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David Murray
210 followers -
Retired - now blogging from Cumbria
Retired - now blogging from Cumbria

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I think this new Lake District book will interest a lot of people here - W R Mitchell's "Lake District Folk" is based on more than half a century of wandering around Lakeland talking with people.
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One of my favourite spots in the upper Eden Valley.
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Released today. My first attempt of this sort. Something of a test case.
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Great story of a long unrecognised discoverer now given some of the credit he deserves.
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I've been reading this over the past couple of days. It's a splendid account of Mike Carden's nine days of pedalling around the Lake District - as he puts it, cycling from Brockhole to Bowness, three miles, but going the long way round! It's both informative and very funny. A great read.  Due out on July 1st, but can be ordered now from the link here.
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The 'Lady Wakefield' at the Ullswater Steamers Glenridding pier yesterday (25th May 2013)
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Hopefully this kind of weather is past and we can now have some Spring, but I thought one more photo from Ullswater in Winter wouldn't go amiss. - http://ullswaterinwinter.co.uk/index.php
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Looking out from the Newlands valley near Uzzicar toward the Skiddaw range. The snow's mostly gone. Just waiting for some properly green grass now.
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Thoughts on the death, and the life, of Baroness Thatcher. 

As someone old enough to remember well the years before her election I look back with gratitude to the way she rescued Britain from the disasters and decline of the Wilson/Callaghan years.

Her third term was characterised by some serious political errors but we should never forget her earlier achievements, and having spent much time in Eastern Europe I also recall with gratitude her contribution to the fall of communist totalitarianism.

I've been interested, and pleased, at the response of my many Central and Eastern European friends. In that part of the world Margaret Thatcher's legacy is widely acknowledged whereas in her home country she is widely damned on the basis of just a few of her policies from her career as an exceptionally long-serving Prime Minister - usually either coal mines or the "poll tax".  

Before her election Britain was getting close to the stage of being run by Trades Union leaders. Callaghan took them on to some degree but couldn't do it. Thatcher took them on and rescued Britain from a looming despotism of the left.

Of course she made mistakes. For myself, I believe she got her education policy seriously wrong, and we're still paying the price. The "poll tax", whilst not so iniquitous as many would make out, was a political misjudgement. On Europe, although admiring some of her stands, I believe she was too strident and got the balance wrong between Britain's relationships with the EU and the USA. Her South Africa policy was misguided, and she curried friendships with some undesirable dictators elsewhere. 

However, her role alongside Reagan in confronting communism must never be downplayed. An otherwise interesting article for Chatham House by Professor Victor Bulmer-Thomas (http://www.chathamhouse.org/media/comment/view/190635) does, I believe make that mistake.  

There's an old saying that the person who never made a mistake never made anything. Well, Margaret Thatcher made her mistakes, but the world, and Britain especially, would now be a much worse place had it not been for her. Even those who disagreed with her on many subjects recognised a woman characterised by the politics of conviction rather than of convenience and populist acclaim. We need more of that today.
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One of the first shots from my day out with the camera today.
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