Derbyshire 90 - Chesterfield /the work of fiction got it right first thing/roman miles and a milestone

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April 25th 2020
Published: April 25th 2020
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The work of fiction known as the weather forecast has been giving us a sandwich message the last few days. The good news - the bread of the sandwich has been that April has been a lovely month . No April showers. Wall to wall sunshine. Then came the filling of the sandwich - tomorrow the weather will change . It will feel cooler . It may rain. Not what you want to hear on Day 35 of the lockdown. The thought of rain keeping us indoors fills us with horror.

I woke up to what they said I would wake up to. The sun was not shining in through the window . The central heating was running. I could have quite easily have turned over and gone back to sleep . Funny how walking always feels better when the sun is shining . I did force myself up . The forecast was right though. The fiction writers of the weather forecast were correct . Cold to start. Jumper needed but by the time I had finished the walk the day had started to warm up. It was looking lovely again.

My walk today was going to be partly over old ground . I had a plan and part of that plan was to walk a road inbetween two paths I had walked on many mornings . You might think I would be bored by now but I am not . There is much to see if you look hard enough. Spring has blossomed and is now moving on the early Summer. The plants that were growing in the gardens a month ago are now gone over and replaced by early summer flowers. The sounds and scents are becoming richer , I notice more of the heady smells of the Lilac, the bluebells and the garlic which are beginning to pervade the air.

The walk begins out of the house . Walking the same old road . Perhaps I will see the squirrel this morning . No coin was needed to day to decide on the route . I had a plan . I headed in the opposite direction to yesterday . On the flat - a false sense of security . I have walked the unmade road many times over the past 6 years but somehow Covid 19 has made me look closer into gardens, at houses , play I spy house numbers or house names . Anything to make the walk different from yesterday or the day before . The road is covered with pink blossom from the cherry trees . Thick on the ground . The squirrel makes his appearance scampering between the tomb stones in the churchyard before heading for the nearest tree. If he cannot see me then he thinks I cannot see him.

I am in search of milestones . The Romans were our friends when it came to milestones . We live on the roman Rykneld Street . A road that stretched from Gloucestershire north beyond Chesterfield . Very little of the road remains. Very few remains have been found close by . Certainly not a roman milestone . The ones I am searching out are more recent . Stone milestones and metal cast iron ones. They are still about but I have not really taken much notice of them. The walk takes me through the estate . All houses and little else . I find a milestone 2 3/4 incised on it . 2 3/4 miles to Chesterfield, It is a lovely thing probably little noticed by walkers . A jogger takes my attention . Dressed in shorts he has stopped running and walks .

Having found my first milestone it is time to head home. Am I walking faster I pondered . Perhaps so. It had only taken me 20 minutes to get to the return point . Too early to contemplate going home. I had shortbread to make and a bit of gardening to do but 20 minutes was far too short a walk . It is uphill all the way back. A narrow path that now is hemmed in by the back gardens of houses . I wondered if the Hunlokes would recognise it if they were still around. It was wild in parts . Clumps of delicate Pink Campion mixed in with the rich blue of a plant I knew but could not remember the name. In a week or so the Mile a minute Montana clematis will be running riot .

With still quarter of an hour to waste I found the woodland nearby . It was a sea of blue . Bluebells everywhere I looked . I wanted to gather as many as I could and bring them home . I left them all there and just enjoyed looking at them. Bending down to smell them. The last climb of the day ahead of me . I came home to the thought of the day. " These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb " Najwa Zebian . I thought of Covid 19 as that mountain . It is there for the climbing.


25th April 2020

The blue plant could be Borage? There is a lot of that around at the moment...
26th April 2020

Hi Jackie - yes it is Borage . It is such a lovely blue colour . How are you getting on now? Our day seems to comprise of my walk , a coffee and a long long chat , thinking about what to do for dinner, a bit of baking and then I get bored . No work this week . They cant guarentee social distancing . We should have been going to Canterbury to stop over at the park and ride on Thursday afternoon . It feels truly awful not to be travelling . Upside - got a few rows of potatoes in , a row of peas growing strong and beans waiting to go in from the cold frame . I got a cold frame built so it is not all bad. xx

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