August 13, 2000
Saturday morning saw us with great weather for the drive up to Alnick Castle for the horse carriage trials. The castle is about 70 miles away and took about an hour-and-a-half to get to. There was also an international music festival going on in the town plus the country fair, highland dancing, pipers and falcony demonstrations along with the horse carriage trials. We had the good fortune to be guests of Wardell Armstrong who sent us tickets gave us premier parking spot, a great tent (marquee as they call them) to sit in out of the sun, a wonderful buffet breakfast and lunch along with beer, wine, waters, coffee and soft drinks. Watching the horse and pony drawn carriages negotiate the obstacles was a real new experience to me. And the varieties -- single horse or pony with driver and groom, two horses or ponies side by side or one in front of the other with driver and groom, two horses or ponies with a driver and two grooms, four with a drive and three grooms. It really does take skill and training. HRH prince Phillip was there driving his pony team and was in first place at the end of two days, got to see him from 4'-5' away. We left about 4:00 p.m. and drove back to St. John's Chapel and stopped at the Golden Lion where everyone was having a beer, decided to take the crew up to Steve's in Rookhope for good grog and food, Kerith and Jonina opted out as being too tired but the rest of us had a good time and got back about 10:00 p.m..
Sunday morning Kerith started preparing early for dinner with Byron, Jim, Bobbie, Jonina and Richard Busch and myself -- this sort of prep calls for assistant chefs of undefianable mental abilities. Richard and I broke loose about noon and took a drive around the valley. Managed to get about 1/2 mile away from what appear to be lime kilns across the valley from The Drapery. Going over various barbed wire fences and through a pasture full of sheep and sheep s--t and another full of cows, bulls and bulls--t we did learn they are old lime kilns. From there we drove down to Daddry Shield and tried the various roads till we found the Greenlaws farm and could see the Greenlaws mine. Their were 4 vehicles parked next to the container so mining is still going on, got a couple of pictures of the area plus a great one -- if it turns out - of the Greenlaws farm entrance with the farm name and about a 8-10 dead field mice impaled on barbed wire left by a shrike. From there we drove into Stanhope, found the old church open and looked at the Frosterley marble baptismal font and on to Joe Forster's place to pick up the specimens I had set aside earlier in the week -- still very happy with them though all are of a size I think I will send them home in the container.
Everyone came over for a lamb dinner -- cooked by Jim Clanin - with the 'fixins' done by Kerith and her very important assistant chefs. By the time we were ready for dessert Kirsty and Oliver (baby) came by and joined us with Andrew from the Golden Lion for an apple tart with whipped cream. At this point we chatted for a while till the conversation wore out and all tripped off to home and bed.
That's it from this place way north of Lake Woebegone,
Regards, Cal & Kerith