I started writing this on the East Midland train down to St Pancras on Monday but we were rattling along at such a speed, and lurching to and fro so violently that my attempts to strike the right letters on the fairly minute keyboard of my phone left me quickly feeling rather seasick and out of sorts. Now I am home again, sitting very calmly and still at my desk, and all is well but I decided to keep the title in order that my mobile efforts weren’t totally in vain.
My trip to London was, as always, great fun: a mixture of family pleasure and enjoying the sights and sounds, and occasionally the big London shops if we need anything for the barns – and Marylebone High Street, or Chiswick – if I want some quieter slightly more individual shops. This time I felt the real country bumpkin or awestruck child; the Oxford Street lights did absolutely nothing for me (are they no longer the big attraction they used to be?) but the Christmas lights and excitement in Selfridges were wonderful and the festive atmosphere on Monday night in Westfield (the one near the BBC in White City) was very infectious. Ruthie was busy rehearsing for a concert while Nick and I had the time to enjoy a light-but-spicy Vietnamese snack as we watched families skating happily below us, illuminated by the sparkling white Christmas lights.
It’s lovely being away but always lovely to get back. Before I went away I promised some more of Arwel and Zoe’s photos. Here is just one, my favourite. I know nothing about these things but I suspect Arwel has done something special to achieve – or perhaps accentuate – the rather magical effect of the sun shining through the early morning mist. However, on my way to an early (8.30am) meeting in Bakewell this morning there was a brief moment (near the Minninglow car park for those that know the area) when I caught a glimpse of the sun breaking through the mist on the horizon, achieving much the same effect. Unfortunately I was running late for the meeting so had to stall my instinct to stop the car and try to catch the (fleeting) moment. I got to the meeting with one minute to spare so it was just as well I didn’t linger.
Douglas’s Barn is available to book for short breaks 3 or 4 nights between 2 and 20 May 2016. Bookings usually start on a Monday or a Friday but if you want a break that starts on a different day get in touch. We are very flexible with bookings.
There are some new attractions added to the list of treats available with the Premier Cottages special privileges card. Amongst them are Renishaw Hall, Thornbridge Hall Gardens (new discounts), Hassop Station Cafe, Village Green Cafe Eyam, Carsington Water Sports and Leisure, Hartington Cheese Shop.
There are still a few free dates at the end of March/April in both Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns. Short breaks, 3 or 4 nights, which are not normally available are on offer. Please look at availability and give me a call or book on line.