the pigs have done in clearing up the scrubby land beneath the trees and – again, pig-induced good stuff by our Outdoor Work department – the classy, arts and crafts sty that sits alongside the Black Barn, where, in another snug sty, Angelica is standing admiring her eight piglets who are in a big snuggle in the corner.
Up on the Mem Pitch the first sun is on the Hangers and the singular black dog is playing her only game of collecting tennis balls. Whilst some dogs are said to mourn the loss of a long-time companion, she doesn’t seem to have noticed: ball and food and all is well. Her bygone companion Ailsa managed at least 13 out of the 15 Ullswater trips that have happened in my time – a sound attendance record and, as they say, a good innings.
Walking back, that stunning red sky has gone and I think back to another great dawn – Ullswater 2014 – when those of us lucky enough to be camping high up above the lake woke to a blanket of cloud beneath, as seen here with dogs providing foreground.