21 May 2009

May Holiday/Acers High! (Mayan Long Count)

Pixie and I had our spring holiday last week and it was decided that we head to the Peak District this year. I could ramble on about the holiday in my usual way, but I think it may be better to quote Pixie's succinct style (taken from a thread at The Bear Pit). My comments are in italics.

"Here's a run down on all the places we visited:

Haddon Hall - interesting (especially the Elizabethan musicians playing authentic replica instruments in the main hall). Expensive though to get in. The band were called Piva, they even dressed in the medieval gear. The chapel had bats nesting in it and you could hear them chattering. Definitely a worthwhile visit.

Bakewell - a charming little place with massive fish in the river. Nice village - the river promenade is a groovy chill-out spot. Cool indie book/music shop called 'Bakewell Books' in the centre of town. Fairly pricey, but some excellent finds there.

Ashford in the Water - pretty little village. Very small, but you can gawp at the expensive country houses and have a walk up above the village on a steep hill path.

Eyam - the "plague" village. Interesting but creepy. It sorta looks like any number of small English villages, 'till you notice the plaques outside some of the cottages letting you know how many members of a particular family died there. There's a very old stone Saxon cross in the church graveyard. We had lunch at a tiny roadside cafe, I can't recall the name of it now--decent sarnies there.

Hathersage - where we stayed. Not much there but a good base for our holiday. We meant to go see Little John's grave, which is supposedly there. I recommend the Little John pub--it's a bit tourist-y, but cozy and the Bosley Cloud beer is quite nice.

Sheffield - by accident when we were looking for a supermarket. We passed through a few funky neighborhoods with lots of mom-n-pop/indie shops, but didn't have time to stop, as we were on a mission for grub. We shopped at the Waitrose by a few massive tower blocks--there's a newer glass-facade one that's being finished at the moment. I will say that Sheffield didn't look as bad as I expected it to.

Blue John Cavern - very interesting but expensive shop (the jewellery in the shop was beautiful but way out of my price range). The cavern tour was pretty amazing. You end up around 300 feet below the surface. Gigantic 'rooms' carved out of the rock by water and the stone walls looking ribbed by the same effect seemed incredible to me. Our guide was coughing throughout most of the journey and joked about having swine flu. He's an older bloke and I was relieved when he completed the tour--really, he's fitter than we are. Well, he is in traversing the cavern, anyway.

Glossop - looking for Hadfield but couldn't spot any League of Gentlemen places. Portions of the show were allegedly filmed in the small town of Hadfield, but we couldn't find a high street (the most likely place for filming), or even anywhere to park. We stopped in Glossop and had a little wander around. I found some great LPs in the Oxfam shop there, including a near-mint copy of Tangerine Dream's 'Rubycon' and a decent copy of Yes' 'Relayer', at good prices. Nice!

Longshaw Estate (national trust) - went for a walk around the grounds and then by a pretty stream. The weather was lovely that day, I think we even got a bit of a sunburn. Longshaw is recommended for a good walk. The day we visited, the crowds were at a minimum and it was quite serene. Very enjoyable.

Buxton - nice little place with a Subway. I liked Buxton, even though it was an overcast day. There's some interesting architecture and a huge green area to walk around. The high street is packed with charity shops, which may contain vinyl goodies. I found a couple of Sky LPs and a Wurzels album too. The find of the day was a copy of Camel's 'Mirage', including the photo insert. Lunch was at Subway - you just can't go wrong with a tasty sammich from there.

Monsal Head - we went for a walk on the old railway. Beautiful views. We attempted a 10-mile circular walk, but couldn't find a landmark (stated in the guidebook we were using) about halfway through and decided to turn back. It was a prescient choice, because we were knackered by the time we were back at the car. Another great place to explore.

Ilam & Dovedale - my favourite place I think. We went for a 4.5 hour walk there. Pretty spectacular scenery, especially on the walk we took. There's one bit where you venture through a small 'valley' between two steep hills...it seems almost prehistoric. Until a plane flies over, that is. There's another part of the walk beside the Dove River that's quite beautiful. We crossed the famous "Stepping Stones" as well. I tried to feed a few pieces of ice cream cone to a lamb, but I don't think he was having it.

Hardwick Hall - another National trust place. Interesting (but it poured with rain and we got soaked going round the Herb garden). This was a 'stop-on-the-way-home' visit. The house has some fascinating artifacts...old carved-wood tables and faded silk tapestries. The grounds are probably well-kept and worth a walkabout - we didn't bother due to the rain."

That's your lot - there are photos, but I haven't down-loaded them off of the camera yet. Maybe I'll show some off in a later post.

Our old Compaq Presario was starting to drag a bit. It is 6 years old and had to be re-booted a couple of times, due to viruses. Pixie and I have been talking about buying a new system for about a year now. We bit the bullet and purchased an Acer M464 a few weeks ago off of a local computer dealer. On the few sites I looked at - it received decent reviews. The bloke stopped by yesterday and installed it, plus copied all of mine and the goodwyf's files off of the Compaq. It was up and running in a couple of hours...and man, it is fast! I tested out the CD/DVD burner and it zapped a disc out in 1 minute (using Magix's Audio Cleaning Lab program) and the copy was good (it was Rotary Connection's self-titled debut, for those who may be interested). I found out the computer bloke likes Tangerine Dream, becuase I was spinning Ricochet and my newly-acquired "Rubycon" LP while he was setting the system up and he told me he used to listen to them back in the 70s. He remarked that he was an apprentice at the BBC's Radio and Television workshop, so I turned him on to The White Noise...he kinda dug it. It's nice to have a computer that doesn't take ages to load up more than one intrawebnet page or finish a virus scan. I have to admit I like having a new toy every so often.


Anonymous said...

Glad you both had a swell time! :) Congrats on the new computer. We really need one too but we have to repair the roof and buy a new TV first, at the very least. Oh well.

The Rotary Connection. Fab group. I think I have a couple of their albums in the vaults somewhere. Very cool.

Sounds like you struck lucky with the computer guy. The ones we have had here for repairs have all seemed a bit dodgy to me...but then again, who doesn't?!!

The Purple Gooroo said...

Cheers, Bear! Yeah - the comp's working well now - after we got rid of that stupid virus..aaaarrgh!

Agreed (re: Rotary Connection). Can't believe I hadn't heard of them before now. I was turned on to them through a friend's radio show (on Newport Radio!). Must get some more.

I know - the computer guy's alright. Well, he's into T. Dream...can't be all that bad. ;-)