Back to basics

It’s a little like old times at the moment. We moved on from The Caravan Club certified location just outside Lichfield and by chance moved a little further north to Ilam, snuggled in the underbelly of the Peak District. We’re on one of only three National Trust campsites, one of which is on the Ilam Estate, a fairly austere pile handed over with strict instructions that it’s should be a youth hostel. For £14 you get all the normal caravan site mod-cons including more baaing sheep than you really know what to do with. Unlike the penetrating automotive hum of the M6, which was ever present at the last place, here the bleating sheep is a much more natural soundtrack and, unless you listen, you hardly notice it at all.

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In short, the site is lovely and a perfect tonic against the backdrop of IMF/EU squabbling over poor old Greece’s debt (they’re going to have to earn more than they spend at some point) and the Iranian nuclear deal which, on the face of it, looks like the best of a number of poor options. Bring back the Cold War I say! At least then we all knew who the bad guys were even if we were never far from being radioactive toast. Did I tell you about my role in bringing down the Iron Curtain? Maybe some day.

On the way north we stopped off at Sudbury House and managed to walk round the grounds between squalls. Another red brick affair – the hall was closed especially for us, although the accompanying Children’s Museum was open and was interesting enough.

Sudbury House - it might have been nice if it were open

Sudbury House – it might have been nice if it were open

Yesterday we walked and walked – over six miles, literally up and down limestone dale. Dovedale is lovely and well worth a walk, but the surrounding hills are just as enchanting. Climbing out of Dovedale did require three points of contact (for quite a stretch – footpath my elbow!) but, again, the views and noisy sheep at the top reminded us what a green and pleasant land we live in at times. C thinks all the noise is because the now fairly plump lambs are being separated from their mums ready to accompany the mint sauce.

Doris is camped behind this place

Doris is camped behind this place

Oh, and good news! We have three new bits of kit which we never knew we needed, but now wonder what we ever did without them: a new cordless small kettle (cordless = good); a collapsible water dispenser; and a beach tent. Yippee!

new stuff!

new stuff!

Today we cycled up and down dale with a strong breeze lifting Mrs Sun’s skirt, and returned after a picnic for me to finish servicing the bikes (including blowing apart an inner tube which did sound like someone being shot) and some other admin. UH continues to sell at about a book a day, but I’m not yet out of marketing ideas. More to follow there (and thanks to Nicky C for the school advertising).

More walking tomorrow and then off to see friends Nick and Chris on Friday. Have a pleasant rest of the week.

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