We had a brief interlude of winter weather last week. The snow transforms the countryside - I suppose that’s true of everywhere, but here on the moorlands and crags of the Peak District it has a special quality. I can’t express it better than that master of the English (and Middle English) language; Simon Armitage:
The sky has delivered its blank missive. The moor in coma. Snow, like water asleep, a coded muteness to baffle all noise, to stall movement, still time.
What can it mean that colourless water can dream such depth of white? We should make the most of the light. Stars snag on its crystal points. The odd, unnatural pheasant struts and slides. Snow, snow, snow is how the snow speaks, is how its clean page reads.
Then it wakes, and thaws, and weeps. ©Simon Armitage 2010
Roachside Cottage (top left) seen from Roaches Hall driveway
Well, what a day yesterday! Wall-to-wall sunshine from dawn ‘til dusk!
We’d stayed up at Roachside on Sunday night, after our last guests had departed, and the BBC weather lady had forecast a really good day for Monday. So, with nothing really pressing at home, we opted to have a day out in the sunshine.
Before the sun came up we were along at Roach End and coming back over the ridge path, squinting and shading our eyes against a brilliant sunrise bursting into a cloudless sky. We encountered only one other soul witnessing this spectacle.
We lunched down in Leek at the White Hart Café (dog friendly – you can even get a doggie breakfast here for £1), did a bit of shopping and then did the Swythamley – Hanging Stone circuit in the late afternoon, returning to Roachside as the sun was dropping over Gun Hill Top. The power of the sun has begun to return now the days are getting longer. The dishes, which were standing up on the draining board by the window, were noticeably warm to the touch where the sun had been streaming in through the glass all afternoon. It felt like spring may be just around the corner.