I’m convinced that men just don’t “get” shopping” in the way that women do it. When we go to buy something, we go the shop, pick what we went for, pay for it and leave.
It’s no accident that women go on shopping “expeditions” in which they look at everything in the shop before settling on the very first thing they looked at, an hour earlier. If that word expedition applies to any human endeavour it applies to shopping. I’m sure that a trip to the south pole is a walk in the park compared to one of Sue’s shopping trips. This isn’t me being sexist; it’s the result of many years of dispassionate observation on my part It probably comes down to the genetic differences between men and women.
For this reason, I would normally prefer to immerse my head in custard rather than be dragged out shopping.
Yesterday, however, was a bit different. It wasn’t a trip into the centre of Nottingham to worship at the shrine of Monsoon or Debenhams, but a drive out the wilds of Derbyshire. well, not exactly “wilds”, but to the (really) picturesque village of Cromford. We were taking Maggie, a friend of ours, to visit Mystical Crystals in Cromford Market Place. Sue and I both love this shop which has a calm, healing atmosphere and is run by Keith, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of crystals and stones. There is always calming meditative music playing there and the air is filled with gentle smell, on this occasion of fig and something or other.
We have never been to this shop without coming away with some more beautiful stones to add to our growing collection, and this visit was no exception. I now have a Celestine geode, a quartz point and a slice of a multi-coloured mineral that I have already forgotten the name of. Sue has piece of amethyst geode and a small natural bowl of agate (I think) crystals. But I’m already jumping ahead to the second part of the day.
After spending ages in Mystical Crystals shop, we crossed the road to Inpsired Earth where lots more surprises awaited us. Since our last visit to this shop that is filled with knitted hats and jumpers, felt slippers and tote bags of all shapes and sizes, the place has been extended. It still has all the fair-trade knitted and felt things, but also has lots of jewellery and a whole new area with eastern (Indian and Tibetan, I think) wooden tables, doors, shutters, boxes. At ecvery turn, we discovered door knobs, coat hooks and so much more. There were even rolls of Tibetan Prayer flags in the shop.
There is also an independent bookshop in Cromford, Scarthin Books. We did intend to pay a visit there, but time ran out so this is a treat that we have yet to enjoy.
With these three shops, as well as the seriously rural atmosphere, Cromford has everything in place to become a real hippy heaven; a place where I could feel completely at home.
If you heard a loud rumbling across Derbyshire on Saturday, it wasn’t an earthquake, just my tummy complaining as 2pm came and went and my lunch remained out of reach in the back of the car. We did stop shopping for a tea and scone in the Old Bakery (also in Cromford, and next door to Inspired Earth). After a visit to the millpond in the centre of the village, we drove up to Black Rocks to have the home made soup and Cheese Scones that Sue had brought with us.
With the rumbling silenced, we then set off for the second part our trip, towards Stapleford and another haven of hippiedom, The Majik Thread‘s shop.
In a masterpiece of mistiming, we arrived there to find the blinds down and the door locked. They shut at 3pm on a Saturday, it seems, but the universe must have been feeling in a good mood towards us because there were people in the back of shop attending a workshop, so we were invited in to look round. Of course, more money changed hand in return for rocks and a book or two.
It must have been getting on for 5pm before we got back home and with no time for an afternoon nap, it was straight into preparation for last night’s disco at Lakeside – the first wedding of the 2009 season. That’s why today has been very lazy and laid back.
We did intend to get out on the bike, but didn’t make it. No worries, there will be lots of other chances this summer to get out and join the ever increasing number of other bikers on the roads.