Favourite Places

Last week in Derbyshire Hospitals, we talked about our favourite places, near and far. It was interesting to see what each group came up with when it came to writing poems about the places that we love.

In Chesterfield, our minds dwelt on sunny climes and golden beaches, but our deep love of being at home, in familiar surroundings. We are lucky in Derbyshire, to have some of the world’s most fantastic scenery on our doorstep, and sometimes we don’t even need to go outside. The views out of our windows can be spectacular!

Travels Near and Far

chesterfield spire 1

Chesterfield’s famous crooked spire

On our travels, we’ve been far and wide
The beaches of New Zealand, the water crystal clear
But when I’m flying home, my heart burst with pride
The Derbyshire Dales are the best, just near here.

The warm sun and golden beaches of the Med
But you can’t beat Yarmouth – such a lovely place.
A glass of sangria, as the sun sets red
Anywhere on holiday, life’s a slower pace.

Or a donkey ride in Blackpool, and a stick of rock.
A trip up the Tower and a drive to see the lights.
But the nicest sight to see if the crooked spire’s clock
You don’t have to go a long time to see the sights.

In Buxton, with a view of the Derbyshire hills and Solomon’ Temple out of the hospital windows, we thought about Chatsworth, one of the most famous stately homes in the world, a short drive down the A6.

The Palace of the Peak

chatsworth cascade

The grandeur of Chatsworth’s cascade – enjoyed by a duck!

A warm, welcoming place to stop
A beautiful view from the top
Buying cakes from the farm shop
And salmon with parsley on top.

A jewel in Derbyshire’s sparking crown
Gardens designed by Capability Brown
Watch the water in the Cascade run down
Bakewell is the nearest town.

Rooms full of statues and priceless art
Afternoon tea with sandwiches to start.
Victoria sponges and a chocolate tart.
Days out like this really lift my heart.

Having a trip around the country fair
There’s livestock, showjumping -everything’s there!
Take a picnic with Champagne to share
What a wonderful way to take the air.

In Bakewell, we thought about the way that snow transforms places. We had a slight dusting of the white stuff last weekend, taking us back to childhood memories of sledging and snowballs.

Derbyshire Snow

snow in Derbyshire

Fun in the snow

When the snow falls on Derbyshire
It mutes the whole world.
From the valleys of Dovedale
To the height of Kinder Scout.

Wrapping up warm and stepping outside
That tingling feeling in fingers and toes
Building snowmen with coal for eyes
A borrowed scarf, and a carrot nose
Or a snowball fight in the park – who knows?

Then coming inside – bang your boots on the wall
Hands around a hot chocolate, and a sweet snack.
Hang your wet coat and gloves up to dry
And watch the flakes falling down from the sky.

Things that cheer us up!

cheering up box

For my first creative writing sessions in Derbyshire Hospitals in the New Year, I chose the theme “Things that cheer us up”, thinking that everyone needs to think of the things that make them happy on a dark January day.

Little did I know that I would need cheering up myself as I set off to Chesterfield on Monday morning, as I reeled from the news that David Bowie had died. I had something to cheer me up though – the first creative session with the hospital patients went really well, and later on that day, one of my closest friends gave birth to a beautiful baby girl!

Here are the poems that we wrote at Walton Hospital, and also at Cavendish Hospital in Buxton and Newholme Hospital in Bakewell. I’ve combined the Bakewell and Buxton poems into one, as the theme of the love given to us by our pets continued in the two different sessions.

I hope you enjoy the poems!


Walking – especially with dogs, makes us happy!


Things that make me happy!

Riding a Velocet motorbike fast
Stopping for fish and chips at last!
A pearl of wisdom in a good book
Time to think and a change of outlook.
Spending time with my wife in the hot sun –
It doesn’t matter where we are, she always makes it fun.
Watching shows that make me laugh on TV
Going walking with my wife – there’s so much to see!
Getting home to see my dogs, greeting me with glee
Licking my face and wagging their tails, they give their love for free!

Walking my dog round the Chatsworth Estate
Dreaming of cream teas – I can’t wait!
Listening to the guitar of Hank Marvin
The thought of steak and chips – I’m starvin’!
Reading the poetry of Dylan Thomas
Hearing my typewriter bashing out commas…

Happy Thoughts

Reeling in an enormous bream
Bigger than my wildest dream
My son visiting me
For a chat and a cup of tea
A pastel drawing of a robin redbreast –
That’s something I like doing the best
And then we heard a piano tune
Which lifted our spirits over the moon.
Good company and singing a song –
It doesn’t matter if the tune is wrong.
Finding a bargain in the sales
A day out in the Derbyshire Dales.
Riding a bike with the wind behind me
Gives me a thrill – there’s so much to see!
Singing and dancing and listening to tales.
Cosy and warm with a glass of ale.