We had to meet at the village hall. I was quite early and stood there for ages, absolutely freezing to death and totally alone. I couldn't believe I was going to be the only one going.
Finally the bus arrived at 10 am and loads of people appeared and climbed aboard! Where had they all been hiding?! A very nice lady sat next to me and we chatted away, all the usual about where we live and why. Then she did the ultimate - she invited me to join the WI! I desperately tried to keep a straight face. The trouble is, it's on a Thursday evening, and in the summer I'd rather be riding, but in the winter it might be quite appealing.
We drove through the beautiful countryside to Chatsworth. There are hundreds of acres of grassland for the sheep to go at, but for some reason the grass on the edge of the road is the nicest bit of all, and we crawled along, ushering Mrs Sheep and her twins back onto the grass so we could keep on driving.
We arrived in Bakewell at eleven and the bus would come back at 2pm to pick us up, so we fanned out, women on a mission. I've never been to Bakewell before and wasn't sure how big it was, so thought I'd better take a good look around so I could find the bus stop again and not be lost and keep everybody waiting. The market was in full swing, so I decided to go there first, and had a good look round, then off to the shops.
The shops are definitely geared towards tourists, but it was lovely to stroll round (and go into shops to warm up!) I very nearly succumbed to a tea cosy with chickens on it, but resisted. There were some lovely ones in the market, too. I must explain all about my search for a tea cosy, but it'll have to wait for another post.
I decided it was time to find somewhere to have lunch, but there are loads of cafes to choose from. There are lots of secret alleyways with more shops and cafes, like this one.
Eventually I plumped for a place just called 'The Cafe Upstairs' and had a lovely coffee and a ciabatta loaf with hot brie and cranberry sauce, which was gorgeous. Fully refreshed, I dived once more into the fray.
I found a beautiful craft shop selling cross stitch, tapestry and knitting things, and asked about what I needed to back my bookmark, but they didn't have anything I could use, which was disappointing. They had some beautiful cross stitch kits, though. Maybe next time.
So all in all, to my surprise, I came back empty handed, but I really enjoyed it. We stopped off at the Chatsworth Farm Shop on the way home, and I bought two huge pasties, some onion chutney and a bottle of homemade lemonade to make up for it!
I walked back up the steep hill from the village as I had to be home in time to meet the boys off the school bus. As I approached the farm I could see something moving around near the white gate. As I got closer I realised it was Lindy! He must have jumped over the dry stone wall again and gone for a wander. I came in, dropped everything off and grabbed a headcollar and leadrope and went to catch him. He was quite happy to be caught and wandered back up to his friends in the field, silly horse.
And to end, I'm sorry to say, on a sad note. When Mr O got home we fed the horses and went to put the chickens away. Mr O went into the coop to look for eggs, and to his dismay, found Dorothy, the pale grey maran, dead on the floor. What on earth has happened? There was no blood or feathers, so we are wondering if George has crushed her or suffocated her or something. It's the only thing we can think of. Can a cockerel do that to a chicken? Poor old girl. So sad. I will miss her, and of course, it's made me worry about the others. I wonder if he should be separated from the chickens at night? Any advice?