It was the Cromford Steam Rally this weekend. We had intended to go last year, but it was called off because the field it's held on was under a foot or two of water. They were forecasting showers this weekend, but the field was not under water and in fact it didn't rain at all. At least not on Saturday when we went; I don’t know about Sunday.
Barb had come up on Friday after work so we pottered about a bit in the morning and then took ourselves off, not to Cromford, but to Brackenfield which is where the steam rally actually is. Nowhere near Cromford. Not all that far from us. Jenny the Sat Nav took us along cute, narrow, winding country roads to get there. Very pretty. But not a bank in sight. The Builder had enough to get him into the rally. I didn’t quite have enough to get me in :-( Barb has some money but probably not enough to fund all of us all day.
We went to Matlock in search of a bank. And returned to the steam rally.
I have to say – it was a lovely few hours. The rally (which I’m told used to be on the Cromford town meadow) is in a couple of large fields outside Brackenfield. There were miniature traction engines and full sized ones. There were the vintage buses and army vehicles and commercial vehicles that you normally find at these dos. There was a fair and cancan dancers. And, of course, all the junk and not-junk stalls. We wandered around and watched the miniature steam engine on parade. We admired the craft and model tents. We bought me a pair of lovely boat shoes at one of the stalls. We had fish and chips and beer/cider in the beer tent. We didn’t buy a chook shed in the chook shed stall, but we did take the contact details away. Perhaps next year! Mostly the sun shone and mostly it was lovely and warm and we all had a good time.
We went home the scenic route.
On Sunday we went to Chatsworth to the Farm shop in the morning and then had a merry time pottering about in Rowsley at the flour mill and in the Shopping Village before ambling back home. It was a lovely, quiet, gentle day.
We had quite a lot of food over the weekend too. I had laid in more than enough provender to provision an entire invading Russian Army. Not that I was expecting a Russian Army. I was expecting Barb, who made a magnificent attempt to do justice to the mountains of food. We had quiche and potatoes and steamed fresh vegetables on Friday evening. We went to The Cornerstone for breakfast on Saturday and, of course, had fish and chips at the steam rally for lunch. Then in the evening we had a barbecue with potatoes and more vegetables cooked inside and sausages and burgers and lamb steaks and things done on the barbie, followed by ginger ice cream. On Sunday I made an attempt to make crumpets. Wasn’t a bad attempt – but next time I’ll cook them for a minute or two longer. They weren’t quite fluffy inside. Then, late afternoon, before Barb left to go home, we had a cold collation outside sat under the new marquee (small marquee) that The Builder recently bought. We had the left over quiche and the left over lamb from the barbie, and some home roasted gammon and some pork brawn that Barb brought, and salad and more salad and home made bread and … well, the table was positively groaning. Despite our best efforts, and in the absence of an invading army of any nationality, there was an enormous amount of food left. The Builder and I will be eating leftovers practically for ever!! Happily, they are all leftovers which will do nicely for lunches.
Strangely, there doesn’t appear to be much left in the way of wine, though. Can’t think where that all went.
We were exceedingly lucky with the weather. Nearly everybody else had rain and gales and gloom all weekend. The Builder’s mother reports than it rained on and off all weekend in Salisbury. I don’t think more than a drop or two fell on our heads, and the washing dried on both days!
I had yesterday off. It was another lovely, quiet day. I had to go into Chesterfield to collect a couple of packages, but I went on the bus so didn’t have to worry about parking, and took the time for a bit of a potter about the shops. Otherwise, I stayed at home and pottered about. I made another attempt to make crumpets – but it all went horribly, horribly wrong! I put the batter into a barely warmed oven to rise, turned it up just a tad because it wasn’t really quite warm enough for rising purposes, and then forgot about the whole lot. Came back an hour and a half later to find the crumpet batter trying to turn itself into one HUGE crumpet :-S I made an attempt to bake it but it was perfectly clear that it was never, ever, ever going to cook through to the middle. I gave up and went outside with a gin and tonic to help The Builder pod the 3kg or so of peas that we had brought back from the allotment. We’ve got loads of fresh peas in the freezer now! And a tub of coffee ice cream. Plus the left over ginger ice cream.
Maybe The Builder shouldn’t have bought the ice cream maker!!!
It seems that the Belper Steam Rally in June, which we would have gone to had we not been in Salisbury that weekend – was abruptly cancelled at the last minute for some legal reason!!! It sounds, reading between the lines, as though someone registered an objection to the planning permission for the site it was going to be held on. Not the usual site which was temporarily unavailable this year. Just as well we didn’t try to go. Although I would probably have noticed that it had been cancelled – I usually check the address online on the day and the website is effectively shut down with the just cancellation notice . I hope it’s back next year. I enjoyed the Belper rally last year.
Oh. And I spoke to Stella a couple of times over the weekend. She seems to be loads better, although now very bored stuck in the hospital. She’s hoping to come home on Saturday.