We weren't expecting to be at Bishops' House on Saturday morning. Normally we do the first Saturday morning of the month. However, I noticed that Tabitha had sent out a message calling for volunteers on Friday morning. When I checked the roster in the evening, there was still a gap. We weren't doing anything on Saturday morning, so I rang Tabitha and offered our services. We didn't want to have to close the museum two Saturday mornings in a row unnecessarily!
And it was just as well that we didn't have to close. Normally we don't get very many visitors on Saturday mornings, and usually the ones that we do get tend to be later in the morning. On Saturday they were queueing to get in when we opened the door and put the "open" sign out! We had 30 visitors between 10 and 1 ! It was positively frantic :-D It also wasn't raining, which helped. But we had an unusually large percentage of first time visitors. Not sure what had provoked them all to decide to come to play on the same morning.
Actually, it didn't hurt that we were in Sheffield on Saturday at lunchtime. Tabitha, Gareth and Cally had been intending to head out to Chesterfield on the train after they had been to a birthday party in Endcliffe Park, and then to come out to our place to stay overnight. Instead, we moseyed along to Endcliffe Park, where they were attending the third birthday party of one of Cally's nursery friends. The parents of the friend had organised with the park cafe to have chips and fish fingers ready for the children at 12:15. Alas, the cafe people had forgotten this and had taken loads of food orders just before the party was due to start. The children's party food got later and later and later. In fact, the chips and fish fingers had just turned up when we got there at 1:30. Alas, by then the children had filled up on vegetable sticks and fruit sticks and bread sticks and cup cakes and crispy things and weren't very hungry by the time the hot food finally arrived. So the grown ups had to eat it instead. Including the two grand-parental gate crashers who just turned up out of the blue and had a lovely lunch of fish fingers and chips, thank you :-D (The birthday girl's parents didn't seem to mind; I think they were just glad to get the food eaten. But they were not very happy with the cafe people!)
Eventually, we headed back to Tupton and spent a pleasant late afternoon and evening sitting outside. It wasn't sunny, particularly, but it was warm enough (and not raining!) so we lit the barbecue and had new potatoes and barbecued meaty things and salad, and sat outside until it was Cally's bedtime.
Sunday dawned bright and shiny and sunny and warm and lovely. As befitted the first day of the meteorological summer. We had a lazy-ish morning, pottering about. We went to the allotment and the shop. Then we all hopped in the car and went to the Summer Fair that was being held at the Peak Edge hotel not far from us (It has a pub, the Red Lion, attached to it, where we and Lindsey and Ian once upon a time had the worst pub meal I think we have ever had. The food has improved considerably since then and the hotel bit is relatively new). At first we thought that the market was made up only of the stalls out the front in the car park. And egg stall, a pancake stall and a plant stall. Seemed a bit little to be called a fair! But we had a look around and discovered lots and lots of food, beer, wine and craft stalls actually inside the pub. It was quite cute. We all bought a few bits and pieces, then headed off to Marsh Green for something to cook for lunch. Then home we went and roasted a leg of lamb and boiled some more new potatoes and made another salad, and all repaired outside in the warm, warm sunshine to eat our lunch al fresco. Gareth had bought some apple puffs at the Summer Fair (whole apples encased in puff pastry). We shared those amongst us and drank some rather nice dry white English wine that Tabitha had found at the fair. Cally didn't have the wine!! It was a lovely day. But none of us had been expecting summery weather and Tabitha and Gareth hadn't brought light clothes with them, nor hats, nor sunscreen. Fortunately The Builder and I were at home and had a choice of clothes. And we have hats. And sunscreen. Cally was not impressed being made to use Gamma's sunscreen. She has her own, designed for young children. Alas - in her bathroom but not ours!
The weather is back to normal today. It's not actually raining, although it was at 3 am. But it's overcast and cooler.
One of the nice things about this time of the year is that we have long, long, light evenings. An unfortunate corollary of this is that we also have long, long, light mornings. Sunrise isn't until about 4:45, I think. But it's properly light by 4 am. And the birds start singing loudly from around 3:30 or a little tiny bit later. None of this really worries me, much. If it does wake me, I usually just laze in bed and doze and listen to the birds. But whoever it was who was up and banging around outside in their back garden at 4:50 this morning was pushing it a bit!!