On Christmas Day, my family picked me up in Leicester, we exchanged presents and then all went up to Baslow. Matthieu got me a beautiful grapic novel which I’m looking forward to reading.

In the evening we unpacked, cooked, ate, played a new board game, and watched the first half of the big Netflix comedy ‘don’t look up’.

Boxing Day

We walked up the hills near Curbar. Matthieu and me posed by Eagle Rock.


Curbar Edge was shrouded in murky fog.

foggy rocks

You can imagine that there might have been a wonderful view here, but the fog was so thick you could barely see twenty metres in any direction. Peter said it reminded him of Kinder Scout and I could definitely see the similarities.

New Mills

On Monday we went to Hayfield and walked to New Mills. I’m fond of this little town and was proud to show it to my family for the first time.

The heritage centre was closed, we walked along the valley, and stopped in Gioia Mia cafe on the high street. Here is Matthieu with a chip butty.

matthieu chipbutty

On the way out of Hayfield we saw people lining up by the roadside for a festive tractor run. I saw the tractors go by while standing around in Aldi car park, it was a weird christmas surprise.


When we got home we watched the new OSS 117 film, which turned out to be horrifyingly unfunny. Early on in the film, 117 goes into the SDECE office and playfully slaps all the women secretaries on the bum, and… what was the expected reaction there? We should be laughing at 117, but there isn’t any punchline, it just comes off as awkward and uncomfortable. With a few exceptions, almost all the jokes in the film are like this. It’s a bad film which poisoned the series, and we didn’t finish it. Instead, we played Ticket to Ride, which rescued the evening.


On Tuesday we walked from Baslow down around the grounds of Chatsworth, across through the village of Edensor and back again.

chatsworth tower

Peter pointed out that the shop in the stables was selling Nick Hayes’ book of trespass, a strange choice of reading material for a large country house.

matthieu reflection

Edensor has the telltale signs of a closed village owned by the nearby estate, the same shade of blue appearing on all the houses.

In the evening we watched the first half of Night Raiders, Taika Waititi’s indigenous sci-fi story. It’s not set too far in the future and one of those dystopias which looks much too close to reality, given it’s inspired by the real oppression of first nations people in Canada.


On Wednesday we went to Bakewell, walked along the Monsal Trail on the former railway between Bakewell and Hassop. A lot of abandoned railways around here.


Bakewell is not easy to walk around, the A6 runs through the main shopping street and there’s a dangerous combination of narrow pavements and pushy drivers. We bought a traditional bakewell tart at the tart shop.

bakewell tarts window

There isn’t much else to see in Bakewell, and yet it was somehow full of people. The locals complain that there are too many cafes. The public toilets cost 20p.[^publictoilets]

^[publictoilets]: Public toilet charges were introduced across Derbyshire in 2018.

In the evening we watched Death to 2021, which was… entertaining end of year netflix television content. Diane Morgan is funny, Tracey Ullman is not, I miss Charlie Brooker.


On Thursday we walked from Bubnell to Pilsley and back to Baslow via Chatsworth. Pilsley has a farm shop run by the estate, full of vaguely expensive luxury food. I got a stick of hard liqorice. 😋

Pilsley is also an estate village, with more than just houses and a church. There’s a pub, a school, a post office, giving the impression it’s more than just a model village. Who lives in these places? Are they all employed by the estate?

In the evening we watched the first half of the new Matrix film, and then an episode of Bridgerton.


On Friday we walked from Great Hucklow across Bleak Knoll to Bradwell, and then back through the fields. It was windy on the way down into Bradwell, Peter stopped to point out the field system to the south of the Hope cement works.

Bradwell was quiet, no tourists, there’s a local pub backing onto the village green, little houses piled on top of one another in winding streets. The public toilets are free to use and the taps have fantastic water pressure. An underground river flows down from the hills into a brook which surrounds the green. Here is the Bagshawe Resurgence where that water comes out.

We also saw a goat. 🐐

On the drive back we stopped in Eyam for a quick walk around; and for New Year’s Eve we started watching Lost Daughter. We had to give up on that film as it was too disturbing.

Tomorrow, 2022!