Saturday 15th October 2011

Chatsworth House


Just after 8:30 and we are on our way to Sheffield. It is a beautiful morning, but, a shock, the car was frozen from the first frost of the winter.

We are planning to take our time and stop at a Little Chef in Oxford for breakfast and Chatsworth House in Derbyshire for a walk in the gardens.

Late last night, I got an E-mail from my boss at Architecting the Enterprise asking me whether I would like to be part of the AtE team at the upcoming Garner event in Barcelona.

 My first instinct is yes, but this is not an easy decision and I will need to take medical advice. There are two issues to consider.
(1) Health risk, mainly the risk of picking up an infection.
(2) Insurance. I will not be covered for anything related to my lymphoma and treatment.

Overall, unless the doctors say no or I feel ill, I will probably go. It is a good opportunity to get back to more normal working. One condition, I will want Sue to come with me.

The Little Chef just North of Oxford on the A34 is very busy; service is very slow. We are trying hard to be more patient today, but when you have been sitting for almost 15 minutes and no one has yet taken your order, it is difficult.

We stopped once more for coffee and biscuits on the M1 and then I phoned Cathy to wish her Happy Birthday. Good news is that her doctor has taken her persistent cough seriously. She is currently using a steroid inhaler which is resulting in an improvement. She has to work this afternoon, but is going out for pizza with a group this evening.

The journey was really enjoyable, particularly the road across the Derbyshire Dales into the Peak District National Park, in the autumn sunlight.

And so to Chatsworth House. We had no idea what to expect. When we got there we decided to go into the gardens and ignore the house. This was a great decision. The weather was perfect.

When I first took the family to Disneyland, they had no idea of what was there. Everything was a delightful surprise. The garden at Chatsworth was the same. We just started to walk and discovered sculptures, gardens, a wild flower meadow, ponds and an enormous rock garden.

We walked much further than we thought we would and finally stopped for lunch at around 3:30.

Our original plan was to go back to the car after lunch, but we decided to do another longish walk to find some more sculptures. Did I overdo it? No! I pushed myself, but when we got back to the car, I was physically tired, but nothing hurt.

We made it to our overnight hotel, the Premier Inn in Barnsley just after 6pm, and had a relatively lazy evening, including dinner at a surprisingly good quality all-you-can eat buffet attached to the hotel.