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The Latest Updates from Tom’s & Douglas’s Barns

The last week has scampered fast, busily and enjoyably but leaving very little time for quiet reflection or blog posts (let alone mundane chores like ironing…

Starting backwards, Mothering Sunday today was a very happy day for this mother but possibly more about that tomorrow. Ruthie and Nick, our two London-based young, came up for the weekend which sadly is something Sara in Australia can never do. Two other friends were here on Friday night with plenty of reminiscence and happy chat. On the Saturday Ruthie and I walked in to Ashbourne along the Tissington Trail (John dropped us off at Alsop Station (no trains for many a long year although when my father was young they used to come up by train from Lichfield). We walked briskly and reached Ashbourne in 2 hours 1 minute (according to the map it is 7 1/4 miles) which we were pleased about but were we glad to sit down in Bramhall’s cafe in Ashbourne and enjoy a cup of tea and a flapjack afterwards!

We can well recommend Bramhall’s, across the road from the Ashbourne Market Place. You can have breakfasts, lunches and teas here. The service was efficient and very friendly, our tea was hot and plentiful and the flapjacks deliciously ‘homemade’. Which leads me seamlessly on to the Macmillan Lunch that Fischer’s Baslow Hall laid on last Tuesday. Fischer’s is the only Michelin Starred restaurant in Derbyshire, and eating here is a wonderful experience whatever the occasion – whether dinner, their 2013 Lunches or a charity event like this. We all were treated to sparkling wine and nibbles when we arrived, then a three course meal with more wine and coffee; needless to say, the food was all quite delicious!

Someone from Macmillan described the sort of work that is done locally, and Nicky, someone who had benefitted by Macmillan care herself spoke very movingly about the lifeline they had provided her. Fischer’s handed over the entire proceeds of the lunch – over £1600 – to the Macmillan representative who was of course delighted. All of us attending felt we could not have found a pleasanter or more luxurious way to feel good by helping a charity.

For a so far photographless post, the last entry may seem rather surprising. There is a big photographic exhibition in Derby – a ‘festival of photography and related media’ for the next month and amongst many things on offer I spotted a 4-week (2 hours each week) course ‘Blogging for Photographers”. Well, heaven knows, I am no photographer but I do write a blog and I do have a husband whose photographic skills I hope more than make up for my lack! John was quite happy to suggest it would be extravagant for us both to attend, so I shall be cooperating with him in absentia as it were.

We have had one session so far, which was setting up a blog so I spent a fairly relaxed 2 hours. I suspect it will be a different story on Tuesday when I go for the second session. Meanwhile, horrors, we have homework! We have to write a 200 word blog post and send it in beforehand which means I have little time and should not be sitting here writing this.

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