We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

11 October 2007

Milling around..

Over the weekend we took our mooney heads out for a walk at the local nature spot, Hardcastle Crags. What's a mooney head???
Our word, or perhaps someone else out there uses it too.. it is a crabby/cranky/grouchy/tired/sluggish/unmotivated feeling in your head/body around the time of the new moon and/or full moon, hence 'you have a moon head on'..

The best cure for it is either to a) go back to bed, b) go off somewhere on your own-not really an option when you have kids or c) go out for a walk in nature. So we went to the Crags and for a two mile walk up to Gibson Mill. The mill was a new venture for us and even though we endured some whining along the way, it was a good walk and a perfect day for it.

Hardcastle Crags is known as Britains 'little switzerland' which I only just learned today... it is a beautiful wooded valley which is owned by the National Trust. Gibson Mill was built in 1800 for the textile industry which ended in 1890. Since then it has been among other fascinating things, a roller skating rink (in the middle of the woods!!!), a dance hall and a tea room. It then lay derelict for years, and now has become the National Trust's flagship environmental showcase as a model of self-sustainability. It has been renovated and has no mains electricity, water or sewer. There are water powered turbines which generate electricity, photo-voltaic solar panels which also convert sunlight into electricity, and solar hot water panels. They also use local wood as part of the forest managment for some heating. Despite all the educational opportunities, my son did enjoy it.. and especially looked forward to the food in the cafe (naturally)! There was also a supply of bird watching books, tree-identification books, and other National Trust info laying around that provided an interesting read while enjoying coffee and biscuits.

No comments: