November 2015

Welcome to the November newsletter
Lots of thank yous and good news!

It has been a great month for celebrating Barrow House staff past and present, with a big thank you and best wishes to Eve Miller (two summer seasons here and now off for new adventures), and an interesting look back to Elsie May Stanley (nee Corbett), who worked here as a parlour maid in the late 1920s. All of the history material that we mentioned in the October newsletter is now available to look at on our website.

We also want to say thank you to Kinga Anheuer, our Hungarian volunteer for the past 3 months, and welcome to Alex, an Australian volunteer. They walked to the summit of Blencathra on our first weekend of snow (21st - 22nd November) and it has been great to see their photos.

Thank you to Kinga Anheuer
Kinga has been a fantastic part of Barrow House for the past 3 months. We wish she could stay! Here is an article that she has written. Read more...

Kinga Anheuer, our first volunteer from Hungary, has been a wonderful part of the hostel for the past three months. We are sorry to say goodbye! Thank you Kinga, and good luck with your applications to university (fingers crossed for a Scottish one!). Here is Kinga in her own words (a few weeks before she left):

‘Hi everyone, my name is Kinga Anheuer and I am from Budapest, Hungary. I’m 19. I just finished high school in June 2015 and now I have a gap year. I’m going to start my studies abroad next year. I came to the UK because I need to improve my English. Honestly, I couldn’t have chosen better place for it than this! This is my first workaway experience and I planned to stay 1 u00bd - 2 months but I am still here (I am spending my third month in the hostel!) If you get to know this place and these people, it won’t be easy to leave them.

At first, I was afraid to come here - worried about if my English knowledge was enough for living, working in England or not - but my fear disappeared when I arrived at the rail station in Penrith and met Nicola. She was very kind and helpful as are all the other staff members. Kathy, Dave, Katy, Vicky, Nicola, Pez, Alex, Ian, all of them are unbelievable kind, helpful and funny. They don’t let you be lazy but in a very good way! They always invite us to enjoy a coffee with them or go to the cinema in Keswick or go to swim in the lake (!!). They always help you if you have a question about travelling in the area or if you need a suitcase to visit your brother in Scotland or if you cycled in the rain in the morning and you became totally wet and need some dry clothes…or anything else. The work is variable and you have a lot of fun.

I feel very lucky because of my workaway partners too. I spent a sunny, nice first month full with travelling with Giulia (from Italy). In October a German girl, Felicia, provided me a very funny, lovely company and now I am looking forward to meeting my next partner Alexander (from Australia).

I am so happy to be and live here. This is a beautiful place full with amazing people. If you have any chance to come here, do it! I honestly tell you that it’s absolutely worth working/staying in the hostel and spending here a little or longer time!’

An autumn poem
Here is one of the poems that one of our young guests wrote in October half term. Read more...

We were really happy with the response to our October poetry activity and so we thought we would share one of them here. Perhaps next year we will have enough to make a full poetree!

Sky turns blue, whales do too. Powerful, strong, white waves flying in the wondrous air. Red squirrels fire from tree to tree which was very easy to admire. Colours on leaves appeara on trees. Hedgehogs hope a good place to hibernate. Lots of snails feel safe in their shells. Fruit starts to ripen on trees and they turn as sweet as sugar canes. Leaves fall on the ground so it looks like a flood of colourful water. The night comes a lot more early than in the summer.

Matthew. Age 6.

Snap Photography Festival Reunion
Needless to say, there were lots of great photographs from this event! Read more...

In the middle of November, on, yes, another very wet and windy week, we had a very jolly group to stay. It felt like a three day wedding!

The occasion was the Snap Photography Festival reunion, bringing together professional photographers (mainly portrait and wedding focused) for a week of ‘shooting, learning, dancing, eating, and exploring the landscape’.

During their stay the group held a five minute portrait challenge competition in Room One, producing some great results. Each photographer got five minutes in the room with Lauren O’Farrell (the chosen model), one reflector, one flash, and a set of triggers, and they could use anything in the room or on their person. The photo above is one of the attempts!

The group also added some extra ‘wow’ factor to the dining room with their decorations and huge illuminated letters, spelling out SNAP. Needless to say, they have given us some great photos of the room!

Thank you to Claire Byrne, Becky Ryan, and Snap Photography for their images and enthusiastic words on blogs and Facebook pages.

A whirling display of wind and rain for our Brazilian guests!
5 young Brazilians brightened a very rainy weekend with their singing and cheery smiles. Read more...

At the beginning of November, with heavy rain and waving trees, we welcomed 5 young people from Brazil, for a weekend away during their 3 month stay in Warrington. Thank goodness they had not flown straight from the tropics!

This trip was organised by Abigail Johnson, who, with her church in Warrington, is hosting the 5 young Brazilians and 1 German for an exciting international collaboration. Together, they are working on several community projects, such as a 24 hour House of Prayer, and their cultural exchange is an important aspect of the church community. Abigail met her fellow Brazilian church members in Fortaleza, after 2 u00bd years of travelling, and she has written about her experiences in a blog:

During their weekend at the hostel the group did lots of singing, praying, and walking, and they remained very cheerful throughout the rain.

Later on in November the wind and rain got even wilder, with Hurricane Abigail whipping near our doors: a name now linked to stormy weather!

Warwick University Mountaineering Society
The theme of November was wet and windy, but the Warwick mountaineers were not deterred! Read more...

It was great to welcome back Izaak Tyson-Hirst, who did his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Residential Service with us in 2013.

Izaak is now in his third year at Warwick University, studying Chemistry, and he has really made his mark, organising several trips for the Warwick University Mountaineering Society (of which he is now the President). We were delighted to hear that Izaak wanted to bring a group to the hostel, and it sounds like they had a great time.

We actually hardly saw the group, as they arrived late on Friday night (travelling after their last lectures of the day), set off very early each morning, and spent all day on the fells: a proper group of mountaineers! But we are glad to hear they enjoyed the weekend and stayed in one piece, despite the strong winds and torrential rain: again, true mountaineers!

A winter tonic
Come and stay with us for some fresh mountain air and good fun! Read more...

Well November has been an especially wet and windy month here in the Lakes but we have been reliably informed by our local stone waller that we will be enjoying  more settled weather in December. 

So if you are in need of a pre-Christmas break we have plenty of rooms available on the weekends of 4 & 5 December, and 18 & 19 December.  For post Christmas breaks, we can offer Monday 28 December & Tuesday 29 December and the weekends of 8 & 9 January and 29 & 30 January.

Keswick is gearing up for Christmas with another Live Advent Calendar Event and the Victorian Fayre on Sunday 6 December. For more information have a look at:

Here at the hostel we’re always happy to give advice on things to do locally.  We look forward to seeing you before too long.

Derwentwater Independent Hostel
Barrow House
CA12 5UR
Telephone: 017687 77246

Thank you to Geoff Williams, Rebecca Laff, Fiona McCarthy, John and Sam Snyder, and KTA for generously providing inspiring photographs.
Thank you to Lisa Bamford at Stoats and Weasels for designing our website, and to Sam Snyder for building it.
© 2013 Derwentwater Independent Hostel. All rights reserved. Registered charity: 1145368