June 23, 2008

Wet and windy without woolens

This was going to be a post with weaving delights and textile interests, but instead, yesterday was... interesting.

We set off in the morning to see the delights of Quarry Bank Mill, a Chesire weaving mill from the Industrial Revolution, with working machinery and looms running on steam power. It's operated by the National Trust and is not too far from Manchester - however, we were fated never to get there....

Yesterday, there was a wind storm across Northern Britain, with gale force winds. No problem, we thought, with four of us in the car, we'll have lots of weight to hold it steady as we dive across the wuthering moors towards Manchester.

But near the airport, chaos reigned, high winds cancelling flights and closing roads, and when we finally - after a 45 minute car-queue (ooooh yess, I remember why I don;t live in England!), we got to the mill only to be confronted with closed gates and a man waving people away. And I got sick from the dreadful pollution/fumes. Argh.

Later, the day was rescued with a nice country pub Sunday lunch at Audley Edge (well done, Chris!), and then we decided to try a walk in the local country house estate. But no. Also closed. It was then that we realised that the wind was causing the mayhem - until then, we'd been debating what on earth could be creating such havoc.

So we blundered around the countryside on a wet and windy day - and there were snorts of laughter when we spotted an ice cream van up on top of the blasted heath that is the moor, next to a white whipped-up lake that looked about 3 degrees, trying to sell icecreams to... nobody, unless the sheep!

Here's the lake: fancy a swim anyone?

Still, you have to admit that the moors are beautiful in their windy, wet, wuthery, wild way, with the cotton grass flowers waving.

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