I like to see the hills in the distance…our favourite places.

This week, the hospital patients and staff talked about our favourite places, in Derbyshire and beyond. We also looked at some stunning views, from Kinder Scout to Dovedale.

We were inspired by Helen Mort’s poem ‘Made in Derbyshire’, which you can read here, and also ‘I wandered as lonely as a cloud’, by William Wordworth, possibly one of the most famous poems in the English language, but one which still keeps the image of those lakeside daffodils fresh in our minds.

I turned the things we talked about into rhyming couplets, and I hope you enjoy reading the poems, which celebrate Derbyshire and places a little further afield too, looking forward to seaside holidays and balmy summers.


The view of the hills from New Mills


Derbyshire Magic

Walking in the Peak District’s alp-like hills –
Mam Tor shivers – it’s never quite still.
From the market bustle of Chesterfield,
To the crooked-spired church where we kneeled.

Spring’s magical hue of the bluebell wood –
But February’s snowdrops still make me feel good.
Living in Hope in the shadow of mountains;
Visiting Castleton’s caves and canyons.

The slopes of Buxton, under the trees,
Eating a picnic with mild Derby cheese.
The Octagon where we saw Beatles and Stones –
Now it’s all craft fairs for folk with old bones!

Down in the Torrs of New Mills’ river –
Millennium Walkway – in shade where we shiver;
Hugging the cliff-face and joining the path,
A walk spent with friends – always a good laugh!

The views that stretch to Kinder Scout –
Fresh air and wild country’s what it’s all about.
A brisk walk in the hills with a lively dog
Never feels like it’s hard work or a slog.

From big country houses to tiny stone circles,
Derbyshire’s full of land that’s fertile.
Bakewell pudding’s the genuine article
Our county really is quite remarkable!

Chatsworth's Cascade on a lovely summer's day! Spot the duck!

Chatsworth’s Cascade on a lovely summer’s day! Spot the duck!

Memories of Favourite Places

I like to see the hills in the distance
But to get up them, I may need assistance!
These old knees of mine make it tricky to climb
But the mountains of Mourne are still clear in my mind.

On the front at Skegness, the wind was quite chilling
We had our photos taken – the price was two shillings!
Cockles and seaweed, the air was so bracing
Spent our pennies on rock and donkey racing.

Cycling in the countryside, safe from cars
Coming back home under the stars.
We never worried as the sun beat down.
We got sunburn, but then we’d turn brown.

Walking and fishing on Bridlington Pier
Perfect memories, free from fear.
In Whitby, Dracula gave us a fright!
But we ate fish and chips on Friday night.

Bakewell pudding filling my tummy,
In Chatsworth, ice-creams were quite yummy.
Lambs frolicking and pretending to hide,
Matlock Bath lit up like the seaside.

Beautiful sights from New Year to December –
Lovely places to walk and remember.

“Beyond Hope” – a new term starts!

My work with Derbyshire County Council at Newholme Hospital has resumed, and I’ve also started working at Cavendish Hospital in Buxton, where I ran a couple of tasters in July. I’m continuing to work with patients, giving them stimulus through photographs, objects, words and music, and through that, an opportunity to reflect and talk about their experiences, places they’ve been, and things they’ve done.

Last week, we looked at Kinder Scout, and the more rugged aspects of the Peak District. Many of the patients knew the mountain well and had climbed it several times, even once with a cine heavy camera! I hope the film taken on that day still exists somewhere, waiting to be rediscovered as a testament to the effort it took to carry the camera. That’s what the project is about, and I hope that we can continue to rediscover and document forgotten voices and preserve memories, engaging with the patients and their creativity.

Here’s a sonnet I’ve written, compiling some of the interesting things we found out and discussed. I must say at this point for readers from further afield, that Hope is a very picturesque village, about seven miles from Edale, the starting point of the Pennine Way and the climb up Kinder Scout. Hope lends itself to puns, such as the song “She Lives in Hope” by John Shuttleworth, and “Beyond Hope” is one of the things that people say about Edale, a reference to its remote location!

Amazing rock sculptures at the top of Kinder Scout

Amazing rock sculptures at the top of Kinder Scout


“Beyond Hope”


I used to drag the dog and the wife up Kinder Scout.
I remember seeing the Downfall frozen in the winter;
The twisted shapes on their plinths along the high plateau,
As if a modern sculptor had been chipping away at the rock.

While millennia of rain, wind and snow carved the millstone grit.
Countless human hands piled rock after rock to make cairns,
Helping lost souls to find the paths in the fog and dark.
Now the Mountain Rescue braves the cruel elements, finding

Fools who don’t heed advice or warnings, or get caught
In fickle changes of the mountain weather, sun to storm
As the wind changes and graphite clouds gather above Edale
Although the valleys had been golden, setting off from Hayfield.

There are ghosts on the peat moors; a deadly mermaid lurks
In the tarn’s dark water, or she may give you eternal life.