Derbyshire 37 - North Wingfield -40 days and 40 nights /crinkled leaves/first Autumn mists /a time of great change

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August 29th 2017
Published: September 12th 2017
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40 days and 40 nights - sounds Biblical. 40 days and 40 nights until we head off for sunnier climes and the last holiday of the year. The weather has been Biblical - another hurricane has hit the United States causing devastation to Texas. We have swerved and careered through a hot bank holiday weekend. That must be a first as most bank holidays have changeable weather . The weather is either hot and muggy or we have heavy rain which fills our water butts. The leaves on the trees are looking like burnished gold when they are bathed in the soft golden light of evening. Soon they will crinkle and drop off . Autiumn is coming. I sound like an advertisement for Game of Thrones. Winter is coming.

We have so much to do to get ready for the trip and somehow we are behind. The butterflies in the stomach have started as we worry that we will miss something or forget to take something with us. I go up to Suzy with stomach churning and start to empty cupboards out again. Glenn needs to check the tool boxes - vital when you spend over a month abroad. I check the tea, coffee supplies box . How many times have I done this? More than once to be sure. I never know if I take too much or not enough. I take out the box with essentials and make a mental list of what I need to buy. As I do this I think about a trip out . How about Hopton Hall ? Just up the road . I have planned a visit every Spring for the last three years and never managed to see this Spring garden full of snowdrops. What will it be like this time of year? The Hollyhocks and Red Hot Pokers have gone over. The Michaelmas Daisies are just coming out. The garden will not be at its best. My thoughts go to the ABC of Motorhoming. Another Bloody Garden I think and put the idea out of my mind. Next week perhaps .

I move on the book and map cupboard . I take out the old ACSI books and pass them to a friend who is starting her motorhoming life. I hope she gets as much enjoyment out of them as we did . I fill the cupboard with a supply of books to read on holiday . I cannot find any cryptic crossword books nor any quiz ones so have to make do with what I have . Surely I have enough codewords for Glenn and paperbacks to keep me busy in the darker evenings.

Life seems odd at the moment . More bad news - our office closes in October which is earlier than we expected . I am going through denial hoping it wont happen . I know it will and feel saddened . It is like many things inevitable. I think about how I will get there. Should I use the bus? I am used to free parking but not for much longer. £2.20 one way - free back courtesy of a concessionary card. I will lose the convenience though of a car. What about parking ? £4.745 a day - as I empty the medicine cupboard my mind races over the thoughts of how much that costs . Is there any cheaper way of parking? Yes but not by much - buy a daily scratch card £3.75 a day or park further out and walk. No swimming either on my working days. I have paid my last swimming fees before we go away . I count how many swims that will be before we head off for Kent.

I move on to the other cupboards . I think of everything that is wrong at the moment and the fact that I cannot do anything about it. The cooker is a challenge . It should have been cleaned when we came home from Norfolk . I forgot and now it needs an extra scrub .

We order more euros for the trip. The euro is on a par with the pound almost . It's all about Brexit and the 48% Remainers tell us that it is all doom and gloom . The pound will plummet even more . Our government has started talks about our divorce from the EU .It is getting nasty, Our side take no papers . The other side has folders full of what they want. Millions and billions of euros for us to divorce beore they talk about the new relationship. They tell us we are prevaricating and that we don't understand the implications of leaving the EU. Life is complicated at the moment and seems as if it won't get any better for a while yet. We are trapped and apparently the French are saying they are happy to see us go. Fear is a funny old thing. We fear being in the EU and we fear being out of it . The EU countries fear us being in as we say what we think and are unhappy about the cost of the EU and the wheels that run within the community . The Germans want us in - perhaps they realise just how much money we contribute . We are being taught a lesson and the EU want to make sure no-one else leaves by making an example of us. "Fear is man's greatest enemy". So said Swami Prajnanpad and how I agree with him. I agree with him on how Europe is going. I agree when I look at North Korea. Fear makes you shameful, it makes you jealous, angry and full of arrogance . What thoughts as I empty the medicine cupboards? . I take out what is out of date and replace things . What do they say causes fear ? Lack of confidence in oneself . Food for thought. Cleaning and emptying give you time to be philosophical .

The Mountain Ash trees are covered with red berries hanging thickly from the branches . They show Autumn is well on the way. I wonder what the weather will be like in a fearful Europe? .

30 days and counting down.. I count down the number of weekends , the number of Saturdays and Sundays before we leave for Kent and then France . We think again about our holiday . The plan was to travel clockwise around Italy taking in many of the small northern medieval towns. Rovereto, Gorizia , Trento . ABMT - comes to mind . Perhaps we will suffer from Another Bloody Medieval Town. We love them. We love the piazzas. They have such character . We love the duomos. We fall in love with the medieval heart of the towns and cities . We enjoy the coffee and cakes , the pizzas and the pasta . However will we still be able to enjoy so many on the trot.? We found a site Porte Emiglia Romana and worked our way through their covereage of each tiny town. They all looked good and we pencilled them in. Now we have had second thoughts . Perhaps we will see too much of the same. Perhaps we will get fed up of medieval piazzas and palaces . A thought - we might be better travelling anti clockwise starting at Lake Iseo and taking the train into Brescia . That way we see Roman, German medieval gothic , a lake or two and a city .

Eventually we will end up in Trento, Rovereto and Monte Grappa . At least if we end this far up we can spend time coming home a different way . As I clean the mirrors and glass surfaces in Suzy the conversation turns to how to come home a different way . How about Hungary? Never been there before I said . Nor me said the driver . What do we know about Hungary ? A little bit but not enough so we order the DK Books for Hungary and Austria . Why Austria ? It is on the way home and we are coming that way so why not? We leave the cleaning and wait for the books to arrive. When they do we sit for the next few days flicking the pages over and reading all about towns small and large. Budapest - sounds good , Museums, the Danube, a castle and the parliament building . Lake Balaton - we need money . I order £59 worth of HUF's . I think we need more . The holiday is taking on a different aspect - one we never expected .

The weather continues changeable - another terrorist attack in Spain . Where will it all end? Life is complicated included our own. The hawthorns bushes are full of red berries ripe for the blackbirds to pick off . We still don't make Hopton Hall. I even pencil in Woolaton Hall in Nottinghamshire - gardens plus an Elizabethan house . We don't do that either . We just move Suzy off the drive -open her grey water tanks and get rid of the waste water we had forgotten was even in there.

Day 25 and counting down very slowly . Slowly but surely we are getting closer to the holiday . Butterflies are getting worse as we put plans into action. I pick apples off the trees and cook them in as many ways as I can. Apple pies, apple crumbles, apples stewed and backed . It all passes the time away. We need to wash Suzy and clean her carpets . The weather is too unkind and it would be a waste of precious time to do them at the moment . Perhaps tomorrow . A bit like Hopton and Woollaton - I keep thinking there is always a tomorrow . Plenty of time to do things . One Duvalay washed , dried and ironed. One more to go - I need sunshine to dry it and the next few days promise nothing but rain.

Where is time going to? The holiday is now 20 days away. It is feeling very real and I am getting both excited and worried . Doctors appointments well at least some of them are out of the way. More to do this week. Will be glad when they are over . A visit to the chiropodist - at least my feet will feel wonderful as I pound the Italian streets in search of history and culture , the odd espresso and Aperol spritz. The first Autum mists fill the fields. The trees are turning brown and red and the leaves fall to the ground. The last few days have really felt like Autumn. Autumn arrives on the 1st September according to the meteorology office . The heating starts to come on in the mornings. I feel sad we are coming to end of our travelling year and want to make the most of what we have left of the summer sun in Italy.

So what did we do when we got to 20 days and counting? We went in search of the Secret Bunker on a trip to meet Sions best friend Woolly Mammoth and for us to catch up with Jo.


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