Sunday, 30 September 2012

Day Three

We started our third day at the Bookshop in Brierlow Bar. It's not only England's largest bargain bookstore, also the highest at over 1,000 feet. We whiled away some time looking through the shelves, flicking through pages whilst the rain came down outside. I do enjoy spending time in bookshops and love how me and the boy never ever look at the same sections! When the rain didn't desist, we realised we were going to have to find something out of the elements to entertain us.

We headed to Castleton and went to Treak Cliff Cavern. Treak Cliff Hill is the only place in the world where Blue John Stone occurs naturally. As I have mentioned before, I do love Blue John Stone, so thought it was only right to actually go and see where is came from. Well, what I wasn't expecting was a personal tour - it was just me and my husband! The tour guide was amazing and told us so much about the mining cavern and the natural cave beyond. It was so beautiful in there - from the fossils, to the Blue John and then the stalactites and stalagmites. Simple beautiful.

Now I must confess to being a little scared of Caves - something slightly unnerving about them, a thing from my childhood. But every time I have been in one as an adult I have enjoyed it, if I could avoid my mind thinking how far below ground we are. Anyway, I admitted this to our tour guide and when we were in the natural cave, he asked if I wanted to test myself and how scared I really was of caves. I nervously agreed, wondering what he might do! Then he turned off all the lights! And you know what, it really wasn't bad at all! I survived another cave!

It was a great tour and such a beautiful place to visit. We were also give two pieces of Blue John Stone by our Tour guide to take home from their spoil pile which was very lovely and one of the pieces is massive!

On our way down out of the cavern we were greeted by a line of sheep which did make me smile - it was like they were waiting for the next tour!

Then it was time for lunch - we went to The Three Roofs in Castleton which we know serves good Coffee but now we know they do very good food too. A tuna sandwich for me and a BLT for the boy.

After lunch, despite the weather we were desperate for a walk so we went to find the Ox Stones. It was eerily misty walking across Burbage Moor. I felt like I was in Wuthering Heights, just with Jeans and Walking Boots! We eventually found the Stones which are truly amazing shapes due to the wind erosion. We spent an age up on the Moor enjoying the sheer solitude watching the rain clouds in the distance. We climbed the Stones, hide in the crevices from each other and just enjoyed being outside. Burbage Moor is definitely a great place to walk around.

After we came down from the Moor, we felt we really wanted to walk a little more, so we headed to Stanton Moor with the aim of finding the Nine Ladies Standing Stone Circle.

Boy did we take an age to find them - Stanton Moor is so vast. But find them we did. The Nine Ladies are a small early Bronze Age stone circle traditionally believed to depict nine ladies turned to stone as a penalty for dancing on Sunday. The moor contains at least 70 barrows as well as stone circles, ancient enclosures and standing stones - such a great place to walk. We were up there for about 3 hours in the end.

Just as were we leaving the Moor, the sun had started to set which made the sky such an amazing colour. We headed back to the campsite with weary feet but a lot of satisfaction for how far we had walked that day. We fell asleep very quickly that night!

September Happy Things


My Husbands Birthday

Going to the Theatre again to see Cabaret complete with Will Young

Bountiful Apples

Autumnal Cosiness

Camping in the Peak District

Finishing projects

The best Coffee and Apple Juice at Drove Farm Orchards

Lunch at The Pigs in Edgefield

This little attachment for my sewing machine

Shopping in Burnham Market

The best Sorbet ever from the Kings Head, Bawburgh

Getting in a few last Beach trips whilst the weather is still warm 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Day Two

We awoke fairly early on our first full day in the Peak District after having a good nights sleep. It rained throughout the night and it was really quite marvellous listening to the rain on the tent. We were fortunately snug as bugs inside the tent. As it was quite damp out we thought we would go for breakfast out and so we jumped in the car and got on the road.

We headed straight for Bakewell as we wanted to go to one of our favourite Tea Rooms, The Lavender Rooms, which unfortunately were shut. So we headed around the corner to The Original Bakewell Pudding Shop where we indulged in a Bacon Roll for me and the Big Bakewell Breakfast for the Boy, which included a most delicious Oatcake. We had a wander around Bakewell too while we were there, dipping in and out of shops and just enjoying a meander.

After Bakewell we went to Chatsworth. I adore the approach to the Estate - the magnificence of the house astounds me every time. This holiday we decided to not go around the house and gardens as we are planning on going back for their Christmas in December. We just love seeing the house, visiting the shop and looking out for the Deer.

For the first time we went to the Chatsworth Farm Shop which was amazing - filled with wonderful produce. It all looked so yummy. We were very good and just bought two Cherry and Sultana Scones for later in the day, but we also bought the most wonderfully soft sheepskin rug - it's one of the most tactile thing that we have ever bought! 

Then it was time for a walk - off to Stanage Edge we went. It really is my favourite spot in the Peak District. The skies might have been darkening, but we just didn't care, we just want to be at there. The Ridge is about 4 miles long and around 450 meters at it's highest point. The exposed cliff was certainly being battered by the wind whilst we were up there, but it was completely invigorating. At the bottom of the grit stone escarpment lay several huge Mill Stones. We spent quite a while up there until the rain came lashing down so we quickly headed for the car!

Next up, Castleton - we wanted a hot drink and knew a good Cafe there. I also like looking at the various Blue John Stone jewellery shops. Last time we were there my good Husband bought be a lovely Blue John Necklace which I do wear quite often. But it doesn't stop me looking! Blue John is a semi previous mineral, a form of Flourite which has bands of purple blue and yellow. What makes it particularly special is that it's only found in Castleton.

Whilst we were in Castleton we saw this lovely sign in a Tea Room window. It did make me really smile.

Whilst in Castleton, we went up Winnats Pass. The road winds through a cleft, surrounded by towering limestone pinnacles. The height of the towering crags and the vibrancy of the green astounds me. It's amazing what natures can create and leaves for us to enjoy and marvel at.

Winnats pass by kev747
Winnats pass, a photo by kev747 on Flickr.

We finished the day driving Snakes Pass between Lady Bower Reservoir and Glossop. It's an amazing road which passes over the Pennines between the moorland of Kinder Scout and Bleaklow. You can see little waterfalls along the road, the heather and hills - oh it is remarkable. We then went for Fish and Chips in Longnor before spending the evening in he Manifold Inn keeping warm by the fire. We eventually retired to the camp site and the sky was so clear and it was so dark that stars were so bright it was extraordinary. We spent quite a while staring up at the sky, enjoying the peaceful night.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Day One

We thought we would be brave on this holiday and go camping. It might be late September, but we thought the weather would hold. Now we weren't going to rough it, we took our best bedding complete with Cath K pillowcases, fairy lights, air mattress, hot water bottles etc. I wanted to make camping as comfortable as possible. We spent quite a bit of the morning packing up the car before leaving Norwich, so we didn't get to our destination until gone 3pm. This is now our third holiday in the Peak District, I do love it so. I got so very excited driving up to Ashbourne, starting to see the hills and rockier landscape. We had decided to be brave and not book a campsite and just find one when we got there. We ended up going to Hulme End campsite, in the Manifold Valley, a complete bargain at just £8 a night. We pitched our tent in the glorious sunshine, it was so warm with a radiant blue September sky.

After sorting out our little home for the next few days we headed over the hills of the Staffordshire Moorlands, to Leek, to stock up on supplies. We love this area, especially The Roaches which are a spectacular rocky Grit Stone ridge above Leek. We did pause for a while and just enjoyed the view.

The landscape is just so different from Norfolk - so different. I do love the open skies of Norfolk, but there is something about Tors and Rocks too. The landscape of the Peak District really does amaze me, truly.

We bought our traditional first night of holiday dinner of Steak and Salad plus some lovely Flat Mushrooms. There really is something about cooking outside. It sure makes things seem yummier. It was so peaceful at the camp site as there were just a few other people there and we spent the evening drinking Tea sat outside enjoying the quiet and went to bed very early just as it went dark with the hopes of an early rise the next morning.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

158 Miles

We've been away from our beloved Norfolk. Just 158 miles away this time. We've been to our equally beloved Peak District. There are quite a few tales coming...

Monday, 17 September 2012

Christmas Patchwork

I have wanted to make a Christmas quilt for a very long time, a very long time indeed. I love the idea of being wrapped up in it in December or sitting on it opening presents on Christmas morning. I started this quilt this time last year but then it got packed away half finished until I rediscovered it last week and I decided that I just simply had to finish it. I started collecting the fabrics an absolutely age ago - I love the Basic Grey fabrics so patterns from the Jovial and Fruitcake range where the way to go. I love the Red, Brown and Teal combination - just perfect Winter Christmas colours. I picked up the fabric in a very piecemeal fashion from here and there. Slowly my collection grew and I also added a few bits from my stash. Then finally, I had enough!

So last year, I made the front of the quilt before it got packed away. I spent a long time measuring, putting in sewing lines. I just really wanted all the corners to meet and be just right! Of course, they don't, but I am working on learning to live with imperfect perfectness! 

After buying a walking foot a couple of weeks ago though, I had no excuse not to finish it. This weekend was the weekend. There were a few arguments with my sewing machine when it decided not to cooperate, but I got there! I went for a Cotton wadding as I wanted something fairly lightweight and it's made the quilt beautifully warm. I must admit to being pleased as punch with it. I am not sure I am going to rush into making another patchwork quilt as I do find spending a long time of my sewing machine laborious and noisy! I much prefer comparatively sedate crochet but I have found it such an achievement to have completed my first patchwork quilt!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

New Supplies

New Fabric from Patch Fabrics in Lowestoft

Labels - I put one on the Baby Blanket I made my friend. I just thought they were a bit of fun.

New Inks - My Mum and Dad had these when I was growing up. They kept them in a box and I always got really excited when Dad got them out of the cupboard - the boxes completely fascinated me. When my Sister saw them she got equally excited and exclaimed that I have the good inks and then recalled the same story about the box and the cupboard. I love how even craft supplies can evoke such a happy memory. I haven't a clue what I'm going to do with them!

Ric Rac - one can never own enough!

Cute dotty fabric to make Bias Binding for lots and lots of bunting!

Silicone Molds for making pretty Polymer Clay brooches

And finally! A walking foot for my sewing machine - I can finally look to finish the patchwork blankets that I have on the go. They are all in different stages. The first one I started like four years ago and it's badly made - I am going to unpick it all and start again. The next is a Christmas lap blanket - the layers just need sewing together. Then there's a cover for my blanket from when I was a child - the squares are cut, but that's about it. At least I now have the bit to make quilting possible! Hurrah!