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"End to End via the Margins"
-the diary of a walk.

- Easter Monday - Stretton to Chevinside


After being well looked after by Dave and Debs, I started off into a beautifully still, damp morning which had followed heavy overnight rain. The sun was to appear later.

Most of the day was off road, or on roads with pavements and by and large it was free of boy racers. Hannah joined me for four miles along an old railway trail and Janet met us later. Thank you Janet! You chose a good route today. Hannah walked quickly and talked a lot about animals.

It was a day for questions (Martyn Coe, if you're out there somewhere you may know the answers);-

  • What was this structure near the disused station at Mickleover?
    • an experimental linear induction motor?
    • something for growing tomatoes?
    • something else?
  • What has Bonnie Prince Charlie got to do with Markeaton?
  • What is this wall on the Chevin (Derbyshire)?

Two attractive women passed and I asked them about this last thing, the wall. "I wish my husband was here," said one, "he would know about it." I wished he was there too, and there wouldn't have been any suspicion I was trying to chat them up.

As I moved north, there were signs that I was approaching familiar territory, a gritstone gatepost, then walls, a countryside that was becoming increasingly hilly, a Midland Mainline train in the valley on its way to Sheffield.

Parish churches are turning out to be a good places to meet the support team. St. Paul's Quarndon had a fantastic Easter display inside. It seems that (at least in some places) they can be "public" in a way that free churches usually aren't.

I'm fond of chalking up BBC regions. Today brought another one, East Midlands. All these little calculations keep me going, little mileposts on the way. I could also start on lists...

  • Travellers' encampments - 3
  • Crematoria - 2
  • Roadside shrines - 2
  • Ancient burial mounds - about 15
  • Hymn tunes within a couple of miles - Truro, Abbot's Leigh, Luckington, Repton
  • BBC regions - 5
  • Companies with green and yellow colour schemes which may or may not be owned by the Initial Group - 3
  • Counties ... etc...

In the evening I picked away at a scab which had formed over a piece of grit from Derwent Avenue, Ickenham, which has been wedged in my knee for 45 years. I don't think it's going to come out now. Anyway, it would be nice to leave it in: I like the idea that after I'm cremated, the urn will rattle. Not that I'll be an an urn for long. Presumably my nearest and dearest will scatter me somewhere. If so, I'd like it to be on somebody's vegetable or herb garden or allotment. I'd rather be pushing up rhubarb than pushing up daisies. "He wasn't much use in life, but at least in death we got two decent years of runner beans out of him."

Pictures from today...
Hannah and sign on the NCN54
What was this?
What is this?
Creator God,
we give you thanks for the diverse landscape of our country ad the world.
We thank you for flat and fertile lands,
for rugged mountain pastures,
for cliffs and seabirds,
for waterways and cities.
We thank you for the fruits of the earth
and of human labour,
by hand or by brain,
and pray for justice
in the way those fruits are distributed.
We pray also that those who don't have
the time, mobility or money
to escape their own environments
once in a while
may get the opportunity to see
a different face of the land.
© Bob Warwicker. The words here may be reproduced freely, but not for gain, or without attribution. All alterations must have the permission of the author.