Stats for leg 5: total miles, 39.22 (plus 16 in a horse-box); total accumulated miles, 370.87; average mileage per day, 13.07.
Thursday, 11th, to Sunday, 14th June, going nowhere, being a tourist.
I am happy. Tommy is also happy here at Top Bank Farm. Jane discovered him fast asleep early this morning. I saw the flattened patch of grass where he had been lying down when I went to introduce him to the other guests who wanted to meet him after breakfast. They cooed and admired him and said all the right things. I felt suitably proud of this little horse who is looking so fit and well.
Then I put on my tourist hat for the morning. I find some quotes about Dovedale by poets and artists in the literature lying around for visitors in the farmhouse. Byron, for instance, writing to Tom Moore, asks, ‘was you ever in Dovedale? I assure you there are things in Derbyshire as noble as in Greece or Switzerland’. I am assuming he is referring to the ‘Sublime’ in nature.
Indeed, I enjoy a sublime walk along the pretty leafy lane between dry stone walls into Hartington village, buy some local cheese from the cheese shop for my lunch, and a bottle of Cowslip wine to try later
(intrigued, but not overly impressed). Visit the church, and spend some time reading the epitaphs.
Then sit and watch the world go by whilst enjoying a great cup of coffee and a little Bakewell pudding (from the real Bakewell Pudding Shop in Bakewell) which was delicious. Do some business in the Post Office, and it’s thirsty work, all this touristy stuff, so I had to go and have half a lager shandy sitting outside in the sunshine at the Charles Cotton Hotel (named after a famous local angler) because the Devonshire Arms wasn’t open yet, face-time my daughter, before walking back to the farm where to my delight, I discovered a letter has arrived in the post for me.
It’s two Neals Yard facial treatments from my dear friend Tabi who is looking after my whippet, Tammi. What a wonderful thought. My poor face has taken quite a battering in the last few weeks with no maintenance except a bit of moisturiser when I think about it so this is a real treat. I will try the sleep regime one before bed tonight and the outdoorsy one tomorrow morning. Thank you dear Tabi.
The next day comes with the rain….a gentle rain which falls all day. Ann, a friend who lives in Sheffield picks me up and we spend a pleasant few hours in Buxton, buying toiletries and catching up with the gos over some quiche and salad. It is great to see Ann and our excursion feels like an exeat from school! Here she is (above) trying not to look too scared of Tommy!