Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hardwick Hall, Hardwick Park, Darfoulds Garden Centre, and Langold Lake Country Park

I've been posting a lot more often on the blog recently, that's because I've been walking and going out with my support workers at every opportunity for the last two months. I need to keep busy; something happened in May that I'm having difficulties coping with. I'm really struggling to self-actualise at the moment and I'm needing a lot of support and feedback. Basically, I wake up every morning not knowing who I am and what my place in the world is, what I need to do to feel that I'm contributing to society...how I can become the best person I'm capable of being.

I'm stumbling about in the dark and so I've decided that the best short-term solution is to keep busy, tiring myself out, both physically and mentally...leaving me with little time or energy left to fret about things or do anything stupid.

So...I went for a trip out to Hardwick Hall today with Siobhan, one of my support workers. I'd checked online and there wouldn't just be the Hall and gardens to look at though, there's also extensive parkland areas with lots of walking routes.

Hardwick Old Hall is nearby, less then a hundred yards away actually, and I would have liked to see both sites. However, the Old Hall is managed by English Heritage and we're only members of The National Trust and I wasn't prepared to pay £13 for the both of us to visit the ruins.

It's situations like this that really pisses me off about contemporary Britain; not only having to pay once, but then you're expected to pay again. Why on Earth are there two rival competing heritage organisations in England? 

We arrived at Hardwick just after eleven o'clock and were told that the hall was closed, as it is every Monday and Tuesday, and so we'd only be able to look at the gardens and the parkland. I told the staff who worked there that it wasn't obvious on their webpage that the property wasn't open today....they disagreed and thought I was some sort of time travelling saboteur. 

Here's a link to the page stating the times and openings; in order to find out that it doesn't open on a Tuesday you need to scroll down the page...something that's not obvious - and shouldn't be necessary. THIS INFORMATION NEEDS TO BE PROMINENTLY DISPLAYED.

We still enjoyed ourselves though; the weather was lovely - a little too hot really though, especially for Siobhan. I bought a new [secondhand] camera yesterday after breaking my previous one on Saturday, and so had a lot of fun experimenting with its features...and took a lot of photographs.

After we'd eaten our sandwiches we drove down the hill to the bottom part of Hardwick Park and walked round the fishing lakes and through some very nice meadows.

At this point I noticed that Siobhan was struggling a bit in the heat; she's a few years older than me and walks with a slight limp anyhow, and so I decided to abandon my plan to call at Creswell Crags on the way back and walk through the gorge, having a look at the caves.

I formulated an alternative plan; cream teas at Darfoulds Garden Centre, and ice creams at Langold Lake Country Park. At the garden centre we sat right next to a 'geranium wall;. Everyone seemed to be very impressed by it - we were told that the set-up would cost £900.

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