I woke early this morning with blog thoughts running through my mind so I decided to get up straight away and start writing. I was feeling chirpy and bright as I came downstairs but within seconds I was confronted with a problem that I have created and don’t know what to do about. A few weeks ago I was really pleased when Martin and Melanie started bringing a new friend home. They all got on so well together. Often I misjudge the appetites of Martin and Mel and prepare too much food. Rather than let the food go to waste I was happy to let Theragen come in and finish it off. At some undefined point Theragen took more control of the situation and began turning up first thing in the morning and then hanging around most of the day. Of course Martin and Mel are always pleased to see her but I was (and still am) concerned that she is spending too much time here when she should be with her own family, who may well be fretting over her long absences. She has moved on from waiting at the door. She just wanders in and helps herself to food. A few days ago I started turning her away and refused to let her in the house. That’s when her true nature became apparent. She isn’t content with accepting what she is given. She is demanding and determined. As I am typing, I can still hear her yowling intermittently outside. I can’t see her because I am avoiding looking out of the window in case I catch her eye and she takes that as a sign of me weakening and renews her yowling with greater zeal. My brain tells me that she looks well fed and cared for and doesn’t need food from my house but those yowls and steely eyes are nearly breaking my resolve to ignore her. Guilt isn’t helping me be strong. I know now I should never have welcomed her in and given her the impression that she could become one of our family. I’m sure she doesn’t understand why I am suddenly denying her food that was given so freely just a few days ago. Mel and Martin are showing no interest in the situation at all and, after a quick hello sniff, they have gone off, leaving Theragen and I at stalemate.
That is the situation I’m in right now. Hopefully if I concentrate on writing I won’t be drawn to open the door. So…… a weekend in the Peak District. The visit was dual purpose. A chance to take my mother away and a chance to see a friend’s artwork on display. I did have some concerns over the combination but apart from my mother’s expected question – “What’s it meant to be?”- on seeing Patsy’s creations it worked well and meeting Patsy gave my mother plenty of content for conversations with my sister when she returned home. This was warmly greeted by my sister who was becoming a little tired of repeated conversations about what would happen at digital switchover and my mother’s concerns that my sister would not have sufficient knowledge and skills to retune her Freeview box. (She did).
Patsy gave me a private artist’s tour of her sculptures. I felt very special, especially when other visitors passed by and were just ‘listening in’ rather than being ‘specially selected’. It was great to hear Patsy’s thoughts behind her creating. It definitely increased my interest in and connection to her work. It is Patsy who has been asking for photographs on my blog. I think she should add a recording of her talking about her pieces for the listeners among us. Written thoughts would be good but Patsy’s passion comes out in her voice, and she has a nice accent. I won’t be more specific about her accent because too many clues would make it easy for some readers to guess her real identity.
After the artist’s tour we went on a tour of coffee shops in the large village/small town. There were five of us altogether – Patsy, Patsy’s daughter, Patsy’s friend (Paulette, who I had not met before), my mother and me. Finding an open café which could accommodate us all proved impossible. We ended up in a pub. Now this may sound stereotypical but my expectation of a pub in a Peak District village which is hosting an arts festival is that it will be a bit posh. This one wasn’t. Half past five on a Saturday afternoon and we were sat at a table next to a group of people whose loudness was fuelled by alcohol and lots of it. One of their party, a burly man adorned with tattoos, took it upon himself to become our waiter and delivered an assortment of tea pots, milk jugs and cups from the bar to our table. Patsy and Paulette engaged in conversation about tattoos with him, including what tattoos he had below his waist. This is where I would have made my excuses and left him at the bar but the next thing I saw was Paulette looking in his mouth and ‘ooooing’. It turned out that he had a tattoo on his inside lip which had intrigued Paulette. After my initial surprise at her actions (I had classified her as about my age and a bit posher so it seemed out of character) I could see how curiosity could lead to this, which is probably better than my motive for doing such things ie.drinking too much alcohol.
All is quite outside. Theragen may have given up for the time being, fingers crossed. I feel safe to venture into the kitchen and get a cup of coffee now. If Theragen is there, her hopes will rise that I have gone in there to open the back door. Oh, I can feel the angst building up at the thought of it. If she is still there I will take a photograph ready for tomorrow’s blog which will also feature the car driver story.
1. Do not believe the tourist information assistant at Matlock Mining Museum if she tells you that the Park and Ride bus from Matlock to Matlock Bath illuminations stops in the car park next to the gardens where the illuminations are. I believed her (after she had just given my mother a free ticket to the illuminations because she is a blue badge holder due to mobility difficulties) and we ended up walking half a mile!!!! from a different car park. Then half a mile back!!!!!
2. Do not assume that the cordoned off area for people with disabilities will have any seating in it. I did and we ended up standing for an hour. Go early and get a seat in the other areas!!!
3. Do not expect too much from the ‘unique parade of illuminated and decorated boats’. Expect ten pretty boats with lights on and you won’t be disappointed.
B&B Owner Advice
You won’t get excellent on tripadvisor if you serve a full breakfast with mushrooms and without tomatoes to Rose’s mother when she specifically requested a full breakfast with tomatoes and without mushrooms.