February Fun

So, obviously I’ve been away for a while, but as the murky fogs of post-IVF depression are starting to recede, H and I and the increasingly nippy Nipper have made it our mission to get out and about at the weekend instead of just loafing around drinking rioja and watching Netflix. (Fair dos, I am drinking a glass as we speak and watching Gilmore girls in the background but don’t judge me. Actually do, I deserve it.)

Anyroad, having had my eyelids prised open at the crack of dawn by the Nipper and tried to deflect the inevitability of having to get up by any means possible (Transformers, Power Rangers, Coco Pops, you name it), this morning we finally dusted off the walking boots, packed up the dogs, and piled into the car for a day of Peak District fun. Sorry, no photos as phone packed in, so use your imaginations.

First treat was a lovely drive past Mam Tor down Winnats Pass to Castleton (do a Google images search and you’ll see what I’m on about) to Speedwell Cavern, which we have passed many a time but have never braved. This was a peculiar but not unpleasant experience involving donning a hard hat, descending 106 steps with a slippery toddler down to an underground canal and boarding a boat which our dour but entertaining guide proceeded to navigate down a long waterway in a, let’s be frank, relatively confined tunnel, to a cavern, which we looked at, before resuming said boat, canal and 106 steps up with a slippery toddler, before removing said hard hat. Was it the most amazing experience of my life? Honestly, no. It was interesting though, heightened by the slight edge of claustrophobic panic, and the Nipper seemed to almost enjoy it, which is about as much as you can expect of three year old who’d rather be watching Fireman Sam.

Attempted to park up at Castleton; failed. It’s a nice town if you’re ever passing that way. Set off to Hathersage, which I also recommend, especially for its lido, but got distracted and ended up in Tideswell. I have literally no idea of the name of the pub we ate in, which is embarrassing, and I can’t work it out from t’internet, but it’s the big one next to the church with the car park. It was fine. Nice standard pub fare, very reasonable. Very jealous of Nipper’s child meal deal which included huge bowl of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce which he refused to share (and I intend to recreate at home this evening when he is asleep).

Had a mooch round Tideswell, and then an easy but very pleasant walk at Tideswell Dale. Lovely walk along a flat path next to a stream, perfect for Nipper to run along, and fairly quiet as well which is always a plus with a noisy child and two ill behaved dogs. Felt the sap rising and the land awakening momentarily, until Nipper insisted I engage in races for 90% of the walk. If you’re looking for a new fitness challenge, I heartily recommend having to trot like a horse whilst an insane toddler whips you with a branch and then insists you give him a shoulder ride all the way back to the car because he’s got a speck of mud on his shoe.

From Tideswell, to Brierlow Bar bookstore, apparently the largest independent bookstore in the country (and the highest – can this really be true?) where we spent a pleasant 33 seconds before the Nipper had an enormous tantrum and had to be removed. Purchased, in haste: book of Sudoku puzzles; book about coastal wild swimming; fuzzy felt; and the tale of Little Rabbit Foo Foo, which I do recommend you listen to on youtube if you would like to have an ear worm which will delight you night and day for weeks at a time until you lose your mind.

Detour via the shops and an unexpected road closure in Buxton, and then home for rioja and Netflix.

All in all, an enjoyable day. Next mission is to get camping again. With an inadequate tent, demanding 3 year old, ancient decrepit labrador, demented cocker spaniel puppy and no roof box, what could possibly go wrong?




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