Why My Magical Mystical Cumbria? Let me explain. It is mainly because I was born and raised there, not in the stunning centre of the county but amongst the steel mills and coal mines that dominated the coastal towns.
Many times as a young man waiting for the bus to take me to my deep mine pit I would hope for a glance of the distant, cloud shrouded, mountains of Skiddaw and Grizedale Pike, knowing they were my gateway out of the industrial belt of the county..and so it was.
On the 4th of January 1967 my life changed its course. I had left the mines and found work in a small film company. On my third day as an assistant cameraman I was told to go and film a man who was trying to break the world speed record on Lake Coniston. Donald Campbell.
I filmed his attempt, and the crash and his death. It was a sobering time for me but I decided I wanted to be a cameraman.
Over a number of decades I travelled the world many times over. Visiting and living in most of the beautiful places and some of the ugly places too. But my thoughts always returned to my county of birth.. Cumbria.
As a child I imagined Cumbria had been visited by a massive giant with large hammer. He smashed the mountains out of the ground, dug valleys for the lakes and gently created those exquisite forest dells where fairies, imps and goblins could dwell in their moss covered idyllic woods.
These same mountains, lakes and awesome forests are still there, having inspired some of the worlds great writers and poets. The imps who live there can still be seen. It just needs some quiet time and imagination.
When he was finished, the giant was tired so he lay down to have a sleep along the shore of Lake Bassenthwaite.
I called him the Skiddaw giant. He is still sleeping.
This is My Magical Mystical Cumbria.