This past February half term, Susanna and I spent some of the holiday with friends at Rydal Hall just north of Ambleside in the Lake District. Rydal Hall has a variety of accommodation available but Susanna and I decided to camp which was a lot of fun but not without its challenges.

Firstly a big disclaimer, even though we did not know it when booking, Rydal Hall actually has a brand new (as of 2015) shower block with under-floor heating which made things really easy. Camping in the winter is actually a lot of fun it just needs a little extra planning.

While the expensive way to go winter camping is to buy specialist equipment when your camping near a car there is no need rather, just go for lots of duvets. Also don’t just put them over the top, put one underneath as well. In total Susanna and I used a blanket, roll mat and duvet underneath ourselves, then a zero degree rated sleeping bag with a cotton sleeping sock inside it. Finally a duvet and blanket over the top.

A cool trick we found after the first night was to place a blanket at the very top so than when the air in the tent condensed over night only a blanket got damp rather than a duvet. Susanna and I were comfortable camping throughout the holiday and at times even a little to warm.

As for Rydal Hall it was a great campsite, the large area we had to camp in was flat and well drained due to what I presume was hard standing installed under the turf though this did cause a few peg bending issues.

Ambleside is near by, you can watch planes pass over head at low level also the Badger pub which is very welcoming is just ten minutes walk away.


This is a really interesting documentary about two friends walking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada.

The photography is really good and the story telling compelling well worth a watch.

Had the opportunity to have a ride this afternoon around north Leeds.

By chance I found a very enjoyable route with a few steep uphills and plenty of long down hills. A nice ride on a sunny day.

Route 2,590,342 – powered by

I am still fixing the final little issues after my switch from Fedora to Mint and this morning came across a problem with i3status and its battery reporting. The default setup stated there was no battery, clearly an issues as I was running on battery power at the time with my laptop.

The fix turned out to be quite easy (on Linux Mint 16 XFCE),

Firstly you need an i3status.conf file that you can edit,

cp /etc/i3status.conf ~/.i3status.conf

then edit .i3status.conf

nano .i3status.conf

then change the references to battery 0 to battery 1


order += "battery 0"
order += "battery 1"


battery 0 {<br /> format = "%status %percentage %remaining"<br /> }


battery 1 {<br /> format = "%status %percentage %remaining"<br /> }

finally I don’t like the estimated time feature so this gets rid of it

battery 1 {<br /> format = "%status %percentage" # %remaining"<br /> }