It is dark when I wake . It is Day 48 of the lockdown . The sun has not risen and the birds have not woken. It is Thursday . Sage are meeting today with our government . Sage used to be that herb that you stuffed up a chicken together with onion . Now it is something scientific and advisory and the government listens. Whatever they say today will influence what happens next . As I lie there I wonder what they will come up with. The first ministers of Scotland and Wales and the Northern Ireland devolved government want more of the same lockdown. I feel a showdown as they don't want a loosening of the lockdown . They want a uniform single message . Different messages would only confuse . We won't find out until Sunday what they suggest . Will much change? In the darkness just before dawn I guessed not. Maybe exercise will be allowed twice rather than once but what else could change . Actually if the truth be told people are out more than once a day already. Gatherings are occuring . Apparently no more than 2 should meet together . As I look
out of the window during the day more than two meet up and chat. Lockdown is not quite as locked as it was a few weeks ago.
The sun gradually rose and light flooded in . It was a work day today and I had no plan yet again for the walk apart from searching out another milestone . The walk needed doing before I set up the computer and started work . No I am not obsessed by milestones . It just seems each has a story to tell . I had found the 2 and three quarter one and recently the one and three quarter . On an old map I found another one . A mile and a half and there was a story attached to that particular one .
It is those Catholic Hunlokes again . They refused the Methodists permission to build their chapel and now they were apparently aiding the Napoleonic prisoners .Whether this was true or not it still makes for another one of those interesting stories I had never heard before . Between November 1803 and June 1811 there were over 400 held in local Chesterfield . It seems that
they were not able to worship in Chesterfield as they were catholics and the church was Protestant . This is where the the Hunloke family appear again . The prisoners could travel no further than 2 miles from their place of incarceration. One story goes that the prisoners when they got to the milestone dug it up and moved it to a position that was within the 2 mile distance . On the way back they put it in the correct position . The second story goes that Sir Henry asked his estate workers to move the marker so that it was at a distance suitable for the prisoners to come and worship in his chapel . Only the local landlord would be audacious enough to do that . Pick which explanation you prefer . I am unsure if I believe either but having said that the Hunlokes were eccentric enough. They owned a menagerie - a brown bear, a Russian bear and two American brown bears. Monkeys and exotic birds , Huskies and Wolves . An odd family indeed.
I went out in search of the milestone . The information I found on it was scant . It
was north of the church and that was about it. I set out and stopped outside the church searching the walls to see if I could find it. The passing by walkers and joggers must have thought me odd . I decided I was never going to find it and set off on my walk . Being patient I was never going to come home without finding it. To find it we are going to have head up what I call the Old Road . This had now become a leafy quiet lane with the road diverted . If the milestone was going to be anywhere it would be on this road . With my head down I searched for it . There it was . How had I missed it? In good condition it indeed had the one and a half miles cut into it . Fading with time the lettering was slowly disappearing . I must have walked past it many times . I was pleased I found it . I needed a challenge on my walk and the search for the milestone was just that challenge .
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