Monday, May 31, 2010

Greetings from Weardale.

The weather over the weekend has been breezy and cool, with occasional rain showers passing through. It was cold and cloudy earlier this morning, but the sun has come out ant the clouds reduced to a few ragged bits blowing through the dale. Donít know if it will warm up much but at least we may get some sun today.

Itís a holiday weekend here, but only one day of rest for us. Saturday I was tied to the computer and internet connection here at the cottage, doing the month-end accounting and invoices for Joan back home. Byron and Co.went into the mine to get our washing station set up, as we now have a reasonable accumulation of specimens requiring attention. By late afternoon everyone had finished the dayís assigned duties and we met up at the Blue Bell for a pint, then off to Mine House for dinner with our friends and former landlords, Bob and Mary.

Sunday is the traditional day off, so after a reasonably slow start to the day, we headed off into Cumbria for a bit of sight-seeing, then stopping by Kendal to see Lindsay and Patricia Greenbank, the former owners of the Rogerley. The main stop along the way was a Neolithic stone circle, known as Long Meg and her Sisters, located near Penrith. Itís one of the larger stone circles in the country, and is still reasonably intact, perhaps due to itís out of the way location. The site is currently used as pasture for a nearby dairy farm, but is open to the visiting public. On our visit, a placid herd of Holsteins were wandering amongst the stones, doing what cows do Ė eat grass and lay about. Todayís photo is of the largest stone in the circle, Long Meg herself, along with attendant cows.

After lunch and a good chat with the Greenbanks, we headed back, taking the southern route through Brough and Teesdale. The Appleby horse fair is happening next week and parts of the road were crowded with gypsy caravans and horse trailers heading to the show. Fortunately for us, they were headed in the opposite direction, otherwise we would have been traveling at horse-cart speed for a good number of miles. Final stop for the day was at the Langdon Beck Hotel in upper Teesdale, about 5 miles over the moors from St. Johnís Chapel and our cottage. This weekend there was a local ale festival on, so we got a chance to try a few that we hadnít had before and have a home cooked meal that wasnít cooked by yours truly.

Today, despite being a bank holiday, we will be back at the mine. My various aches and abuses have subsided a bit, so perhaps Iíll have back at the Rat Tail for some of the remaining bits. Dave is away with his wife Sandra on holiday this week, but daughter Shanade is scheduled to come and scrub the mud off our accumulate specimens.

Until next time,

Jesse & Byron

Neolithic standing stone with modern cows.

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