Monday, 4 July 2011

Hollinsclough, and the 'new arrivals'.

This Tuesday, rain was forecast, but we decided to disbelieve them! After all, they get it wrong SO often, and today was another one of those occasions so we were very happy about that. I wrote the walk to take in the farm of some friends of ours, Andy & Chris, who come in our cafe. Their lovely place is in Hollinsclough. They've had a few 'new arrivals', so we went to see some of them.

These are a future dinner date ;-) ALL the animals on this farm are handled and looked after really personally, so they are very friendly and people-wise, but they are still food! 

I know, I know - how COULD you eat this?
(Pass the mint sauce.......)

 Anyway, we moved on to the barn, where the foal was. Again, very friendly.
(No, this wasn't for food!)
 Mum was keeping an eye one us!
 And the calves enjoy being petted too, especially by Sue (who I quite like being petted by as well).
 Two piggies, Chris told us that these are ready to be slaughtered in just TWENTY ONE weeks, they grow at such a phenomenal rate! In the commercial world, that figure is reduced to just TWELVE weeks. I like food from this farm, because I know EXACTLY how it's been reared, and that it's had nothing I wouldn't like fed or injected (including extra water).

They go for the odd bike ride - it's like a cycle hire centre in the garage!

If the snow gets deep, this is 'Andy's Landy' - his pride and joy that never says 'NO!'. It's in dock just now for a spot of 'belly painting', Andy is giving the chassis a rustproof undercoat.

I'm told he never has the hard top on, he must be b%**%Y FREEZING sometimes! Chris says he just puts overalls on over his suit, and off he goes - never fails, and never been late!

 But it was time to start the walk, and with a view of Chrome hill like this, it was a wonderful start. The paths in Staffordshire Moorlands (where we were) are not a PATCH on the Peak District, and navigation is extremely difficult sometimes. Also, they do not keep stiles and other 'furniture' in good condition, so it's often you see broken stuff (bridges, stiles, gates, etc).

Their flowers are something to behold though, this one is of the orchid family.

Not sure on this one, but lovely, all the same. 

I love the way some people turn bits of old farming paraphernalia into garden ornaments.

The meadows were really incredible. Sue & I were really taken by the huge amount of flowers, and their variety. These daisies might be weeds, but they are lovely.

Old barns too, make a nice picture. This one was near the village of Flash.

I didn't know this, but buttercups 'lose' their butter as they wilt and die.

This clover was in perfect condition, though.

See what I mean about these meadows?

Lots of walls had foxgloves climbing up them.

Again, no idea what this is, it just took my eye.

The bracken was well-advanced too, as Sue will testify.

.Me, crossing a small clapper bridge over a stream.

This stile took some finding!

Ah, what a lovely picture. AN old packhorse bridge. This area was VERY important to trade at one time, but now it's just a backwater.

Before too long, we were back to Chrome hill, which was a nice foreground for the sky.

 Then, it was a rush home as we had arranged to go out with a meal with some friends. Can you BELIEVE we went for an Italian?

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