At last, the 16th June arrived and Donmog – or at least thirty members – arrived at the sunny parklands of National Trust property Calke Abbey. The first half dozen to arrive parked up in an empty part of the car park to await the rest, when the NT car parking attendant came over and advised us to go into the overflow car park where we could park on the grass for our picnic and not get the cars covered in dust from the hardcore car park surface. Was he being thoughtful or was he trying politely to keep the riff-raff away from their normal clientele?
It was a perfect day in so many ways, the grass surface was dry, the weather was cloudless, the parkland looked beautiful and it was very pleasantly warm. Most important was the fact that we were able to meet up in person after so many months of Zoom meetings. It was great to have another type of zoom, which was a blat down the A50 and then the lovely lanes going to Ticknall. Arriving at the Calke Abbey grounds made me think what a great sprint course the estate road would make if they were to allow it.
We all enjoyed the natter and seeing friends again, especially as we were able to welcome three new members to our ranks. We hope they found us welcoming and will become active members as CoVid allows.
We had a picnic lunch, whilst keeping social distancing, although it seemed strange not being able to shake hands in greeting.
There was a good number of Morgans (15 in all) turning up, together with a Lotus and Porsche all of which conveyed Donmoggers to the event.
After the picnic, many went for a walk around the parkland, although some of us stayed behind to natter. Having pulled a calf muscle whilst running in the previous week, I used it as an excuse to engage in intelligent(?!!) conversation with those remaining behind when we discussed the great philosophical questions of the moment.
Many thanks to Paul and Jan Fileman for organising the event and to NT staff/volunteers for making us welcome.
Words & pictures – Phil Royle