Saturday stretched ahead, with nothing to do and nobody to do it with (Julia was at work as usual). It was a lovely day, not at all suitable for staying in doing housework, and so I decided that a visit to a bookshop sounded good.
When does a visit to a bookshop ever not sound good?
There’s an element of irony in driving 40 miles to look at books on nature and sustainability, but I can live with that. I can live with most things that allow me to visit a bookshop. Anyway, I’m giving up meat two days a week, grow my own veg and make compost so I’ll allow myself a little backsliding.
It was a patchy journey, mixing sunshine with overcast skies. It improved steadily until I reached Cromford and turned off on the A5012. It’s a minor road, as you can guess from the number. It also runs through a narrow wooded valley, which makes it picturesque in summer (possibly even “bosky”). In winter, it has a tendency to shelter snow and ice in the shadows.
It is known locally as the Via Gellia as it was built in the 18th century by the Gell famiy. They are said to have built it around 1790 to connect their lead mines to the new smelter at Cromford, though it may have been built to serve their quarries as early as 1720. It still has quarries along its length, and large lorries can be a bit of a hazard at times.
Part way up there’s a lay-by with several dozen bird feeders. Someone has obviously made a lot of effort to make and maintain the feeding station. The light was going by the time I stopped, so I couldn’t get any decent photographs of anything that moved, but I did see a variety of birds – Chaffinches, Great tits, Blue Tits, a Coal Tit and a Goldcrest. Somebody is doing good work here.
The bookshop, for once, let me down. Stock has been moved and the nature section seems smaller. I don’t like it when things change. Doesn’t make it a bad bookshop, just one with a cafe, a smaller nature section and a sense of panic when I can’t find things where I normally find them. It will be better next time.
If it isn’t better next time I will have to develop an interest in military history or art, or even the birds of countries I will never visit. There are many ways of working round a situation.
The photographs were taken using my old camera, please ignore the black splodge in the top right corner. As you can see, as I progressed in the journey (and gained height) it became more wintry.