Derbyshire 133- Chesterfield - Week 12 starts up, My friend Travel Blog won't load pictures /Chatsworth drive out


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June 9th 2020
Published: June 11th 2020
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Out in Ziggy we were driving through the Chatsworth Estate . Not the programme for those who remember it but the millions of acres owned by the extremely rich Dukes of Devonshire . The large house stands in the distance with far reaching views . Views only there because the family were born on the right side of the bed, married into the right and extremely rich families and felt it right to move an entire village because it was in their way. We had not planned to be driving this way and the amount of people parked up made it impossible to stop and walk . "Ever been in the church?" I shouted to the driver . "No " he said and continued driving . So how had we ended up driving up the Dukes drive ?

The day had started much earlier . It was 4 am . It was dark . I could not sleep . I may as well have got up and made a brew . As I lay I thought about the rioting . I wondered why the police had just stood aside . Criminal damage had been undertaken , grafitti on Winston Churchill and on the Cenotaph . The police had literally stood by fearing a riot if they intervened . The statue of the slave trader pulled down in Bristol . By 5am I had gone through the rights and wrongs of the slave trade looking at it through very tired 21st century eyes . I thought we should keep the statues and mark them up with the history of the other side of the story . By 6 am I had put the world to rights . It was Week 12 of Lockdown and I wondered if the world had gone crazy.

There seemed little point to get up other than I could not get to sleep. I wondered what sort of day it was outside . Pretty miserable . It matched the mood of the country which was black. Was there any positive to talk about ? The number of Coronavirus deaths had come down dramatically over the weekend . They always do but this weekend they were down to mid 100's. It would be interesting to see what tomorrow brings. It always goes up on Tuesday when the doctors record the deaths for the weekend and when the registrars open . But we are finally heading down in the right direction .

"Shall we go for a drive " offered the driver . "Yes please but only after my walk " I want to head out to see if I can find the milestone up towards Matlock . According to what I had read there was one but I had no co-ordinates just a brief description that it was somewhere between Swarthwick Farm and Ivy House Farm . I set off in search of the elusive . It was cold walking and did not feel much like June . In a few weeks it will be first day of summer and then the longest day . From where everything will go downhill. I stopped to talk to a lady who was also walking . She explained that she too liked to come out this time of the morning but that it was getting busier and busier . My experience was three months ago the sound of birdsong was interspersed with a car engine before the birdsong started again . Now car , car , lorry , car , car , birdsong , car , car lorry car and more cars . The sound of cars was more prevalent than the birds . She agreed with me and told me she had taken early retirement from work and regretted none of it. She had been a lay judge. She talked about recent events and felt saddened at society in general . I left her and wandered on , Did I find the milestone ? Sadly no . I had hoped the hedge had been cut back by the farmer but it was still overgrown . The grass was high , the nettles and ivy covered every inch of ground obscuring any wall that might be the spot I was looking for. I had no idea if it were on the Matlock side of the road or the Wingerworth . I shall have to wait for Autumn when the undergrowth dies down .

After the walk we got in Ziggy. "How about Cromford Canal?" I had not walked the canal for years . I had first come across it on an Open University course where an old professor walked the canal . He leaned on his umbrella using it as a stick and told me about Arkwright and his mill . "How about Middleton Top?" A walk through an industrial landscape . So that is how we ended up at Chatsworth and we found ourselves driving down the 13 bends . We just could not make our minds up where to do. "I know - Ashford on the water " We even tried that quaint stone Derbyshire village but found no room to park . The plan hatched to sit on or by the old medieval bridge had failed to hatch. Another day perhaps . Home and travel blog - my old friend was not there . I missed it . It was that time of year when the photos will not load . Perhaps it will be back on again tomorrow .

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