Starting off Christmas at Calke

Regular readers will know that my Christmas begins at Calke Abbey when I meet up with a good friend and we peruse the Christmas Fair.  The Fairs vary in dates and types through the years and for us going the weekend before Christmas is a fixed tradition. 

We were lucky this year as the sky was blue and the sun was shining, it was a mild day which made wandering a joy.  We mused as we wandered that we have been through rain and sleet on these days in the past so this was a real pleasure.
as we walked and chatted it became clear that neither of us have had the best of years for differing reasons.  We realised we had not seen each other since this time last year: we had had the odd social media conversation and we both knew each other was there if needed, but we agreed that a clear sympton that neither of us was 100% was that we had not actually been on any gardening adventures together for a whole year.  
So we made up for lost time.  We had the sort of fascinating conversations that only gardening-loving people can have: 'is that a beetroot or a parsnip?' (we decided one was a parsnip the other could have been a parsnip too, but maybe not).
We pondered on the Cockle Stove and decided that it was unlikely to be exclusively for the cooking of cockles as they are not in abundance in land-locked Derbyshire particularly in the 18th century, we decided it was the name of the stove for reasons unclear.  Maybe Mr Cockle was a well known stove maker.....?  Maybe it is something to do with the shape of the stove?  Maybe cockles were a well known Derbyshire delicacy after all.
The Auricula Theatre was full of evergreen Christmas decorations, they made a wonderful display.
and we said hello to the reservoir which is probably the most full I have ever seen.  

We had tea and a cheese scone (good cheese scone) and then moved on to Staunton Harold, to the Ferrers Centre which is just down the road.  
We had lunch and wandered around the lake, which gave us a good reason to then go back and have hot chocolate and cake.  It was an indulgent day, though I was very good and did not have an espresso martini and cake despite it being on the menu.   If only I had not had to drive home.....

But, I hear you ask, but - did you buy anything at the Christmas Fair?
Well of course I did.  Fudge was purchased because it is against the law not to.  A bottle of pink fizz from Scaddows Vineyard (gosh I love their wine).  A pot plant holder shaped like a dog jumped into my hand and I could not put it down.  He (he is a he, he told me) has a little tag with CK on it.  I decided his name would be Calvin as in Calvin Klein when of course I think he/she might really be Cath Kidston.  Either way, its Calvin now.
I could not find the nearly dead corner in the garden centre, where I buy some of my best buys but undeterred I bought this rather lovely camellia.  One of the joys of my garden is that it has the right kind of acid soil for camellias.

We had the most wonderful day and we promised - promised!  to have gardening adventures next year.  There will be snowdropping...!!!!

Take care and be kind.

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  1. Fun! It looks like a lovely place to spend some time during the holidays.


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