People are always saying “you’re so lucky living in the lakes” and think that I have an easy life just driving round the lakes drinking coffee. Yes I do have one of the best jobs in the world, there is coffee drunk and the lakes are my mobile office.
But having to constantly be happy smiley when some days you really don’t feel like it is hard and when it crazy tourist season and takes forever to get round on my travels it’s frustrating. Or dealing with difficult customers, I have all the same customer issues as other people in the same industry, the bonus is I get to enjoy the best scenery in the country.
It’s a long time since I moved to the lakes, I was a naïve, in love 16 ¾ year old teenager who had never been north of Birmingham, who with my first serious boyfriend (who I married and then divorced) decided to move to the Lake district. I wasn’t even sure where it was!! My boyfriend was from Leeds and after leaving the air force moved to Chipping Norton to be with me. As a Yorkshire man hating it down south and wanted to be near the hills. Having lived up here, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else either. So Cumbria was where we were heading. First stop was Keswick, both found jobs at an Italian restaurant, live in but we soon found out it was slave labour and quickly left. So where to next?? We got our money hitch hiked down to the Kendal/Sedbergh junction and here we flipped a coin to decide whether it would be Kendal or Sedbergh that would be our home. Luckily Kendal won, no offence Sedbergh!! So we needed jobs…I walked into Farrers shop to apply for a waitress job that was advertised in the window. Viki who is still my boss today said “can you start on Tuesday and I see great potential in you”. Being young in the workplace is not a good thing; I’d heard that northern folk are the salt of the earth. Not in my experience in my early days in the north. I would go home in tears every night as the women I worked with made my life a misery. They would complain about my eagerness and being hard working. But over time I toughened up and just ignored their comments and made my mark by becoming manager at the age of 20. Here I stayed till 2002 when I moved to my current job in the other part of the business the wholesale side. I’m pleased to say that I have since met some lovely northern folk who are great friends and even married one!
It’s hard being in a new area, not knowing anyone. Linda who I am still friends with today, took me under her wing. Soon we had a social life and friends. Some have come and gone, others have stood the test of time. That’s just life.
It’s funny recounting stories of our first couple of years in our rented flat. We literally had nothing, just 2 of everything kindly donated by my mother in law at the time. We slept in a tent in our bedroom, as had no bed or furniture!! See I can rough it though now would much rather not. As money was tight would hitch hike to Ambleside for a change of scene. Stuffing pillows into our rucksacks as you were more likely to get a lift if you looked like a walker!!
So yes I do have a nice lifestyle but have worked very hard to achieve it. Nothing was gifted to me or support from my mum, I just got on and did it. Maybe I don’t give myself credit for what I have achieved in my life. But I would not want to live anywhere else in the world.