Virginia Barton

5 May 2017: Struggle


5 May 2017


There’s a road leading up from Brotherswater, a mere puddle of a lake, to Kirkstone Pass. It’s known as The Struggle. And if you try biking up it you’ll know why.


It used to be a drover’s path like so many other roads in the Lakes, which then became the route for coaches. Poor horses. The passengers that were able would have to get out and walk. In winter the road is very often closed because of dirty weather. At the head of the Pass is a fancy Inn with optimistic umbrellas for “weather permitting.”

800px-The_Struggle_Road_Sign_BottomFrom the heights of Kirkstone you may bowl down to Windermere in comparatively easy stages and from thence to Mr Wordsworth’s house, Dove cottage, or Miss Potter’s. Thousands do this “in the footsteps of …” trek every year, struggling past the mob at the pier who jostle for seats on the boats that go up and down the lake; or who crowd the little shops selling fishing nets, fudge and souvenirs.


Struggling is on my mind because I am trying to write something about my parents. Not a eulogy, not an appreciation, or a biography. A few simple paragraphs to show how they seemed to me, which might account for myself being the way I am.

Perhaps a eulogy, appreciation or biography would have been easier. I find myself in a twist of falsities where absolutely nothing rings true apart from bald facts.

Any tips anyone?





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