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Blue John and giraffes

Today, I had a nice day out in Castleton with Helen. It was fairly sunny, though not as warm as yesterday, and breezy. We didn't visit any of the caves, though I'd like to do that sometime, and we certainly didn't tackle the climb up to the castle. We were going for a nice potter, not exercise :)
I liked the little museum in the visitor centre. The displays on the geology of the Peak District were well done. Lots of local history stuff, and some nice interactive stuff. From there, we wandered around the shops. Found a little charity shop, where I bought a book and Helen bought jewellery, then went to a junk collectibles shop, which was packed with all kinds of shit stuff. The owner was quite a character, and had a variety of notices attached among the clutter 'Unattended children will be sold as slaves', 'the layer of dust is to add authenticity, and not because the owner is lazy', and, attached to an old record, 'Free Max Bygraves album for all non-purchasing customers. Englebert Humperdink also available'

By this time we were ready for lunch. The first place we looked at seemed to be obessed with baguettes. You got one with almost every meal. It had the only menu I've ever seen offering 'spaghetti bolognese and baguette'.  We eventually ate at The Castle (that's a pub, not the actual castle). It was reasonably priced and had a nice atmosphere. We both ordered steak sandwich and chips. The steak was rather chewy, and the chips were bog-standard oven fries, but the bread and the caramelized onions were lovely. We both managed to resist the tempation of dessert, even though I'd had the dessert menu facing me all through the meal. Still not sure if I'd have gone for the vanilla cheesecake or the apple and toffee crumble.

After lunch, we got down to the serious business of jewellery shops. We were both on the lookout for some Blue John items. The first shop  had nice stuff, but we both though it was a bit pricy. The second one, the Treak Cliff Cavern shop. was lovely. The assistant was really nice and took time with us as we dithered over buying rings. In the end, we both found ones we liked. I was also taken by some splendid giraffe ornaments they had, made from metal strips woven together. I chose one where the giraffe has his neck flexed, looking behind itself. It's about 14-16" tall, and looks good in the corner of the hearth, by the heater.

We made it back to my place in less than half an hour or so, both having had a nice day.

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