Last week was a week off and we went to Derbyshire again, staying near Belper. Unfortunately I got the dreaded bug that was spreading through the office the week before (although I tried every hygiene method recommended and sanitised my hands to the point of sticky ridiculousness.) I was determined to do things and not lie in bed too much, so we went to see the film IT, which I found most frightening for the memories of 1980’s bathrooms, poor housing and suspect family relationships –rather than the obvious multi-toothed clown. Derby was a nightmare to navigate in the car and the Plaza Lux was up lots and lots of escalators – like finding a needle in a haystack of high street shops, all enclosed in the obscene barn of the InTu Derby Centre. Bolsover Castle was my favourite part of the holiday and we recorded me reading a few of my poems there (avoiding the camera people and history students making a documentary about ghosts). I was nervous and I don’t think I read them so well, but there were lots of footsteps on the stairs – human or otherwise – and I was keen to get them read before other presences appeared! Apparently the ghost of a young boy has been seen in photographs holding the hands of visitors. I kept a hand free in case he needed it. Chatsworth House was a strange sort of place, quite sterile really – but then I was feeling sick and giddy and was irritable with even the most innocent shove out the way by a fellow tourist. We saw fallow deer on the way out which was the highlight. One was scratching its antlers on an oak tree. I loved Autumnwatch as I always do, and on the day I couldn’t get out of bed, I looked forward to the evening and watching it, particularly the fox-box test. I was so utterly sick with this bug (worse with my osophogeal issues) it reminded me of my dad saying, after chemotherapy, how sickness is the most soul destroying feeling – far worse than pain in many ways, and less treatable.
I’ve realised that my blog is a little less than professional – in fact more like ‘The Diary of Kitty D Aged 38 and a Bit’. So I’ll just keep things to a minimum from now on. If anybody would like to see a few poems, I’ve put What Happened on Pudding Lane, Germination and Twins on YouTube, all filmed in Derbyshire on location (as The Rutles may have ironically said). “I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter”, T.S. Eliot said. Well the first is true… I longingly wish for the second.