Friday 30 September 2022

Friday - home, James, and don't spare the 'osses!!

Morning, everyone.  I've woken very early so have time to put this together.  I have no idea of the weather but the forecast for here isn't great but it looks as if the bad stuff starts after we have left.  Back home, it looks to be starting even later so maybe, just maybe, we will be home before it begins.  I hope so for Suzanne's sake - it's not fun driving in the rain.

Yesterday's biggie was a visit to Little Moreton Hall.  It's further away than anywhere else we have been this week, necessitating a drive west across the National Park on the A6 and out to Congleton.  It took an hour, more or less, but the views were absolutely stunning and we stopped at one point to take a few photos.

We were so lucky with the weather.  It was raining before we set off and it rained as we were driving back but in between it was mostly cloudy and quite chilly but stayed dry.

The light isn't great in most of the photos below so apologies in advance!

Little Moreton Hall is a  moated, half timbered manor house, built over 500 years ago.  The family, fairly wealthy landowners until the Civil War when they found themselves on the wrong side, temporarily, were imprisoned and fined and lost pretty much all their wealth but this house and grounds.  It was then rented out which protected it from unsympathetic add ons or 'restoration'.
It was handed to the National Trust in the 1930s, I believe.

This is the first sight of the Hall and is the newest part.  As one guide said, the miracle is not only that it is so unspoilt, it's that it is still standing at all!
All the various add ons were done with total regard for current fashion and absolutely none for safety and appropriateness.  The long gallery, in particular, has been extensively strengthened as it was putting dangerous pressure on the whole house and could have either imploded or exploded at any time.  What a tragedy that would have been.

This is the courtyard, looking towards the oldest part of the property.  To the right of that is a chapel and an upstairs providing more bedroom space and if you turn 180 degrees you face the most modern part with the second floor Long Gallery.

These wall paintings, partly paper and partly on the wood, were uncovered by a surprised electrician in 1976 when he removed some wood panelling.  Some of it tells the story of Susannah and the Elders.

Probably a bed used by servants - I wonder how many were crammed onto it.

The troublesome long gallery, very much built as a fashion icon, the thing everyone just HAD to have!!
If you look carefully, you can see some of the metal supports that run side to side to keep the whole thing together.

I first visited Little Moreton Hall as a ten or eleven year old and I remember we were only allowed in the gallery a few at a time and only to walk around the edge, not in the middle.  I guess nowadays it wouldn't be permitted at all but healthy and safety was different then.

This is a room off the Long Gallery and it really does your brain in.  The floor sloped significantly to the window and as for the fireplace - words fail me.
It's a good example of how off beam, quirky and wonky the whole place is, especially the youngest parts.

This is taken from the back, the very oldest part, much more solid and steady.
And from the side, oldest building on the left, then the bit facing and on the right is the newest parts and the most uneven.

We had lunch there, a most delicious garden vegetable soup that warmed us up on a rather chilly day.  With it, we shared what Suzanne called half a loaf - an enormous chunk of delicious granary bread - before finishing off with a coffee apiece.

And a final view of the whole thing, taken from a higher point.  It really is very photogenic!

Here's a link with more info.
The National Trust also has info on their site.

Once home again and warming up nicely, we got started with the packing before setting out down the road to the Grouse and Claret in Rowsley for dinner.  It was a really tasty meal and, as we got a 30% discount on our main courses, pretty good value too.

And today we travel back down south.  It's always nice to be home but this has been a lovely holiday and I intend to come back next year and carry on working through all the places we didn't have time to go to (as well as returning to a few much loved places).  We have to be out by ten and we're going first of all to the Peak Shopping centre to get various gifts for friends and neighbours, and Suzanne wants to go back to Cotton Traders to try on some trousers she rather liked.

Please, fingers crossed and positive vibes for a much better journey home than we had coming.  xx

Thursday 29 September 2022

Thursday - day six. We're going on a beer hunt . . .

 Morning, everyone.  It's nearly half past six, still completely dark and raining - at least there is rain on the window so it is or has been.  However, yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day.

It started with a fair old frost that gave our back view a magical quality.  It was so beautiful.
However, a couple of random sheep thought the grass looked a lot greener our side of the fence and somehow got through the fence.

We didn't see how they got in and we didn't see how they got back out either.

After a jolly good breakfast, we set off up through Baslow and on to Eyam, the plague village.

Here's a link to the Eyam story - it is very sad and one can only admire the courage of the villages as they stayed put (mostly) and rode it out rather than escaping and spreading the plague further.  They paid a heavy price: some families were totally wiped out and the death rate was higher even than London.

We found a free car park near to the little Museum, formerly a Methodist chapel.  It gave the background to various plagues through history, the Eyam story, various ways in which doctors tried to combat the plague and the damage it did in Eyam.

Then we walked down towards the Hall (closed), the Hall Courtyard (open but not particularly interesting - I'm sure it was better last time I visited which, admittedly, was a long time ago), past a row of cottages that had plaques with information relating to the plague at Eyam and on to the Church.  
The church was lovely.  Quite small with well tended surroundings and decorated for Harvest Festival.

It had a more modern window commemorating the plague story and the central role played by the then vicar, William Mompesson, and his wife.

It had two fonts, a Saxon font and a Norman one.  
This is the Saxon font - the other was hidden pretty much behind flowers, apples and some pictures done, presumably, by the Sunday School or the children of the village school (or both!)

There were other interesting bits and bobs including a chair that was said to belong to Mompesson, a book in which were recorded all the victims and their dates of birth.

Outside there were various graves of plague victims including this one, of Catherine Mompesson.

We also saw a very old Celtic Cross in the same part of the graveyard.

Finally we went back to the Courtyard to a nice restaurant and enjoyed a starter as a lunch.

And then we went on a beer hunt.  No, not a bear hunt, a beer hunt.

When we were in Cromford Mill on Tuesday, we bought a bottle of ale to share with our dinner  that evening.  It was called 'Quarantine Ale' and very, very nice indeed.  The lady in the shop had told us it was produced at Eyam so we looked for anything like a beer place to get another and failed to find one.
We asked the lady who served us our lunch and she knew exactly what we meant, telling us that the Eyam Brewery, a very small local business, could be found a few miles down the road at Hucklow.
Here's their site:   You can see a little picture of that Celtic Cross at the top of the page.

So we set Genie, the Sat Nav and off we went.  It wasn't totally straightforward but we found it in the end, a little business centre with the most amazing views over the hills and a very pleasant young man who must have been pretty surprised that two elderly ladies turned up in search of his Quarantine Ale.  But we got a box of twelve - we had to buy it in boxes - and had a good old chat before taking some photos of the view and making our way home again.
I may very well order from them again and, if you like beer and can cope with twelve bottles at a time, maybe you could consider supporting a small business?

Imagine working every day with views like this, eh!

Maybe not so nice in winter when the snow can be feet deep and it is a struggle to get to work (he said).

The one below is a panoramic shot.

On the way home, we popped into the Chatsworth Garden Centre (not the Farm Shop) which was an amazing place, absolutely huge and fun to look around.  
Suzanne got herself a lovely warm top  and I found a fruit cider for Alex, who loved fruit ciders.  We both bought socks (on sale) and Suzanne some tulip bulbs.  

Looking at the books, we saw one that made us laugh.  It wasn't the iconic 'We're going on a bear hunt' by Michael Rosen, nor was it 'We're going on a beer hunt', it was 'We're going on a BAR hunt' and it was funny.
It starts:
We're going on a bar hunt.
We're going to find a cool one.
The babysitter's booked.
We're not old!

Google tells me there are some readings of it on YouTube, if you're interested.

And then it was home sweet home and I concocted a pasta bake from leftovers, offs and ends.

Today we have decided, much to my delight, to go to Little Moreton Hall.  I didn't want to push too hard for this because I'm coming back but Suzanne looked up various places on the list I made last week and really liked the look of it.  
It means more driving but she was happy so to do so that's today's expedition.
And then we are eating out this evening at the Grouse and Claret (pretentious name, maybe, but the menu looks good).

It should be a very pleasant Last Day.  You have a good one too.  xx

Wednesday 28 September 2022

Wednesday - day five

 Morning, everyone.  Two days ago, the weather forecast for here was dismal - today it looks really good, three cheers.  In fact, it looks fine until Friday when it says pouring rain.  That won't spoil our holiday but it will be tough for Suzanne driving back south. 

Edit:  Now it is light, I can see that we have a frost - brrrr.  I remember we got lots of early frosts when we lived near Derby all those decades ago.  I'm glad I turned the thermostat up yesterday evening.

So yesterday was cold, sure, but lovely and sunny with just two rain showers, one before we left the cottage and the other while we were eating a late lunch.

The morning was spent at Haddon Hall.  As I might have said once or twice this week, Haddon Hall is one of my most favourite places ever and it was lovely to be back there again.

It is (or was) a fortified manor house, although the turrets and battlements were more for decoration than for defence.  The earliest parts of the Hall were built during the late twelfth century and there are just a few remains of its Norman origins - a pillar and arches in the chapel, some wall and Norman lancet windows.  

The most modern actual building seems to have been in the early 1600s.  

By then, the estate was owned by John and Dorothy Manners who had a delightful love story of their own (true?  Maybe, who knows) and in 1703 their grandson was created first Duke of Rutland.  The place was uninhabited for two hundred years until the ninth Duke and Duchess started an intensive and extremely sympathetic restoration to make it the place it is today.  It is now inhabited by the eleventh Duke and his family; we met him as we were listening to a talk in the lower courtyard and he walked across to us to say hello prior to taking his dogs out for a walk.
One if several gargoyles (I've checked the guide book and it is a gargoyle)
Parts of the chapel date back to Norman times and the walls are covered with frescos.  They would have been very decorative, brightly coloured and probably dating back to the early 1500s.

This particular bit is called, unsurprisingly, 'the three skeletons'.
As well as the introductory talk in the Lower Courtyard, we were lucky enough to catch a talk in the kitchen, a very fine example of a Tudor kitchen.  

After the kitchen talk, we wandered around as we fancied.  There's no set route and once there, once can come and go as one pleases.  It's all very relaxed and one of the most friendly places I have ever been to.

This is an old spinet at one end of the Long Gallery.
There used to be a large collection of tapestries at Haddon Hall but, sadly, in 1925 a fire seriously damaged or destroyed about sixty pieces - a tragedy!

What could be restored was and then rehung and there are quite a lot of pieces left and the family are trying to find the best way to display them.

You can get really close to them and I could have looked closely for ages, noticing all those little clued to what clothes, etc, were like.

The actual gardens are not enormous and, at the end of September, weren't at their best but we could see they would have been lovely in June/July.

We enjoyed a very good coffee in the restaurant before visiting the shop (you have to visit the shop, don't you) which had been taken over by a couple of young photographers who had turned their work into various bits and bobs - coasters. key rings, jigsaws, books, notepads, etc.  We bought Christmas gifts!!

Then we left, setting our faces south and taking the scenic route round Matlock to Crompton Mill.

We didn't do the Mill tour.  Suzanne wasn't interested and I didn't mind, as I've already determined to come back next year.   Instead, we explored a whole load of interesting little shops including an 'antique' (ie 'posh junk') shop, a super yarn shop (yes, I did - I will be knitting more socks to keep my tootsies warm this winter) and the Visitors' Centre where I got a fold up backpack and shopping bag which will be most useful.  We had a late lunch there too and then came back up, staying on the A6 so we could drive through Matlock/Matlock Baths.  As a child and young teen, I had visited Matlock Baths a number of times and, despite many changes, it still looked happy and familiar.

If you're interested, here's a couple of links.  The first is to the Haddon Hall site and the second is to the Crompton Mills site.

It was a lovely day . . . 

In the evening we chatted and chilled.  I knitted and Suzanne cross stitched and I started looking a cottages for next year.  If I look just outside the National Park, properties are so much cheaper and I'd rather like a longer stay - there are so many things to do and places to see that we don't have time for as well as old favourites to visit.

Today, we hope to explore Eyam, the 'plague village'.  It's a delightful place with a little museum, a hall and lots of gorgeous cottages, etc.  I'm looking forward to today very much.

I hope you're all having a great week too.  xx

Tuesday 27 September 2022

Tuesday - day four

 Morning, everyone.  I'm back to my usual waking hours today rather than the very late seven o'clock I woke at yesterday.  As I don't intend to go down a cave and up a mountain (ok, hill) to  Castle in order to sleep a bit longer, I guess early waking will continue in my life!

Sadly, the weather today is for a maximum of 11 and rain showers.  I don't mind the lower temperatures but Suzanne feels the cold a lot more, bless her.  Oh, well, there's nothing we can do about it so life goes on!

All our plans had to change yesterday!  We headed off into Bakewell, only to find that, to our dismay, there was some sort of market where we had expected to park.  We weren't the only ones to be caught out either.  It was rather packed with cars all turning into the roar and having to turn to get out again.  A bit chaotic.  We tried to find more parking space but failed so we decided on the spur of the moment to go back and 'do' Haddon Hall which we passed on the way to Bakewell.  That would have been a Very Good Plan, had Haddon Hall not been closed due to 'unforeseen circumstances'.  

Really not our day!!

So we came home again (thankfully Bakewell is pretty close to Beeley, we hadn't driven for miles and miles) to have a coffee and talk.  It started raining at that point so we were quite glad to be inside anyway.

We had lunch at home and decided it would be quite nice to visit a few craft centres/shops.  We  had clocked Caudwell Mill as we drove to Bakewell and we found a couple more.  The one at Eyam was closed on Mondays but the one at Calver was open  so off we set.

Caudwell was a lot better than when I last visited which was a number of years ago now.  The glass workroom was open and we enjoyed looking at all the lovely glass creations.  Sadly, the silver workshop was closed but the general shop was open and we spent a long time looking around and admiring creations by local crafters.  I could have spent loads on some lovely pottery but common sense prevailed and I came away with a couple of gifts and a pretty little necklace while Suzanne got herself a couple of pottery pendants.

Then we headed off to the Derbyshire shop.

It had been designated a 'craft centre' but it wasn't, it was an Aladdin's cave of all sorts of bits and bobs.  There was a good display of Halloweeny/Autumnal stuff as well as - well, it's hard to say what it didn't have, to be honest.  Fun to look around.

Suzanne got herself some very nice gloves and I got some Autumn themed paper napkins and a wooden mushrooms on wood ornament.  I'll take a photo of it to show you in another entry.
There was quite a nice glimpse of some of the peak rocks around the village - well, it would have been nice if it were not for the electric wires.  I might try to edit them out later on.

Buy then it was well past four so we headed home, had a cuppa and a biscuit apiece and settled down to chat and craft, me with my knitting and AS with her cross stitch.

Today it is Haddon Hall.  Fingers crossed it is open again.
Tomorrow, we hope to get to Eyam (the famous 'plague village') and spend some time there.
Possibly we will try Bakewell on Thursday.
And that's the holiday over.

I have already decided that I will be back.  There's so much that we haven't done.  Suzanne isn't that keen on a return so soon so it will be a solo holiday.  There are a few Premier Inns in the area as well as numerous B&Bs and cottages so I will have to cost things out and see what I fancy.  I could take a cottage and then spend just a few nights in a Premier Inn, maybe.

Time to stop and get the first coffee of the day, I think.  We're in no rush this morning so I'm feeling good and relaxed.
Have a lovely day!  xx

Monday 26 September 2022

Monday - day three

 Morning, one and all.  Day three of my holiday and we have rain!  Actually I got yesterday wrong - I was looking at the weather at home, not here .  Here was far less encouraging but we avoided any rain, thankfully.    Today's looks better than it was predicted yesterday.  We're OK with lack of sunshine but I'm very glad to see that there's no rain predicted today.

Yesterday was brilliant.  We took a nice drive up to Castleton, parked a little way out from the centre (it's a small place so it wasn't a problem) and walked to the visitor's centre first.
I'd already booked the tour of Peak Cavern and they told us that we could pay for Peveril Castle at the foot of the castle hill so that was OK.
We had a wander round the little town first.  Castleton is right in the heart of the Peaks, between the more gentle White Peaks to the south and the higher, more rugged Dark Peaks to the north.  It is famous for its four cave systems.
Speedwell Cavern is water filled and can be explored by boat (guided, of course).
Treak Cliff Cavern is a bit out of Castleton, close to Mam Tor.  It is where the unique Blue John stone is mined but it used to be mined for its lead.  It has some interesting stalagmite and stalactite formations.
Then there's the Blue John mines themselves.  These are several caverns that show the mining, fossils, stalagmites and stalactites and is also close to Mam Tor.

And then there's the Peak Cavern, the one we visited.  It's the most natural of the four and is called the Devil's Arse because (the tour guide said) people were kept away with warnings that if they went in the Devil would get them but also because the lower parts of the mine flooded regularly (still done at times, I gather) and the pressure of the water forcing air through the smaller passages makes a very farty sound that is then amplified in the huge cave opening and sounds right across the valley, presumably sending all the children into fits of giggles!

The last bit of the walk to the cave opening.

We were warned that inside the cave it is a steady 7C, regardless of the weather outside.  Also that sturdy shoes are essential.

In the past, Peak Cavern was the least commercialised of the caves as it had no valuable seams of mineral.
However, it was inhabited by rope makers and their families, who made the ropes that were vital for the lead mining further down the road, using help and tallow.

We were given a demo of how they made the ropes but I can't show photos because there are other people in it.

Poor rope makers and their families - it must have been a very hard life.
I took plenty of internal photos but, to be honest, they all look much the same and don't show anything.

There is plenty of evidence of glacial and water erosion and some baby stalactites on the roofs which are hard to see.

Access is fine at the mouth of the cave but it descends quite steeply (there are some steps) and then there's a corridor of about fifteen metres that must have been tiny but which was enlarged when Queen Victoria visited the mines and they gave 

her a concert in the large chamber beyond.
She flatly refused to bend so they enlarged the passage just enough for her - so the rest of us still have to bend in order to go further, she being around 4'11", I gather.  She was a little lady!

They still hold concerts there but in the mouth of the cave, where the rope makers lived.

The acoustics, I gather, are excellent but it's chilly.  They tried using big gas burners to warm  up the entrance but it obstinately remained at 7C so now everyone wraps up warm!

So that was Peak Cavern.  The complete tour, with demo, etc, was around an hour and a half and it was so very interesting.

Then we had lunch and a warming coffee before tackling Peveril Castle.

Rather than go through its history, here's a link to the relevant part of the English Heritage site

and to the Wiki page

It's a fair old puff up the very steep hill that the castle is built on.   I may be missing all my exercise classes this week, but yesterday more than made up for them!

Access was via a sturdy zig-zag path with benches thoughtfully provided now and again.  We reckoned we did OK for two ladies in their seventies!

You can see Castleton in the valley and you get an amazing view!

There's not much of the old castle left now but plenty of footings to show where outbuildings and walls would have been and the keep itself can be accessed at the middle and there's an original spiral stone stairway to get to the lower level.

I'd have taken a panorama photo but my camera battery had given up the ghost - very annoying!

We made our way back to the car and came home feeling that we'd had a Very Good Day Indeed!

Today we plan to explore Bakewell and you never know - A bit of Bakewell pudding might be consumed at some point!!

The sun is now shining (yay) and I really ought to think about getting up, showered and dressed so I will love you and leave you for now.   Have a fab day, everyone, and thank you for reading my ramblings!  xx

Sunday 25 September 2022

Sunday, day two

 Good morning, everyone.  It's wayyyyyy too early to look out and see what the weather is throwing so I've resorted to the Beeb which says sunny, gentle breeze and up to 18C - I'll go with that!

Here's a few photos of the cottage.  

The view from the back gate (which is firmly padlocked so no wandering into the field).  The right hand side bit is the entrance, downstairs loo/shower and kitchen and the rest is living room two bedrooms and the bathroom.
See how nice and shiny the garden is.  

And from the front.

Inside, part of the kitchen.  I've never cooked on a range like that before, on all the time with two ovens, a hotter one and a slow oven and three plates on top, hot, medium and simmering.  I really enjoyed using it for cooking dinner last night.
It's a very nice kitchen indeed with dishwasher, washing machine and a fridge freezer with a proper sized freezer, not just a silly little box at the top of the fridge.

This is the living room.  It's very nice and comfortable but it has inadequate lighting for these darker evenings.  Fine if you want to sit and watch telly but not when you have cross stitch/knitting/books to read.

I thoroughly approve of this though.

Plans changed slightly as they always do!

We drove down the road (it's walkable but . . .) to the Peak Village in Rowsley, a neat little shopping centre with some interesting shops.  We spent ages in a shop that sells bath bombs, pretty soaps, and so on and will be coming back on the way home on Friday to get little gifts for people and maybe for ourselves too.

The was a Cotton Traders, to my great delight, because it is one of my favourite online 'sensible clothes' shops.  I got some trousers and also looked long and hard at a lovely knitted top that would be great for layering up on colder days.  I'll look at it again online.

Then we went to a bedding shop.  Because the car was so full, we decided against bringing extra pillows from home and that was a mistake because the pillows provided here are good quality, sure, but very 'orthopaedic' - in other words hard as a brick!  As we both needed new pillows anyway, we had a nosey round the shop and came out with two pillows apiece and Suzanne also got a mattress protector (for home, not here). 

There was a Denby outlet shop too, packed with lovely china and kitchen utensils, pans, knives, etc and I found the pan I have been looking for for ages and ages.  It is egg pan sized so small but the sides are high so a perfect shape for an individual, one portion tortilla/frittata/quiche and a metal handle so it can go in the oven without any problems.  I was so pleased.

We wandered around but didn't buy anything else, there wasn't a proper food shop, sadly and we didn't really fancy paying Chatsworth prices in the eating place so we came back and had a bits and bobs lunch with odds and ends that came with us - lettuce, tomatoes, and so on.

So after lunch we decided to drive up the road, into the Chatsworth estate to the Chatsworth Farm Shop and just get some stuff - cheese, veg, eggs, etc.

I do love that shop - it has so much interesting food.  Also, there was a food fair which was really good with  lots of samples to try.  
We're well supplied now with stuff - no need to do any more food shopping.

On the way back, we stopped off at the little Beeley church, St. Anne's.  It's extremely old in places and nicely maintained, inside and out.

If I lived here, I suspect wandering around the churchyard would be a favourite thing of an evening.

We didn't hot tub, we had dinner and then chilled with our crafting - which is how we know the lighting is inadequate.

Today, we are probably going to Castleton, doing a tour of the Devil's Arse (caves) and climbing up to Peveril Castle.  It's all subject to change though - we're feeling very chilled.

Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Saturday 24 September 2022

Saturday - day one

 Good morning, everyone.  Welcome to the weekend.

Well, we got here - eventually.  Starting at the beginning of the day, I went to Slimming World, not to get weighed but to help with my usual weighing duties.  I'm very glad I did because Michelle (the other 'on the desk' helper) was away so Jen would really have been stuck if I hadn't gone.

After that, I worked through my List of Things To Do while Suzanne gaped at the number of bags, etc, that I thought necessary for a comfortable week.  She's never done self catering by herself.
It all went nicely into the car, all fitting together so nothing rattled.

The house sitter arrived and we set off.  It all went swimmingly until we were nearing where we were to join the M1 when we saw warnings that that section of the M1 was closed after a multi vehicle crash.  Drat.

So we veered off and worked out another route and the Genie (the Sat Nav - Suzanne's name!!) soon caught up and we were going swimmingly until . . . yup - the road ahead was blocked.  We weren't too far away from it but cars were doing U turns, etc, so we did the same and went the other way with Genie trying to take us back for a while.

So we found a place to stop and consulted both phone and proper map (well done, Suzanne, for bringing one).

And then, to cap it all, we were almost at Beeley, taking a lovely country road that avoids some very steep, hairpin bends around Rowsley (following Genie) there was a sign announcing 'ROAD CLOSED'.  We couldn't believe it.  There was a lovely lady walker approaching and she told us there was a land slip and the road ahead was indeed completely closed.  Thankfully, she also gave us some very clear instructions as to where to go, Genie caught up and we made it.  The journey had taken half as long again as it should have taken and poor Suzanne was exhausted.

Thank goodness, we had booked a table at the Devonshire Arms which is literally just a hundred paces down the road, had a very good (maybe slightly overpriced meal but we're on holiday!) and a large glass of wine apiece which helped!

We had hoped to get there in time to settle in and go for a saunter around the village but as it was all I took was a couple of photos of the view from the garden (which looks lovely).

There's the famous Hot Tub to the left, well sheltered from the road by trees and I'm really hoping that gate means we can wander into the fields beyond.

And almost the same, just turning a little to the right.

It's not a fancy garden but it has been very well kept and is going to be a delight to sit in, should it feel warm enough!

Right now, I am sitting in bed, coffee on the right, feeling warm and cosy and relaxed.  I hope Suzanne is still fast asleep - she really was extremely tired last night.

The forecast looks good for today.  Not particularly warm but that's OK.  Dry is what we want and it looks as if dry is what we are getting.
We'll probably do a couple of things - go for a walk and go to the Chatsworth Farm Shop (which just happens to be our nearest shop, oh, what a shame!!) to get in a few supplies.  I'd rather like to walk up the road to the land slip which really is a baddie.   Hang on, I'll see if I can cadge a photo.

Yes - here we go.


It seems there have been two landslips, one last year and one earlier this year.

This was taken after this years slide, I think.

It is where the Chatsworth grit meets the millstone grit so geological in origin and, quite obviously, more complicated than just clearing a few tons of rock.

While looking all of this up, I saw that the Snake Pass in the High Peaks is also going to be closed for four weeks from Monday after geological problems that have required diversions for bigger vehicles.  Maybe we will give that little excursion a miss this time, eh?

So - today - posh shopping and a walk and I will take some photos of inside and out.

Have a lovely day, everyone.  xx

Edit:  change of plan - we're going to nosey around the Peak Shopping Centre at Rowsley this morning instead of the Chatsworth Farm Shop and find a few needed items and then walk up the road to see if we can discover the landslip this afternoon.  The sun is shining and it's lovely.  xx

Friday 23 September 2022


 Morning everyone.  It's rather gloomy and, while the forecast here is for light rain, in the Peaks it is sunshine.  I hope it stays that way round.  Not so nice is the temperatures predicted - around 11/12/13 C for much of next week.  Oh, well, layers it is!

It was a busy day yesterday, what with packing and so on.  Suzanne arrived late afternoon after a drive round London that was mostly OK but with a few stops on the M25 (wouldn't you know!) to hold her up.
She's still asleep and I'm pottering downstairs

I'll be off the SW, just to help out with the weighing, before coming home to finish packing, sort out the food, change the bed for my lovely house sitter and then off we go.  We've booked dinner at the Devonshire Arms which is literally just around the corner from the cottage and a nice stroll around the neighbourhood would be really nice, once we've unpacked and are in and settled.
I'll take photos!

And that is today!  Please send vibes for a trouble free drive up.  And have a good day yourselves, whatever your plans.  xx

Thursday 22 September 2022


 Morning, everyone.  A quick one this morning as I am rather pushed for time.  The sun is shining, like yesterday, although yesterday ended up gloomy and rather stuffy in a not-very-warm sort of way.  We'll see what today brings.

I remembered circuits - well, I didn't forget Groove, I just didn't wake from my snooze in time.  As always, Lindsey worked me hard and it was all very satisfying and energetic, bless her.  I'll miss next week's classes although I'm sure I will make up for it in walking.

Today is going to be busy.  I have the weekly chat with Chris and I'm well into sorting out food etc.  I have a bit of washing to do and I want to get all the clothes sorted out.  It looks as if it will be turning cold next week so layers is the name of the game.  And MUST NOT forget my swimming cossie (for the hot tub).

One more thing - there's a nasty scam going round that it might have been easy to fall for.  I got a text saying that I've been in contact with someone who has tested Covid positive.  My first thought was something a bit unprintable, what with a holiday coming up, but I looked again and it didn't look right.  It was nothing like the other NHS warnings and there was a link to follow to order a test.  That didn't look right either.  Also, I know that everyone I have been in contact with long enough would certainly have let me know if they then had covid.
So I googled and yes, there are several scams going round, that being one of them.  The link would have taken me to a site that looked very like the NHS site but into which I would be required to input all sorts of personal details . . .
And, understandably, lots of people are falling for it - it causes immediate panic and fear and I think it's just plain horrible.
So - please, if you get something like that, stay calm, test if you must (I didn't and, several days later, I'm fine) and don't follow the link.  

I'll definitely be posting tomorrow but if things are a bit intermittent next week, I am sure you won't worry and understand that it's holiday stuff going on.  However, I do hope to be able to upload plenty of photos of the places we go to.

Have a great day, one and all.  Take care.  xx

Wednesday 21 September 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  It's half past six and only just starting to get light; I've stuck my nose out and it's dry and a bit chilly, the sky looks reasonably clear so fingers crossed for a nice yay.  Yesterday was ok, starting off sunny but clouding over after a time and ending up dull.

Well, the blanket is finished and I'm very happy with it.  I don't think it even needs a slight pressing, not really, but I might just do the corners.  

The sides are straight, honest!  It's just that I draped it over the sofa and cushions so it looks wonky on an uneven background.

There is yarn left but not enough to make another one, so I am just using it up crocheting granny squares to work together when I have enough.  And I am sewing in the ends as I go!

Another thing I'm really pleased about is kitchen based.   A short while ago, I battled with my conscience and bought a small Dolce Gusto gadget that I found on special somewhere.  No, I didn't need it and yes, I knew it used single use plastic pods which is a very Not Good Thing but it does make lovely coffee.
Anyway, after anguishing over all the plastic I was chucking out (I'm not proud of it), I looked through Amazon and bought a reusable pod.

Here it is.  It wasn't the cheapest thing in the world but I argued that the pods are not cheap either and anyway - plastic!

It's metal with a silicon lid and feels pretty tough and hard wearing.

  And here it is in the pod holder thingy.  The only thing is that you have to be careful to have the hold dead middle and front so the water thingy goes in properly.

Now I can use my own coffee grounds and it really is dead easy.  Easy to empty too.
Occasionally, it gets jammed but the lid is bendy so it's easily freed and I've learned how to put the lid on so it doesn't jam.

The bad thing it that I am drinking too much coffee now!!

Today is Personal Training Day which I will not miss!
How silly I felt yesterday, owning up to sleeping through the start of Groove.  Lindsey has very kindly sent me a recorded session, bless her.

Apart from that, it's two days to go until holiday so I have plenty to be getting on with.  I want to sort out the fridge today and see what I want to take with me.  Normally there would be no problems but going with someone else means I need to take her preferences into account as well as my own so it's all a bit tentative until Suzanne arrives tomorrow afternoon.
I can get all my clothes ready and start packing my case though.

Have a really good day, everyone, and take care.  xx