Once again, smitten with guilt (and disappointment because I really love what feels like a personal letter to ‘you’) I try to cover up an embarrassing week’s absence from the blog.
There seems to be a lot going on in all the different sectors of my life, more than I sometimes find easy to squeeze into the day. One way and another we have had a very full time recently, partly work, partly pleasure, the former tending to have to be squeezed in rather late into the evening when all other commitments have ended, which does nothing for the maintenance of youthful looks or joie de vivre of the next day (and so on)…
Tonight half the village, clutching cushions and bottles of wine, hurried to the village Memorial Hall for the eagerly awaited Parwich Cinema’s one-night’s showing of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Like many others we has already seen it, but enjoyed it so much we very much wanted to see it again. As John and I approached the hall we were surprised to see that dozens of people were walking away in the opposite direction. Was there some other excitement to which they scurried? No, it turns out the cinema remote control had gone missing since the last village wedding. The spare was safely locked up in the house of someone on a far-off holiday, so the film could not be shown.
So back we all trudged but at least it means I now have time to return to the blog! So it’s not all bad, and the film will be rearranged for a day when the remote control becomes available…
To think back to last weekend, we went to a very memorable 50th birthday party of a friend in Lichfield, followed by lunch with another friend, owner of the beautiful Bronte, who has just moved into a wonderful new to her but very old timbered house near Repton. We sat in the sun all afternoon, something that has not happened very often this year. There followed then a couple of days of meetings and ‘catch up’ then we had the great pleasure of seeing Lorna, a friend from childhood (our parents were friends and we never have not known each other, if you know what I mean) but who now lives in Gloucestershire so we don’t see her that often.
They came to supper on Wednesday, then yesterday, Lorna, her husband and two friends asked us to join them on a walk up the Dove from Dovedale. Having dropped us at the car park, John and Lorna’s husband were to transport the picnic to Milldale where they would meet us for lunch. This significantly meant I had no back up camera pro at my side and would have to rely on my mobile phone camera.
It was sunny and warm and peaceful, once we had passed the scores of school parties on ‘educational’ trips clutching clipboards with questions they could hardly read. One little group of very young boys who approached us for their ‘survey’ were struggling so hard to read their questions they were relieved to pass them to us to read them out to ourselves before answering!
We stopped to photograph a heron (or was it two? We weren’t sure) on the water, patiently waiting for lunch to swim his way. The Dove is so clear we could see the little minnows that he occasionally snapped up, but we could also see what looked like a trout, over a foot long, skulking in the shadow of the overhanging trees. Either the heron didn’t spot him or we were too impatient, but he suddenly flew off. So when we came across another (?) heron later we weren’t sure if it were one and the same.
In my enthusiasm I over-zoomed my mobile phone camera so all but a couple of photos are hopeless. However, to my fortune and pleasure, who should we bump into but Martin and Sue, who were staying in Douglas’s Barn! What a small world… They very kindly gave me their two photos of the heron so all was not lost!
There followed a lovely picnic in the sunshine at Milldale; having had lots of heron views, but no kingfishers. Maybe next time?
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.