We, that's Himself, my daughter Amy and her fiance Tom, drove out to the Peak District last week. We haven't been that out way since we moved from Sheffield when it used to be a regular thing to just hop off up into the hills. I don't know why we stopped going as it's only 30 miles away from Worksop where we live now. Anyway, I'm glad we went because I'd forgotten how beautiful it is. Helped by the fact we had good weather. I have memories of horrible, biting rain and clouds so low you couldn't see the top of Mam Tor.
There was a bit of mizzle on the way to the Blue John Cavern but the sun came out later on as we descended into Castleton.
This is a pic of me and Himself, completely inappropriately dressed for a trip 300 metres underground but my excuse is we'd only intended to visit Castleton (pub lunch) and I'm allergic to fleece.
After we came out of the cavern (exhausted after climbing 400-plus slippery steps - and note to cavern owners: Please sort out your disgustingly-smelly toilets they smell worse than the sheep!)we drove down into the valley. The scenery is absolutely stunning.
We stopped in Castleton for a pub lunch at The Castle where the service was extremely slow but the food was worth the wait. Real food, if you know what I mean. None of that freezer to microwave rubbish as proven by the caterpillar on Amy's tastefully-arranged vegetables! But we forgave them because we were having such a jolly time. See, I'd never use the word 'jolly' EVER, but that was how the day made me feel, jolly!
There's a Norman church in Castleton and anyone who knows me will guess I spent a happy hour there snapping away. I don't find these places eerie or feel the need to tread carefully around the graves. Why place a magnificent headstone dedicated to your loved ones if you don't want folk to gawp? I find them fascinating and more than once have I written a story based around a headstone. Like this one.
Who were these children? Why did they die so young and one after the other? Why the memorial (obviously not a poor family)and why were they later interred in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin? What is the story behind it? I've done a bit of digging n the Net but so far I haven't come up with anything. No doubt if I'd gone into the church at the time and asked they'd have had some info but our little group wanted to be off to the Lady Bower reservoir.
Derwent Reservoir was next on our list. We found a large picnic area, sat on a bench, ate crisps, drank cola and ducked (why?) as a military helicopter flew over the treetops right above our heads.
We followed the A57 across Derwent viaduct and headed back home making a detour to a Nottingham shopping mall to pick up a 6 berth tent and fleece clothing for any further wanderings into the dales. In fact, Amy & Tom christened the tent this weekend. They are, as I type, camped in a farmer's field with 6 of their mates. And I'm jealous!
PS. I also got a great snap I'm going to send to My Weekly or maybe The People's Friend for their readers page. I earned £50 for My Weekly's star letter last month so not to be sniffed at!