Warmest greetings, dear readers!
Today I want to tell you about the little holiday we had in Derbyshire, after we'd left Human Granny's house last week.
Gail and I spent two nights with a group of English friends at the super dog-friendly Millstone Inn just outside the village of Hathersage and on the Saturday went on a ten mile walk, planned by our lovely 'leader' Janet.
I had assumed that this was going to be a hike with Gail and her pals just like any other. OK, so we were in the Peak District National Park, not Scotland, but many elements were familiar - hills, moors, stone houses, rain, mud, heather, sheep. (Too many sheep in fact, I had to be on the lead almost the whole walk).
But it didn't me take long to understand that, for Gail at least, there was something special about this particular outing.
Although I had not visited this part of the country before, Gail recognised the route right away and it seems the memories came flooding back.
"Oh Bertie, I must have been in my teens when my Dad took the family on this very same walk. I can just picture him now, map and compass in hand, full of vigour, enthusiasm, and optimism that the weather would clear….Now here we are up on Eyam Moor where on that previous occasion - Easter Sunday I think, in 1974 or 5 - Dad, Mother, Max and I were caught in a hailstorm and, shivering, we sheltered against a dry stone wall to eat our squashed sandwiches and hard-boiled eggs."
"... Now we're passing one of the old country houses I used to fantasise about living in one day…"
"…Oh and gosh, this is the George Hotel in Hathersage, where on that same day in the seventies my Dad was refused entry because he was wearing muddy boots. It sticks in my mind for being one of the very few times I remember him coming even close to losing his temper, we were all so cold and wet by then…"
"…How different things are these days…"
"Oh but Bertie, despite the bad weather and unwelcoming pubs, those Bank Holiday family excursions roaming Derbyshire hills were happy times indeed. To me, as a child, nothing could match the excitement of escaping drab flat Nottinghamshire and experiencing the glories of Britain's upland landscapes for the first time."
Really Gail went on and on. By the time we finally got back to the Millstone Inn for dinner I was quite exhausted.
Although Gail says that taking me out for my pre-bedtime 'comfort' walk was perhaps the best bit of the day.
I guess I'm lucky that HGD was so successful in training Gail to enjoy tramping through the Great British countryside, no matter the weather. What a splendid ten days we had down in England. (And best of all, Human Granny is doing really well.)
There were one or two hold ups on the long drive back to Aberdeen...
... but we are now safely home.