Guess Where We Went Today?

The sign might be a giveaway. We started off with breakfast at Harvester, which featured rubber sausages and a severe lack of melon or crumpets. I rather disgraced myself with a couple of muffins as an alternative, despite the no bread and potatoes rule. I suppose they were under pressure with having a surge for half-term. However, they were still charging the same price so they should provide the same service.

From there we went to the garden to drop off plastic crates and donated bird feeders. Then, via an ill-fated “shortcut” we dropped into Derbyshire. At one point, with the hedges nearly touching the door mirrors and a strip of grass growing down the centre of the road, Julia started her impression of duelling banjoes…

We eventually found civilisation, in the shape of the Homebase DIY store at Ashbourne, where we bought a bag of Scottish River Cobbles and some half-price violas. It cost Β£10 for a bag of rocks, which Julia is going to use in a project. I was all for stopping by a river and helping ourselves to some for free but Julia pointed out that this would be irresponsible and illegal. For the purposes of the blog I’ll pretend that this was what stopped me doing it.

From there we drove into the low cloud to visit the High Peak Bookstore and Cafe. As you can see from the header picture, grey is creeping in and the cafe is getting more space on the sign. This is true in physical space too. The cookery books have been removed and were being replaced with jars of jam on the former bookshelves. We were able to sit and watch this act of sacrilage when we visited.

Tripadvisor is full of upbeat comments about book stock and prices. They must be being visited by people all love thing the same thing, and I am out of step. The fact that the shop reply is always identical adds to the impression of sameness.

The tea and cake were good and the book selection is generally holding up well though the nature section has still not recovered and the craft books are now starting to suffer. It could still be OK, but I’m still concerned. Last time I went head to head against a cafe I came off second best.

On the way back I tried a few photographs. Light hadn’t been good during the day but the view was pleasantly misty and as it coincided with passing a lay-by I thought I’d have a go. As luck would have it, the camera managed to get rid of the atmospheric haze and I resorted to the effects button.



24 thoughts on “Guess Where We Went Today?

  1. Clare Pooley

    I’m afraid the only way to keep bookshops and libraries going is to sell food or have a cafΓ© on the premises. I also loathe those shelves of icky tat, bric-a-brac, junk posing as ornaments.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I will forgive a bookshop almost anything, but the way things are going just reminds me so much of the way things went on the farm that it makes for an uncomfortable visit.

      1. quercuscommunity

        It’s a fascinating subject – how we expect some words to bear several meanings and have other combinations of letters that mean nothing.

        Before started getting serious about gardening I used to refer to violas as “small pansies”. This lacks clarity on a number of levels. πŸ™‚

      2. tootlepedal

        It certainly does.

        As an ex viola player in my youth (I was never very musical so they made me play the viola) I always think of strings when i see or hear the word.

  2. Laurie Graves

    Beautiful countryside, no matter the weather. As for the bookstore…I’m sure they are struggling to make a go of it, and jams and jellies seem like a way of diversifying. Too bad it has to come to such things.


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