Eleanor Broaders' ode to social media sensation, Kerry Irving, who posts videos of his dog walks in the Lakes every day:

"I saw a feature on the BBC about Kerry Irving and his three springer spaniels, Max, Paddy and Harry, who have raised thousands of pounds for the vet charity the PDSA and mental health charities. I found he live streams his dog walks twice a day from in and around Keswick where they live, which means that every day, twice a day I can take a virtual walk with Kerry and his dogs.

"Kerry and his dogs walk along mountain paths, by lakesides, through forest and river paths in and around Blencathra, Cat Bells and Manesty Woods, and I can honestly say the scenery is breath taking. I’ve been writing poetry for 50 years this year and was inspired by one of  Kerry’s live streams near Blencathra to write this poem."

Eleanor Broaders

Our Man in the Lake District

He live streams at 6:04am
His jagged breath misting
In the cool morning air.
He reels off the names of mountains
Like a roll call in a class
Of unruly children, lined up
Shoulder to shoulder
In his Lake District playground.

The shadow of his phone gimbol
Ghosts along dry-stone walls,
Hawthorn hedges white with blossom
And fields crisp with morning frost.
The cries of sheep carry on the wind.
The rhythmic crunch of his boots
A percussive drumbeat above which
The dawn chorus rises and falls.

And I think how lucky he is
To walk his dogs down country lanes,
Through ancient woods, by lake shores,
Where mountain reflections
Pyramid on the water’s surface.
And I am glad he chooses to share
His sheer joy of solitude,
With a locked down townie like me.  

© Eleanor Broaders – 18/04/21

Pictured: Kerry, Max and Paddy braved the weather and came along to support us at our Thirlmere Rally in 2018