How time flies when you're having fun

Dreaming of days in Derbyshire

Welcome back to today’s edition of the newsletter. Thank you for reading my missives.

I’m writing this on Friday. It feels a bit late in the day as I like to draft the newsletter, edit it a little and have it scheduled ready for Sunday. But we’ve been away.

We decided to book a last minute break to Derbyshire (yes, we’re moving there too but we love it that much), and managed to find some dates for our favourite place, Biggin Hall.

I remember thinking, on the Sunday morning before we set off, that we had four days away and it would be bliss. Then, fast forward and we’re driving back home and those four days had just whizzed by! I tried to savour every moment. To enjoy each flavour in the amazing meals we ate; to be aware of breathing in the air as I walked, daily, around the sculpture trail; to take in the light as it changed throughout the day; to relish the real fire burning in the 17th century grate.

It still wasn’t enough to stop time.

I don’t know if anyone else does this but I often shed a few tears when I leave a place that I’ve enjoyed so much. I’ve done this every time we’ve been at Biggin Hall. I had a moment at breakfast when my eyes welled up, and again when I said goodbye to Annie, one of the owners and someone we love a lot.

Biggin Hall was a big factor in our decision to move to Derbyshire. Last year when we were there, as we were driving home, I said to Chris, I wish we could live in Derbyshire. The rest is history.

It feels like home there. I love the vast expanses of green, the trees, the open spaces, the cows (I love cows). Then there’s the artisanal bread and cheese. The farm shops. But, most of all, there’s a gentler pace of life.

We did venture out a little but the days were mostly about relaxation. We went to Hartington where it always rains! Torrentially! We can’t remember a visit there when it was fine. It was a slightly different experience, too, as we had to wear face masks, and limited numbers were allowed in the shops. So, we found ourselves queuing outside the cheese shop in the pouring rain, and I discovered that my waterproof coat gathered water at the cuffs and hems! We bought some sticky toffee pudding cheese and Hartington Blue.

I popped to the bookshop at Brierlow Bar one day when Chris decided to spend the afternoon chilling out and drinking tea. I also located Arbor Low stone circle for a future visit. I’m thinking of early mornings at sunrise.

We had a lovely visit to Ashbourne, which will be our nearest town, and chatted with various locals, had coffee and toasted teacakes, and bought more cheese from the Cheddar Gorge. The Delice de Bourgogne is fabulous.

Our trip to Bakewell coincided with the cattle market and countless farmers drove in and out with trucks and trailers, stocked up with sheep or cows. It’s not open to the public but I’m already working on a plan to be able to visit an auction one day.

This week I’ll be continuing with the declutter. Most of the big items of furniture are now sold. I’m on to the smaller things so I expect there will be a few charity shop runs! It does feel great to be releasing stuff into the wild. Definitely very cathartic. It’s been a while since I did some decluttering and I’d forgotten that feeling of a weight lifting.

I know from past experience that decluttering opens doors. It makes room for the new, it’s a fresh start and a clean slate.

This week’s question is, do you declutter and, if so, what does it shift for you? Look out for the email with the link to join in the conversation. Have a great week!

Until next time, thank you for reading.