Tag Archives: Derbyshire

Bad Day in Bakewell (and Brierlow Bar)

Well, it wasn’t actually a bad day, but when we went to the car park to leave I decided to use the toilet. This is what I found.

Sign at Bakewell, Derbyshire

Sign at Bakewell, Derbyshire

It would have been nice for them to have put up a big sign I could have seen earlier. Then I’d have been able to plan better.

Plan B, because I couldn’t be bothered to walk back into town, was to hang on until we got to our next stop – Brierlow Books.

The toilet bit of the shop visit went well, though there was a queue. There was a queue last time we called too – suggesting the facilities aren’t keeping up with the increasing number of customers. The book buying bit was a disaster, with nothing that caught my eye. So was the plan to buy a nice card for Julia’s sister’s birthday, as they no longer stock the cards we like. The whole place was congested and the two staff at the desk were offhand, to say the least, one to the point of rudeness, when Julia went to pay. This has never happened before – the staff (whatever I may think about the direction the shop is taking) have always been extremely pleasant over the years.

However, even this couldn’t spoil an enjoyable day. In fact, by falling short the bookshop cheered me up – I love it when predictions of doom come true.

You’ll have to read the next post to see why I was happy.

Butterflies, Curries and Clerihews

We went to Derbyshire today. Despite¬† being a Bank Holiday it wasn’t crowded and we managed to buy Julia the shoes she needed for the Maltese trip. We also bought some books and ice-cream.

We saw half a dozen Orange Tips and a pair of Brimstones. It really is looking like a good year for both species – I don’t remember seeing as many as this before.

On our return home we scurried round, changed and went for a birthday curry with my fellow shop workers and a few customers. It was a good night, and unlike last time, I was on time (just!), parked across the road and didn’t get rained on.

Yes, for those of you who may be wondering, I am now 60. That’s the “three score years” done with – just the next ten to worry about now.

I’m now going to write some poetry as part of my 200 poems in a fortnight challenge. Don’t worry, I won’t be subjecting you to my efforts, unless I write more limericks or clerihews. I seem to remember I was supposed to be writing more clerihews.

Saturday, books and snow

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.