Thankfully a sunny day for the Sunday trip to Derbyshire. Venturing onto the “Red Arrow” on Tour” bus it seemed like the whole world was on the move to enjoy the sunshine just in case it was a 24 hour flash in the pan and the rain came back too soon.

The bus was set for Bakewell but I was to alight at Alfreton to be picked up by the Brack Bandits for a trip to the cat rescue shelter fundraiser. There was much muttering amongst the silver foxes on board when they discovered that the bus went to Matlock instead of Matlock Bath. They would have to take a slight detour, their problem, not mine, as I had read the timetable correctly and not assumed that all Matlocks were the same! (As they are not!)

The sun was beating down as we arrived at the garden party. Just in time for cake and eleveneses, lemon drizzle, mmm. Then there was a tour of the cat’s house, how lovely. Thankfully they weren’t watching F1 on the sky TV, too sunny and warm to be a fast cat, much better to be a sleepy cat. How cute they all were, I was so glad not to be choosing one, as that would have been too difficult. (I hope some of them found new homes). A tour of the stalls confirmed that the knitted kitties were doing their bit too! Time for more tea and cake, another look at the cats before making a surprise visit to see Fidel. I can’t believe such a handsome, quiet cat is a naughty as the Bandits and Missy make out. It must have been Sunday best time for naughty cats.

On such a lovely day it was a shame to waste a minute so I was very happy for the Bandits to take me to Ashover. The perfect afternoon for a sherbet outside the Crispin Inn. The famous one with a long history and historical connections of thirsty soldiers and grumpy landlords. Not so today, a very nice snack and a quick chorus of there’s “Only one ciabatta”.

The church next door, All Saints, was open and inside there was a very nice memorial to Thomas Babington and his wife, unusually colourful. Sadly I didn’t see the 4 memorials to the members of the Florence Nightingale family in the graveyard. (Basically as I didn’t know they were there!).

Just time for an ice cream at the tuck shop, before going onto a quick walk to Overton Hall. How sweet, it was a step back in time, how I remember tuck shops before they all became late “Spars” or someone’s “Express” They still had milk in bottles! Thought that was a long gone item.

It was a lovely view over to Ashover as we walked up the hill. I still can’t believe that Bertie Bassett started here, were the Bandits teasing me? It was feeling warm now, time to stop to take a photo. I’m getting better at walking up hills, but not yet ready for fell running!

We passed Overton Hall with stories of dragon flies, the Ashover Light Railway and various gems of local interest. And then it was time to go home, fun time flies way too quickly!

The silver foxes were not on board the Red Arrow, I wondered if they were maybe stuck between Matlock and Matlock Bath in some overheated haze of despondency. I didn’t ponder for long.

Another grand day out, wherever to next I wonder?