Albion, ancient sites, Art, Books, Don and Wen

North… and north-west

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I’m just back… and now I’m off again. Only for the day, though, this time, running northwards after work, to meet friends from the US before they have to leave. Hopefully the day will go a little smoother than my last northward journey. It hadn’t started well…

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Thursday, after work and later than expected, I still had to try and remedy the morning’s problems. A quick trip to the supermarket sorted the laundry disaster… I still have no idea what turned all my whites patchy yellow, but replacements were now an urgent necessity. Even if I was going northwards, where it was likely to be cooler…

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I also messed about and waited, trying to get a headlight bulb changed. Only to find the darned thing had started working again… By this time, I was really running late. The phone call I had been waiting for all week came through on the motorway… no chance of taking it. No stopping en route for me this time, either… aside from a ten minute detour to check on the location of a reservoir and turn the car around again in the shadow of Carl Wark.

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I did make it in time. Just. My companion, however, did not. His beer was getting warm by the time I managed to get a signal to double-check the message… That was about right. I’d got there for the right time… but the wrong pub. A quick dash through the back streets took me to the right one… and the waiting Stowford’s. This was much needed by this point; so far the day had been fuelled by one cup of coffee 11 hours earlier and a bottle of lukewarm water. A relaxed evening of creative work and conversation stretched ahead though… and I rather needed that too. Especially as the phone was going to be disobliging all weekend and I had misplaced the laptop power lead, which ended up being rather frustrating, as well as leaving me short of a means of communication.

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Friday dawned, overcast but bright. We worked a little, over coffee and breakfast, before heading off to the monthly meeting. Being a little early, we wandered up to the Barrel Inn for coffee and fresh air. The view from here is spectacular, looking down over the valley and the village of Great Hucklow… It has become a bit of a tradition to greet the landscape from this point, and from here we can see much of our ‘playground’.

barrel

It was soon time to meet for lunch though, so it was back to the Queen Anne where we found the Stowford’s and Guinness already waiting… then we got down to business. A little while later we headed off to Castleton, halfway between our meeting point and the evening’s symposium. There would be tea in the pub. And scones… But first we had a job to do. We needed pictures… very specific pictures….

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I will draw a discrete veil over the next half hour or so. Oh, you want to know what we were up to? Top secret, I’m afraid… Suffice it to say that it may have something to do with the Black Shade of Beeley… and anyone peering with interest behind the church would have found themselves on what looked like the set of an action movie… or a comedy. I am fairly sure that Oscars should have been awarded. I am also afraid we may have laughed a little too much, if such a thing is ever possible. “That was like being seven years old again…”which summed it up perfectly.

carl wark

There was just time to show one of our party, on her first visit to the town, around the lovely old church before tea, then we were off again, climbing through Wynatt’s Pass towards Stockport and our meeting. The evening passed beautifully and there was still a little light when we finally left. A road closure blocked our return so we followed the diversion, seeing the dark bulk of Carl Wark against the horizon once again… possibly the best view we have had of the enigmatic ancient site. “We are going to have to go there are some point…” We have said that over and over, but so far, we haven’t done it. And this weekend, we had work to do on the books…

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