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The Snow Keeps Falling

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The snow has fallen steadily all day – not violently but determinedly. Our guests seem to be really enjoying it, but needed reassuring about Friday if the fall continues; no doubt future guests will be wondering too…

In spite of all the bad weather last winter it never happened that guests when the time came couldn’t get here or leave, but there might always be a first time and we have given it some thought.

1. If on Friday the conditions are so bad Parwich is cut off, there is no decision to be made so in a way it is simple:

Firstly we give our incoming guests good warning of the situation and tell them not to set out and let our current guests know that they can stay on for the time being, until conditions improve. We will make sure we all have enough food and drink, if necessary pooling resources so we all live well!

2. If on Friday things are difficult up here but OK once the main village roads are reached, our lovely next door neighbour has offered to help with his tractor to tow our present guests to the  gritted roads in the village.

We will warn our incoming guests to leave their cars at the bottom of the hill and we will help them up with their luggage.

3. If the situation arises that our current guests are really unable to leave but the incoming ones are able to reach Parwich,  our outgoing guests will have to move out of their barns and into our house;  we will entertain  them here in Orchard Farm, as personal guests, until they are able to leave. Be warned, it is not 5 star next door and everybody will have to muck in but we do have lots of room and it is friendly, warm and hospitable!

By the way, John took these pictures tonight;  in case you were wondering, it may have been snowing but it hasn’t been dark all day.

Tuesday Nov 30 Weather Update

SONY DSCSNOW!

That’s almost all one need say. This is serious stuff!  John took these photos yesterday – the blue skies and sunshine have gone today and we have had another several inches of snow.   Everything is white, and quite silent.

The postman has delivered letters (on foot) but he must have been able to get his van to the village and people have gone to work but not reporting very favourable road conditions.

And it’s still only November…

Local Weather and Road Reports

Since the hacking we lost the Met Office weather forecast for Ashbourne on our website home page but we will continue, when relevant, to report from Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns so you know what it is actually like right here. If you have any worries about roads or weather before coming here do check with us first, and also for up to the minute reports during adverse conditions on our village blog.

Do also look at these sites:

Local weather conditions for BBC reports for Ashbourne.

Local road conditions for BBC Travel News

Monday Email and Weather Update

10.30am Disregard all below: we are back in email contact with a mass of delayed emails thronging in. How we do rely on technology these days, and how vulnerable when it breaks down.

What us more it has stopped snowing and the sun is shining. (The snow we love, it’s just a worry on changeover day.)

8.30am After all the excitements of the past few days, reality bites. We are out of email contact and the sun is not shining!

Firstly, we have an email crisis: our system has been down since just after 4pm yesterday, Sunday 28/11/2010.

Last night Demon was ‘working on the problem’ and this morning they still are. The Help Desk assured John a few minutes ago that they are near to success. How near is near? we wonder with some anxiety.

Please still use the telephone 01335 390 519 or my mobile which I will try to leave on a windowsill most likely to receive a signal, 07813 68 68 99. OR try emailing johnfullersessions745@googlemail.com

Now for a weather update: A few minutes ago snow was falling but it didn’t last long so we think/hope it was a flurry rather than the beginning of another proper snowfall. Today’s guests should be fine, and don’t forget, if you don’t fancy the last slope we will come down and help you cart up your belongings and ensure you are safely and happily installed in your barn.

Snow Descends on Parwich…

We thought at first we might miss the snow as the weather people forecasted with barely concealed excitement heavy snow falls for the east coast on the one side and Wales and the south west on the other but remained strangely silent about the middle.

However, we woke on Saturday morning to bright sunshine in a clear blue sky and several sparkling inches of snow. As usual Parwich looks quite beautiful. John has taken masses of photos which he has tried to  email to me from his desk across the study but our internet is offline…technology…so none of our pictures to show you yet. However, in the meantime have a look the Parwich website for a good selection.

Our guests in the barns  have loved the snow, as have our family who have been here to help celebrate John’s birthday yesterday and also to watch John and me perform on the stage on Friday night. (A success, I am relieved to report but possibly more of that later.)

For future guests wondering about their holidays, please always feel happy about ringing to find out the situation but be reassured that if conditions were bad we would always do our best to warn you. Keep an eye on the BBC weather reports for Ashbourne. At the moment, as usual it is the first/last couple of hundred yards or so from the house which is the worst but cars have been using the lane, carefully and quite successfully  today, and our house-guests – two car loads – reached London/Devon safely from here this afternoon.

Obviously, we can’t account for road conditions between us and you, but even during the freeze-up last winter Parwich itself was never cut off. All our guests throughout the winter managed to get here and all managed to leave. Several did decide to leave their car at the bottom of the hill and walk up the final one to two hundred yards.

IF you decide you would rather do this, give us a ring on your mobile if you get a signal, or walk up yourselves and we’ll come down with you to help cart your luggage up. We can’t find the sledges at the moment but will do our best to find a substitute if all else fails; whatever happens we’ll between us get your belongings safely into the warmth and comfort of your barn.

Douglas’s Barn: update on what our guests think

‘A fantastic cottage and location; thank you for all the small things like marmalade (yum!) and eggs. Would love to come back. For food: we had a great meal at the Coach and Horses in Fenny Bentley.’ Nov 2010

‘Beautiful cosy cottage, exceeded our hopes. Had a wonderful relaxing week. Thank you for creating such a stunning retreat.’ Nov 2010

“We found this cottage in ‘Somewhere Special’ in 2007. This was our 5th visit to somewhere very special! Thank you!” August 2010

‘We’ve had a lovely honeymoon break in this beautiful cottage and wonderful setting.’ Nov 2010

‘We have had the perfect autumn break – with not so perfect weather! The area is beautiful and we have been on some fantastic walks. The barn is ideal in all respects – don’t want to leave. Can’t wait to come back. Thank you, John and Marion, for making us so welcome. Oct 2010

‘Absolutely perfect cottage and hosts. Everything provided for a relaxing break, loved the flowers and the cake. Thank you so much, Marion and John. PS Boots popped in to se us on Sunday – adorable!’ Oct 2010

“We have had a fantastic week! This is by far the best place we have ever stayed in the UK.” August 2010

“We have had a lovely week in this beautiful cottage. Lovely surroundings. Homemade cake, fresh flowers and all the other extras were much appreciated. Hope to return.” July 2010.

Some Comments from our recent Tom’s Barn guests

‘Another fantastic visit (their fifth), fully relaxed following our stay.’ Nov 2010

‘Would definitely revisit. We highly recommend Ladybower Dam, Poole’s Cavern, Bakewell…’ Nov 2010

‘Came here last year and immediately rebooked. We weren’t disappointed. Once again Marion and John have thought of everything and the place is so clean. Cooked lots – the kitchen is better equipped than mine! We’ll have to come back one day; I can’t bear not to!’ Oct 2010

‘Fabulous place to chill – so relaxed we didn’t do much at all, but enjoyed every moment in the beautiful barn. Hope to return. Thanks to John and Marion for providing such a welcome place.’ Oct 2010

“Our second stay in Tom’s Barn – already booked for next year! Such a wonderful place to stay – everything you could anticipate in a cottage…and more!! Everything is spotlessly clean and so comfortable.” Sept 2010

‘What a gem! From the generous welcome, homemade cake, spotlessly clean cottage… a true find. Lovely walks, walk at Chatsworth we particularly liked…Thank you…’ Oct 2010

‘Lovely cosy barn and tasty welcome tray! Perfect surroundings and hosts. Delicious homemade marmalade from Marion, will try to make some when we get home. Enjoyed a morning run on circular route from the gate outside the barn, up the hill, left at the top and left again back into Parwich (about 3 miles) and virtually traffic free at 8am. Just returned from the George – highly recommended!’ Oct 2010

Thanks for a great lemon & poppy seed cake, Marion – wonderful! Just wished we could stay longer. Thank you so much.” Sept 2010

Good Food Recommendations and one good garage

We thought it high time to update our food recommendations (and some other recommendations, too – read on…).

Talking of good food, how lucky we are to have so many really good and attractive pubs and shops in the area who take a pride in food that is good by any standard. And talking of pubs, not surprisingly, the picture remains fairly predictable. Top of the league remains the George at Alstonefield. Practically all of our guests go there, some more than once even on a shortish holiday; all rave about the food and their experience generally, with comments like this appearing all the time.

‘The George at Alstonefield offered excellent food and service and welcomes dogs – highly recommended.’

What reports we have of the Gate are also pretty consistently good; ‘The Gate at Brassington has very lovely food, wish we had found it earlier,’ bewailed some recent guests in the Visitors’ Book. The Gate too now welcomes well-behaved dogs but we do always suggest that it is a good move to ring beforehand just to check that it will be acceptable at both the George and the Gate.

The Druid seemed to have gone off the radar somewhat, recently, but a happy guest in October recommends, ‘Tried the Druid Inn Birchover: the set menu is VERY good value for money’. You may remember that someone recently warned that one need to be a fan of black pudding to truly appreciate the Druid’s repertoire. This didn’t worry John or me, who love a good black pudding, but probably it isn’t everybody’s favourite fare.

Two new places were recommended recently, neither of which we have tried yet but it is always good to have new recommendations – The Hot Chilli takeaway in Ashbourne  –  good for a curry and the Charles Cotton Hotel in Hartington – good for great fish and chips.’

The White Peak Butchery at Tissington remains a great favourite with all our guests, who love the walk there over the hills although the poor couple who walked over two or three days ago found themselves ankle deep in mud at one stage. This is probably a track created by all our guests but it certainly had rained hard for a day or two…

Finally we end with a warm recommendation not for food at all, but for Preston’s garage in Ashbourne. Some guests arrived recently having lost their exhaust somewhere en route up from Devon. Preston’s were impressively quick and efficient ordering and fitting the appropriate parts; our appreciative guests were so grateful not to have to waste more of their holiday than necessary.

Tom’s Barn: a little piece of heaven on earth

We have just received this lovely message below from Natashs and Pete who spent a weekend here  recently. We do appreciate comments and suggestions like this, and in future will certainly warn guests about the quarry tile floors.

We have thought about providing those little cotton slippers that some hotels do but they wouldn’t be as cosy and to be honest, our house is already in danger of resembling a warehouse just with all the various duvets and spare towels, bedding and loo rolls etc without having boxes of slippers as well so we’ll take the easy option and just remind people!

Hi John and Marion,

What a lovely place you have, we thoroughly enjoyed everything about our stay and have told many of our friends about you.  We would love to come again but it may be a while as we do not often get the chance to escape on our own.
One thing that I thought about while there is probably the recommendation of bringing slippers as the kitchen floor was a little cold underfoot, but then my feet always seem to be cold!

Thanks again for supplying a little piece of heaven on earth.

Natasha and Pete x

DRCS Comic Revue sell-out!

Warming up for our synchronised dance routine And a certain future career on the stage for J and MF-S…!

Well, perhaps not the last bit but just see the photos…Seven Little Girls

As you may remember, John had early on established an apparent inability or perhaps unwillingness to learn words; his three parts involved a lot of action but no spoken words so he was very happy with his various roles. Here he is Fred, in the song ‘Seven Little Girls’ sitting in the back seat kissin’ and a cuddlin’ with Fred. Plenty of action and he didn’t even have to sing!

In our joint skit I had to do all the talking (glad to say we had survived the probationary period) and actually although I say it myself it went OK, raising lots of laughs. These I suspect were mainly due to John’s raised eyebrows, sighs and horrified looks as he non-verbally played his part.This is not how we set about cleaning Tom's and Douglas's Barns!

The most fun of all as far as I was concerned – apart from the Master of the House at the end that the whole cast joined in – was four of us doing a ‘synchronised’ almost wordless mopping routine, dressed as caricature ‘Mrs Mops’ despite the fact – as we all admitted – that anyone we knew who really did clean was invariably smarter dressed than the four of us ever are. Actually, my chosen role necessitated a trip to the £2 and £3 sale rails at one of the less smart outfitters for young girls in Derby!

We don’t yet know how much the evening raised  for the DRCS but we do know that everyone in the audience  seemed to have enjoyed every moment, with comments like ‘How wonderful to spend all evening laughing almost non-stop’… And all the lovely people in the cast who had given up such a lot of time also thoroughly enjoyed themselves so it would be safe to say it was a total success in every sense of the word.

The final performance is on Friday 26th at Ashover Village Hall.  That is a much bigger venue  than the Medway in Bakwell where last night we sat about 160 people which was apparently uncomfortably close to being too many.

Tickets are already sold out for that (seriously!). Val Kenning has suggested that anyone that would still like to see the revue but has left it too late could come to the dress rehearsal at Ashover on Thursday 25th.  She stresses that it really is a dress rehearsal and because it is in a new venue she may well have to interrupt proceedings from time to time but actually (I’m saying this, not Val) that could be part of the fun.

Entry will be free but we would ask for a donation. There will be no bar or snacks, just pure entertainment.


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