Friday, 8 January 2016

Like a village on the telly

I've been working from home all week since Monday (well, apart from Tuesday when I was at home not working but sleeping).  It's been very pleasant.  The dogs and I have established a lovely routine of a lie in, a spot of work, late breakfast, bit more work, a walk around lunchtime and then a couple more hours before a nice hot bath to warm up after a day spent at a desk in an unheated house!

Picking a route for our lunchtime walks has been a bit of a challenge.  We've had so much rain that the fields are out (no fun slipping and sliding through the mud with a sore toe).  I'm running out of lane and road based walks which don't involve driving and we're getting bored of the same old routes. So today I thought we'd walk up to the end of the village where we used to live, climb up Bradwell Edge until the road turns into muddy sludge andthen have a wander around the little lanes and paths up there and a nosey at what's changed.  Although it's in the same village I haven't been up there for months and then only passing through.

It was great.  As we came into the middle of the village we were overtaken by a golfing pal, John so passed the time of day with him.  He works from home quite a bit too so we often see him taking his lunchtime constitutional.  Just passed the Co-op we got into step with Sean and were chatting with him about his upcoming move down to London for a new job.  We would have walked all the way up to The Hills with Sean but I was hailed by a couple eating fish and chips out of the paper in a tiny park.  It was only my old work colleague from 15 years ago, Jim and his wife!

They were out for a drive in the Peaks to spend their Christmas vouchers on expensive designer kitchen geegaws at David Mellor in Hathersage.  They're young retirees the jammy gits!  Shelagh and Minty demonstrated just how well-mannered they can be when fish and chips are in the vicinity. They sat with ramrod straight backs staring fixedly at each morsel of fish to leave the paper.  I managed not to drool as much as they did (don't think Jim or Julie noticed).

We chatted, caught up on various items of well out of date gossip and then they drove off and we continued.  We said a quick hello to Marla and Mouse and Mouse's daughter whose name I can't remember (Mouse is a very soulful brindle whippet and her daughter is the most stunning pale, silvery grey whippet).

Then we had a chat with the nice man who lives at the tops of the steps to The Hills (don't know his name but we always stop for a chat when we meet).  He has adopted his daughter's springer spaniel called Bess.  She's a very weird springer though, quite solid and chunky and blue roan like Shelagh and Minty which is unusual colouring for springers.  To be honest, she looks exactly like a scaled up Shelagh and Minty but with an amazingly placid temperament which is also unusual for springers.  Nice man remarked on how Minty doesn't change - she was barking and causing trouble as usual now that the fish and chips had left. Bess stared deep into my eyes as I stroked her soft, soft head and seemed to be asking me "why do you put up with her nonsense??".  I don't know is my answer, I just love her.

So onwards up to The Hills.  Minty had a run in with a massive cat.  She had climbed a couple of steps up to a house porch and the cat had been in the corner unseen.  I saw her suddenly start and make a tiny lunge forward before thinking better of it and retreating oh so casually.  As I rounded the corner I saw the cat and realised what had happened!!  Hahahahaha - coward!  She really is All Talk.

It's so lovely up there.  The views are fantastic and the little streets, snickets, gennels and lanes, some barely wider than a path, are full of charm.  Stone cottages piled up on top of each other with tiny gardens and yards which, in the summer, are packed full of flowers.  It is said locally that this area of Bradwell was built by tin miners who had moved up from Cornwall when the tin mines closed to work in the local lead mines.  It certainly has that feel, steep sided streets with close-packed, higgledy-piggledy cottages.

The paths we walked along used to be our quick, no time for a proper walk paths.  Today they felt exotic, fresh and special.

Just as I passed our old house a woman came out of a garden gate who lives 2 doors down from us now.  I know her to nod to but we've never spoken properly.  So what a great opportunity to introduce ourselves and have a chat as we walked back down the length of the village homewards.  As it happens, she knew me as she's the mother of a friend from Bamford!  I thought I'd seen him heading in that direction a few times.  And he's just moved to a house 2 minutes from us so that was nice news.

It's a rare day I go for a walk round the village and don't see someone I know or recognise but we don't usually have such a number of encounters and such nice ones too. If I'd seen a scene like that on Midsomer Murders I would have scoffed at the unlikelihood of it but now I realise, I live in a much grittier, more northern (and hopefully less bloody) Midsomer!

And I love it too.


Seren said...

What a lovely post to read - you have officially brightened a gloomy Saturday morning! x

Pam said...

Well, beware if any well-known actors appear in the neighbourhood. They're always the murderers...

Peridot said...

Making me yearn to escape city grime for a country village even more!