Yew Tree Tarn From Coniston – Lake District

Well today started a lot better than the last few days!  The dogs next door didn’t start barking until 6.30 am!  What was even better, Lola and Fido must have been so tired as Lola  gave out a little quick bark, but that was it!

I came down anyway just to check on them.  Lola was fast asleep on the sofa!  Yes the sofa!  She isn’t allowed on it, but had got herself comfortable with her head on the cushions!  Fido was in his bed.  I took them both out for a walk anyway, so they could do their business.

They both must have been very tired, as I hadn’t even put the leads away when Lola was back on the sofa asleep!

I went back to bed for a bit.  The dogs next door had quietened down very quickly today and we didn’t hear from them until 7.30 am.  I got up and made a drink to take back to bed.  I was so so tired.  I was so relieved when hubby told me to go back to sleep, and he would go down with the dogs!  Lola was quiet but Fido was crying for attention so we couldn’t really leave them on their own.

I slept right through to just after 9 am!  Heaven!

Today we decided on a 10 km walk from Coniston to Yew Tree Tarn.  It was absolutely pouring with rain when we arrived, but as we started to walk it eased off!

Just before we went around the Tarn we spotted an ice cream van.  Hubby can never resist an ice cream so while I had a diet coke, my  hubby and my stepdaughter both went for a 99!  Just what the doctor ordered!

The walk round the tarn was beautiful.   With the rain there was a lot of mist, but you could still see the beauty of the place!  We were doing so well up to this point, but then we just couldn’t work out the correct route.  We use a book called ’50 walks in The Lake District’ by AA. Most times it’s easy to follow, but today it certainly wasn’t clear!  We had to change our route a couple of times and were still not convinced if we were right.

At this point the heavens opened!  And it stayed heavy for the rest of our walk!  We really wasn’t sure our path was the right one and with the rain, our book was getting soaked and so it was hard to turn the pages!

In the end, we saw a path for Coniston.  Even though it wasn’t the books route, we knew we would be going in the right direction for the car.  We had been walking for 4.45 hours at this point,  we were soaking wet, and hungry.  I think all of us just wanted to head back to the car!

According to the signposts we were 1.5 miles from Coniston.

We start to see the village in the distance and my spirits lifted!  By this point, my shorts were so wet they were dripping!  I had a waterproof on, but I don’t think they are designed for this type of rain.

We finally reach the carpark.  When we arrived, I spotted a shop that sold lolly pops.  When I say lolly pops, I don’t just mean your ordinary ones.  Oh no, this one had probably about 30 different flavours if not more!  I just had to stop and get some for my stepdaughter.   I wish now I also got a couple for me too!  They smelt delicious. I just didn’t think at the time! Doh!  I have never seen a shop with so many.  Next time I’m definitely stocking up!

We got into the car and I think we could all agree that we were starving.  We were only 45 mins from home, but after walking what was actually nearly 16 km in 5.5 hours, we just needed fuel!  I’d done my usual picnic so we all sat in the car tucking in!

On the way home I had the heating on to try and dry us all out!

The hot shower when we got home was so so welcome!

The fire was put on to dry the book out and our bags.  Even though we were wet I think we all had a good day.  Even the dogs.

Sadly the app on my phone didn’t pick up all the walk, but my fit bit recorded 25,000 steps!  I think we will all have a few aches in the morning!

A quiet night in front of TV is definitely in order tonight!

Advertisements

Walk around Buttermere Lake

Ok, I’m quite a tolerant person, but enough is enough!  Once again not long after 5 am the dogs next door start barking!  Of course, that is going to wake up Fido and Lola, who have been fast asleep all night.

The problem is, with Lola and Fido, they are really good all night.  Once they have had their evening walk that is it until they wake up again.  Once they are awake both will need the toilet.   Even if I wanted to ignore them I can’t! So once again I am out walking them early!

They are both really good now at going in the new place, so I don’t spend as much time out in my pj’s with them!  Mind you I say that, but I’ve done over 3000 steps before we have left the cottage for the day so maybe more than I think!

Hubby and I both decide that once next doors dogs start barking,  there is no point in trying to lay in bed.  They don’t stop until the family obviously get up to them, which is not for another 2.5 hours!  I can’t believe they can sleep through it or even ignore it.  I don’t let my dogs bark for even a few minutes, for my own sanity, for their behaviour and also for anyone around who may hear them!

I was already cross with the owners last night.  I took Lola and Fido out about 11.30 for their last walk of the night.  It’s pitch black out the back, so I only had the torch off my phone for light!  They just opened their back door and let their two run out.  Both were barking and ran straight to Fido.  They were barking in his face.  He was on a long lead so he could have a bit of freedom.  I couldn’t see him very well and was desperately trying to pull him back to me.  I was calling to Fido so they opened the bedroom window to look.  They gave me the look that I was in the wrong.  My 2 dogs were on leads and behaving!  Their 2 dogs were barking and running riot!  I was not impressed.

The male owner is a big guy and hubby had advised I don’t say anything to him!  I fully agree, we are only here for a week so it’s not worth a fight,  but I am not a happy chappy!  Another night of only  5 hours sleep and I’m certainly not impressed.  I get up at this time every day for work.  I go to bed early to make up for this which is my choice.  I don’t expect to have to do the same on holiday, just because next door can’t control their dogs!

Anyway I’m not going to let it spoil my holiday!

Today we decide to do a walk around Buttermere Lake.  After yesterday, we decided something flatter might be better for all of us and the dogs.

The drive there is a nightmare! You have to go over Wrynose Pass again – we did that on Sunday too!  It’s so scary at times, sheer drops with thin single track roads.  There isn’t many passing places either, so not great on the nerves.

You then go through my favourite town in the Lakes, Ambleside then Grassmere!  Next you head to Keswick.  We needed to get something from the town, so had a quick stop off there.  I stayed in the car with the dogs.  It was a good excuse to try and get the first reception on my phone in over 2 days!  I got a little, but not enough to get all my emails and messages sadly!

The next stretch was over Honister Pass.  This is another steep climb before we got to Buttermere!   The journey should have taken us around 1.5 hours, however due to traffic and lots of lorries trying to pass on narrow roads, it ended up nearly 3 hours!

We are looking for National Trust parking but end up behind the Fish Inn.  Parking there is £6 for only 4 hours!  I don’t know about you, but I think that is expensive to park on what is effectively gravel!  What is worse, you have to pay 30p to spend a penny!!

The weather is a mixture of showers and sunshine.  We have waterproofs, so we are not going to let the weather stop us getting out!  We did over 25000 steps yesterday, so I don’t want today to be much less than that!

Lola broke her lead before we came away.  I thought I had repaired it!   We had swapped it onto Fido as he doesn’t pull as much.  Today of all days it decided to fail again.  Fido didn’t mind.  It is an extendable lead and now it was full length.  Yey, so he thought!   Not likely!  I had to use Lola’s figure of 8 lead which wasn’t ideal, but did the job!

The changing weather really transforms the landscape in the Lakes, and today is no exception.  The walk is quite relaxing but there still is a lot to see.

The walk takes just over 2 hours and is 8 km. We stop at the car again afterwards and have lunch.

My walking shoes have this holiday started to fail me.  I’m gutted as I love them.  They are 12 years old, so have done me well! I have a summer pair and winter pair, and these are my summer ones!  We decide to call back into Keswick on way back and get myself a new pair.  I saw a pet shop there on the way in this morning, so plan to call there too to get a new lead!

The route home started off easier!   We didn’t have to do the Honister Pass.  Woo hoo!  The sun was out when we left Buttermere so I had high hopes for the journey home!  In Keswick it was still warm, so yey!

I bought my boots and a bit random, but a pair of binoculars too!  I have a small pair, but they are not great for birds of prey at a distance!  Along with sheep and highland cows, I have a fascination for birds of prey!  Who knew that Millets give you 15% off if you are members of National Trust!  It would have been rude not to buy them!

I also managed to get a new lead for the dogs.  I love the extending leads, but I won’t have the cord ones, as I have seen and experienced too many friction burns from them.  I am sure they are great for small dogs but definitely not my size dogs!

I start the drive back to the cottage.  The road isn’t too bad, but then I remember I have to go through Wrynose Pass!  What is worse, it starts to rain really hard!  My heart is in my mouth!  There are so many steep drops and the roads are steep, twisting and very narrow!   I really don’t feel happy doing this drive.  Its only 10 miles, but believe me, it feels like 100!

I am so glad when I see our cottage.

We get out the car and guess what?  The neighbours have gone out and left their dogs again, and they are both barking!  Great!

I am so so tired today!  I prepare dinner and while its cooking have a quick shower!  Time for a nice glass of Slimline Wine!  I so deserve it!

Keep watching my Youtube channel for more photos of today, including some gorgeous scenery and cows.

 

 

Walk around Wallowbarrow Gorge – Lake District

Can you believe it!  Both of us forgot to turn our alarms off for work!  So we can’t blame the dogs for the early wake up call today!

The dogs are still quiet!  Well there were until the dog next door started barking! It is 6 am so they have done very well!  I get up and take them both out for a quick walk.  I’m in my PJ’s again but its dry.  In fact, it is a really lovely morning.  Thankfully both dogs don’t take long to do their business so I’m back in bed quite quickly!

The both of them go back to bed until the neighbours dog starts barking again!  I come down and tell them both off!  To my joy they both go quiet and back to bed!  This is such an improvement on the previous day! I think they are getting used to their home for the week!

Hubby and I decide that we may as well get up and have tea and watch the news anyway.

As with yesterday, we try and plan out the day ahead.  According to the news the weather will be dry until early afternoon then rain!

Yesterday we had quite a drive.  Although in miles it wasn’t bad, the steep roads with drops were a bit of a strain on the nerves.  Hubby thinks today we should stay closer to home today.  There is a lovely walk from here in Dunnerdale, to Seathwaite Tarn, past the reservoir dam.  Here we retraced our steps heading down hill across a boggy field.  You cross some stiles towards Fickle Steps.  Here there are huge boulders that allow you to cross the River Duddon.  It says in our walking book that if its underwater we should return to the road!  There is a wire cable across the river to help you but it is very much under water!  My stepdaughter wants to cross it, so hubby agrees.   I’m miss clumsy so not jumping for joy as worried about the dogs and me!  One of us has to fall it!  It wouldn’t be me if that didn’t happen!

DSC_0405.JPG

My stepdaughter goes first followed by hubby and Fido!  I’m under strict instructions to stay put until my hubby returns.  The plan was to take Fido across first, then he would come back for me and Lola!  The current is fierce!  Fido is not a happy dog.  He doesn’t like going further than his tummy normally.  He steps onto the first boulder but doesn’t want to go any further. He is quite cute actually the way he is testing the water and decided ‘no way’!  My hubby tries to encourage him across, but he isn’t going for it.  He tries then misses the boulder and ends up in the river.  The current takes him, and he tries to swim.  Bless him, this is his first-time swimming and he has no chance against this current!  I’m absolutely beside myself.  I’m about to tie Lola to a tree to jump in and rescue him as hubby pulls him.  But then my worst fear happens, his harness comes off and he is now loose in the current.  I love my hubby right now.  He manages to balance himself and grab him by the collar, picking him up into his arms.  Unfortunately, the dogs lead has got wrapped around his legs so my stepdaughter comes back to help him.  Lola is beside herself too!  Thankfully Fido being an alpha man is absolutely fine with it all!

I decide that rather than try and cross the boulders Lola and I should go across just in front of them in the water!  I get in and realise its deeper than I thought.  Just about thigh level and the current is fast it takes you off balance.   Lola isn’t enjoying it either!  Hubby comes to the rescue again picking her up and carrying her across.  Thankfully we are all across, very wet but safe!  It certainly was an adventure.  Can you believe it that none of us thought to get a photo to show you until the end of the walk!

The next part of our walk is through Grassguards Gill, then climbing along to Wallowborrow Gorge.

On one path we meet up with a bull!  We wisely decide to do a detour!  Bulls on their own are never good to come face to face with, but with 2 dogs, that would be a seriously bad idea!  We just have to look the an alternative route and go with our instinct to get back on track.  As my hubby and I always seem to get lost on long walks, I have every faith in him that he will get us on the right track, which he does.

We then head along a very difficult patch across boulders back down along banks of River Duddon. The boulders are very slippery in places, and it seems to go on forever!  I really didn’t enjoy this part of the walk.  I spent the time looking at my feet rather than the beautiful surroundings!

IMG_2700.JPG

We finally come out at a field and we can see the church parking we are heading back too!  Yey!

When we started the walk, hubby said it was around 6 kms!  I have an app on my phone which I had set before we left.  We arrive at the car and check it!  It’s actually almost 14km’s in total!  Wow what a day!

The weather today has been far better than we expected.  We had rain initially, but the sun then came out which gave us some lovely views over the mountains.  The odd light shower was quite refreshing when it did happen, but it was so light, it didn’t actually wet us!

DSC_0386.JPG

A lot of the paths we took were under water.  With the amount of rain we have had, there were a lot of waterfalls coming off the mountains.  It has transformed the landscape into something beautiful.  After walking through a river, I no longer cared about getting wet!  The dogs thought they were in heaven!  They had a licence to get as wet and muddy as they liked!

 

Time to have our picnic before we head home for bath and showers!  We are all tired, no-one more than Fido and Lola!

When we arrive back at our cottage our neighbours have obviously left their dogs behind.  I’m very surprised as it says strictly that dogs shouldn’t be left in the cottage.  I saw them arrive with a crate so obviously that is why they felt they could leave them.

We arrived home around 3.30 pm!  It is now 7.30 pm and the dogs haven’t stopped barking at all!  They must be so stressed.  I so want to go around and let them out.  It breaks my heart.  How can people leave dogs in so much distress?  Such a sad end to a really good day.

Tonight, is going to be another night of Monopoly!  I get killed off after a good fight!   I really thought hubby was going to be first out!  Mind you, he got houses on the reds while my stepdaughter had the prime estates – Pal Mal and Mayfair!  The only hotels I got were on Whitehall Road and Old Kent Road!  Eek!    Hubby and Stepdaughter do a great challenge with each other.  It could be anyone’s game!

In the meantime, both Fido and Lola are absolutely dead to the world!   I am hoping that means a quiet night with them both!

After a really good fight, hubby wins!  You have to love Monopoly!

Time for bed ready for Day 3!

Check out more photos on my YouTube channel https://youtu.be/IQALceMHKC8

 

 

 

Our first full day in the Lakes

So today was our first day here.  The cottage has beautiful views over the mountains.  I imagined waking up gently, to the view shrouded by sunshine!  Instead, I was woken just after 5 am by Lola with her attention seeking bark!  Believe it or not, Lola has 2 distinct types of barks.  There is a deep bark which means she is unhappy, and then there is this high-pitched bark which is solely to seek attention!

I know you should ignore her when she is seeking attention, but that time in the morning she knows she has got you! It rings through your ears!  She is such a little drama queen!

The cottage we are staying at is dog friendly, however there is a strict policy of no dogs upstairs!  The dogs are therefore downstairs whilst we sleep upstairs.  At home both dogs sleep in our room so this is a bit weird for them.

I sleepily come down stairs to find Lola by the door.  She obviously needs a toilet break!  I have to make a quick decision!  It’s absolutely pouring with rain outside!  I could find my car keys and run out to get my coat – which I stupidly left in there last night.  This would cause Lola to bark further!  We are in a semi-detached cottage, so I didn’t want to wake the neighbours!  The alternative was to take them out in my PJ’s (a vest top and shorts) and try and take shelter under a tree as quickly as possible!  I opted for the latter!

So just after 5 am I am stood under a tree in the pouring rain wishing Lola and Fido would hurry up!  Typically, as this is a new place for them, they both had to sniff around a lot before they could even think of doing anything!

Finally, I get back inside, completely soaked, but at least it was still warm outside!  I leave them both downstairs and go back to bed hoping to get another hour or so!  Oh, I wish!  Lola is now obviously awake!  I can hear her moving around and I just know she is up to no good!  I have to go down and check on her!  Thankfully I did, as I found the oven glove in her bed!

With a telling off I head back to bed!  She doesn’t want to be left so we get a few bouts of the high-pitched barking again!  By 6.30 am we could almost kill her if we didn’t love her!  She then goes quiet!  That is always dangerous!  I lay there not thanking my lucky stars for some peace and quiet, but wondering what she is up to!  I have to take a look!

What do I find?  Our walking book in her bed half chewed!!!  I was so cross at her!  She knew she was in trouble as she immediately hid in the kitchen!! And then she does the most un lady like thing! I think you can guess!  I can’t help but give out a little laugh.  She looked horrified !

I tried to tell her off for the book and barking again, in the hope that she will go back to sleep!  But oh no!  She really doesn’t want to go back to bed!  I end up making tea for hubby and I!  Even drinking that in bed is a no no!  More barking results in us both having to get up with her!  So much for a holiday lie in! I have to point out that Fido is being the perfect little boy!

So it’s not even 7.30 am and hubby and I are up having our second cup of tea!

When I’m at home I always love to watch BBC news in bed drinking my tea.  We don’t have one in our bedroom at the cottage so having to get up meant we could watch the TV in the lounge.

It sounds silly but I love mornings.   Once the dogs had chilled out it was relaxing just sitting on the sofa, drinking tea, watching the news and discussing with hubby plans for the day.

When we originally planned this holiday, we both wanted to do a specific walk.  It’s 15 km up Cat Bells.  Its quite a strenuous walk so we thought it should be one of the first walks we did of the week.  Now today looking at the weather outside, that really isn’t going to happen, so what was our plan B?

We have our waterproof clothes and walking boots, so the weather shouldn’t really stop us going out, but we do have to think about slippery paths and how muddy the dogs might get.

After a good bit of reading by hubby we make a decision!  A walk around Grassmere!  It is relatively flat and from memory the paths were really good!

The walks starts at Dove Cottage, the home of Wordsworth.  You then head towards some woods before you come to the Lake.  A lovely walk around the lake brings a changing landscape.  Whilst the heavy rain has gone, there is still the odd sprinkle!  Surprisingly though it’s really humid! The weather means the mood of the lake changes continuously.  It’s still very beautiful.

The walk takes just under 2 hours and 6 miles.

We return to the car to have lunch and plan on what to do for the rest of the day!  We decide that its probably not the weather to do a long walk so instead head to Lake Windermere!

En-route we stopped off at Ambleside.  There is the most amazing Apple Pie shop there.  It also does a great selection of cakes and breads.  My stepdaughter loves Soda bread and flapjacks which they have available.  In fact, the flapjacks are still warm as only just been made, so it would be rude not to buy them.  If you are ever in the area, you really have to stop at this bakery.

Just as we head off to Windermere, the heavens open!  We decide that it would probably be better to head back to the cottage!

The road to the cottage is a challenge!  Its single lane, very steep (1 in 3) with lots of shear drops. With a distance of 10 miles through these roads, it certainly tested your nerves!   I have a 4 x 4 but even my car was struggling at times.  It was no surprise then that we saw one family stuck halfway up a hill.  Their small car just didn’t have the capacity to go any further!  The family had to get out of the car to lighten the load, while the father reversed it down the road.  With other cars like ours on the single track, it was quite a difficult move for him!

We get back to the cottage.  I didn’t bring  my book with me, so knew that sitting doing nothing wouldn’t be my first choice.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m terrible at just sitting doing nothing!  In the morning when I was out with the dogs, I saw river just behind our cottage.  I suggested to hubby we try his camera lenses out there with the tripod.  He has some filters which he hasn’t yet had the chance to use properly.  This seemed an ideal time just to play around.

It does kill a bit of time but not much, so what to do?  I’ve now downloaded my photos onto my laptop.  We don’t have WIFI in the cottage or phone signal, so there isn’t much more I can do!  Then hubby suggests Monopoly!   We haven’t played it for a long time so a good idea.

So, the 3 of us spend the next couple of hours trying to out wit the other while I multitasked cooking a roast dinner!

I really thought I had come up with a great strategy of buying every property I could on the way round to stop others.  My stepdaughter tries some hard negotiation for a swap of some of our properties.  I think it will work for me so agree an exchange to give us both full sets!  Oh, what I fool I was!  Whilst she had plenty of cash to buy properties, I was very poor.  Mainly because every time I passed go I stopped on the tax square!  Grrrrr!

The first to fall was hubby!  I knew that my time was limited!  After a few more rounds, remortgaging and remortgaging, I can’t meet the £1250 bill for landing on her!  My stepdaughter is victorious!

After such an early start I’m now getting quite tired.  We have dinner and I’m struggling to stay awake.

We have basic TV in the cottage, so channels are limited.  We have found Pirates of the Caribbean.   Its great watching classics like this, and this is one of the funniest films.

There is obviously a storm somewhere as the signal keeps breaking!  Then there was the biggest clap of thunder I have ever heard!  The poor dogs (and me) jumped out of our skins!  That was the TV out for a while. We eventually get it back but I’m so tired!

After a hot bath, I decided to call it time!  I know I’m going to be up early again with the dogs tomorrow so its time to stop fighting it!

Tomorrow is another day!

Check out more photos of the walk on my YouTube Channel! https://youtu.be/COau6EbG9Ts

 

 

Home Sweet Home!

So today we head home! It’s been a good week, but with the rain, we decided not to extend the holiday until Monday!

Lola must be so tuned in to our work wake up time, as just after 5am she gave her warning bark! Only quick and sharp, but enough for me to know it’s her toilet break time.

I get up and take them both for a walk behind the cottage for the last time. It’s raining so I’m so pleased at the speed of both dogs. No messing around today!

Back at the cottage, both go back to bed easily! I’m able to get some more sleep myself before the alarm goes off at 7.20 am.

We have to leave the cottage by 10 am. As we have the dogs I need to vacuum the ground floor before we leave. I’ve done it once this week already. The vacuum they have is a Vax, but as with most hoovers, it seems to struggle with our dogs hairs! I’m convinced they have super strength hair!

Back of cottage
Front of cottage

I bought a new vacuum at Countryfile Live! They showed us it holding a 10lb ball! I thought woo hoo, that will pick up the hairs easily ! When I tried it at home with the dog hair, it still struggled !

I also need to strategically pack the car! With 3 adults, 2 dogs and the cases, cameras, left over food etc, space is at a premium. I need to be creative with every ounce of space !

My car doesn’t have a spare wheel. Instead I have canisters of foam. I keep meaning to get a spare Tyre but never got round to it!

Without the tyre, I have additional storage space! On the way up to Lakes it was perfect for storing my wine and Fanta! I filled the rest of the gaps with our waterproofs!

There is also space under the front seats, ideal for shoes etc! No space is wasted!

What also helped on the way, was that I placed a Tesco delivery to bring our food for the week, to the cottage! I always take enough for the first night, just in case there is a problem with the delivery. It is a perfect space saver!

Well the car is packed! We decide to stop off at Morecombe on the way back. It will give the dogs a chance to stretch their legs.

Hubby and stepdaughter would like a MacDonalds but our timing is out! We will have to try and find a service station on the motorway nearer lunch time!

There won’t be much in when we get home later so it will be a trip to the chippy!

It will be good to be home. The holiday has been good, but you can’t beat home sweet home !

Our publish what we did over the next few days!

No connection!

It’s weird how reliant we are on our phones and computers !

This week I’m away in the Lakes with my hubby 2 dogs and stepdaughter.

We have a little 2 bedroom cottage in the middle of nowhere! For approx 80% of our time we have no phone or internet coverage! I have to say, it’s quite liberating!

Everyday we have been exploring the countryside. We have done many long walks and taken some fabulous photos. All will be revealed when I have more than just my phone coverage.

So far in the last 7 days I have walked over 130,000 steps! Waded across a swollen river up to my thighs, walked up mountains and around lakes. We have had sunshine and showers. We have gotten completely soaked. Have cuts and bruises and tired limbs!

Would I change it? Not for the world !

Fido and Lola have been having a ball! Although every night they lay in their beds exhausted, as soon as they see us getting ready the next day to go out, they run around in excitement. Both jumping in the car to take their rightful places! Lola on the back seat and Fido in the boot!

I can’t wait to share our adventures with you when I’m home next week!

Here is a little taster!

Stay tuned !

Be Kind!

Back in March this year, This Morning on ITV supported the ‘Be Kind’ campaign. It was targeted at children and parents to prevent bullying, and the sad consequences to their mental health !  In extreme situations even causing them to take their own lives.

With the use of the internet, it is far easier for people to bully others.  Most communication is carried out by email, text or social media.  You can now bully someone without seeing the direct consequences, or even caring.

Children often find it hard to know how to deal with bullies, or even tell them about it.  There are a lot of support groups out there now which help parents and teachers deal with this.  Its a terrible thought that we even have to consider this, but if we don’t tackle childhood bullying, it can lead to them continuing to bully others into their adulthood!

Lets first deal with What is a bully?

It’s someone who attempts to control another person through verbal abuse.  This can be the tone of their voice or the content such as teasing or threats.  Bullying can occur anywhere, in the workplace, school, home and clubs.  It can be carried out by anyone whatever their relationship with you.

Why do people bully?

There can be many reasons why people bully.  If you understand the reason behind it, it may help you deal with it.  The main reasons are:-

  1. The person may have been bullied before.
    Whilst this isn’t an excuse, if they have grown up with bullies, they may follow suit, as it is all that they have known.
  2. They are lonely.
    If they feel they are not important and have no-one in their lives, they may be seeking attention.
  3. They have personal problems.
    If they have personal problems this could impact on their own behaviours.  They may be more aggressive than usual.
  4. They have low self-esteem.
    What better way to make yourself feel better than to try and put someone else down!  Bullies with low self-esteem will try and find a weakness in someone.  They will fish to find what they think they can use against them.  Unfortunately, this can backfire if the victim is someone who is actually stronger!
  5. They are jealous.
    There can be many reasons for the jealousy, an ex has moved on, the victim is more successful or more popular than them, someones been promoted or even as simple as the car they drive.
  6. They are just arrogant and believe they are better than others.
    Some bullies just think they are better than everyone else, and can do what they like, treat people how they like and its ok.   Until they feel the consequence of their actions they will continue on the same path.
  7. They think they are impressing others.
    If you think back to the gang cultures, the bully is almost like a peacock.  They feel that by being a bully in front of others, it makes them more powerful and people will look up to them.  These are usual people who don’t have a lot else to offer so use this as a way of surrounding them with so called ‘friends’!
  8. They just see you as different.
    We are all different, but some people just don’t know how to handle this.  They will pick on this difference and try and use it against the other person.

So how do we deal with them?

In the workplace we are taught to challenge inappropriate behaviours, but how easy is this outside of work?

As I said above, bullies are trying to control another person.  Its all about power!  If you take away that control or power, they can’t bully you any longer!

I’m amazed at the lengths some bullies go to to try and find something to use as a potential weapon.  Turn that on its head!  How sad is it that someone has nothing else in their lives but to focus on you.  In fact it could be a compliment that they feel the need to dedicate so much time on you!

You don’t need to be the victim once you put their behaviour into that context.  Actual they are the victim.  To what, you may never know, only they will know why they feel the need to try and victimise another person.

I’ve listed some of the reasons above.  Sometimes the behaviour of the bully is just so far off the scale of normal that you really can’t be bothered to give them another thought.  This usually happens in isolated instances.

Last year we had a driver try to bully and intimidate us.  He had overtaken us on a blind bend with oncoming traffic.  My husband had to pull off the road and do an emergency stop.  The oncoming traffic were flashing lights too.  My husband also blew the horn.  While the driver was in the wrong, he felt the need to pent his aggression on us.  He did an emergency stop in front of us which almost caused another accident.  He then jumped out of the car and started getting aggressive at my husband.

It would have been so easy to rise to his behaviour.  Instead, I calmly informed him that his actions could have caused a serious accident.  I told him to get back into his car and move on.  When you put water on the fire, its amazing how little more the bully has to come back at you at.  I then took a picture of his car and reported it to the police.    If he had just continued on his journey we may have been annoyed at this lack of care on the road.  The fact that he stopped and did what he did then took it to another level!  By not rising to him and reporting him, we took back the control.

Obviously, when its long term bullying, that is more challenging.

If like me you are not from a background where you were exposed to bullying, when it first happens its a shock.  I was always brought up to respect others.  My father used to say ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything’.  That is not to say we were a push over.  Certainly not.  We were also brought up to talk to people with respect and dignity if there was a problem.  To not gossip behind others backs, or say things that are not true for your own ends.

In business they always say, look after those on your way up because you may need them on your way down.  This is so true.

I have come across people who gossip about others.  They take a half truth and twist it to make it sound something its not.  Its all about power and getting a reaction!  They then look around to see who is listening to them.  Often they assume others agree with them.  Often its not the case.  Others may just not want to get involved or question that person about it!

If you are a target of these bullies, think about what they are trying to achieve.  If its a reaction, don’t give it to them.  They can only continue if you give them reason to do it.  Don’t stoop to their level!  If they want to be nasty let them.  It will cause them more stress and unhappiness than you.

A bit of advice I was given once was, if you can look in the mirror and can honestly say you like the person you are, you can sleep at night knowing you have done the best for others and have caused no-one harm on purpose, then you have nothing to worry about.

I’m not saying the bully will have sleepless nights about their behaviour.   Some of them are just not built with the self awareness of what they are doing, or even care what harm they could potentially do.

Another piece of advice I was given is that if you can rise above the bully, you will come out as a stronger person, or in a stronger relationship etc.

Everyone in their life will experience a bully.  Just remember who you are, your values, and the truth.  You will eventually find their behaviour both sad and funny.  Once you get to that situation, they can keep trying new ways to get at you, but ultimately, they will fail as they have no control over you.

Remember the impact a bully will have on others around you too.  They may be targeting you, but their action could impact on someone close to you too.  Talk to them about the bullies actions, comments  and behaviours.  They may be uncomfortable too, but don’t know how to deal with it.

Bullies are very good as I said at taking a half truth and turning it around.  Those impacted may also be nervous about who to challenge.  Who do they believe?  How should they deal with it?  They may have many questions.

So next time you get a text, email or social media message that is attacking you, take a step back and consider it for what it is!   Don’t let it impact on you.  Bullies rely on causing emotional and mental destruction.  Don’t give in to them.  If it becomes unmanageable, then you can also raise it with the authorities.   This isn’t always possible especially when its in the home or work place, but by using some of my mechanisms above, whilst the person will continue to try and bully you, there will be no impact on you personally, unless its just to raise a smile at the persons latest attempt!

I’m a true believer in Karma!

And finally, don’t be a bully yourself.  Think about the consequence of your actions on others and how you would feel if you were in their shoes!

If you want to join the ITV This Morning ‘Be Kind’ pledge, you can do so at:

https://www.itv.com/thismorning/hot-topics/pledge-to-share-our-anti-bullying-message

Currently over 270,000 people have done so.