Following on from Blog 53, here is a slightly shortened version of my diary for the first quarter of 2024:

Monday, 1st January – My computer took more than twelve minutes to get started in the morning because I couldn’t leave it switched on all night as I used to be able to do.

Tuesday, 2nd January – Went into the cellar of Robinsons Electric in Kirkland. It was just as beautiful as I expected it to be because it hasn’t been modernised at all.

Wednesday, 3rd January – Discovered that Robinsons Electric have destroyed over 200 of my favourite scenes from television. They are not lost forever because I can copy them back from the discs, but there must be some deterioration of quality. While my equipment is being repaired I have been reading my website.

Received an email consisting of the Old Buckwellians News including my own contribution. Other people featured were Clive Brasier, Chris Chapman and Richard Conway, all of whom I remember from my schooldays.

Thursday, 4th January – Finished reading my website. I found a lot of mistakes.

Monday, 8th January – Sent eleven corrections to my website to Designworks for uploading to my website.

I am having difficulty getting a plumber. Either they don’t answer the phone or they say that they will ring back and don’t or they say that they will call and don’t.

Tuesday, 9th January – Read about epidemic sound, which can be added to videos. I wish I had known about this when I uploaded my videos to my website in 2019.

Saturday, 13th January – Went up Claife Heights from Far Sawrey with Chris Butterfield using the route described in The Outlying Fells of Lakeland. Went into the Cuckoo Brow Inn in Far Sawrey, which, like Robinsons Electric, has a beautiful cellar. When I got home I went to the Wainwright Facebook site and found a photograph of myself on the summit of Claife Heights together with a favourable comment.

Monday, 15th January – Went for a walk on my own through the woodland of Rather Heath near Kendal.

Wednesday, 17th January – Finished rewriting the notes I made on the Coast to Coast Walk for the benefit of people who don’t have access to the maps showing proposed changes to the route. It took me about three weeks, doing a little bit each day when I could think clearly enough. Then I sent the notes to the Wainwright Facebook Site and to the Secretary of the Wainwright Society.

Thursday, 18th January – Received an email from the Secretary of the Wainwright Society saying that he liked what I had written.

Sunday, 21st January – Finished reading the Eyewitness book of Seashells. There are photographs of over 500 species, all beautiful and well photographed, and they all have English names.

Monday 22nd January – The tape recordings of my favourite songs and my favourite scenes from radio are now so faint some of them are inaudible.

Saturday, 3rd February – Walked from Newby Bridge to High Dam with Chris Butterfield using the route described in the latest edition of The Outlying Fells of Lakeland. Snowdrops and crocuses were in flower by the roadside. When we got home I signed a lot of books and Chris helped me to get various pieces of equipment to work.

Sunday, 4th February – Listened to a fascinating radio programme about the human body by Bill Bryson.

Monday, 5th February – Took my mobile phone to the Carphone Warehouse because I can’t get it to work, but when I got home I still couldn’t get it to work.

Tuesday, 6th February – Called at Robinsons and was told that they can’t repair the equipment that I use for recording television programmes, so I ordered a new one.

Saturday, 10th February – Chris and Priscilla called and spent two hours helping me with my computer and iPhone. Then we all went up Bigland Barrow from Newby Bridge using the route described in The Outlying Fells of Lakeland. It was much muddier than it was the last time I went there, and I couldn’t find the path to the water tank.

Sunday, 11th February – Got the mobile phone to make a ringing sound for the first time since I bought it in 2019, but now I can’t phone from the mobile except on rare occasions.

Wednesday, 14th February – Was involved in an accident for the first time in thirty years. I was driving along the road and sombody reversed into me before I had time to react.

Friday, 16th February – My car, my computer and my cistern are all now damaged, but they are all still working.

Bough a blu ray disc recorder from Robinsons for £675. It is almost identical to the last one.

Saturday, 17th February, 2024 – Succeded in connecting up my new recording machine, and it was wonderful to be able to watch again the scenes that I recorded in the 1980s, when the programmes were so much better than most of those broadcast today.

Sunday, 18th February – Finished reading The World of Words by Victor Stephenson, which was packed full of interesting information about the languages of Europe.

Thursday, 22nd February – Watched a film called ‘They Came to a City’ in which there was hardly any action but very good dialogue because it was based on a play by J. B. Priestley.

Sunday, 25th February – Chris called and spent over an hour trying to connect my computer to the Wainwright Facebook site, but he still couldn’t do it. I showed him details of the payments I had made to Designworks for hosting my website. He later offered to do everything that they do and I agreed.

Monday, 26th February – Finished reading a book about evolution by Henry Gee. Like the book about languages it is packed full of interesting information.

Worked out that I spent nearly £9000 on my website in the last nine years.

Received an email from Chris suggesting that he may be able to put some of my lost videos back into my website.

Friday, 1st March – My website was visited on average 76 times a day in February despite the fact that I haven’t added to it (except from diary) for six months. That is the highest ever monthly figure and 40% higher than the second-highest figure. Sent my next blog to Chris Butterfield.

Received a 48-page royalty statement from Frances Lincoln, according to which A Coast to Coast Walk sold more copies in six months than any of the Lakeland guides. The Eastern Fells and The Central Fells sold only slightly fewer, but the other five Lakeland Guides added together sold no more than one of the top three. The two Lakeland guides that were the most popular are the two that I like the least.

Monday, 4th March – Phoned Kendal Autobody because I am still waiting to hear when they can repair my car, and I was told that the car was not worth repairing.

Wednesday, 6th March – Received an email to say that I shall be receiving £4755 from the insurance company. This is the first time in my life that I have received money from an insurance company.

Thursday, 7th March – Walked round Kendal looking for cars for sale and ended up buying one from the showroom where I bought my last one. It is a white Suzuki and it cost £4895, which is almost exactly equal to the payment from the insurance company, but the new car is not such a nice colour as the old one and I later learned that it is four years older.

Friday, 8th March – A man came to take the old car away.

Saturday, 9th March – Received an email from Andrew Nichol’s daughter Jean saying that she was enjoying my website, and I later met her. Chris Butterfield called to arrange for him to take over my website from Designworks. I gave him the discs for transferring the Russian songs to my website. He showed me how to upload songs to my computer and explained that the only reason I couldn’t phone from the mobile was that I was pressing the buttons too hard. Later we went for a five-mile walk from Brockstones to Overend, across country to Kentmere church and along the road to Staveley. Took a photograph of two gigantic boulders embedded in a wall. Afterwards we went round to see Andrew Nichol, who now has three children, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Sunday, 10th March – Succeeded in copying a song to my computer.

Tuesday, 12th March – Finally got a plumber to call. He replaced the wash basin taps with ones that work and are much more attractive than the old ones. These are the first taps I have come across that come to a sudden, rather than a gradual, stop when they become fully on or off. He also got the bathroom heater to work and replaced the parts in the cistern that another plumber had said were unobtainable.

Thursday, 14th March – Received an email from Chris to say that my website is now up and running. I visited it at 7.45 pm and found to my astonishment that 45 people were currently on line, although the average average number of people visiting the site in the first 13 days of March was only 11 per day.

Friday, 15th March – Had an eye test at Vision Express and ordered a new pair of glasses. The test took an hour and a half. I was told that I had cataracts, although I can see perfectly well.

Saturday, 16th March – Collected my new car, almost exactly a year after my last one.

Chris phoned and suggested that I have another look at my website. When I did so I was pleased to find that my photograph now appears near the beginning of the site.

Tuesday, 19th March – Worked out that since Chris took over my website five days ago the average number of people visiting it has gone up to 131 per day, which is more than ten times what it was in the first half of March.

Sunday, 24th March – Walked up Langdale Knott in fine weather with Chris and Priscilla. The walk was chosen because it is one of the easiest walks in the Howgill Fells. Chris frequently pointed out things that I hadn’t noticed, such as frogspawn.

Saturday, 30th March – Went for a five-mile walk with twenty-five members of the Wainwright Society from Staveley to Frost Hole, Potter Tarn and Side House. This meant going to several places that I hadn’t been to before. Somebody took a photograph of a matchstick lichen.

Sunday, 31st March – Explored the area to the north and west of Kentmere church with Chris and Priscilla because Chris had seen this area from the other side of the valley and wanted to have a closer look. Afterwards we went back to Brockstones because I thought that the viewpoint was shown in the wrong place on the map, and Chris agreed that it was. While we were in this area I fell down and broke my glasses, but luckily I was still wearing my old ones.