Sunday, 1 September 2013

An Ideal British Home and a Return to Dovedale

Hello, Blog Fans.  It's been a great, low-key weekend.  On Saturday we got together with our good friends, the Connells, for a "barbeque" (or what we might also call a cookout).  We get together every 2-3 months and it seems we've missed out on the good weather times when visiting their place.  Since we've had a decent summer, I rather boldly (and hopefully not rudely) suggested we could enjoy their fine garden al fresco this time and they obliged.

With daylight gradually started to diminish as we slowly march towards winter, we met up earlier than normal to try to beat the chill (we were mostly successful).  We had a great night of conversation and friendship and tasty food.  Thanks guys!  We'll have to squeeze a few more visits in while we can.

I was having too good a time to take photos of the food and friends but I did get some photos of their home and garden.  (With their permission) I will now proceed to gush about it and perhaps embarrass them along the way (being the modest folks that they are).

I love their house and location -- so quintessentially British and well done.  See for yourself.

The house is a few miles outside of Derby and in fact slightly outside a small village in the country.  It sits on a hill overly looking the Derwent valley.  Derek, with some help from his apparently awesome father-in-law, has done a fantastic job with the landscape.  The interior is great too, but I didn't get any photos this time (and I don't want to completely embarrass them).

 lovely entry way

 beautiful flowers

and again

 house & garden

 corner shot -- you can see Derek giving Kuk and Alex a flower lesson on the side

 their daily view -- awesome!

 what's that?  sheep too?

you bet -- Andrea mentioned the joy of spring time and hearing the two-tone mother / lamb conversations:  BAAAA . . . . baaaa . . . . BAAAAA . . . . baaa -- love it!

 I snuck around back to check up on their guinea pigs too

Their back garden goes steeply up the hillside into the forest -- this path and bridge is a short distance away from their property. Classic.

Like I said, I didn't get any photos of us enjoying ourselves except for this one of the girls.  Annabel is doing a fine job of cutting the tasty Banoffee pie that she made.  Well done.  (We had come inside by this point to escape the chill).

Quick diversion -- we did have a few "wasps" to contend with but it was more than manageable (and there are a few less in the world today thanks to Andrea handy fork-work).  What the Brits would call wasps I would call yellow-jackets.  I did look it up and sure enough, yellow jackets are technically wasps.

We call them yellow jackets because we also have these guys to contend with (photo above) -- longer and skinnier (and more painful so I've heard).  I think this is a "paper" wasp because the nest is paper-like.  Don't care for any of them honestly.

A fine evening was had by all.  Thanks for sharing your home again with us and we look forward to the next time we can get together.

Sunday -- a return to Dovedale

Given that it wasn't raining, we thought we'd venture out for a short walk to stretch the legs.  Since it was Sunday and we were admittedly dragging a bit from the night before, we decided to do a relatively close and easy walk.  Since I don't currently have my next new walk planned out, the easiest thing to do was to return to an old standby, Dovedale.

We did our first Peak District walk there in rainy June 2011 (link).  I later returned with the kids to walk the adjacent Thorpe Cloud  in Sept 2011 (link) so it had been awhile.

Ah, but I've got better toys now with my trusty GPS along the way.  The yellow route is Thorpe Cloud that we did not do this time.  The pink is a circular route from the Dovedale car park.  We decided to mix it up and start from the very small village of Ilam this time.  We went clockwise to get the climbing over first and enjoy the walk along the river at the end.  (I would have been better served to hop back on the pink trail at the end.  By not doing so we had the walk along the road for a bit).

Pretty decent climb at first, then back down to the valley and the level walk along the river.  6.2 miles in 2:50 (2:39 moving).

We utilized our NT membership to park for free at Ilam Hall.  We've not visited Ilam Hall itself (and in all honestly don't plan to).  Nice way to start the walk though.

 A few well manicured lawns here in Ilam as well.  Very picturesque.

 Ah, sheep early on.  It's going to be a good day.

You are likely familiar with these views by now -- stone fence, rolling hills and sheep.  Very much the England in our mind.

More sheep -- they were looking at the others walking ahead rather than at me.  Kuk's been interested enough that she purchased a small sheep book to learn the different varieties.  She's not been interested enough to leave it in the car so she can actually bring it on the walks though.

 bonus -- Highland (hairy) Cow

 and a second one

Nice family shot as we catch our breathe at the top.  We will start down into the forest and the valley below after this.

I had forgotten how woodsy this walk was.  See anyone?  Nope.  We did see one other couple during this stretch but the masses just walk up/down the river.  It's nice to have a part of the walk to ourselves.

the family leaving me behind while I take a few photos and dig out some sandwiches (we'd taken a few steps from the car when Alex asked "what do we have to eat")

a view over the unseen river to the ridge on the other side -- I had thoughts of climbing up that one for our return but we decided one up/down was enough for the two pairs of not-so-young knees

 our usual bridge shot before joining the main path along the river

a little closer to see the fam

 quite a few of the coin-embedded tree trunks along the way -- Alex had to check them all out

I generally like the view from up high but I had to admit it was very relaxing to walk along and listen to the river (that is until we met back up with the crowds)

required photo #2 at Lover's Leap

 check out this one from Sept 2011 (and Alex's freshly broken arm -- what a slave driver I was/am)

and our first walk in June 2011 (we have much better gear now)

approaching the masses near Thorpe Cloud and the Dovedale stones

required photo #3: we had to queue to cross (the folks on the other side were getting a little agitated actually)

wasn't the case in drizzly Sept 2011

or rainy June 2011

I didn't mind the repeat walk at all (it had been 2 years after all) and sometimes it's nice not to have to plan.  We had a good time.

Have a great week everyone -- thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's awesome that you saw some hairy cows so close to home! It's so true that the weather can make such a difference on the crowd level. Sometimes I like the rain just for the fact that nobody else is around. Also, those people's house is amazing! Very nice garden.