Thursday, 7 July 2011

Weekend of Fun in the Sun

I actually typed this post a couple of days ago but because I wanted to insert the relevant photos into the middle of the text, it has taken longer than usual to publish. Hope you like the pics though.

I’m feeling all mushy today (Well, I was feeling all mushy on Monday....although he's been very sweet today too..) ‘cos I got a sweet text from Rich this morning saying thank you for a great weekend. How lovely. He’s not the most gushing of men, doesn’t splash around the flowery compliments but I know he really thinks about things and makes an effort with our relationship. I occasionally get a bit sulky about the lack of flowery stuff and have to remind myself that romantic words are all very well but they mean nothing if not backed up by deeds. And it’s the deeds which make you happy. So I’m doubly happy to hear the words as well. At the end of the day, all I want to know is that he’s as happy as I am, which is very.

We had the weekend off together. Without being asked, he arranged it so that he didn’t work on Saturday morning and neither of us played golf on Sunday – we just spent a couple of days doing nice, sunny, holiday things together. Being previously used to always being the one who had to plan anything, it was lovely to find that a weekend off had been arranged without me having to nag, cajole or even suggest it! He must have recognised that we have been too busy recently, cramming too much in and not spending enough “downtime” together and taken steps to sort that out. Bliss.

So, what did we get up to on our weekend off??

We had friends over on Friday evening and went to the local pub which had a band on. They were a rather strange collection of middle-aged blokes playing modern rock covers. All Oasis, Kasier Chiefs, Killers, etc They were very good but there was something “funny” about the lead singer….he looked a bit like a middle-management accountant type, who had grown his hair, brushed it forward in that uber-annoying "yoof" style and borrowed his teenaged son’s clothes for the weekend.
But the good thing about living in a village is that entertainment of any sort is valued so there’s usually a decent crowd for a band. The pub was full; the beer and wine were flowing and our friends were on good form and we had an excellent night out. I didn’t envy them, though, as they thoughtfully crept quietly out of the house to go to work at 8.30am! We both turned over and went straight back to sleep - a proper lie-in - yay!!

We went for a somewhat subdued, hungover walk along the river to Hathersage in the afternoon. As it's about 5 or 6 miles, we wimped out and took the bus back rather than walking!! Well, it was hot and we had to get ready to go out again… It was the dogs’ first trip on a bus and they liked it! They sat happily on our laps looking out at the view and were extremely (and uncharacteristically) well-behaved. I was very proud of them.

We're waiting with trepidation at the bustop in Hathersage....but they were good as gold!

Saturday evening saw us head off to Buxton for the evening do of a wedding reception. Very pleasant but we didn’t know that many people; the ones we did had kids so were not staying late; and we were still feeling a bit under the weather from our big Friday night. So, we left relatively early and caught the Haye-Klitschko fight!! A bit of a let-down after all the trash talking that Mr Haye has been dishing out. I wish he had really gone for it but, even then, I suspect old Vlad would have had a bit too much talent for him. And sheer size too. I do like a spot of boxing from time to time!

Sunday was just lovely. Gorgeous weather, no hangover and nothing planned. We just packed a backpack and headed out into the hills. We set off over Hazelbadge (the massive field at the end of our road) past a forlorn hanglider who bemoaned the lack of wind while watching dozens of paragliders flying high above him. Then through a herd of inquisitive cows with calves and the most muscley bull you’ve ever seen. That particular bull freaks Rich out but I think he’s very handsome and confidently presume that, if he wasn’t pretty placid, he wouldn’t be left in a field with such high traffic of dogwalkers, paragliders, golfers, children playing football etc etc Would he??

What a handsome chap eh?? Not quite so handsome when he gave us the hard stare but he kept his distance so all was well. Rich did not stay next to me as I stopped to take pictures though...wonder why??

After Hazelbadge, we finally walked up this limestone dale I’ve been eyeing for weeks and it was lovely. Hidden, deserted (apart from sheep of course) and very pretty. In some parts not like England at all as it was so bright and dry – it had a Mediterranean feel with shorn sheep sheltering from the sun under thorn bushes and craggy white rocks in a sea of dry grass. By the way, a dale is the local name for a v-shaped, grassy ravine/valley which looks like it should have a stream at the bottom but which doesn’t, presumably because the water has filtered through the limestone landscape into an underground system, hence all the caving locally.

Once out of the dale we walked along the top of the moor to Castleton, partly on quiet lanes and partly through fields. The wildflowers were staggeringly beautiful; every verge heaving with colour and texture. I was in heaven. The variety was stunning and the plant life has changed even over the last couple of weeks since I last walked that route. We turned one corner to be faced with the most beautiful bank of orchids in full bloom. Simply gorgeous. I made a big fuss and took loads of pics only to find that the orchids followed us on and off all the way to Castleton! The views of the hills crowded with tourists on the other side of the valley were gorgeous too.
The lovely bank of orchids although the photo does not capture the sheer number and radiance of them, sadly.
A dashing MG whizzed past us - what a very English sight (apart from the blazing sunshine of course)!
Unfortunately it’s a pretty dry landscape in the White Peak so, apart from one cattle trough I found for them, the dogs were short of water and pretty hot. Our walk was accompanied by a chorus of panting - Shelagh keeps her head down and trots at our ankles but Minty kept lying down in any shade she could find, giant tongue lolling which made us feel a little guilty.

We shared our water with them from time to time and eventually made it into Castleton where they could have a paddle in a brook to cool down and re-hydrate and we could have an ice-cream! The return journey was totally different – along the valley floor beside a stream through lush green fields. Re-energised, Minty was desperate to find some swallows to chase but without success. Shelagh was just happy to badger us for a swim every few minutes!
We stopped for an apple and gave Shelagh the core - too sour for her she had to go off and bury it!!
Steeeep - I'm glad we were going downhill in this field.
Everyone needs a helping hand sometime even if it is not very dignified eh Shelagh?
Blessed cool shade...
The pretty, and very touristy village of Castleton.
One of many swims for the dogs, lucky beggars.

Truly, it was a heavenly afternoon. Topped off by a very tasty and well-earned supper of roast chicken with all the trimmings and the final episode of Scott & Bailey! Aaaaah – contentment!

And today– just to top up my cup-which-runneth-over – after a barren couple of weeks, I have a couple who want to view the house!! More finger crossing please….


Peridot said...

Fingers definitely crossed.

And what a gorgeous walk that was.


Isabelle said...

How lovely. Hope your viewers come up trumps. My mum's flat has been on the market since March and she hasn't had any viewers at all for 3 weeks now. Gloom...