It was undoubtedly lunchtime. We walked the short distance across the moor to where the car was parked, noting that the first of the heather was in bloom. Not the proper heather, of course… not the one that turns whole swathes of these isles purple in a brief explosion of glory, but heather nonetheless. It is a start… The August trip north would need the camera’s memory cleared in anticipation…
A solitary crow watched as we reached the gate. The moor had ‘got to us’ once again. Fine while we walked there, but that strange, heady feeling as we left. For myself, I felt as if I was not driving the car down the long hill towards Baslow; I was simply a passenger in something that seemed to fly of its own accord. It is an odd feeling… but lunch would ground us again. Lunch and, for me, a nice, cold cider.
We chose the Robin Hood… the pub, not the elusive stone that has seen a number of long walks and the infamous mud-sliding incident while we searched for the lost stone… It seemed appropriate after having failed to find Barbrook III. The inn has stood here for three hundred years or so, nestled beneath Birchen and Gardrom’s Edges. A nice selection of local ales gave us the opportunity for laughter… the image on the glass was perfect given what we had just been planning for the Leaf and Flame workshop … and under the circumstances, so was the inscription on the back… “full of mischievous character…”
We took our drinks outside after lunch and sat in a shady corner to escape the sun and rising wind. The hill rose behind us and birds sang in the trees. I spotted a couple of finches as well as the obligatory robin investigating the crumbs left by diners. One shy little thing had a particularly sweet song. It took me a while to find it in the branches, and I think it was a nightingale. Like the unknown bird that turned out to be a whinchat earlier that morning, it is one of the Old World Flycatchers… but more importantly at that moment… I don’t believe I had ever seen one before.
We had the whole afternoon ahead of us. We were, in spite of lunch, still feeling a little odd. The prospect of starting at the other end of the moor to go in search of Barbrook III was not appealing at that moment. Neither of us felt energetic. To make matters worse, he mango cheesecake with ice cream had, disappointingly, sold out and the Bakewell slice had not quite done the trick… we were still in need of something sweet and sticky to bring us back to earth. There was only one thing for it. “Come on, I’ll buy you an ice-cream up at Baslow Edge…”