No, there wasn’t a fault. It was down to where we spent the last weekend of the Christmas holidays.
Gradbach Mill, which is in the High Peak, to be precise.
It was a celebratory weekend for sixty people to get together to mark the fortieth birthday of a friend of mine. It had been all organised and paid for months ago.
But by the time it came around, to be honest, I wasn’t really in the mood. I was tired and jaded and ready for a rest rather than a party.
So I wasn’t at my liveliest or most sociable. I did a fair bit of sleeping.
But Gradbach Mill won me round.
The scenery was stunning.
Since then the impressive stone building has also been used as a sawmill, a glorified farm barn and for the growing of watercress, before being turned into a youth hostel in 1978.
We loved it’s warmth, it’s huge metal windows and the birds that flitted about outside.
And it’s charms were sufficient for me to overlook the somewhat underwhelming bunk beds – mine, complete with a pillow that smelled of sick…
And we chatted. And played games. And drank wine. And watched the kids do their thing (mainly running or roller-skating about and squealing). There were balloons, and a quiz, and toasts and birthday tributes…
It was a good bash and a good end to the holidays.
And, I think, a good send-off.
Because it wasn’t just our last weekend. It was the Mill’s last weekend too. The building has been sold, to a private school.
We were the very last people to stay in this particular youth hostel. Which made me a little sad.