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HAPPY EASTER!

Easter Sunday has dawned with bright sunshine despite the fact we are an hour ahead of ourselves since yesterday, with British Summer Time.

Things have perked up a lot since this time last week, when blizzards were raging and Parwich was cut off. One can’t keep Parwich from the real world for long and thanks to some amazing work by Derbyshire County Council and lots of lovely local people the vital link was restored pretty quickly. Our little lane up from the grassy triangle, usually the final fatal slippery slope for all concerned was, thanks again to tireless and entirely voluntary efforts from our next door neighbours, the clearest road in town!

Many of us went to church this morning at 9.30, which was quite a triumph given that yesterday it would only have been 8.30. With lots of children present the vicar’s theme was, not surprisingly, eggs: Easter, new life, the unexpected. He had brought several bowls of eggs which he asked different children in the congregation to smash. To everyone’s amazement, and not just the children’s, only one egg had proper ‘eggy stuff’ inside. Inside the others were things like a bunch of feathers, some purple gooey stuff which looked like cherry jam. (In case you’re wondering, apparently he made two tiny holes at either end of each egg, blew out the contents and then with the help of a farmer friend, the surprise contents were pushed in very carefully with an injection needle!)

Anyway, the message was clear: new life, new hope, but it may not bring the expected. The surprises may be good. Now, hopefully we look ahead to better weather and just possibly, the good summer we have been promised for several years now but which has never materialised. Who knows what lies ahead, weather wise, but we can but hope.

But we do know that despite the weather, despite the recession – or perhaps even partly because of it – wonderful guests continue to flock to Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns for that very much special and much needed relaxing, peaceful retreat, in a beautiful part of the world. It means so much to John and me that we are lucky enough to be living here and to be able to help provide that for you. Our lives are enriched by meeting you all – such lovely, interesting people! It is our great privilege, and we are thankful for that.

Monday 25th March WEATHER REPORT

Conditions are not good at the moment! Parwich is cut off from the rest of the world for the time being.

It has stopped snowing but there is no sign of a thaw yet and because of the wind there is a lot of drifting; this means even some of the local main roads get blocked from time to time. If you are planning to come here today or even on Friday do check with us first, and also for up to the minute reports on our village blog parwich.org.

Two other excellent but inevitably less immediately local weather and traffic conditions sites to consult are for local weather conditions for BBC reports for Ashbourne and Local road conditions for BBC local Travel News

If you get here okay, your final problem may be the last slope up to our house. 4x4s are managing fine but probably not much else, and our drive and yard are covered with snow so it would be best to park below, well before the snow-covered grassy triangle with the Road Narrows sign.

Ski in Ski Out Douglas’s Barn?

Last possible chance for a January treat for all you snow lovers out there – this coming weekend Friday 25 to Monday 28 in Douglas’s Barn £275. Having just spent midnight hours toiling over our accounts for our tax return I can reiterate that it would be cheaper for us to have it empty than do it for less.

We can guarantee a warm welcome and great comfort and peace; we can’t guarantee that you’d get up the Black Run to Orchard Farm unless you have a 4×4 but we will help you cart your stuff up and it is all part of the fun and adventure of what would be a weekend not to forget.

Actually, to add a word of sobering common sense conditions are forecast improve (it depends on your point of view) by Friday…

I’ll attach some snowy outdoor pics (just wish I’s done 15 to make it neat!). Inside Douglas’s Barn you won’t know/won’t mind what the conditions are like outside.

Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns

Well, we’ve moaned and groaned the last few weeks, about all this rain during an official doubt, the cold and whatever else we saw fit to dredge up, but this is the moment we have all be waiting for… Wonderful warm May sunshine. The flowers in the garden have sprung up and bloomed, the weeds have flourished twice as fast, and I already have seen some bolted rhubarb. It has been hot and John took out his camera this afternoon to take the quickest of quick videos panning across the barns, just for the fun of it, to remind us how lovely it’s been. Unfortunately we may have to add this tomorrow as YouTube and we are having a little case of crossed wires and misunderstandings.

Here is our first iris, and Boots asleep under the clematis on her own little nest. No chance of rest for the great tits, who have worked tirelessly to feed their young; constant, on demand feeding is what their chicks obviously believe in. Then we went for a stroll down to the village pond, to see whether the swallows were congregating there but even they seemed soporific. Poppy and her calf (whose name I forget, except it begins with P- Pansy, Petal, Petunia…?) were contentedly munching on the lush grass. We did see a duck, flying speedily across the scene, but that was about it

Warm Weather Prognosis from Tom’s & Douglas’s Barns

What is the secret? You’ll have to wait and see how effective it turns out to be…

The icy conditions persist. We have had no snow recently, and none the night before last in spite of warnings and dire predictions of what was to befall. However, the old snow is still with us. Each day it starts to thaw slowly, then each night freezes hard again so conditions underfoot tend to be perilous and the drive not much better but everyone seems to be getting in and out so it’s obviously not that awful.

John and i have not exactly been skipping abut on the snow (unlike the lovely Springer Tweed whose photos we shared on Facebook) the other day but we are certainly teetering out a little more confidently, all thanks to some very effective Ice and Snow Grippers that daughter Ruthie gave us both for Christmas. There are various types around but these are the best we’ve seen, metal studs fitted onto a rubberised thing that slips over your boot or shoe (and very easy to put on and take off).

So impressed with how effective they are we have today ordered a couple of pairs for each barn so that our guests will be able to use them while they were here. And we’ve also bought some traction treads to put under any car or delivery van that gets stuck round us as I did the other day in the doctors’ surgery. To digress for the moment I would like to add a public thanks to Peter R and his granddaughter, Amy, who pushed me out of the frozen mounds of snow I was caught in on the surgery car park. Without them I might be there still.

So now we await the arrival of our snow aids. I’m not sure whether to be pleased or disappointed if it means that as soon as they arrive we find absolutely no need for them at all.

Snowy Update from Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns

Tweed, dancing for joy in the snow!

Just a quick post after a day of snow. Last winter the snow came with a vengeance at the end of November; this year we have had to wait until early February so it seems more exciting – there isn’t that slight niggling worry that it might be going to last for four months or so, and it has come at the weekend so the children and actually many adults could toboggan and not too many souls were worrying about getting to work.

Sadly our Douglas’s Barn’s  guests had decided, very wisely as it turns out, to leave yesterday after they had seen the snow forecasts as they had commitments on Monday that they could not risk missing.

People are getting in and out of the village but without a heavy duty 4×4 it would be wiser to stay safely put!

A Fantastic Midweek Opportunity

The first real snow of this winter

It will be lovely…Think toboggans, walks in the  snow.
It is snowing, hard. Douglas’s Barn, warm and welcoming, awaits you, IF you can pass the test…

  • You can’t resist a challenge
  • You can’t resist a bargain
  • You like spur of the moment excitement
  • You have a 4×4 vehicle
  • You love the Peak District in the snow
  • Can you resist a challenge? The snow is falling fast, now but  – how long will it last – it may be gone tomorrow, or it may not? And even if it does stop snowing, which we gather is likely, no doubt the roads will still be icy.

    If you score 5/5 in the test above you deserve a treat and we are prepared to make you a fairly ludicrous offer, financially speaking. Give us a ring on 01335 390519…

    Water, Water, Everywhere? Or Just for Elephants?

    I was amused to see that the next film to be shown at the Parwich cinema (otherwise known as the Memorial Hall) is ‘Water for Elephants’.  There are not too many elephants round here, and not too much water at the moment either. When did it last rain?

    It can’t be that long ago, but it can’t have been up to much either (must consult the weather gurus on Parwich blog). Overall, we must have had rather little recently. These photos will bear me out.

    The first one is of my  brother-in-law and Aileen his wife, on the stepping stones at Dovedale. Admittedly they all have their new topknot now, but still – look how proud they stand out of the water! We happily crossed from one side to the other with no risk of slipping because they were so dry and the Dove so invitingly shallow had we missed our footing.

    I don’t remember ever seeing so relatively little water at Carsington, either. I took some photos as I passed today  and here is one – not very good (taken with my phone) but which I hope give an indication of the low level. Then I stopped at the ‘splash’, the ford on the way to Tissington. It was looking as attractive as ever, but the water lower than I ever remember seeing it. There may be a reasonably long stretch of wet, but – especially if you click on the photos to enlarge it – you can see that it is only a couple of inches deep. (It can be well over a foot deep and not quite so mirror-like and still!)

    Next time we are tempted to complain about the rain, we must remember this.

    Has SprIng Sprung at Orchard Farm?

    Orchard Farm RobinProbably not, but it certainly felt like it today.

    We have enjoyed the most perfect spring day, with sunshine, blue skies and warmth… The birds have sung their hearts out including this little robin John snapped in the garden this afternoon.

    Orchard Farm in thr February sunshineThe birds were all singing, the woodpecker tapping and the pheasants screeching; our lanes were bustling with village folk going out for walks together, people one has hardly seen for months as we have all skulked indoors trying to keep warm for what seems like a long time – it is three months since the big freeze up started (on 27th November).

    But before I get too carried away, rain is forecast again for tomorrow afternoon, and if truth be told, it snowed last Monday morning so we are not quite out of the winter wood yet.  Our guests in Tom’s Barn who have been here a week (on their sixth visit) were saying that they felt they had ‘enjoyed’ all weathers in that time – snow, sleet, rain, fog, mist and now warm sunshine. No wonder we always have the weather to talk about!Boots enjoying the February sunshine

    John and I enjoyed strolling round the garden this afternoon, enjoying the snowdrops, the daffodil bulbs and tulip leaves, and inspecting anxiously to see how much damage the snow and cold actually had wrought and which we fear is quite considerable but it was by no means total devastation. The magnolia looks fine and many trees and shrubs which have been badly affected do appear still to have some signs of life in them. The ceanothus in front of the house which has been such a joy is a mass of dead brown leaves, but there is new green growth at the top so we’ll have to wait and see.

    And here is Boots lying in the sun, also enjoying today’s sunshine.

    Soothing Mists over Hartington

    Mists over Hartington 1A warm (warmer, it’s all relative) day so hardly any snow or visible ice about on the roads and paths, although in Mists over Hartington 3deep puddles there  still can lurk a layer of ice providing a slippery trap for the unwary.

    John and I and another group of friends went today to Hartington where most of us embarked on a delightful two-hour walk ending in a very pleasant and convivial lunch at the Devonshire Arms (in Hartington, not Beeley!).Mists over Hartington 6

    Of course because of all the sudden warm(er) weather there  is a lot of mist about in the valleys, lingering all day in some places. John managed to capture some rather evocative misty views looking down over Hartington from the hills above.

    These are the grey/green/blue misty colours I find so attractive and which we tried to reflect in Douglas’s Barn, wanting to create a calm, peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

    If you’d like to see a few more John took today (all variations on a theme) they are in the Photo Gallery, under Here and There. Double click on a photo then you should be able to see each in turn, slightly enlarged.


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