Hidden things

Diana and co north 252We left Cressbrook Dale on Sunday afternoon, the three of us, and headed for the Barrel Inn above Great Hucklow. It is, as I have mentioned before, traditional. A pint there revived us after the strange goings on at Cressbrook, and the view is enough to heal anything. We watched the darkly glowering clouds roil and roll across the landscape, casting shadow on the green and a spotlight upon hills yet to be walked. There is, however, only so much one can do in a day. From here you can see the Dale and the dark stain of Peter’s Stone in the heart shaped valley. It was, in fact, here that we had first learned its name and proximity to ‘our’ hillside.

Diana and co north 256From the Barrel we dropped down through Foolow in search of a very special place run by potter Geoff Fuller. Blink and you’ll miss it. There is no obvious pub sign as we know them today, just the skeletal remains of Three Stags Heads and a shotgun-wielding hare in the window. The place is tiny, smaller than my living room, with a huge fire in the range and geoff’s beautiful pottery lining the walls. A second room was full of song, the purest of voices singing. The tables held an assortment of whippets and the glasses a lethal selection of obscure ales. That there was partridge on the menu was no surprise at all…

Diana and co north 258Stuart, by this time well fortified by his pint of lethal Black Lurcher, was asking the locals about the landscape and legends, wearing the kind of fatalistic expression that suggested he felt unlikely to make it out alive. I, decorously sipping a Dandelon and Burdock (which incidentally turned out to be as potent as any beer) was shown the fossil and skull collection by the landlord while our guest, eyes shining, was listening to the music, perched on a stool between the two rooms where he could beam across at us every so often. Needless to say, we’ll be going back. In fact, we already have… and although they had sold out of the dandelion and burdock, they sell something I haven’t tasted in the best part of thirty years… Gueze… a Belgian lambic that I love.

Rowan Barbrook (7)“Can we manage another stone circle?” asked our guest. Well, Barbrook was on the way back to Sheffield so it was a natural, if harrowing choice, given that I generally end up in tears. Those who have read our books will know why. No surprise that it rained again there… hard, horizontal torrents and a chill wind as we arrived at the cairn above the circle. Even so. We doggedly walked the whole site, including the avenue. That too I will write of, but not here, not now. At least the rain hid the tears.

Rowan Barbrook (47)Thankfully the Peacock… yes, another pub… was not far, as we squelched our way through the sodden peat to the car, heading for a farewell dinner and another Guinness Float. It seemed incredible that we could have packed so much into a single weekend, and at a leisurely enough pace to not seem in the least bit hurried. But time does that… as long as you don’t watch the clock, the clock no longer matters and the days hold what they are supposed to hold. In this case they had held fun, laughter, mutual learning and a shared sense of the sacredness of the land we had walked together. It was a joy, a privilege and the sense of companionship ran deep. Of course, we had to get our guest to the station next morning, and we are easily side-tracked after all…

Diana and co north 259

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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2 Responses to Hidden things

  1. Running Elk says:

    Smallest sawn-off in the world… 😀


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