As if not to lull us into a false security we woke up to snow on the last day of February.  The beginning of March turned colder before a mild spell made us all feel like winter was over.  March can be fickle with some days feeling spring like and some days reminding you winter was not yet over.  March kept us busy with most weekends full and time permitting more spring cleaning in the cottages.  Spent a day shopping for cottage items in Chesterfield.  Before we knew it it was time to turn the clocks back and with this I found myself taking Smudge for his evening walk in daylight.  Cut the grass for the first time and after a good display of snowdrops we also had a good show from the daffodils.  Lambing commenced next door during the last week of March and with the grass growing Andrew started preparing his fields for the cows to be let out for summer grazing.  As usual as the quarter ended I still had not completed the quarters accounts.

Weather stats for March.  Highest temp 15.7 C on 30th with lowest temp 0.7 C on 21st.  Warmest day and night 30th with 5th being coldest day and 1st being coldest night.  Wettest day was 22nd with .33 inch rain with total for March 2.7 inches (March 2016 2.88 inches)

February Half Term

The February half term sees an increase in arrivals and departures.  The days leading up to half term were cold with snow flurries but the Saturday itself (10 February) was cold and snowy. Although the snow settled it was quite slushy and by Monday it had all gone and it had turned milder. We were kept busy over the following weeks with the half term split over two weeks.  Some mild weather in the middle of the month was followed by Storm Doris which luckily did no damage here.  We also managed an evening at the Opera House where we saw Levison Wood.  In the interim we carried out more deep cleaning and routine maintenance in the cottages and even managed an afternoon in the gardens tidying up on one of the milder days. After half term we experienced another lull so made the most of the time with further jobs like curtain and carpet cleaning.  The days are noticeably longer and there are signs of spring like the snowdrops.  I think we have had more snowdrops this year than ever before.

February weather stats Highest temp 13.1 C on 20th with lowest temp -1.1 C on 6th.  Warmest day was 20th and night 21st with coldest day and night being the 9th. Wettest day was 23rd with .83 inches rain with total for month 2.77 inches (Feb 16 3.95 inches).

The first snow

From Saturday January 7 we had a quieter period as the post New Year guests started to depart.  For a couple of weeks we had just a few cottages in.  Took advantage of the lull to catch up on accounts and commence the deep cleaning regime in the cottages.  We also found a day to go shopping at the Trafford Center.  We did wake up to some snow on Friday 13th January. Probably about an inch but the cleaner couldn’t make it as she had more in her village.  As usual there was hardly anything in Bakewell as I discovered when Chris dropped me off after lunch to go shopping. Towards the end of January we had more guests particularly at the weekends.  The weather was mixed with a combination of fine mild days and colder days and we had a couple of days of hoar-frost which always makes for good photo opportunities. Some friends came to visit one weekend and Chris even managed to come to the Farmers Market with me.

Weather stats for January.  Highest temp 9.4C on 7th with lowest temp -3.7C on 27th.  Warmest day 7th and night 15th.  Coldest day and night 26th.  Wettest day 15th with .4 in rain.  Total for Jan 17 1.66 in compared to 4.07 in Jan 16.

a busy start to 2017

January 1st 2017 started cold and wet with a few sleety showers.  A quiet day with lunch at the Aisseford Tearoom after which brother in law headed home. Monday was a cold but sunny day.  No arrivals or departures and it was back to business despite being a bank holiday.  The annual newsletter had gone out so this resulted in a number of emails and phone calls and some bookings. In the afternoon one of our regular guests called in for a cup of tea and made a booking for next New Year.  It was very crunchy underfoot when I took Smudge out for his evening walk.  A nice sunrise on Tuesday then first New Year departures with three cottages leaving and two cleaners here.  Took down the trees from the vacated cottages.  Another busy day for phone calls and emails with more bookings. Wednesday was a busy day with five departures and two arrivals.  For me down to Bakewell for the first dancing session of the year leaving Chris in charge.  Both cottages arrived between 3&4 pm, both have been before.  Packed up some Christmas trees and a few more bookings came through too.  Thursday was a cold sunny day.  Two more arrivals and a cleaner here.  Took down more trees and packed away some decorations.  Both cottages here between 4&5 pm, one has been before. Crunchy underfoot again when took Smudge out. Friday was dull and drizzly.  No departures but a further two arrivals with one cleaner here.  Down to Bakewell first thing to get provisions for the weekend.  Took down final decorations although Chris still has to take down the lights.  Both cottages here between 3.30 and 4pm, both have been before. It has been a busy start to the year.

The big change over

There was a hard frost first thing on Wednesday 28 December.  Luckily there was no fog here.  Four departures and six arrivals and three cleaners here.  With some early departures we were able to make a prompt start to cleaning which was finished by lunchtime.  All checks and final touches completed by 2.30.  At 3pm a procession of cars made its way up the drive with three cottages all arriving together.  A few minutes later two more cottages arrived so Chris and I were very busy for a few minutes.  Four have been before so most of the chat went in catching up.   Final cottage arrived just before 5pm, they also have been before.  By now the fog had rolled in and there was a weather warning in place.  Again by the morning it had disappeared and Thursday was another sunny and cold day.  One departure and one cleaner here.  Later in the afternoon we went out for a few hours calling in at the Chatsworth Garden Center, Edensor Tearoom and Chatsworth Farm Shop.  Friday started misty but it soon lifted into another sunny day and a little milder than previous days.  No departures but one arrival with cottage cleaned so just needed final checks.  Spent the day on accounts work that needed to be entered before end of month and Chris spent the day on preparations for the annual newsletter.  Cottage arrived at 3.30.  Friday was mild but more overcast. No departures but one arrival with cottage already prepared.  As my brother in law was expected later in the day prepared a room for him. Cottage here at 5pm and brother in law at 4pm.  In the evening we went to the Crispin at Great Longstone for a meal before seeing the New Year in quietly.

December weather stats. Highest temp 12.2 C on 18th with lowest temp -0.5 C on 5th. Warmest day 9th and warmest night 7th.  Coldest day 5th and coldest night 27th. Wettest days 8th and 23rd, both with 0.39 although it fell in a shorter time on the 23rd.  Total rain for month 1.59 in compared to a wet December in 2015 with 5.14 in.

Christmas walks

Christmas Eve was bright and breezy and with no arrivals we decided to go for a walk. We opted for a walk from the door to Monyash and parked one of the cars there then we headed down to Lathkill Dale via Mill Farm.  The wind had picked up by mid morning but once we were down in the dale we were quite sheltered.  The water was flowing well when we entered the dale but had dried up by the time we reached the source.  We had hoped to have lunch at the Smithy in Monyash but it had just closed so we drove over to Grindleford where we had lunch at the cafe.  Then we had a walk around the outdoor shops at Hathersage before a quiet evening in.  Enjoy the photos. Boxing Day was another fine day but noticeably colder than Christmas Day.  No arrivals  or departures.  Down to Bakewell mid morning and a wander around the shops with coffee at the Tiroler Stuberl before we went to the Agricultural Center to watch the hunt set off from Bakewell.  Then we headed to White Lodge car park outside Ashford where we walked along Monsal Dale and up to Monsal Head.  The Dale was quite muddy in places and by the time we got to the top the wind had picked up again. We bumped into our friends from Chelmorton who were doing a different walk.  Heading back we walked over the viaduct, the Monsal Trail was not as busy as we thought it would be, and down to the Dale.  Retracing our steps we came across some cows blocking the path so had to make a minor detour. Later in the afternoon our friend left to drive home. Tuesday was a quieter day with time to catch up with chores from the last few days and prepare for the big changeover between Christmas and New Year. One departure.  Another cold sunny day.  Enjoy the photos from the Monday.

Countdown to Christmas

Wednesday 21st December was a fine day with some passing showers at lunchtime. Visitors in the morning and final check on cottages arriving later in the day before we popped down to Ashford to drop off another card.  They are progressing with the groundwork at the proposed Aldi supermarket although the store will not be open until sometime in 2018.  Two arrivals in the afternoon between 3.30 and 4.30, both have been before.  Put up another tree in a cottage and some housework. Thursday saw a frosty start and it stayed sunny but cold.  Two more arrivals mid afternoon, one has been before.  In the morning we went down to Bakewell to get last minute provisions then drove round to the Chatsworth Garden Center to see if they had anything interesting in the sale but we couldn’t find anything we liked.  We stopped at Edensor tearoom for coffee and cake before heading home.  Final jobs in cottages before guests arrived and two more Christmas Trees up then caught up on some paperwork.  Friday started overcast, it was mild but then it turned wet with strong winds in the afternoon.  Final preparations for last cottage to arrive for Christmas and then we headed off to Hartington to get some cheese and have coffee in the little tearoom.  Back home and preparations for our own Christmas and for friend who arrived mid afternoon.  Cottage also arrived mid afternoon, they have been before.  In the evening we went to the Bulls Head at Monyash for a meal then called in at Mark and Karen’s to wish them Merry Christmas.




Christmas Tree oh Christmas Tree

Thursday 15 December was a mild but overcast day. No departures or arrivals so made the most of the day catching up on jobs around the house.  Friday was a better day.  No departures but one arrival who got caught up in the M1 incident and their four hour journey took ten hours with them arriving at 8pm.  Second Christmas tree up as well as some jobs in the cottages.  Have purchased a number of pillows duvets and mattress protectors so distributed them around the cottages.  One cleaner here too. Saturday was still mild but sunny.  Down to Bakewell for the Farmers Market first thing. No departures or arrivals and Chris started to put up the outside Christmas and I put up the third cottage Christmas tree. Sunday was fine but not as sunny.  One departure. Chris finished putting up the outside lights and I did jobs around the house. Mid afternoon we went to see the Christmas Tree Festival at Bakewell church as it was the last day.  We also had a little wander around Bakewell and stopped for tea and cake at the Bakewell Book Store.  Monday was a busy day. Two cleaners here in the morning for final preparations and cleaning in cottages.  After lunch we took stuff to the recycling center then went onto Matlock for some shopping.  We called in to see the previous owners of Bolehill on the way back and dropped off some Christmas cards.  In the evening I went with Andrew and Joanna to the village hall for community wassailing so a chance to catch up with and wish locals a Merry Christmas. Tuesday was a brighter but cooler day spent mostly on Christmas preparations including putting up another tree in a cottage and decorations in the cottages and leisure area.  So much still to do!

Hardwick Hall at Christmas

Saturday 10 December was a cloudy but fine day with no departures but two arrivals with cottages already prepared.  Both here between 3 and 4pm, both have been before. A quiet day of catch up jobs and in the evening we had friends around for a drink. Sunday was a similar day weather wise.  A busy day with four departures and one arrival with cottage prepared and cottage arrived at 3pm.  Spent time on Christmas preparations. Monday saw two departures but no arrivals.  Two cleaners here to keep up with cleaning and used the time to put up the first Christmas tree in one of the cottages as well as other jobs in vacant cottages. Tuesday started dry but deteriorated during the day.  No arrivals with one cleaner here and two departures after which we headed to Hardwick Hall.  Here we were allowed access to the hall with other accommodation providers on a day the hall was closed to the public.  After coffee and networking we had a look at the hall which had been decorated for Christmas.  We also were allowed to look around the ruins of the old hall although at this point it was raining so we got wet.  We had lunch at the cafe there before driving back via Chesterfield where we did some shopping.  For the first time since the beginning of January we had no cottages in at all!  (2016 only had two nights with no one in).  Wednesday was ‘my day’.  Down to Bakewell for my dance session before returning home to get changed.  Then I was back down to Bakewell where I met up with some of the Wednesday dancing ladies for a Christmas lunch at ‘As You Like It’.  It is where we normally meet for coffee but they did us a lovely lunch and we all enjoyed ourselves. Some shopping before heading home again.  One cottage arrived just after 4pm, they have been before. Enjoy the photos from Tuesday.