Two Dutch Girls on a Road Trip to Wiltshire

Road Trip 2017 (2) - Richmond to Chawton to Salisbury.

Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...

Saturday, 27 August 2016

The Hike 17 - The Cromford Canal

Errwood was fun even in the pouring rain, but inflamed my varicose veins with swelling and pain as a result...oh bother!So I decided to take it a bit easier for a day and only ramble for a couple of hours around Cromford and its famous canal.

Britain's industrial history fascinates me, as its ripples still affect us today. Us Dutchies (famous in our own right in the Golden Age but not so much in the centuries following it) kept a beady eye on our island neighbours, and were quick to import, copy and emulate the British inventions. The fact that I am an independent working woman is (to my eyes) a direct result of women starting work in the factories, then starting the suffragette movement and paving the way for feminism.

The rambler's bus dropped me off in Cromford on its way to Crich, where their walk started. They then proceeded into the Derwent Valley, whilst I made a beeline for Cromford's famous Scarthin Book Shop, to while away a very pleasurable hour in one of their armchairs reading a book about the rise and fall of BIBA. (Oh! BIBA! Those were the days!)

Do visit this shop if you have the chance, the number of books is staggering and the premises are worth it.
When I had finished my lukewarm espresso (sacrilege- pity)I ambled towards the Cromford Canal and Arkwright's Mill.
A Wetlander myself, canals are in my blood. It is always a pleasure to find one so tranquil as the Cromford Canal, with its ducks and swans and lovely towpath, and limestone walls and numerous wildflowers. And that typical Britishness of wooden benches in remembrance of people who loved walking that same towpath. Very handy they were!

We used to have these...they are called "trekschuit" in Dutch and they have almost vanished. We do not have this tradition of keeping up our heritage, unfortunately. We now have "fluisterboten" (whispering boats) which are practically the same thing, but painted a practical boring grey or green and with a noise-reduced motor and no character whatsoever. Such a pity!

Walking up to the first railway shunting stop along the canal took me an hour, and I didn't dare walk for longer, as my left leg started to smart again. I made use of a bench to rest and eat my packed lunch (and very nice it was), and watch the other walkers along the towpath. Quite a few boys and men asked me if I "had found some", meaning Pokémon...Oh dear, yet another fad that is passing me by...

No, didn't look for any Pokémon, but I did spot these tongue ferns. Do you know my local garden centre asks €15,00 for one of these? And here they grow on walls...

After an hours rest I slowly walked back to Cromford and a well-earned Old Mout Cider* (*pronounced incorrectly since 1947!Well I never) in the canal café, before buying the most amazing tasting cheese in the cheese shop: whisky-and-ginger-Wenslydale. Wow! Wish I could have taken a huge cheese instead of the tiny one that would fit into my suitcase.
And then I had to wait for the rambler's bus to pick me up again, so I took a look at Arkwright's Mill
All in all not a very spectacular rambling day, but a pleasurable one all the same.

The nitty-gritty:
The proper walk lasted 6 miles (9.5 km) with an ascent of 800 feet (240 m) - mine lasted 2 hours with a stop of an hour to rest the leg. It was sunny, 22 degrees.
Beware of wasps, there were many about.
You can find Scarthin Book Shop a little way past the Post Office (sorry, forgot to take note of the street name)and the cheese shop is next to the café at the start/finish of the Cromford Canal. Arkwright's Mill is signposted very well. 

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Music For Semi-Insomniacs

For a laugh, but rather seriously meant anyway, I took up fellow blogger (this is her link) Susan Joy Clark's challenge to write my own "music for when you simply cannot seem to drop off" list.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I cannot shut up those damned chattering monkeys in my head for long enough to be able to fall asleep. I know from long experience that getting up is counter productive, so I stay in bed and toss and turn and grit my teeth (this has cost me four molars...). Long suffering as I am, I've found that putting on my headphones (I'd prefer none, but I have paper thin walls and a daughter sleeping in the next bedroom) with soothing music will usually do the trick before I get halfway through a song or ten.
And sometimes not...But then at least I have listened to great music. Sigh.

Right, here we go, not in any particular order, preference, genre or theme. Oh, the songs are almost all by female singers. So...If you are a misogynist, you'd better skip this list. If you are a woman who hates women, I fear there's no hope for you, dear.

#1; from The USA.
I discovered this trio some years back, and use this song (karaoke) to warm up my vocal cords before singing. They used to be massive in the USA until some controversy. I still think they are massive myself.
The Dixie Chicks:  Lullaby

#2; again from The USA. Oh, soooo1960s! But a beautiful song.
Jefferson Airplane:Comin' Back To Me

#3; from The USA. This woman has written so many great songs! I hope someone somewhere will write her a song as sweet as this one.
Stevie NicksHas Anyone Ever Written Anything For You?

#4; from Ireland. Lisa always makes me smile. She uploads quirky musical videos, check her out! I have blogged about her, so look up the post if you like.
Lisa HanniganO Sleep

#5; from England. Mama are Zoe Young and Sarah McQuaid, and unfortunately their co-operation stopped after only one album. They both feature in the video. I love that album (Crow, Coyote, Buffalo) and think it is such a waste that they've stopped making music together.
MamaSunshine On A Rainy Day

#6; from The Netherlands. My favourite Dutch band! Check out their videos, they've uploaded loads. This one is live (they are wonderful live!!!) and I love it. I've blogged about them several times, so look up the posts if you can.
JodymoonI Could Wait Forever

#7; from The Netherlands. Again a home-country singer. Marike is held in esteem by the djs, but somehow she cannot seem to break through properly. Mind you, she has a faithful following, as this live Lowlands concert video proves.
Marike JagerLike You

#8; from Norway. And lives in Sweden now, but to me all Scandinavians are different from the rest of us Western Europeans anyway. Intriguing people, beautiful song.
Ane BrunWorship

#9; from The USA. Her album Currency of Man (see my review elsewhere in my blog)is my most played album of 2016. This song never fails to comfort me.
Melody GardotOnce I Was Loved

#10; from England. Kate captivated me when we were both 18 and has inspired me ever since. She stays away from the limelight, and it's years in between her projects, but whenever she does produce something new it is always worth the wait. And if this song doesn't put you to sleep, nothing will (in a good way!).
Kate BushSnowflake

Non-toxic Sleep aides for emergencies:
- lavender pillow spray
- camomile tea
- a purring kitten on your breast
- a stiff drink (beware though, this will help initially, but makes for troubled dreams and other assorted nasties)
- an orgasm
- dark chocolate

Well, Susan, I hope I have not let you down?
Oh, and if there's anyone out there who wants a list with (more) males on it...let me know. There's lots more of where this came from.

Sleep tight!