Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I really, really, really ought to get into the habit of taking Jenny the GPS with us whenever we get into a vehicle. I really only think to take her when I know we are going somewhere unfamiliar.

This didn’t matter so much on Saturday when, after we had been to the Chatsworth shop, we decided to go out for lunch. Not Bakewell. We always go to Bakewell and there we always go to the Peacock. Let’s go somewhere different. Castleton? Yeah – but not sure of the best way to get there from here. Go that way while I find the map.

Oh look. Signposts to Ashford in the Water. Let’s go there instead. It’s simply ages since we were there last. And there was quite a nice pub, as I remember it. There is indeed. The Ashford Arms. It was just opening as we got there. It’s a lovely building. And the food is wonderful.

Perhaps just as well we didn’t have Jenny. We’d have gone to Castleton if we had!

We had gone to Chatsworth in search of more Seville oranges. They had a price label for them but no oranges :-( I asked if they were getting any more. Mayyyybeeee. But it’s getting towards the end of the season and they weren’t sure. Give them a ring on Monday. We paid for the rest of the shopping and headed off back to the car. And found ANOTHER box of Seville oranges. I grabbed a plastic bag and filled it up, the queued for ever to pay (I think a coach load of pensioners was getting ready to leave). I had picked up 2.5 kilos or oranges.

I dealt with them on Sunday, following a Delia recipe. I decided to follow it exactly, because I’d never used it before. It called for the use of 900g of oranges. I used probably about a kilo. It made up five jam jars full of marmalade. That gives me 3 jars of Seville jelly, five jars of Seville marmalade and the potential for another five. Anybody want any marmalade? I’ll cheerfully deliver it anywhere I legally can do! I couldn’t make the second batch on Sunday because I had run out of sugar.

While I was doing that, The Builder had taken advantage of the unusual sunshine to disappear to the allotment and start digging the new potato patches. I’ve ordered the potatoes and we could do to plant them out perhaps before we head overseas in April. At the latest, May. He came home all stiff and sore and had to have a lie down in a nice hot bath. It’s the first bath I remember him taking since he moved in with me!

I took advantage of the sunshine and strong winds too. I hung the washing to dry outside. And more or less it did dry. It was just a bit damp when I brought it back in. I also did the RSPB bird count on Sunday morning. My tally for the hour of counting was: 15 starlings (fighting over the meal worms), 2 collared doves, 2 blackbirds, 1 sparrow, 2 dunnocks, 5 magpies, 1 wren, 1 robin and 7 blue tits (actually, I only saw three but The Builder saw 7 all together at the bottom of the garden during my hour of counting).

It mattered this morning that we didn’t have Jenny. We came up through Woodseats at about 20 past 7 to find the main road closed. Traffic was diverted down Woodseats Road and up what ever the road is called to the right. We followed all the rest of the traffic to the right – which was a bit silly because I could have got us into town no trouble at all going to the left. Going to the right took me into entirely unknown territory. All would have been well had the van in front of us not stopped to let a bus out. Otherwise, we would have followed the rest of the traffic. As it was, it had all gone by the time we got moving again so we followed the van. The Builder kept asking where we should go next. I don’t know. I’ve never been up here before. I don’t even know where we are. There were no signposts. No real main roads. Then I found the map hidden in the van. That helped a bit. We had found our way to Gleadless and eventually got back on the way into town. As it was, we’d gone in a huge big arc. Jenny would have known about the road that all the traffic had come up and which was now queuing to get onto our road! I MUST take her with me whenever I leave the house, just in case of sudden, unexpected diversions. Mind you, I thought it was just a bit slack of the police not to put a diversion sign up at the road we should have turned down!

All of this excitement was apparently caused by a murder which had taken place on Chesterfield Road near the Heeley Railway Bridge on Sunday afternoon. Near the Heeley Railway Bridge – and NEAR FREYJA!!!!!!! The road has been closed since mid-afternoon yesterday (though I think it is open again now). She went down to the shops earlier today and found the whole road closed, shops and all. It is therefore up to The Builder and me to leap onto our silver horses and ride to the rescue with the makings of Mark’s Birthday Dinner. This may mean that we won’t be able to stay for a cup of tea. Having replaced Uncle John’s headlights yesterday after they abruptly failed on Friday, we now need to replace his indicator light. They apparently failed this morning. Nick leaves his garridge at 7 and we need to get there before he goes.

One way and another, it’s been quite an eventful couple of days.

Oh - and I have managed to offload the extra marmalade oranges onto Bea. So not quite so many homes to find for the marmalade jars!!
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