Sunday 3 June another first

15 degrees by 8 am. That’s twice what it was last Sunday! Took the dogs out on a lead for their walk as they were cutting in our 8 acre field. After breakfast and our B&B guests had departed,we went to get a Sunday paper. Usually we go to Bakewell but sometimes we go to the shop in Ashford in the Water, which we did as it is well dressing time. Well dressing is a custom found only in the Derbyshire area and the main season is May to September when a lot of villages and towns have their annual well dressing ceremonies sometimes with a carnival or other type of festivity. Well dressing is an ancient form of giving thanks for the village wells and water. They are large tablets of clay into which intricate pictures have been made with natural materials such as wool, seeds and foliage. They are a real work of art and many villages such as Ashford and Youlgreave have up to half a dozen wells dressed. The dressings have a blessing ceremony and remain in place for nearly a week. We bought a paper and wandered around the village stopping at one of the homes that was offering refreshments to have a coffee. We also visited the church to admire the flower festival.

Back home we turned around the two bedrooms as we were expecting further guests that evening. After a late lunch we spent a few hours relaxing in the garden as it was so nice and we hadn’t had any real time off for a week or so.. Our guests, two couples together, arrived later in the afternoon having done a twelve mile walk. They are here for six nights and doing a 90 mile circular walk mainly in the white peak area. After dinner the tractors arrived to collect the grass from our field. Chris managed to hitch a ride on the tractor being driven by Ian, the farmers son. He did what I called a circuit, filling the collection box then going back to the farm where Andrew, the farmer, was filling the barn. Everyone does their bit with Joanna, the wife and Fay the daughter, bringing feed over for the younger cattle. When Chris got back I ha my chance to do a circuit. I clung on to the door handle and had a running commentary from Ian as to what was going on. My first ride on a tractor!