Sunday, 27 July 2014

And those were the times we loved best

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.


  1. Hari OM
    Oh Bertie my boy, it seems Gail and I have very similar and fond memories of family outings! You are so lucky to have her - you do know that don't you??? Very glad to hear that HGY is going along nicely and I am sure you are all better for the time together and change of scene. Welcome home! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  2. Glad you have arrived safely home. Nice to have such fond memories of the great outdoors and at least now muddy boots are welcome. Have a serene Sunday and get in some big easy today.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. Bertie...thank you for such a lovely post. Ahhhh Gail had a most amazing Dad and you are lucky he taught her about the joys of a walk. Shame on that hotel for not letting a cold family in to dry out. It appears they have learned the error of their ways. We are glad human Grandma is well
    Hugs madi your bfff

  4. Bertie, we're so pleased to hear good news about Human Granny is doing well. And really, that shot from your evening "comfort walk" is quite beautiful! Glad you're home safe!

    -Bart, Ruby and Otto

  5. what a fantastic adventure and love that sign - that is our kind of resting place.

  6. what a lovely place, and that sign is the best Ive ever seen!

    retro rover

  7. What wonderful memories for Gail, tramping over that beautiful countryside. We're happy HGD trained her so well and you're reaping the benefits. It's wonderful that the pub came to its senses and realised that dogs and muddy boots aren't bad.

  8. Glad HGD trained her well, my momma has to have good weather for a walk.

  9. How wonderful for you to be able to share Gail's memories of HGD. We know you both miss him lots. Our muzzer was never trained as a walker, but she does love hiking in the UK and Scotland, because there is so much to see.
    gus n teka

  10. Crikey Bertie .... your Gail sounds just like my Mum only your Gail's a lot younger. There's nothing like a good walk according to my Mum and she still tries to get in as many klms in a day as she can but walking in the countryside or along a beach is her favourite. She loves reading about your adventures and the beautiful countryside pictures make her green with envy. She really wore you out, aye? You look so peaceful napping under that table.

  11. Oh Bertie, what a wonderful walk and what wonderful memories for your Gail. We can't believe the welcoming sign at the hotel. Mum wishes dogs were included here like they are in your part of the world. Glad to hear your Granny is good. Take care mate.
    No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  12. Bertie,
    Those walks looked like super fun (except that you couldn't be let loose on the sheep), and the scenery there looks particularly stunning, especially when it was all covered in mist. Sounds like Gail had a wonderful childhood, and I'm glad you could share those happy memories with her! I'm pleased that hotel has changed its ways too, what a difference from what Gail said!
    Pippa :)

  13. Butt I bet that were the best squashed sandwiches and hardboild eggs ever what your mom had while hiking with her furmily! Many thanks that I could walk with you today :o)

  14. You have a wonderful countryside for a walkabout, it always looks so pretty. Having wonderful memories of doing it before must enhance the pleasant walk. It is nice to know you can go back again and most everything is the same.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

  15. I so love seeing your scenery! It is such a beautiful part of the world!

  16. Oh Bewtie,
    What a splendid vacashun and glowioos walk and I love that Gail had those vewy speshul memowies come flooding back to hew..i must say I love that sign wif the new changes in attitoode about doggies and muddy boots, but I bet it was aways a wondewful happy that you got to go and see fow yoowself all that Gail had expewienced..i love you and miss you and am looking fow a bettew secwetawy, cause Mommi is useless in helping me visit you
    Smoochie kisses

  17. Thank goodness there are places that welcome dogs and muddy boots or we would never go anywhere!
    (lovely pics)

    Wyatt and family