Monday, 4 May 2015
After a few weeks of settled, dry, sunny (if cold) weather, it has taken a turn for the worse - even colder and very wet... This change came (of course) just in time for the May Day bank holiday weekend, when my family came to visit. We went to see the house they hope to buy when they move back to Yorkshire from London. Their plans are progressing and all being well they should be able to move this summer. We're all rather excited about that. Hopefully much more of that later...
The day was designed to include a pleasant woodland walk and lunch at this National Trust property, Gibson Mill on the Hardcastle Crags estate. Well, we enjoyed a nice-enough lunch but the walk was a very wet and cold trudge... not so nice, especially with a baby and a toddler. I hope we can make a return visit on a better day.
It was a pity, as the valley is beautiful and the mill has a long and interesting history. A former 19th century water-powered cotton mill, it then became a 20th century 'entertainment emporium' with a dance-hall and skating rink and it is now a café and visitor centre. It is 'off grid' - 100% self-sufficient in energy (supplied by water and solar power), water and waste disposal and its only 'wired' connection to the outside world is the telephone line.