Derbyshire 113 - Chesterfield /Highlight of the day the meter man came round/the green bins were emptied and the topsoil arrived


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May 18th 2020
Published: May 18th 2020
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Sometimes my calendar tells me something about mountains or the sea and I have to wait to use them in a blog until I manage a day out in the country or the seaside . A while ago I was ripping off each day and it had some relevance to Covid 19. I collected them up with the idea of using them at some point . Perhaps today is the day to use them.

"Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming or going " Seng TsAn - The day started off as usual . I got up and did the usual chores before setting off for "the walk ". With little idea other than heading out towards the Methodist Chapel at New Tupton I set out . The plan went well until I got to the point closest to the chapel . I crossed the road and then changed my mind . I crossed back and headed past the Tupton Tap. A pub that used to be called the Royal Oak and where once a list of the turnpike charges was found on a poster in the cellar . Old Tupton is a little more salubrious than New Tupton . But how it had changed since I lived there . A new housing estate had grown in what was once a field . My Aunts house or more precisely her garden was unrecognisable . Her treasured collection of Rhodedendrums had been dug up and replaced by a turning and parking area of concrete . Perhaps you should never go back to somewhere you knew because it will never be the same .

"Let go . Let be. See through everything and be free. At home - at ease " There you go that thought again . Written by Lama Suraya Das . Walking certainly makes you think. It clears your head of all things and give you chance to think . I spot another path . It is not the one I had intended to come home by. It was a wide green path between two houses . If I carried on up the road I would get to one I wanted but being nothing but curious I decided to try this one. Surely it would lead me home . It was going in the general right direction . Gran always said follow your nose - you will get home . So follow it I did . Straight away into a wood . Was it Far Tupton Wood I wondered ? It was dark and gloomy. No light shining in . No bluebells - too dark for them to grow . As I walked I worked out if I got lost I would be very late back for my early morning coffee and cake . But what was so bad about that . I could not hear the sounds from the road but I was walking in a direction that ran parallel with the road . Surely it would come out somewhere . At worse I would have to retrace my steps .

I had seen only one person this morning - a lady out with her two dogs . The woods were empty and silent . No bird song . A path went off to my right . If I followed that I guessed it might take me back to the main road . I carried on in the darkness . The path veered to the left . I hoped I was not going round in circles . 1416 hours since lockdown started . 1416 hours of my life spent doing little . I did not know at the time that the one of the days highlights would be watching the meter man reading the water meters . Lifting up the cover , he shone his light down and took the reading . Sending it via the ether to the office where a bill would be produced .

I thought I recognised the gate that I could see in front of me . No - never been this way before . The field opposite looks like the one that I wanted but there was no way to get over .All I could do was walk across the field following the muddy path . I was out in the sun and open again. The birds were singing. I could hear the Woodpecker in the wood . His head acting like a jackhammer . The sounds coming clearly to me but I couldnt see him. The magpies chased the smaller birds . I picked my way gingerly across muddy parts of the path . There are no horses or cows to make a mess but yet it was wet and muddy . I have walked for 59 days - probably covered almost 180 miles.

Eventually I came to something I recognised - the farm on Martins Lane . I walked past familiar horses - signs advising me not to feed them. A donkey and hay bales . All things I recognised . Through the gate , turn left and a short walk down the lane took me to the last field before home . Signs had been put up "Respect the countryside " "Keep to the paths and protect the farmers crops " "Take your litter home with you". I kept to the path and came out on the lane where once there were Cowslips . Now replaced by the tiny blue Self Heal and Germander Speedwell . Tiny plants you would miss if you did not look carefully. Yellow and Purple Vetch.

Someone had dumped rubbish . Fly tipping by the substation . A sign on it said that the council were aware and would be trying to find out who had dropped the rubbish. How could they I wondered ? Idiots - I wish I had seen them in the act . But I had not and probably they will get away with the dumping .

Home and coffee . the top soil turned up and the green bins were collected . A touch of normality in what seems like a mad mad world

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