We all have our favourite places, but how many have six feet pictures of it on their vehicle. Sad, maybe and you may even scoff but as Lauren is prone to retort, 'Am I bothered?'
On the back of our motorhome, is the constant reminder of Castleton, Derbyshire and in particular Mam Tor, otherwise known as the Shivering Mountain; a favourite overnight stop, always eagerly anticipated, seldom disappointing. The attraction after a week at home in downtown Derby immediately apparent. The scenery, breathtaking, the pace of life, slower, a weekend 'wind down' often after a weeks 'wind up'. Yes there are those who energetically rush around the place; mountain bikers abound; quad and scrambling bikes disappear over rocky ridges at intervals. Determined hikers of all ages and sizes, some striding, others staggering are viewed, sometimes with admiration, occasionally with amusement by locals and ourselves alike.
However our energies tend to be reserved for the constant cooking of bacon and eggs and leisurely short walks usually ending in a favourite public house, where we are inevitably greeted with friendly banter and an excellent choice of beers, though a connoisseur real ale snob I am not.
Castleton is always full of overnight visitors of a weekend and combined with local trade the mix is always interesting. We talk with a group of, dare I say it, elderly visiters from Hull, seven in number, one having gone to bed early; perhaps the pace was too much. Excellent company, humorous and outgoing, designerware on display. (definely bling bling, and why not, why should the young 'uns have the monopoly on life.) They are an excellent advert for retired living in the 21st century. I think back to the fifties and the drab tired people; My mother, worn out at forty, dead before fifty. Thank God for life today.
I talk also to three equally delightful young ladies who are local and 'doing the rounds'. ( My wife winces at my tendency to 'chat up' all and sundry.) The girls attractive and vivacious, drink via straws what I take to be soft drinks but am informed is a mixture, Jack Daniels being only one of the ingredients mentioned. In search of young men I fear they are destined to be disappointed, a dearth of similarly aged young men seems inevitably apparent. We talk of the lack of excitement at least for lively young ladies. I suppose everywhere on earth has a drawback for someone, somewhere. Strangly enough I remember on a previous occasion a young man from a Midlands city who had brought with him two young ladies for a night in a nearby hotel. He was almost tingling with anticipation, he could not hide his excitement. Never underestimate sleepy little villages like Castleton.
We leave, eventually, park up outside the village (my wife is conveniently a non drinker) and so to bed. Much as we love the place we have no real desire to live in Castleton, for where would we go for weekends of pure pleasure; we are indeed blessed.